Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Zen and the Pain of Being an Asshole

Zen and the Pain of Being an Asshole

I caught myself 
Being a big asshole
Earlier this week.

Oh boy! 
I hate it when I do that, don’t you?
Be an asshole, I mean.

I suppose we all do.
After all, nobody’s perfect.
It’s only human nature

To be somewhat of an asshole
Sometime, somewhere, in one’s life.
If one lives long enough,

And is shall we say lucky enough,
One may perhaps do or not do many things…
Worthy of possible regret.

What do you mean, Rusty? 
(I hear you wonder) 
Earlier this week!?

Haven’t you always been a big asshole?
Isn’t this a case, like it it is for many things, of
Once an asshole, always an asshole?

Yes, of course. But,
I wasn’t born an asshole.
I must’ve taken a wrong turn.

Back there, somewhere.

And in my defense I’d like to add 
That I’ve been left unsupervised
For extremely long periods in my life.

Probably very formative periods.

It’s happened before, I admit,
That I fall into assholedness,
And way too often too,
So I won’t argue about the always of it.

To some people
Being an asshole
Just comes easier 
Than it does to other people.

Some of us have a natural gift for it.

But always ain’t forever,
If you know what I mean.
So maybe there’s hope.

Yes, I’ve been selfish.
A real asshole.
Rude and short-tempered.
Thoughtless and angry. 


Deep down.
Inside my insides. 
A little man afraid.

(Because it’s our fears 
That make us mean,
Don’t you think?)

Yes, last week I caught myself being an asshole…
But by then the damage was done.
You know what they say;
Once an asshole, always an asshole.

(And if you don’t know what they say
Then where were you earlier?
I must have mentioned it three times by now.)

So there I was. An asshole… 
Always and forever 
As far as anyone else knew.

Even as far as I knew.
Because our actions define us, sometimes.
If we let them.
And acting like an asshole 
Makes you so, yes?

So there I was. An asshole.
To me, it was a moment of painful realization,
Again, of how

Poorly I’ve succeeded
In learning to practice a little human
Patience and loving kindness.

Oh, mother!
Sometimes I wonder if I have what it takes
To become a human being…
I keep failing time and again.

It’s not easy. 
I need help.
That’s the zen of it! 

So thank you,
Momentary lapse into assholedness from last week!
You’ve helped me see my actions
For what they were…

The fearful squeaking 
Of a cowardly old man.

Now, perhaps, with this unflattering 
Vision of myself before my eyes
I can live a better, freer life!

Growing in my zen-strength
To defeat the worser me!
To defeat myself with the very tools,

Oh irony,  
The very tools I lack the most;
Patience and loving kindness.

Ah Zen!
Your perfection terrifies me!
Until I remember your love.

Please grant me a little
God-like understanding to free me
From my imperfect self! 

To comprehend things as they truly are!
And live in a world I cannot control,
But must not fear.

To fly towards enlightenment unafraid
With zen at my immortal side
And love to guide the way!

Me and those that came before.
Now and forever.

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