Pema Chödrön. An inspiration to me she has been since I discovered her in the Jackson County Library in 2013. She has just the right amount of comedy, realism, ugly honesty, and love in her teachings and books.
Her thoughts on “inconvenience”:
When you hear some teachings that ring true to you, and you feel some trust in practicing that way and some trust in it’s being a worthwhile way to live, then you’re in for a lot of inconvenience.
This is excerpted from her book, The Wisdom of No Escape: The Path of Loving-Kindness. My friend Andy Fischer, always looking out for my young spiritual edification, passed along this book to me on my way out of Ashland a month or so ago. I just finished it a few nights ago; I had been reading each chapter by the light of the Midnight Sun before falling asleep in my cozy cabin.
The idea that life phenomena can be classified as “inconvenient” or “convenient” really struck me. She says, “…if you follow your heart, you’re going to find that it’s often extremely inconvenient.”
I’m discovering that truth now, as I solidify my intentions to follow my heart, no matter what. We run from convenience to convenience so readily. We can feel our heart beat rising and the color come to our face when something is not convenient. We feel that we are not being paid our dues when life is inconvenient. When life is not easy, life is wrong somehow. How do I fix this to serve myself? We are always asking.
Can we wholeheartedly accept inconvenience? Can we also accept when phenomena are convenient? Can we live wholeheartedly? Can we just laugh about the whole thing?
In Alaska, I do things like paint my fingernails and listen to Prokofiev’s Sixth Symphony.
I pretend to be a gardener and get mosquitoes all over my hands and blow them off and in turn blow all the lettuce seeds out of my cupped hand. I just don’t like to kill them, so I blow them away, which is terribly ineffective.
I smoosh little boules of sourdough into discs and put them in an ancient oven welded to a trailer from the 70s to bake for fresh sandwiches.
I drive my car, Ruby, over terribly buckled dirt/mud roads to visit peony fields and yurts.
There is talk of my potentially researching female arctic squirrel vaginal cell composition throughout the estrous cycle.
I ride my fat bike through sunlit forests of horsetail, wild rose, and birch.
I’m very happy here in my original home.
“Rather than letting our negativity get the better of us, we could acknowledge that right now we feel like a piece of shit and not be squeamish about taking a good look.”
― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times