Peace at last

October 11th, 2007

Jizo asked Hogen, “Where have you come from?” “I pilgrimage aimlessly,” replied Hogen. – Zen koan

You might have wondered where we were going to end up this week with this conversation of ours. Just so you know, I never have any idea. So much of the motion in my posts comes from you, from what you say here and what some of you say elsewhere. This aimlessness is a wonderful new practice for me; trust me when I say that it you are showing me amazing new worlds, opening a deeper level of trust and exhilaration in this life we share, because everything seems to come together in the end.

When I started posting on Sunday night about the question of whether parenthood, or motherhood in particular, was a job or a relationship, you might have noticed that I tagged every post “Mommy Wars.” That was intentional, even though I never seemed to touch on it in so many words. I certainly didn’t mean to imply there was a war between mothers or to incite one. We all know there is no such thing, the words being just another method the media use to pressure cook the news on an otherwise placid day.

I was referring to the other war: the war we have with ourselves anytime we divide our lives into opposing parcels, into either and or, this or that, which or what. We all, each of us, wages a ceaseless battle with ourselves, undermining our choices, ambushing our instincts, dreading that the wrong move made long ago has already set in motion our certain, future defeat. We are our own worst enemy; in most cases, we are our only enemy. And we’re all so tired of the fight.

Make peace. Be free. Call your life whatever you like. You own the world you occupy, and you’re doing a beautiful job. Remember, everything comes together in the end.

Tomorrow this week’s winner in the comment pool is revealed, along with a flurry of priceless consolations!


  1. Well said, Maezen. I have to tell you that the zen koan you quoted took my breath away because the reply is one that I am often found saying:

    “Wendy, what do you want to do today?”

    “Wander aimlessly”

    Wendy, what did you guys do today?”

    “Oh, we wandered aimlessly”

    I do a lot of wandering aimlessly as most anyone could affirm, but it is in those seemingly aimless moments that I find peace and often some little nugget of beauty calls my attention along the way which is like the icing on the cake.

    Comment by Wendy — October 11, 2007 @ 1:01 pm

  2. So much here that I needed to hear! In some ways, compartmentalization serves me well – organization, etc. But, I hate that feeling of always needing to be doing something else.
    And, I do get tired of feeling that way!

    Comment by Mama Zen — October 11, 2007 @ 1:24 pm

  3. I love your description of the Mommy Wars, because I often feel at odds with all my “jobs” and “relationships.” I write from home out of necessity and still I feel guilty that I’m not dedicating all of me to my children. Thanks again for another wonderful post (by the way, I gave you an award over at my blog!).

    Comment by shauna — October 11, 2007 @ 6:04 pm

  4. It’s a fine line to want to achieve great things, but to be happy with what we have; to want to be so much, but be content with all that we already are.

    Comment by Shawn — October 11, 2007 @ 6:40 pm

  5. Thanks for your observations and for taking time to share. I’ve been paying mroe attention to where I am now since the conversation began.

    Comment by marta — October 11, 2007 @ 8:22 pm

  6. Nothing like what I call a toddler led walk for wandering aimlessly; or rather with 10,000 aims one after another, from investigating a dead worm to jumping as a lord of creation into a puddle to secreting a really good car part into a pocket to trying to chat up a shy dog owner.

    Comment by Chris Austin-Lane — October 12, 2007 @ 1:20 am

  7. This is close to home this week. To focus the whole of me back to the now and just be and wander aimlessly. Whew.

    Comment by denise — October 12, 2007 @ 4:29 am

  8. “You own the world you occupy”
    Thank-you for this.

    Comment by bella — October 12, 2007 @ 3:30 pm

  9. I also love the bit about “owning the world you occupy”. What a wonderful thing to think on!

    I am my own worst enemy… that is true. And, I am tired of fighting it all. However, I think that I’m getting out of that somewhat with some plans for the future I’ve been making and some steps I’ve taken toward reaching some goals.

    It helps!

    Again, love your posts!


    Karen Beth 🙂

    Comment by Karen Beth — October 14, 2007 @ 7:38 pm

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