Saturday, January 12, 2013

2013: The Year of Seeking Wisdom

Apparently, when Buddha was about to die, he bid the animals to wish him farewell.  Only 12 showed up, one of which was the snake or the naga.  Of course naga would show up because the two had an intimate relationship.  It is said that when Buddha attained enlightenment, the rain began to pour on him.  A giant cobra, sensing that Buddha had reached infinite wisdom, raised itself above him, flared out its hood, and protected him from the rain.  In another ancient story, the naga transformed into a human and begged Buddha to allow him to be one of his monks.  Buddha, however, said no because he was not a human.  But for his devotion, would remember the naga forever.  Hence, he named his acolytes nagas.  

Not that I'm into the zodiac or superstition, but I do recognize that this is the Year of the Metal Snake.  In the Christian culture, the snake has its role not in the enlightenment of mankind, but sadly its downfall.  After all, Eve plucked and ate because of the serpent's cunning.  Well - one thing is clear to me from the role of the snake in the Christian and Buddhist Scriptures: it represents hidden and sacred knowledge.  In the Buddhist version, a freeing one, and in the Christian one, an enslaving one.  I accept on those terms, this then has to be the Year of Wisdom.

In 2011, I called it the Year of Champagne, in which I wanted every month to be a celebration.  2012, I didn't really have any goals listed, except it was a year of New Opportunities.

I sat down with my mother and told her a sharp fact.  I said, "You know, 1995, 2004, 2005, and 2009 were my worst years."  She had an response that sent a chill down my back.  "You always remember those years, don't you?  You'll never forget the bad ones."  I just nodded slowly, and we both understood.

I would say 2012 in review has been a bittersweet one.  I entered the year with a strong sense of enjoyment, fun, and celebration.  Halfway through it though, the seas changed on me and the gods of the air changed their fortune against me too.  So - I'm not sure what to make of this year - except, as usual, I can say I learned a lot.  I grew a lot.  I dared a lot.  I suffered a lot.  I made a lot of mistakes.  I corrected a lot of mistakes.  I loved.  My heart broke.  My heart mended.  I saw the world.  I saw its wonders.  I learned her knowledge.  Therefore, I conclude: I must have lived.

This year, I'm not really sure what my goals are.  I had three goals in 2011, and I was quite surprised to revisit my blog post to see I actually achieved them.  How many people could actually say that?  I didn't have any listed goals in 2012.  So, I think it's time to come up with some targets, and we'll see in a year again if I made it.  A year is a long time to wait - at least for me. 

1) I'd like to be better at emotional mastery.  
2) I'd like to become a better cook.  My recipes are becoming the same and boring to me.
3) I'd to become a better writer.
4) I'd like to be a better fighter (and not a lover).  Just joke, you know?  
5) I'd like to b a kinder person.
6) I'd like to go at least 2  and at most 3 destinations that expand my knowledge of this world.  
7) And linked back to 6, I'd like to go on another treasure hunt!  This time, I'm looking for ultimate stories and recipes.  

Let's see how far I get with these 7.  The Greeks and the Jews believed that being familiar with snakes produced the antidote for venom.  It's not a pleasant way I suppose to be healed of what afflicts you, but hey - it is what it is.  Perhaps, my seven goals and my pursuit for knowledge and wisdom will replenish my soul.

A short story for you . . .

A lady at the local drug store rang me up and gave me a discount she shouldn't have.  I didn't know at the time I wasn't supposed to get the discount.

I returned a week later.  Her loser of a supervisor, a balding, fat white guy, rang me up.  The lady clerk was right by him.  I said, "Where's my discount?"

He said, "You don't get one."

"Your employee gave me one before."

"And who was that employee?"

I glanced at the clerk who looked a bit nervous.  I took note of her worn eyes and that she was an older woman that needed to pay the bills.  She was waiting to see what happened.  I didn't want to lie either.  

So, I said, "What?  You expect me to remember every clerk's name?  I don't know who it was."

He gruffed and denied my discount.

I came back a week after that, and the clerk was there.  And she rang me up.  I looked at the receipt and there was the discount.  I smiled.

I said, "He's a jerk.  Isn't he?"

"Sure is."  She said.

"You know, I didn't say anything."

"Don't worry."  She smiled.  "I know you didn't say anything."

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