What is Wanting?

Photo: CK

Photo: CK

We never get exactly what we want.

There may be a few extra breezes and creases in the clothes on the line in ways we do not envision. The other person may smile a few seconds too soon. That bird may be of a higher pitch than predicted. The fridge may click on while you try to consciously appreciate nature outside of your window. The house had a fence that is too long and too short, and not quite crooked enough. Your toe wiggles and the nail gets caught on the inside of your sock and it's there until you can pause, remove the shoe, the sock, find clippers to trim the nail and replace the sock and the shoe. In the meantime, the birthday party continues.

No, you wanted to tie your shoe faster. No, you wanted that high note to be regal, not desperate and pleading. No, your dog isn't barking enough!

THE ZEN COMMANDMENTS: It is tremendously difficult to want something, because we never actually get anything that we want.

Photo: CK

Photo: CK

It is always at least slightly different. It is sooner or later, a different shade, mooshier, noisier, from a different direction, from an enemy, a frenemy. New alarms and signals are being tested and we feel an odd comfort when it goes back to the familiar wailing.

For instance, it is tremendously difficult to catch a basketball being thrown at your back last Friday, while you are here, now, wearing a baseball glove and asleep on a hill, dreaming.

Is it not foolish that we trick ourselves into enjoying what we do not want? Are we not disappointed with nearly everything when we are in a state of wanting? It is like eating only the crust of the pizza (and not even stuffed-crust!) There is a little contract with terms drawn up between our self from before an event, and one after the unwanted, "not quite it" event has occurred. We deceive ourselves, dig into our skin, slip in a signed contract and pat down the scabbed earth, hiding each lie like treasure. We grow heavy and never heal.

I can say with great assuredness that life truly begins when you cease lying to yourself. About anything and everything. Even the little things. Your flesh rejects the contracts, you don't even need to dig. They rise out of you because you begin to heal on your own. It is not of your doing, but by being extremely honest with yourself, you are sending out a message that changes your very frequency of vibration, in a way where no matter the level of cacophony, you can always be the note that brings sweetness, completion and balance to the chord. You are an instrument.

Photo: CK

Photo: CK

We never, ever, get exactly what we want. To think that we ever do is one of the greatest illusions that still exists. The tiniest discrepancy will always be there, and we will need to fill out so much paperwork. Negotiate, set terms, sign, sign, sign with eager arthritic fingers.

What is wanting? By definition, it requires that we foresee having a temporary complete control over existence itself. The when, the how, the who, even the why! If we get can three of those but not the four, we are lying to ourselves. This is the point, the whole point. The slightest difference is enough to disturb, to weaken the illusion. We have been led to believe that this is the only way.

It isn't, it really isn't. So, what happens when we don't get what we wanted, without wanting anything to begin with? What can we call this? How does it feel? Has it happened before? Surely.

The greatest gift can never be given nor received. Here it is: what is bestowed to us will always be greater than what we seek. Stand still for just a moment, and feel talons lightly find and grip your shoulder. Listen to the song to awaken you. Never lie to yourself again.

I didn't want to write any of that.