5 Mar
Posted in: Books
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For the Time Being

And speaking of Mindful Reading, I am totally enthralled by Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being, which a friend recommended and now I can’t put down! (Thanks, Judy D.)

The story…which is really several stories (or maybe not)…is wonderfully complicated and includes a novelist (also named Ruth) who finds a Hello Kitty lunchbox washed up on the shore of the island in Canada where she lives with her odd-but-endearing eco-artist husband and a cat named Schoedinger (nicknamed Pesto)….and finds inside the lunchbox a packet of letters written in Japanese, a broken watch and the diary of a teenager in Tokyo who seems to be planing to commit suicide, but in the mean time is writing about her 104-year-old grandmother, who is a Zen priest….

I can’t do the narrative justice, but you get the picture.

Here’s from the opening of Part I:


An  ancient buddha once said:

For the time being, standing on
the tallest mountaintop,
For the time being, moving on
the deepest ocean floor,
For the time being, a demon with
three heads and eight arms,
For the time being, the golden
sixteen-foot body of a buddha,
For the time being, a monk’s staff
or a master’s fly-swatter,
For the time being, a pillar or a lantern,
For the time being, any Dick or
For the time being, the entire
earth and the boundless sky.

Dogen Zenji, “For the Time Being” 

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