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Note #95: Merry Buddhamas! (2015.5.25)

Today is what is colloquially known as the Buddha’s birthday, although I sometimes amuse myself by calling it “Buddhamas.” It seems as good an opportunity to write a bit here as any.

This is just going to be a short—and most likely somewhat disjointed—note today, not because I don’t have anything to write about, but because I don’t quite have the energy, and haven’t had the energy for some time. Had I the energy, I could talk about the second Daehangno performance we saw earlier this month (an entertaining B-boy show) or the department trip down to Suncheon. But I don’t, so those stories will unfortunately go untold.

Why so little energy? Well, as often seems to be the case, I’m feeling the crunch of too much to do in too little time. This is mostly my fault, of course, for taking on too many things at once. You would think I would have learned by now, but somehow I never seem to realize that I’ve overloaded myself until after I’ve done so. To borrow a saying, I never manage to identify the straw until after the camel’s back is broken.

That’s the way it is, though, and there’s nothing for it now but to buckle down and get things done. I try not to think about everything at once; not only does it not help to do so, but it also triggers a creeping panic, which also doesn’t help. Instead, I try to focus on one task at a time, and I think about how awesome it will be when I’ve finished everything and can breathe easy—at least until the next time I overload, that is.

So, in the spirit of not thinking too much about the mountains of work ahead of me, I’ll just wish you a happy Buddhamas and share a photograph that I took at Cheonggye Stream on Friday. It’s one of the many lotus lanterns that adorn the city in celebration of the holiday. The “theme” for this year’s celebration, which is written on the ribbon below the lantern but not visible in this photograph, is: “Peaceful Mind, Fragrant World.” That seems very appropriate, given my state of mind these days. Until I next write, then, I will wish you, dear reader, a peaceful mind.

Send me your thoughts.

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