Monday, April 26, 2021

Typical way I spend time getting things done

 So today I had two goals - get started going over the audio and text files for chapter 15 of the 2nd edition of Crooked Cucumber, and send my suggestions for five Zen books in plus answer some questions for a new book site. Woke up at four. Got going at the laptop about 5:30. Always play a game of spider first. It's like a little thought bath, calming. Glance at BBC. Open up the relevant files and pages of notes for chapter 15 - seven different pages. Two showing at a time. But wait - I thought maybe I hadn't gone over one of them yet for chapter 14. That took an hour and a half.  Back to chapter 15. But better look at email first. Not much that's demanding. Ah one from Mike Dixon. He and I are going over a paragraph for the 2nd edition of CC because since the book first came out over two decades ago, I've learned from him the true story of how Shunryu Suzuki's well-known enso, sumi circle, came to be. It was done in 1966 for a poster for an art show he was setting up to raise money so we could buy land for a monastery. So I start looking for the poster on cuke and end up working on that for an hour and a half.  Back to chapter 15. But got to What's App housekeeper Kadek reminding there's a ceremony here today and please get some catfood and milk (for tea and coffee to add just a bit to the cashew-almond milk we make - that she now makes   Back to chapter 15. Meanwhile I've gotten hungry. Eat a delicious pear with some sesame butter. Back to chapter 15. Get a few more lines in and Katrinka reminds me it's getting late. Ceremony at 10. I sweep out front and the courtyard, put on a nice shirt, get out a sarong, udeng headpeice, and sash, the later two which I can't find. Kadek arrives. She brings me the headpiece and sash and tells me to get the matching blue sarong. She puts them on me the correct way - each gets tied. OK. Landlord Ketut arrives in festive white sarong etc, mask below his chin as usual. We'll wait for his son. We sit outside. Hanging gate bell rings. Two tech guys with new cables for studio and to set it up and do some other stuff. I remind them I said I'd call when we were ready. No problem. Back to Ketut. Gate bell rings. It's the water meter reader. I wave him in. He knows what to do. Ketut's son Kadek arrives in festive gear. Katrinka in lovely colorful women's festiveness. Bell rings. It's Mudik. Brings his motorbike in. Before he can take off his helmet I apologize for not having told him can't see him till afternoon to go over bill for all the electrical work. No problem. He's off. We go upstairs. Katrinka has cleaned our altar and our Kadek has hung the curtains that drape before the two doors, wiped surfaces clean. Our Kadeck and Katrinka have already made offerings to the shrine out front by the street and in the kitchen. Our Kadek has made another altar for this ceremony - just a grass basket with flowers and stuff. Ketut's son Kadek officiates, as Ketut says, he's the mangku for the ceremony, the priest. Not priest caste but worked for us. Where's Katrinka? She's looking for my phone for photos. We call our Kadek's already got it. Ketut's playing Bali sacred music off his iPhone amplified some by a tiny speaker. We offer incense and flower petals, remaining seated on the floor, Only Kadek Mangku stands and does stuff at the altar. There's a small yellow coconut. He sprinkles us with with coconut water and the new room we're sitting by - it's wide French doors opened. Next he pours a little in our hands we sip three times then the fourth on the face. We sit a while. Kadek is taking photos with our phones. That's it. Our new room is now purified and welcomed. (More tomorrow on why I didn't get to the goals of the day. It's not even noon yet.) 

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