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May 26, 2001
Any wise man will tell you: don't confuse the map for the territory.
It was gray and humid and windy when I shuffled outside to retrieve the morning paper. The forbidding skies did nothing to weaken my resolve to go forth and be awake. After I read the paper and drank my coffee, I drove to a strip mall on the other side of town.
I went first to a hobby and craft store called Michael's. It was early yet so the store wasn't crowded--- just a handful of Pentecostals and a pony-tailed art professor from the local college. And me. I bought some watercolor paints, three brushes, some paper, a plastic palette, and a Pez dispenser (the Peanuts bird Woodstock).
I went next door to Old Navy where I bought several poorly made garments, complemented a fat black girl on the beauty of her eyes, and declined an invitation to save 10% on the purchase.
I finished my latest book on the buddha-dharma and watched "Magnolia." I vowed to have Aimme Mann's love-child. Then I started reading Stephen Hawking's " A Brief History of Time."
Throughout the day, I made certain to see everything. If I caught my mind leaning---toward something I desired or away from something I wished to avoid---I took notice and waited for a natural correction. If I relied upon conception rather than perception I paid attention. If I forgot for a moment that everything is a stream with no beginning or end, I brought my mind to center.
Tomorrow I'm going to paint a picture.
© 2001 by the beastmaster