Monday, January 23, 2012

Flowers for the New Year

My new year well-wishes were worth every lucky dollar.
Because Lunar New Year is not a national holiday where I live, the boisterous celebration of hope will have to wait until next Saturday. I don't mind. I been waiting a while for a new start.

Two years ago, Tet was on a Sunday (and also Valentine's Day), so I'd planned an epic New Year's Eve party with delights like home-made mangosteen sorbet. My mom was coming from out of state to be a part of my Beloved's proposal - and we would be able to announce our engagement at the party, too. But that week, the sort of tragedy that stops time happened - time like the helpless moment when you've lost control of your car. I've been stuck in that fishtail moment, that terrible sliding before nothing-good, but this year, I finally feel my life coming un-paused.

I gerry-rig an ancestor altar every year since I met my Beloved, whose mother is passed, but since I fell into a Buddha statue at Target this weekend, this year required a better backdrop than Renter's Ecru. Some altars have Buddha before a generic sunny sky, but my scene is a particular dark night. When Buddha was about to find enlightenment beneath the bodhi tree, the demons of desire and evil aimed arrows, rocks, and fire at him to disrupt his quest, but the weapons fell softly around him as flowers.

Electrical outlets were also a part of Buddha's ancient landscape.

For those unfamiliar with the story, here's a synopsis starting at about 2:20 minutes:
Watch Enlightenment, part 2 on PBS. See more from The Buddha.

Whether it's history or legend, I'll take the lesson in equanimity wherever I can get it. Thich Nhat Hanh defines equanimity as "nonattachment, nondiscrimination, even-mindedness, or letting go." In this year of the water dragon, may we all not discriminate between the fire and the flowers. Let them fall. May we unattach ourselves from the past. The present awaits. May we let go, and let the sun rise. These are my wishes for a happy new year.

1 comment:

  1. Love this post, Ivy. I keep running into Thich Nhat Hanh in my own practice! Love the photo of you as well.



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