The latest crinkle in my total life change Doberman Project is money. One of my required sources of income has been sold, and I’ve not been offered a contract for 2017. So I face a new challenge in this time of waiting and planning.
Looking for guidance from the dao using the I Ching, this dame turns to hexagram 36, Ming I, in the Wilhelm translation, darkening of the light.
Solstice has long been a time of wonder and miracles with customs that go back even before recorded time.
Waiting seems like standstill. It is uncomfortable for this old dame.
I started The Doberman Project eager to press forward with my tlotal Life change. I was full of concrete plans and an end-of-year deadline to enact them.
Future Is Unknown and Unpredictable
Circumstances beyond my control have intervened in my retirement plans.
Indeed the whole world is waiting to see whether the USA plunges into fascism, or the president-elect sparks a nuclear holocaust, or if the world economy goes into a tailspin as a result of the nativist tendencies sweeping the world.
The antidote to standstill is gratitude.
Gratitude is the antidote for any ill that befalls us. In the smallest pleasures of life we find redemption.
It reminds me of the soldier’s hand stretching from the foxhole for the tiny singing bird in the great film All Quiet on the Western Front (novel by Erich Maria Remarque). This last act of remarking beauty and life becomes his death.
Hexagram 12: Standstill or Stagnation
The 12th hexagram, P’i, in the I Ching is Standstill or Stagnation. The powers of heaven and earth are out of balance and pulling away from each other.
“The way of inferior people is in ascent; . . . But the superior people do not allow themselves to be turned from their principles. If the possibility of exerting influence is close to them, they nevertheless remain faithful to their principles and withdraw into seclusion.”
I have been even more reclusive than usual. Having a Doberman to train and exercise would do me a world of good. An intelligent Doberman Pinscher is a true companion dog, noble, watchful, and protective.
The notion of standstill and stagnation appears repulsive. Yet smelly things transform in stagnation; from compost come the best fruits, vegetables, and flower.
From Stagnation Comes Transformation
P’i, read in its entirety, is a hexagram of hope.
Line Three states, in the Wilhelm translation, “Inferior people have risen to power illegitimately do not feel equal to the responsibility.”
Fifteen USA security agencies say Russia meddled in the US election that has put this ignorant narcissist into office.
“In their hearts they begin to be ashamed, although at first they do not show it outwardly. This marks a turn for the better.”
The final three lines promise, “First standstill, then good fortune.”
I have a comfortable apartment. I am in good health.
I mostly enjoy my teaching job and the chance to be with my terrific, hard-w0rking, hopeful students. I can increase my savings for The Doberman Project, retirement, and my total life change.
A few close friends and family are a treasure. All my needs are met, by the grace of the Dao. I give thanks.
I’ve burned a lot of pots boiling water for tea since L’Ombre died. He taught himself several things, and one of them was coming to get me when water started boiling.
The breeder, Linda Coggins, whose name shall forever be blessed on my lips, had me start him off by mixing his crunchy food with canned food and hot water. So he came to associate boiling water with meals. Realizing he had prevented me from ruining another pan, he always got lavish praise for this.
How L’Ombre Came into My Life
I never really thought of myself as owning L’Ombre. It was more like he just “came into my life” in the way that friends and lovers and mentors show up. Kismet. We were a symbiotic team. He protected me, and he had a great life going places most people can’t bring their ill-behaved hounds. He was invited to parties,
This old dame has been studying the I Ching for a long time — sometimes often, then for years . Some of the principles have seeped into my soul by this long acquaintanceship.
This is a challenging time in putting my total life change plans into motion, yet not stagnation (Hexagram 12). Lots is going on, like the gentle wind trigram beneath the thunder trigam in the hexgram of duration.
They rarely come true. One did. I was a very good reporter. I led an exciting and interesting life meeting and socializing with artistic, intelligent, and amusing people.
I haven’t lived a dream in a long time. Youth is a time of hopes and dreams. Old age is a time of maturing through recognition and acceptance of limitations – in health, income, opportunities of many kinds.
As my house hunting cracks into the reality of how little there is in my price range in safe, attractive neighborhoods, fear creeps into the schism between fantasy and reality.