Kosho told me once that emptiness is letting whatever coming your way be free of what you think it is. I'm thinking about this now and my strike last weekend.
Last weekend, I went on a socialization strike and decided to honor my introverted side. For many weekends now, it seems I've been whisked away by some engagement- some required as a student here and some familial duties. And all of sudden I felt very drawn down. I hadn't seen the beach in some time, hadn't run to the top of our hill to see our little valley from our Hope's Cottage. So, I bowed out of dinner plans and a tubing trip that Lulu and I had planned. She still went, while I leaned back to enjoy my upcoming empty weekend.
Until it didn't look very empty.
The farm needed a volunteer for Sunday sales after the dharma talk. I couldn't resist. Our pond needed a reservoir transfer and I was the only irrigation crew member available. My tea ceremony tutor wanted to meet on Sunday night. I had a date on Saturday night; we watched Moonrise Kingdom. I had a date on Monday night with my good friend Brian, to go eat cheeseburgers and watch the new Batman movie. Go see Moonrise Kingdom twice, Batman zero.
I had no idea this was going to happen, and I thought I had cleared my plans so I could read, do some brush work, write some letters, and um, just get it together. It didn't happen like that. And I moved toward that weekend like I knew exactly what was going to happen. I even joked that I wasn't even going to brush my teeth, god damn it.
This is my mother in me. She'd be content to sit on the porch with her coffee, cigarettes, and her book. I love to remember her like that, with stain glass windows behind her (a hobby of hers) and mobiles and bells blowing in the summer Pennsylvania country wind. My father makes up my other half, the extroverted half, the Neworleanin half, the half that shows up to every parade in Mardi Grais and opens his door to all, to come eat his barbecued pulled pork. I'm completely 50/50.
But conflict rises when I don't get my way.
I'd like to move from my way to the way.
I'd like to acknowledge that view from Hope's cottage is always available. I'd like move toward whatever is coming my way as an "empty" weekend, which might not look empty at all, but is surly emptiness in the sense that I don't have any idea about what it's going to be. I'd like to find the introversion in this moment right now, right with the extroversion.
I wonder if Suzuki Roshi was talking about emptiness when he was talking about relaxing in every moment.