Thursday, August 31, 2006

Of Cake & Eating Habits

I'm sure we're each familiar with the phrase, "Having your cake and eating it too". While almost everyone is guilty of this from time to time, mainstream politicians seem to immerse themselves in it. It really doesn't matter if one is a Democrat or Republican -- both seem to enjoy large pieces of cake and gorging on it to the point of choking.

Bill Clinton is a famous "cake" eater. He was one of those rare campaigners who could address two opposing sides in the same day, yet have both sides certain that he agreed with their stance or point of view. I'd like to put Dubya in this category too, but he's simply not smart nor savvy enough to pull it off.

Here in Washington State, incumbent Democratic US Senator Maria Cantwell genuinely is wanting her cake and eating it too. She voted for the Iraqi "war". She's voted for every one of the Bush administration's appropiation bills in support of the war. She even voted against the Kerry bill this summer that would have set a deadline to bring US troops home.

DESPITE all these facts, she's trying to convince Washington voters that HER position on the topic is somehow different than our erstwhile president. Lately, she's been blathering about wanting 2006 to be a "transition" year. What in the heck does that mean?

As mentioned above, she COULD have supported the Kerry bill, but she didn't. So what has she done to create this nebulous "transition"? Nada, except repeat it in stump speeches.

Let's face it, Cantwell's position isn't that much different than her Republican opponent Mike McGavick.

However, it IS different than the Green Party's Aaron Dixon. Aaron supports the immediate withdrawal of US troops. And that's why I'm voting for Aaron and why I hope Cantwell loses miserably!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Stress of Expectations

When I started The Rambling Taoist in late January 05, my expectation was that I would contribute an entry on most days. I met this expectation for the first few months. I then stepped away from everyday writing for about six weeks and then resumed my old frequency of writing.

Of course, as this marks my first entry in over one month, it's obvious my expected frequency has again fallen off. When I went through my first down period, it caused a lot of stress. I actually felt guilty for not writing daily. I knew that I had a regular readership and I felt that I was letting people down.

This time around there is no guilt.

One of the key lessons in Taoism is to give of ourselves WITHOUT expecting any particular outcome for it is our expectations that most often cause stress in our lives. We perform some act and then expect a particular reaction. Since we cannot know if this expectation will be met -- and most often they aren't -- we are setting ourselves up for pain and suffering.

It's a difficult lesson to incorporate into any human life because expectations seem to be part and parcel of the human psyche. We're socialized to EXPECT.

Still, if we can teach ourselves to undo this lesson, then life becomes a lot less stressful.

So, here sits my blog stripped clean of any expectation. There may be times I write a lot and there may times when I write nothing in this space. The Rambling Taoist is like a river -- sometimes the water is placid and sometimes the water will flow like a torrent.

I am content to let the words flow of their own accord without any expectation of when or where they MIGHT flow.