Zen and the Art of

A few hours ago I was thinking of those little Zen books that were all the rage in the late 90s, ‘Zen and the art of Archery’, ‘Zen and the art of Motorcycle Repair’ (a really good read, actually), and thought of doing my own, ‘Zen and the art of Cloth Diapering’. 

Chapter One:  Is finding Dharma while scrubbing your hands with toothpaste to get out the smell of the soiled diaper you  hand wrung out a good thing or a bad thing?*

Sure it would be a silly book, but if you think about it, shouldn’t life be that?  Shouldn’t we strive to find purpose in everything we do, and look for the most mundane tasks to truly teach us?  I know when I worked behind the bar at the service station (where one bartender makes all the drinks for the restaurant), with my hands a blur and my mind a blank, completely focused on the next ticket, I had time to really sort myself out.  Making the same crappy slushie margaritas with plastic lobster beads for garnish can either crush your soul, or elevate it.  I choose elevation. 

Sometimes I catch myself during the day not really taking the time to appreciate Alex.  Now, I spend 24 hours a day with him, so I do give myself down time to focus on me, but I mean during mundane things (feedings and such), I tend to zone out and try to get everything else done.  It’s in the moments that I really need to just stop and take him in; crying, screaming, spitting up, smiling, sleeping, or quiet and wonderous, for those are the moments I learn.  Those are the moments I laugh.  Those are the moments I treasure. 

Alex is asleep now.  Just checked in on him; music is playing, binkie is out of mouth, chest is rising in shallow breaths.  He’s not fully asleep, probably in REM, so I make sure to be as quiet as I can.  The days are moving faster now that he’s on a schedule of waking/feeding/sleeping/etc.  I need to stop and take him in.  I need to be aware.  I need to find Dharma in all I do with him, with Monkey. 

But first, I need to wash my hands again.  Ick.  😉

*That actually happened.  Don’t ask.