By the time I landed on this tiny wee island three weeks ago I had managed to slightly psych myself out. The Project (previously known as “the Book”) seemed by turns foolish and daunting and trivial and overambitious, narcissistic and deluded. I was calling myself all sorts of names.
Then, I remembered that commitment is a process of perpetual self-forgiveness. Commitment to a relationship, or a project, or a practice. Commitment to myself; to my own integrity. I will succeed and then I will fall down and I will fail, and then I will get up and dust my knees and start again.
I decided that the Project would be an experiment in being kind to myself. I only need to do a little bit, every day â€“ but I need to DO it, not just think about it. I don’t even have to quite know what it is. As Romina says, all you need to do is roll out your mat and you will have succeeded. The rest is gravy.
Every morning I sit zazen on the platform high above the ocean. If it is windy or raining I sit in the garden with the frogs. Each day I do some yoga: a couple of lazy stretches or a vigorous set, no matter. Every day i write, or edit, or paint, or draw…something. Anything. Every day I turn over soil in the garden or I tidy the house. Every day I walk in the forest or scramble barefoot on the cliffs, stepping between sumptuous lichens and tiny clumps of cactii.
It doesn’t matter if what I do is big or small, short or long, enjoyable or excruciating. It doesn’t matter if it is brilliant or it is shit. Who cares. It is about the process, not the product. The process is the product. I think this is what is called “practice”. It occurs to me that this process could take a very long time.
Tomorrow the process will includeI four sea journeys: first in the itty-bitty boat from the teeny-tiny island over to Lasqueti, then the yawling tinpot Centurion over to French Creek. Truck lift to Campbell River, ferry to Quadra, cross Quadra and one last ferry,Â to Cortes. Proceed.