Its been a chaotic week. First, my roommates truck was slammed into by an enormous Hummer (the dude had to be compensating for something) while it was parked in front of our house. Now, I wasn’t there at the time, but when I saw that monster of a Hummer resting on its axel in the middle of the intersection and an equally enormous man standing on our sidewalk cradling a tire that came up to his chest and then followed the trail of the scrape in the street from the Hummer to my roommate’s truck, I was able to figure out what had happened.
Then two days later, I received a call from my roommate’s girlfriend when I was at work and I answered because something had to be wrong. Why else would she be calling me? Sure enough she had been doing laundry at our house and left to run an errand only to return to our house with water streaming out from underneath the front door. The washing machine decided to turn against us and commit suicide, spilling its contents on our wooden floors and continued to supply those same beautiful floors with plentiful amounts of water. So plentiful in fact, that the water filled all three bedrooms, most of the kitchen and some of the living room until it found its way out the front door.
I told my roommate’s girlfriend how to turn off the water supply and told her that the only thing we could really do is call a plumber. Both my roommate and I were trapped at work so the poor thing was freaking out by herself. Long story short, she got help and when I got home from work I came home to restoration services cleaning up the mess and many suitcase-like machines blowing air out in every corner of the house.
Both of these events came about in the blink of an eye. I went from sleeping cozy in my own bed to sleeping on my parent’s couch and I got hardly any sleep because my parent’s annoying little chihuahua thought it was fun to taunt my dog who came with me to seek sanctuary, and every hour I’d awake to barking and vicious snarling.
Everything is always changing. The Zen principle of mujo teaches us this one universal constant. You could be watching TV when a massive Hummer barrels into your truck. You could be handling a lunch rush at work when your washing machine kamakazis and floods your house.
The point of making you aware of how fragile life is was not intended to cause anxiety or depress you, but rather to stress the importance of being grateful. Its all too common for us to take everything for granted until mujo steals that those things away from us.
In fact, its important to be grateful even when terrible things happen to you. I’m grateful that my roommate wasn’t in or getting out of his car when that Hummer plowed into it. I’m grateful that hardly any of our personal property was harmed by the flood and that we have insurance to cover it. I’m grateful that I have a couch to sleep on and parents to turn to even if they own a stupid and annoying little chihuahua.
It can always be worse. So be grateful for what you have and grateful for the people you have in your life because nothing exists outside of the influence of mujo; everything is temporary. Live your life like you’re going to lose it all one day because that’s the reality of the matter. Some how, some way, everything will end. So be grateful and look at the positive side of things because life can change in a flash.
COVER PHOTO: Sonny with his ball after the flood.
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