Earlier today I got an email from a dear Dharma friend. In the email this friend, Bob, wrote about many things. One thing he wrote about was the new home he’s just moved into with his lovely wife. This was welcome news since the path they’ve travelled to get to this point, to this settled and more satisfied place in their new home, has been long and arduous for them both. Hearing this news added joy to my day.
Since I’ve been publishing this blog, Bob has been one of its enthusiastic readers. He has also been an ardent supporter of this blogger. One way he shows his support is by giving me feedback about what he reads here.
In his email, Bob also turned his kind attention to this blog. He noted, “I have recently not been receiving your blog.” Then asked, “Are you taking a break? Spreading out times between entries?” Good questions.
I’m happy Bob asked because he’s helped me find a way to come here to write about what’s been going on between me and the blog and the rest of you, friends and readers.
So here’s what I wrote in answer to Bob’s question
It’s good to hear from you. I’m happy to know you’re settling in to your new home. You are never far from my heart or thoughts.
Thank you for asking about the blog. These days I have many more irons in the fire than when we first met. Even so life is good–and publishing at the blog has moved rather intuitively and organically and surprisingly to the “back stage” of my attention for the time being. It’s not like I’m not trying to write or planning to write, or working on writing. I feel like something internal to my own way of doing things has pushed the blog to a lower level of urgency just now.
The blog is back stage for the time being partly because my heart has grown deeply dumbfounded–clouded and mute in some way—maybe it’s just asking for stillness and patience and space–as I’ve learned more about the gravity, urgency, and seriousness of the Climate Crisis with it’s dire implications for future generations and the future of the Earth.
I think about writing for the blog, yet I can’t imagine writing about anything else but the Climate Crisis as a moral/spiritual crisis and how this relates to our Zen practice (and to spiritual practices generally) and about how the Climate Crisis and spiritual practice and morality in general relate to the false promises embedded in the fundamental, yet primarily adolescent, 300-year old core ideology of the West.
Everyday I have been working on writing about these themes, and I will write on these themes.
And, in someways where we find ourselves in history, at least as I see it today, is spooky and surreal and truly horrifying–for example, the UK declares a Climate Emergency yet continues expanding Heathrow without skipping a beat. Frankly, too, I’m living with and working through some kind of entangling, knotted-up writers block brought on by the devilish complexity and extremity of it all– for example, the 8-million people in Chennai, India have run out of water due in large part to the Climate Crisis, as you no doubt know. Where will they go and what order of crisis will their going be to themselves, the environment, and to others? We are all in this thing now.
I’ll get through the writers block part of it, I’m sure. And, the best way through it will be to not be too concerned about the block, not too concerned about publishing at the blog.
Earlier today I realized that the key to finding a way through may be in revisiting Iris Murdoch’s essay The Sovereignty Of The Good. We’ll see.
Thank you for your prayers and fellowship, Bob.
I look forward to making plans with you, Julia, and John about blessing your new home and the workers, and I’m looking forward to being blessed thereby.
Very best wishes,
Let’s call what I’m undergoing “Climate Crisis induced writers block.” Despite this, my days are good. There’s much joy all around still. I’m simply learning to be, and to blog, in this world–the world of the Climate Crisis, a world I’m slowing learning to see and imagine, a world I never expected.
Thank you for your patience and affection. Thank you, Bob