Leaving work tonight, I paraphrased the Buddha for a colleague: Suffering comes from want. We want only good things, happiness. If we can let go of want, then we can let go of suffering.
"But," I added, "I want a Jack Daniels Manhattan so I'm leaving and Buddha can go (expletive) himself."
Ah, the joys of sophisticated newsroom banter.
I experienced some suffering this week but a long-time reader of this blog, Dad, noted I have a job and friends and life. Dad's wisdom is true.
As I stumbled from obstacle to obstacle this week, I overcame mostly with the help from dear friends, virtually all of whom have known me less than a year.
My one-year anniversary was Wednesday and I treated colleagues with doughnuts. (At one point, I brought fruit and salads for celebrations -- they were not eaten. Pizza and doughnuts? I'm a workplace god.)
I had grown too accustomed to being the guy who didn't need help and as I think about this last week, I realized folks have helped me my entire life and I should have done a better job of acknowledgement.
Friends have helped me this last week with moving issues, living issues -- hell, emotional support as far as emotions go in the Wisconsin Northwoods.
Here's a one-act play about it:
Bartender: How's it goin', fella.
Patron: Oh, pretty low, huh.
Bartender: Here's your drink.
So my help this week has been in the form of dealing with the minutia of another, unwanted move and that's included drinks.
I'm reminded of a lesson from the Buddhist teacher Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, who said problems in life are like waves, inevitable and unstoppable. But if you can learn to ride the waves rather than drowning under them, you'll live.
Especially waves of Jack Daniels Manhattans.
Peace and riding the waves unto all of you my brothers and sisters.