January 27, 2009

the colonel decides on this mild grey day to bring his time into present time.
he looks on the objects on the breakfast table, calculating the moves to clear it.
he measures the distance of his chair to the table, how to push chair back and stand up without hitting his legs.
he has discovered the simple and basic discipline of d.e.
doiicie (do easy).
he becomes an insidious student of d.e.
cleaning the flat is a problem of logistics.
he knows every paper, every object; and many of them now have names.
knives, forks and spoons flash through his fingers and tinkle into drawers.
cigarette packages and crumpled papers land un-airingly in the wastebasket as a zen master can hit his target with an arrow in the dark.
d.e. is a way of doing.
d.e. simply means doing whatever you do in the easiest, most relaxed way you can manage.
which is also the quickest and most efficient way, as you will find as you advance in d.e.
you can start right now tidying up your flat.
moving your furniture or books, washing dishes, making tea, sorting papers.
don’t fumble, jerk, grab an object.
drop cool possessive fingers onto it like a gentle old cop making a soft arrest.
guide a dustpan lightly to the floor as if you were landing a plane.
learn to place an object firmly and quietly in its place and do not let your fingers move that object as they leave it there.
when you put down a cup, separate your fingers cleanly from the cup.
if you don’t catch that nervous finger that won’t let go of that handle, you may twitch hot tea across the duchess.
every object you touch is alive with your touch and your will.
don’t tug or pull at a zipper.
guide the little metal teeth smoothly along, feeling the sinuous ripples of cloth and flexible metal.
never let a poorly executed sequence pass.
there is always a reason for missing an easy toss, repeat toss, and you will find it.

surely, this is the easy way.

if you wrap your knuckles against a window jam or door, brush your leg against a desk, or catch your feet in the curled up corner of a rug, or strike a toe against a chair; go back, and repeat sequence.
you may experience a strange feeling, as if the objects are alive and hostile.
trying to twist out of your fingers, jump out at you and stub your toe or trip you.
you will be surprised how far off course you were to hit that chair, that window jam or door.
get back on course, and do it again.

no student of d.e. would have his pocket picked applying d.e. in the street.
picking his route through slower walkers.
don’t get stuck behind that baby carriage.
careful when you round that corner, don’t bump into somebody coming around the other way.
everyday tasks become painful and boring because you think of them as work, something to be fumbled and stumbled over.
overcome this block and you will find that d.e. can be applied to anything you do, even to the final discipline of doing nothing.
the easier you do it, the less you have to do.

he who has learned to do nothing with his whole mind and body will have everything done for him.


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