Saturday, December 31, 2022

Jan 2023

As they say... No mud. No lotus...

The lotus flowers and seeds
But can do nothing
Without having its roots
Stuck firmly into
Some thick, gooey,
And messy mud.

The mud’s invisible,
Of course,
But the lotus
Knows its job…
And bloom, it must,
So it sinks its tendrils
Ever deeper
And draws up
The light
That is the essence
Of all life.

As humans we also bloom
When our feet are planted firmly.
Our mud is the stuff of daily life.
And there’s a lot of it...
Mostly daily grind stuff…
Often obstacles that
Must be overcome
For our path to even appear…
Then require further
Vanquishment to keep on
Keeping on.

Sometimes our mud
Is our own choosing…
The quality defined
By the nature of our aspirations.
This year I am choosing
The mud of learning
Some new things…
All which I’m showing to you
Here, in this month’s calendar.

My determination this year
Is to learn Affinity
Designer, Photo, and Publisher…
Affordable alternatives to my
Long-time faves from Adobe:
Illustrator and Photoshop.
I’m retired now
So don’t need to keep paying
For a costly professional subscription…
But I want to be able
To continue making
Calendars—and more…
As is my wont.
So I bought the Affinity apps
(One-time fee, no subscription)
And I produced
This month’s calendar
In its entirety
Using Affinity.
What would have taken
Thirty minutes in Illustrator
Took three days.
Ha! Not because
Affinity is slow or difficult,
But because I had
To learn lotsa new stuff:
New vocabulary.
New menus.
New controls.
All so the result
Can look like
A seamless continuation
Of my monthly offerings.

Thank you again, Susan,
For taking this glorious image
On your travels…
And for letting me use it… again.

And why does my calendar say
Nam myoho renge kyo
Across the bottom???
That’s the title
Of the historical Buddha’s
Last teaching,
The Lotus Sutra.
That’s what I chant
Every day…

Morning and evening…
Like breathing out
And breathing in…
To awaken my own
Buddha nature
And rejoice in the happiness
Of my everyday life…
Mud and all.

I must admit
The mud of these
Past few years
Made me think I might
Be blooming as a dandelion
Instead of the
But I continue
To bloom
In my solitude…
Toes happily squishing
In each day’s mud.

Any new mud
For you this year?

If this isn't nice, what is?

              ~ Kurt Vonnegut, of course