Where would there be leather enough to cover the entire world?  The earth is covered over merely with the leather of my sandals.

That’s Santideva, the eighth-century Buddhist monk to whom the Dharma text A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life is attributed, walking up through the centuries to tell me to stop being such a freaking drama queen.

So the whole world is covered with jagged rocks, Santideva says.  You try to walk around and your feet hurt.  You cry and cry but the rocks don’t get any less jagged.  You wish the rocks were gone but they’re still there.  The only way to get any relief is to cover them over with leather so that they won’t cut your feet with every step.

Of course there isn’t enough leather in the world to cover all the sharp rocks … but the other way to cover every single rock with leather is to put on a pair of shoes.

I think I have been standing around screaming at the rocks while my feet bleed.  It’s time to put on some damned shoes.

I know that talk is cheap and that I’ve posted on this blog many times before about how I’m going to change this or that, and yet somehow I always slip back into that dark cave full of jagged rocks.  I don’t know how to get from the resolution to an actual change, but I do think I’m inching towards something better, despite all the times I fall down.  (And I do fall down a lot.)  But unlike at work, or in performance, or in most other aspects of my life, I can make mistakes while I try to make myself better.  No one can fire me from being me, so I’m really trying to be gentle and forgiving with myself as I try not to lose 2011.

I’m still me, and I’m still on the path, even if I totally fail at daily 2011 updates (did you notice I took the page down?  It was getting embarrassing).  I don’t really know where I’m going with this and I’m not sure I have a point at all, but I just wanted to say that I’m still here and I’m still trying.


6 responses to “leather

  1. I am always here rooting for you.

  2. What Roccie said. And I love this post. Time for some shoes indeed. And yeah, while it can be hard not to feel defeated in trying to become a better person, it’s the trying that matters. Which sounds trite, but it’s what I tell myself. Keep on striving, gently and forgivingly.

  3. I love this post, too. Hope you find some good sandals soon.

  4. Dear Ginger and Lime, you are so awesome. I too am here rooting for you. I think that the change is happening for you, and I can see it as plain as day in this post. It sounds like you are more gentle and forgiving of yourself, you are befriending yourself. And that IS the practice. I always remember this phrase from my teacher: it’s not about the doing, but the undoing. You have sandals with you, it’s just a matter of letting them do their work .

  5. I love this post too!!!

    I guess I should find some sandals myself….

  6. It is not easy. And I know it, believe me.

    I was updating my offline lovediary (aka cycle record) and I went through my cycles. I feel awful that I am again on the same page as infertile and childless.

    The time to wear those shoes has come. And you are correct. Most of the days it is just a whine o’clocker, but still, keep that thought in the back of your mind.

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