The Pursuit of Satisfaction

Roughly thirteen years ago, essentially all news media were focused on the plight of 33 Chilean miners caught inside a collapsed gold and copper mine.  Ultimately, they were trapped for  69 days before being rescued. Media coverage for the 41 miners who have been trapped beneath a collapsed Himalayan tunnel since November 15 has been far less all-encompassing. The story of the Chilean miners did not have to compete with Ukraine and Israel and Gaza, so the relatively low level of media interest in today’s story may be understandable—to an extent. But I cannot help but wonder whether the story coming out of India deals with people the media realizes are not valued as highly by the public as are people in Chile. I do not have an answer; I only have some curiosity which cannot be satisfied. Just minutes ago, rescuers reached the Indian miners—I hope the outcome is as positive for them as it was for the Chileans.


Enlightenment is like the moon reflected on the water. The moon does not get wet, nor is the water broken. Although its light is wide and great, the moon is reflected even in a puddle an inch wide. The whole moon and the entire sky are reflected in one dewdrop on the grass.

~ Dōgen Zenji ~

That quotation has fascinated me from the very first time I read it. I think I was enamored with it because I have experienced the wonder of looking at a little drop of water and seeing reflected in it my face and the entire landscape behind me. I marvel at that incredibly common reality. There is nothing about it that should surprise me, yet when I have seen the world reflected in a raindrop of a blade of grass I marvel at the magic.


Another medical incursion into my privacy today—fortunately, it’s only a quick blood draw. I am not quite sure the lab work was scheduled for today by my oncologist, inasmuch as I do not have any more appointments with her within the near-term, but I will dutifully obey her instructions. I do sometimes listen to the admonitions of my doctors; when the instructions suit me, I follow them to a tee (I do not know how to write that…is it a golf tee or the letter T or a cup of freshly brewed tea?).


The cat was rescued from the boarding house yesterday. So, at midnight, 2 a.m., and about 6 this morning, she worked on her “wakey!-wakey!” routine. If I had a house with a large porte cochère in front of it—a covered area big enough to serve as a “pet relief area” in rainy or snow weather—I might invite a cute little dog to move in. Perhaps the dog would be able to convince the cat to remain quiet until after I get up at, say, 5:00 or 5:30. Dog dreams.


Time for another tiny espresso. It’s amazing how little I drink, compared to the amount of coffee I consume (when I consumed coffee regularly). Two or three little mini-cups and I am satisfied. I will now go pursue satisfaction.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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