Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Zen and the Art of Stacking Apples

I have spent much of my life searching for a way to be happy, satisfied, and comfortable with the creature that is me. I've gone about this in a plethora of ways. I think most people do. Its funny though the things that will lead to happiness, satisfaction, and an overall sense of peace and comfort.
My first real strive for a zen out look on life and living was the result of a simple thing-hormones. Some people have a lust for life(go go Iggy Pop). I have always kind of had a life for lust. Well maybe not always. I am starting to out grow it a little bit........ okay not really. I am just better behaved now.
So in my first (ahem) thrust for happiness I chased after that missing piece of me in the (again ahem) arms of women. What can I say I was young-ish and stupid(er than I am now). Through all that though I did, eventually, see that the missing piece of me could not be found with someone else. To this day though there is still thrill in the chase. Sometimes it is even fun to catch them.
So the epiphany finally came to me that I needed to find my happy place within myself. Oddly enough from there I looked outside myself again. I got very into religion. Let me qualify that by saying the journey into knowledge of religion in general has helped me throughout the ups and downs of my life. I learned about many religions and as s result drew closer to God in my heart. I found myself in love with Eastern Philosophy and I to this day strive to find that calm Zen center that only the truly enlightened have. The catch is I didn't find it in the Bible, the Koran, the Torah, or the Teachings of Buddha.
For years I thought that I might find happiness through work. I thought that if I worked hard enough and found something that made me lots of money that I was really good at then I might finally be happy. I have been a successful salesman. I have made some really good money. All in all though I have never really enjoyed work.
That is until now. The term starving artist is a truism. It is not easy to make a real living making art, music, or literature. Seeing as how I work at two of the three it should double my chances. It doesn't!
After my time abroad, I was finally ready to admit that I had to do it;It was time to get a day job. I decided right up front that I didn't want to do another call center gig. I also swore that I would try to do something light-hearted that I could enjoy. My answer to that was to go back to working in a Grocery Store. I applied. They looked at my hair a little funny, and then hired me to stock produce. Me the die heard carnivore.
So it was with a very pleasant sense of surprise that I found I really enjoy stocking produce. Most of the time the customers are pretty nice. The work is physical so my muscles get a little bit of stimulus. Like all jobs though the measure of satisfaction doesn't come just from the paycheck (thank God!). Tonight I realized as I was carefully stacking a bushel of Red Delicious Apples that I was feeling very sublime and happy. The great part is I have found my zen place. Life makes sense with fruit. Who knew?
Now I just need to find a way to get rich and famous so that I can stack apples for enlightenment instead of survival.

December 2nd Comic Books on a Budget