Blissful Vagabond

blissful vagabond1

There has always been a vast difference between the sum of us and the minute majority minority group aptly named, vagabonds.

vagabond

[vaguh-bond] 

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adjective

1.

wandering from place to place without any settled home; nomadic:

a vagabond tribe.

2.

leading an unsettled or carefree life.

3.

disreputable; worthless; shiftless.

4.

of, relating to, or characteristic of a vagabond:

vagabond habits.

5.

having an uncertain or irregular course or direction:

a vagabond voyage.

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I had the privilege of growing up in an era without phones that attached to the hip or ear or back pocket. My phone was built of empty B and M bean tin cans and string that had been stolen from my brother’s shoes.

Alas, the simple life, ain’t so simple. How often have we heard of snippets/books such as, How to become Rich, How to be a millionaire, Why not be a real estate mogul in three easy steps?

How often has anyone yelled from a broken and abandoned building housing nomads, people living the simple life:

Enter in here and you will learn how to be poor!

Once upon a time, I made enough money to make myself look important without being humble. I also found myself, intrinsically, going nowhere fast. IT hadn’t been that my riches were not full and electric and fancy and top of the line. IT had been that my soul had been admonished with attachments that were nowhere near what my heart desired most.

Course, not being bright or quick to learn, I discovered ‘self’ the hard way with repeated attempts at ignoring the obvious. The donut had been my life and my soul had been the hole. It took two fires, and hopefully it ends at that, to awaken my ignorantly imagined infinitely blissful psyche. As with blissful vagabond 2

most house fires, on both occasions, we had lost what I had assumed was the root of Ruth. Trophies spouting off how wonderful am I, top of the line lesbian wardrobe, a tell tale sign of my physical attributes and assorted vanity items. Note the word, vanity!

After my Higher Power’s second attempt at comedy, the house that Ruth built burning slowly to the ground, I gave up. A surrender of sorts. A fall to the knees in an open corn field. Head to the turbulent sky. Eyes fixed on spirituality’s revelations not mankind or womankind’s justification. I had heard, through the grapevine, that one knows when they have had too much. Internally we are all aware of rock bottoms personal vendetta.

All that has been written is truth. Yet, as I have said, I am a slow and not too steady learner. There are still on and off again moments where I just have to have that third Tablet/Kindle just in case the other two die. Or, times where I say to self, oh, it’s only a dollar. Three or four solar-powered plastic flowers the move via the light won’t hurt anybody.

My family is dysfunction with a capital D. My kin should have a mascot decorated with kitchen knives, bad karma and a scary clown head. They are what they are. And, it takes what it takes.

This time, it took ‘family in crisis’ to snap me to! Not that I had been out purchasing large lots of land and/or placing bets at the local Bingo Hall. But the ‘simple’ life had slowly started its downward descent into bargain basement shopping for the act of pleasuring one’s self with unnecessary plastic objects.

What I saw…when I again, saw the light? Aging parents that had done the best they could with what they were given via their own upbringing. And, I stand here today to tell you, they were given a bag of coal and flour and told to make the most of life with ‘the same shit’ their parents were given. On and on, and on and on, goes the vicious cycle of dysfunctional families.

Oh, physician heal thy self. Or, in this particular case, Zen Buddhist writer and fool, look what you’ve done now! I cannot begin to describe the night terrors. The slumbering sweat I awoke in. And/or the court jester-ing fool I witnessed in the morning mirror.

By slowly avoiding what it takes to ‘keep it simple‘. Which by the way is a hard and repetitive, daily journey into self. By masking myself in society’s masking tape. I forgot the following basic human and humble rules.

Who am I to judge? Judgment or mindfulness? Clinging to attachments can cloud and dilute the truth we all seek. How is it I came out so wonderful? If my parents were such mongers?

