Under My Bed

What an ideal time to be given this writing assignment. Had I been asked to write about what was under my bed six months ago I would have cringed. Not just about mustering up the courage to write but also the embarrassment of what I would have found there. As luck would have it we re-carpeted in the interim. No, we didn’t rush into anything. It took us 25 years to replace the carpet that was old when we moved in. It wasn’t the money, but the seemingly insurmountable task of moving lots of furniture around in small upstairs attic rooms. Not that we planned to move the furniture ourselves; even finding someone to pay for this seemed out of the realm of possibility. Or maybe it was easier to brush under the rug.

A brave, large, congenial man, probably hungry for income, happily accepted the job. He thought he could find help, but his assistants never showed. The sweat poured out his pores and the antique furniture got nicked.  Overwhelmed, he never reinstalled the closet doors.

Now for a peek under my bed. Only one plastic box with the controls from my electric blanket which likely does not work anymore. The beautiful new grey speckled rug camouflages the few dust bunnies.

You might wonder what Buddhist teaching are revealed by this mundane experience? Had you looked under my bed six months ago you might have thought of me as a slovenly woman or more kindly as someone unconcerned about housekeeping. Had you looked under my bed today you might consider me a tidy person.  I am neither: I am both. Or from a Buddha/dharma point of view, as conditions change our sense of self and others changes. Often this concerns matters of much greater consequence than what is under my bed, more likely what is in my heart and mind.

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