Saturday, September 29, 2007


this rough magic
I here abjure; ...I'll break my staff,
Bury it certain fathoms in the earth,
And deeper than did ever plummet sound
I'll drown my book.

So as of today I am an ex-physicist. I went into the lab for the last time to hand in my dosimeter and my badge. (The sweet receptionist asked if I was quitting physics to become a model. Now, people with family resemblances or ulterior motives will go so far as to say that, in dim light and with selective camera angles, I'm passable, so this is a bit of a surprise. She herself is quite lovely and is always very carefully dressed and made-up, so I wonder if her suggestion reflects her own secret desire?) It feels good to finally be able to let go of this part of my life. I'm sad that people won't say "wow" when I tell them what I do--"nuclear astrophysicist" is a very cool job title--and I'm still feeling apprehensive about having people laugh when I tell them that I'm working at Starbucks--but this is what my life is like right now. This is what I'm doing for myself. I'm not doing work that makes me miserable. I'm asserting that I don't have to be extraordinary in order to have the right to exist. I'm just doing an ordinary job, living an ordinary life--and that will be enough.

I got a right
I got a right
I got a right, Lord, to the tree of life.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The first day of autumn
returning from alms round
I set down my bowl by the temple
to go play with the children.
Last year: a foolish monk.
This year: no change.