Often after a trip downstairs to our basement, Laura would ask why I was keeping so many old files from work. Mostly, I said, I wanted them as raw material for all the stories I was going to write about the many odd characters and crazy events I encountered over 40 years in local and state government. As Mary, my first wife, liked to say: you do want you want to do. I’ve always liked keeping a journal, which this blog continues and expands. I’ve always liked reading and scribbling about philosophy. But I never seem to settle down to write a novel or short story. That should have told me something a long time ago. Yet I clung to the dream of family, friends, and admirers filling the house for the party to celebrate publication of my first book.
My current work exploring Buddhist, Daoist, and Confucian philosophy will definitely not produce a best seller. That project is going to keep me busy for the foreseeable future, particularly with the time it’s taking to get ready for our move to Philadelphia at the end of this month.
And that’s why I’ve had to pull all these boxes out of our storage unit. This time, however, I’m not going to just dump them in another storage unit where they’ll sit for another ten years. No. Most of the contents are going to be shredded and recycled, after I’ve picked out the few items that still mean something to me.
Sorting through all these materials to find a few gems is a good example of karma. Karma is not some mysterious force, not fate, not even a law of retribution. The word karma means action, deeds, doing. In this case, it’s the work I’ve generated for myself by actions I took (or didn’t take) decades ago.