A Cart Drawing a Horse

Here I sit on a Tuesday, my self-prescribed blog post day, wondering what to write about. It crosses my mind that inspiration is supposed to come before any impulse to express or act on that inspiration. So it feels unnatural to be scrounging the underbrush for something worth documenting.

I don’t think that’s the relation between inspiration (Vision and Intention) and Speech given in the Buddhist Noble Eightfold path, where speech is presented as a bridge between what we understand and what we do. Vision comes before speech, and –although it’s become quite common in our society—I don’t think that we’re supposed to talk when we have nothing worth saying. Following up on the bridge metaphor, should we really start building a bridge before we are satisfied that the shores are firm enough to support a structure intended to span them.

Like “putting the cart before the horse”, our capacity for speech doesn’t work as well when we use it to push an agenda onto our aspirations. Speech feels most relevant when it conveys what we would like to realize in our day-to-day way of living.

On the other hand, we all find ourselves in situations like that of a horse who is harnessed up to a cart which he didn’t have much say either in constructing or loading up.

We’re all a bit like a horse pulling a milk wagon through the early morning streets of some town where we don’t ourselves live. Chances are that both the streets and the milk route we travel each day were around long before we were fitted for the horse shoes that are not required by wild horses that run through canyons and mountain meadows.

Certainly the deepest kind of speech, guided by heart-felt conviction, spontaneously arisen, doesn’t have to search for topics. But like a horse leaning into the harness as it pulls its load up another incline, perhaps we too can lean into the mute sufferance of unspoken confusion and say, “Silence may be golden, but here is my two cents worth anyway.”

Technology exerts its own friction
As flattened wooden wheels bump over
The weathered cobblestones of past mistakes.

With so many time-saving devices
Why do I still have to pull such a
Heavy load of karmic residues?

Flicking away flies with my tail
I dream of galloping though open meadows . . .
Sometimes I can almost taste them . . .

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