Stalking Ideas

Two quotations from my little black book of Zen resources. After I wrote the paragraphs below, I read these; I wish I’d read them earlier.

Zen in its essence
is the art of seeing
into the nature of one’s being,
and it points the way
from bondage to freedom.

~ D.T. Suzuki ~


Outside teaching; apart from tradition.
Not founded on words and letters,
Pointing directly to the human mind.
Seeing into one’s nature and attaining

Walking is Zen, sitting is Zen.
Whether talking or remaining silent,
Whether moving or standing quiet,
The Essence itself is ever at ease.

~ Daish ~


Even litter along the roadside has beauty if you look at it with a practiced eye and a warped perspective. With the proper point of view, rubbish illustrates our progress as a species. Clumps of clotted wrappers that once held cheeseburgers and greasy fries attest to the fact that we no longer have to forage for barely edible seeds and leaves and roots. Empty tins that once held sardines or tuna offer evidence that our days of fishing for bare sustenance are over. These days, we rely on modern forms of indentured servitude to perform activities for which we once had to depend on servants or slaves. Migrant workers and underpaid semi-skilled foreign laborers do the work today we once did for ourselves. Our use of the roadside as the receptacles for discards shows how far we have come; it’s our way of thumbing our nose at Mother Nature, expressing our disdain for her attempts to teach us lessons we never wanted to learn. Our arrogance, on full display as we empty ashtrays on city streets, was earned by months and years of forgetting all the details of what is involved in stocking grocery shelves and tobacco dispensaries. From mistreating chickens and calves on the farm to spraying pesticides on the food we eat, the things we choose to forget or ignore are legion. Who cares, after all, that the farmers who plow fields die from inhaling diesel fumes while growing tobacco for our chews and our vape pens? The debris and the offal we throw from our gas-guzzling cars onto the roadside inadvertently acknowledges our reliance on purveyors of muck and the residue of wasted lives to feed our reckless pleasures. Oh, yes, detritus left behind to rot and to sully the landscape and the streams and brooks that feed the rivers from which we drink is lovely. It is just as stunning in its refined elegance as the most beautiful oil painting. The byproducts of avarice and gluttony, left to fester on the fringes of our food chain, paints a remarkable picture and tells the compelling story of who we are.


Season seven of Bosch is available on Amazon Prime. I thought Bosch ended with season six. Or maybe I just forgot Bosch in the face of so many other things I find appealing. At any rate, we binged last night on several episodes of the seventh season of the series before finally giving up around eleven, assuming we would get a good night’s sleep. This morning, after I arose very early, around 4, I followed up on what I have watched and failed to finish on Netflix, etc.  I discovered that the last episode of Hinterland I watched was Season 3, Episode 4; so, I have four more episodes to watch before I finish the series. But I haven’t watched in months, so I may have to start over. I highly recommend the series, but I cannot in good conscience recommend the last four episodes because I have not watched them. But I recommend them, anyway, thinking my conscience will be clean when all is said and done.  There’s much more I haven’t finished, too. And I discovered a bunch of crap I’ve watched but which I do not remember, at all. Maybe if I watched just a tad of some of the stuff on my “have watched” list, I’d recall it; but I am not prepared to do that right now, because…just because.

I have watched some pretty mindless swill on television lately. The Ice Road, for example. Pretty innocuous entertainment, though. But, on Amazon Prime, we watched Unhinged a couple of nights ago. I recommend it only if you’re a psychopath looking for some tips on how to engage in and extend extreme road rage. Why we watched to the end I do not know. Unhinged is unnecessarily violent and stupid from the start.

I’ve watched three of four seasons of Unforgotten. That’s another one I simply must return to because it’s so good. And because I love Nichola Walker. The thing is, seasons 1-3 are free on Amazon Prime, but season 4 requires payment of $15. That may not seem like much, but considering all the stuff I want to watch that requires some form of payment, it’s quite a burden. I feel like I’m being fed stuff Amazon knows will get me addicted, then cuts off my supply unless I’m willing to agree to the terms of their extortion. Ach! I want to scream, but I’m afraid I might be attacked by rabid neighbors who do not wish to be awakened at this hour (which, I might add, is already late, in my book).


When I woke around 4 this morning, I learned I was alone in getting a reasonably good night’s sleep. I snored and wheezed and whistled and otherwise made noise that made sleep difficult for everyone in the neighborhood. I am surprised the Village police did not come and break down the door to find out what was making the racket. I suspect area forest nightlife was disrupted by my on-again, off-again breathing. The deer and raccoons were no doubt concerned that I might have died in my sleep, poor beasts. Seriously, though, I will visit my primary care doctor today to inquire about solutions to a number of complaints, including my very annoying wheezing and my tendonitis/arthritis. I’ve been advised to request a sleep study to determine whether I might be able to get to sleep, stay asleep, and be quiet during sleep with the help of some form(s) of medical intervention. Perhaps I’d be quieter and breathe more easily and freely if I lost 70 pounds and engaged in fierce exercise. I’m game for the weight loss, but my exercise regimen will never be described as fierce. 😉


My coffee is cold. It’s only 6:00 a.m. That’s what can happen to coffee when it sits on the desk, barely touched, for almost two hours while I’m dinking around on my computer, attempting to write but failing miserably with respect to engaging fiction. Oh, well. I’ll get around to that one day before long.


Attention: Fiction vignette ahead: It was as if he were being stalked by someone whose purpose in pursuing him was simply to let him know he was there, just beyond the shadows, hidden beneath the shrubs. The stalker seemed to have no overt animosity toward him, only a desire to make him perpetually uneasy, wondering why his follower was there. He concluded the stalker’s reason for watching him was simply to let him know he was being followed; that nothing he could do would prevent his pursuer from seeing him and knowing his thoughts. Nothing would stop the stalker from dismissing the man’s thoughts as impotent mistakes made by someone whose significance was lost just moments before birth. In other words, the stalker tormented him with his emptiness; that resolute follower reminded him of his ugly hollowness that asserted, loudly, he was devoid of value and pointless in the extreme.


Among many problems I face is that I am unpracticed in accepting uncomfortable attitudes and actions. I want to control things outside my ability and/or right to control. But I know I have no control, except to accept life as it is or to change it by changing myself. Or, of course, to move away from the discomfort. It’s all more difficult than it should be, though how I know that is open to discussion. Whether I “know” anything is a matter of argument.


Coffee can be heated or replaced. I will prove this to myself in a matter of moments. And bacon can be cooked, as can eggs. Life is sustained by food, both for eating and for thought.


About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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2 Responses to Stalking Ideas

  1. It’s on my list, Deanna! I promise! I will watch it when the time is right and my mind is ripe to engage as a Nichola Walker voyeur! 😉

  2. Deanna says:

    If you love Nichola Walker, that is one more reason for you to watch Last Tango in Halifax (it’s on Netflix). I think this must be about the fifth time I’ve urged you watch it. So please do!!

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