Living simply is not for the faint of heart. First step is in realizing that just by breathing, in today’s material world, you will be charged. Second step, going out of the house costs! Be aware that

the moment you step foot out the door; mileage, food, sun, parks and recreation, tagging the dogs, rabies shots and again, stepping out…costs money!blissful vagabond 3

To keep life at a minimum as far as expenditures to the masses, one should always start their journey with a fair to moderate idea of the ‘impact’ walking out the door will have. Life costs everyone. Yet, with education, it can have less impact on those with little means but large dreams.

To me, a vagabond for this century, is more likely free footed with structure.  Not a desperado with lackluster morals.  A vagabond for the current age, moves slightly through their places of the heart…leaving little and absorbing much.

Through the two house fires I have managed to keep three small trinkets of little money value. They are no bigger than an inch tall Snoopy action figures. By action I mean, Snoopy is blowing out birthday candles or napping on his dog house. The figurines were a gift from my father. At the time, his gestures had been in the form of verbal abuse and not typically, heart-felt items bought without premeditated goodness. Times were never filled with Norman Rockwell images of family bliss. My childhood consisted of the wanting to be a ghost. Not seen and not heard. Therefore, the idea of my angered by DNA and childhood poverty, father, giving me something so nonchalant, left and still leaves me…

BREATHLESS and WANTING TO KEEP THINGS SIMPLE

Cat Vs. Dog

The Dog had been forlorn-ed…as of late. He had been made sooty from rolling in the spring mud! Mud that held a similar odor to…damp socks kept in a glove compartment with an open Slim Jim.

People were avoiding the Dog. With his jowls hanging lower than low, his royal heritage waving good bye in the winds of fresh laid manure…the Dog had no choice but to turn to the wise one!

Sauntering up to the Cat with all the pride of a winning scratch ticket that went through the wash…

“What is righteousness? I seem to have lost the compass on that one!”

“If there is to be pureness of heart! It should not matter your coat looks like it came from the dime store!”

spoke the Cat.

The Dog hung his tongue about the outside of his muzzle in such away…anything edible would be collected. He pondered the Cats assumption and asked…

“What about beauty? All those pedigrees down at the dog park…quaffed, manicured, wearing fancy collars! They strut about with the grace of a well hung Great Dane!”

“Worry is unnecessary! Character and strong constitution builds harmony in the dog house!”

“This harmony…can I buy it at Chewy.com?”

The Cat has held much patience with the Dog. She always had…from kitten-hood to senior living, she had tolerated the Dog and his waggish behavior.

“When you harvest unity everyone, two legged and four…will find peace within and peace in the world.”


But…the Cat had more to pass along to the Dog…more wisdom, more tranquility…more grooming techniques…

“Let me put it as politely rude…as I can…”

‘the Dog who knows and knows that He knows…is a wise dog. The Dog who knows not and knows not that he knows…is a fool at the dog park.’

But the Dog had not witnessed the Cat’s last pearls of wisdom. As he is easily distracted and went about his business…rubbing his nastiness all over the newly purchased couch.

Beauty is in the Technique

Too lazy to be ambitious, I let the world take care of itself. Ten days’ worth of rice in my bag; a bundle of twigs by the fireplace. Why chatter about delusion and enlightenment? Listening to the night rain on my roof, I sit comfortably, with both legs stretched out! -Ryokan

Humor the Ultimate Teacher

The Teacher

One zen student said, “My teacher is the best. He can go days without eating.”

The second said, “My teacher has so much self-control, he can go days without sleep.”

The third said, “My teacher is so wise that he eats when he’s hungry and sleeps when he’s tired.”

the Zen of Pooh and Piglet

winnie

  1. If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.
  2. But, of course, it isn’t really good-bye, because the forest will always be there…and anybody who is friendly with bears can find it.
  3. I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.
  4. Always watch where you are going. Otherwise, you may step on a piece of the forest that was left out by mistake.
  5. Love is taking a few steps backward, maybe even more…to give way to the happiness of the person you love.

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But it isn’t easy,” said Pooh. “Because poetry and hums aren’t things which you get, they’re things which get you. And all you can do is to go where they can find you.

  • the House at Pooh Corner