Sometimes life feels like a koan. Moments that must be lessons of some sort but not always clear. Writing, family, work. In no particular order. Times like these remind me of one of my favorites.
The student Tokusan used to come to the master Ryutan in the evenings to talk and to listen. One night it was very late before he was finished asking questions.
"Why don't you go to bed?" asked Ryutan.
Tokusan bowed, and lifted the screen to go out. "The hall is very dark," he said.
"Here, take this candle," said Ryutan, lighting one for the student.
Tokusan reached out his hand, and took the candle.
Ryutan leaned forward, and blew it out.
And when the elements aren't quite meshing the way they should, the way they usually do, sometimes it's time for a moment of zen.