The world before my eyes is wan and wasted, just like me.
The earth is decrepit, the sky stormy, all the grass withered.
No spring breeze even at this late date,
Just winter clouds swallowing up my tiny reed hut.
Zen Master Ikkyu, 1394-1481
I have been thinking this morning about delay. Specifically, how delay is felt, experienced, and the desire behind it. When things don't come to us when we want them to, or expected them to, we call it a delay. We say we are in waiting, putting a future focus on what's happening now. And often, in the process, stepping out of the now all together.
Something was desired to occur at a certain time. It didn't. Now what?
When faced with that now what, we tend to experience a taking over by desire. Instead of using our desire energy to move through life, we become owned by it. Controlled by it.
Although it may not have been the case, in Ikkyu's poem, I sense a bit of longing for spring. Both for the literal spring and, also, the spring of waking up to some part of his life he continues to miss.
When desire owns us, everything seems to be colored by lack.
When desire is a tool used by us, there's no lack of abundance.
Being in waiting for something can live in either of those fields. You can wait for spring without being controlled by it.
But that's easier said than done. Those winter clouds too often feel ominous to me. Even when there's no storm in sight.
May this be the winter of burning through the hut's flimsy walls.