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Learning To Wash The Dishes
For some reason Wayne Thielbold's paintings like these cupcakes remind me of this Zen parable:

A Zen master and his pupil sit down to a delicious meal after a long day of walking, talking and doing what Zen masters do. After the meal the eager student turns to his master and asked, "Master," always best to start a question to a Zen master this way, "what is Zen".

Hearing this question the master rubbed his belly, looked up at the fading light of a hard day and said, "Wash the dishes".

Missing It
Not hard to imagine a young student not being happy with such a seemingly disconnected response. As we grow we understand the Master's point. The work is the journey and the journey is all.

Amazing how many times I learn, forget and re-learn this idea. Looking for some BIG THING, some silver bullet, isn't nearly as productive as washing the dishes.

Finding It
Nothing like NOT being able to wash dishes or do anything for about six months to teach the value of dish washing. A month flat on your back with the depressing reality of daytime TV is enough to test anyone's sanity. Stretch that forced hiatus to two and then three months and washing dishes sounds the event it should be.

Perhaps the hardest lesson is to slow down and wash the dishes. We become so great at prioritization we forget that anything can be great if we are present and invested.

Investing In It
If we are invested in washing the dishes we do so with skill passion and commitment. When I was younger it would have seemed absurd to invest in washing dishes. I've learned better.

Greatness is a template, a philosophy and a stance. In our hectic modern lives greatness feels like a limited idea only applicable to some small portion of life.

The Big C teaches many lessons. One lesson is surround yourself with greatness. Great doctors, friends, family and even books and the TV shows you watch impact you ability to manufacturer strength and flexibility.

There is a great line in Brad Pitt's World War Z (best zombie movie I've ever seen), "Movement," Pitt explains, "is life in these kinds of events". Movement is life for #internetmarketers and #cancersurvivors too. There is an even better line in George Roy Hills Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, "I'm better when I move," Robert Redford's Sundance explains to an amazed Butch after an inspiring display with his gun after a pirouette.

Finding The Movement
Here is where I fail so miserably. Movement happens constantly and all around us. Movement always feels glacier and way to slow to me. This impatience is why the Zen master would give me a stern look. To think of something as too slow is an arrogance any life can do without.

Arrogance is way to isolating and remote. The Marlboro Man ideal dies hard. We see ourselves differently than we are because we forget to wash the dishes :).

Breaks over, back to launch land.
Phil Buckley's profile photoMartin W. Smith's profile photojan gordon's profile photo
I didn't see World War Z, but I like that you mention Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid… because their path was unclear, but they kept on riding. They never stopped and asked, "does this make sense?" They just kept riding. In the end, they die. We'll all die eventually, but who among is will have an iconic movie with the biggest stars in Hollywood playing the leads?

It won't be the guy waiting or complaining or drinking beer, it will be the guy doing the work. The guy who keeps on riding while looking over his shoulder to see who's following him.
Yes +Phil Buckley the pinkerton in the straw hat follows us all, but as long as we make him work some life is good and makes sense. Funny story. When I was at  +Choate Rosemary Hall they used Pinkertons to patrol the grounds, so I've already booked some time running form the Pinkertons (lol). M
+Martin W. Smith I have tears in my eyes reading this - YOU are amazing keep going my friend, you have an army of support and love behind you!!
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