One of my favorite Zen quotes is Chop wood, carry water. In other words, do what's in front of you. Focus on the needs of Now, this instant, this moment. It is a positive and productive way to get through whatever tasks or trials one is facing and lately I've been repeating it so often it's become a mantra. Chop wood, carry water. Don't worry about tomorrow, or yesterday. Do the work—honored or irksome—that is in front of you.
As we prepare for the holiday season—almost always stressful at some point—and a new, onerous administration, we have been given a gift and a challenge: to recognize the darkness that exists in our culture and ourselves. If we are to act, to fix, to remedy, to save, to improve, we must first look within, shining whatever dim light we can muster into the dark corners of our hearts. That is the work that presents itself at this moment, for whatever reason. It is also opportunity.
Chop wood, carry water.
Have a lovely, thankful holiday.