fishing with the house on fire

I have been more at home this week then I have been because I am working on several projects in time zones that keep me up very late. The mad kitten has been deliriously happy. But she still likes her schedule. Up at 5:30, a ball of treats, a pinch of catnip and an open door. She runs in and out and in and out for an hour or so, coming inside periodically to sit in front of the heater and warm up until she is tired enough to go back to bed. In the meantime, I sit at my desk, directly in the path of the cold air streaming inside and try to remember my name, having only gone to bed at 4 or so.


It is an interesting and strange life that the two of us have together. Spring seems to be arriving without much of a winter and we are transitioning to our warm weather pattern, where she spends most of the day in the yard. The funny thing is, for all my complaining, I am the one that has the problem adjusting to her not being in my business 24/7. Ah well…I was trying to figure out how old she is and I think 6. I am still waiting for the part where she sleeps 18 hours out of the day. For some reason, my animals never seem to reach that stage. It is as if the play switch got stuck at an early age.


It’s funny how things tend to go in waves. I am involved in two things right now that are almost solely driven by proverbs. One of them is the game GO. I have finally started to study it and practice on a dedicated basis. It is a fascinating game. One of the oldest board games known. It is considered to be about 100 times harder than chess but is far easier to learn as far as moves and rules. The odder thing about it is no programmer has yet to create a software version that can beat a human being. There are a myriad chess programs that are unbeatable but there are too many possibilities in GO for play to create a computer player that can trump a high pro dan. Anyway, it is one of my obsessions and I have gotten very into the proverbs that are used to teach strategy and tactics.


One of which is, “don’t go fishing while the house is on fire.” In the game, this means don’t traipse off to another area of the board and start something new when there are battles to be attended too. Apply it to real life and it means much the same thing. Don’t turn to something else when there are things that need to be taken care of.


The other proverb, koan really, that is chasing me around (actually assigned to me) is the Zen koan, “Before the world came into being, was there a Creator?” I think I have mentioned that one before, and the answer, but I am not going to repeat it again.


All of this is well and good until I studied further and came across two other very important proverbs. The first being, “don’t expect to win by proverb” and the second being (Zen again) “The world is so large, why do you follow a bell?”


I have spoken a great deal about duality and balance, of the co-existence of our natures within our persons and these proverb/koan sets reinforce what I have been talking and thinking about. We need our rules, we need our examples, lessons and our teachers…but in the end, it will be what we chose to do that may be uniquely ours that will provide our solutions.


Learn all you can.

Gain mastery, discipline and patience.

Follow the rules.

But be prepared to throw it all out the window in a heartbeat to do what needs to be done.


c.2012 Cassandra Tribe. All Rights Reserved


About cassandratribe

"There are few artists that can do what Cassandra Tribe does. Whether with her poetry, her videos or her blog, Cassandra examines the truths that most of us can never come close to realizing and shows it for what it is, both beautiful and frightening at the same time. She exposes our inner-most workings like the cross-section of a powerful but flawed machine, our gears and springs, nuts and bolts removed and laid out before us. She is a true artist. Her new video, Requiem for a God, is the latest example of Cassandra's willingness to tear open and examine the very things that make us human. Shooting the film entirely by herself, she also eliminates all the little excuses we come up with to keep us from ourselves and our truth. You see, even when she's not trying to be, Cassandra Tribe is a beacon of truth and humanity in this darkest of worlds." (Michael E. Quigg, The Culture Network, June 2009)
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