Thursday, January 29, 2009


Humility is good. Despite my typical bragging about "our weather is worse than your weather" and my intention of riding all through the winter, I'm staying home today. The roads really aren't that bad. It should be a clear day, and the high should be enough to see most of the snow and ice melt away. If I were driving, I probably wouldn't think twice about going in.

But, when I took a walk around the area this morning, there was definitely black ice, especially at the edges of the road. There probably wouldn't be much on Rt. 1, and morning traffic is usually light enough that I could stay well out toward the middle of the lane. But I have no idea what it would be like after I got off Rt. 1, and it only takes one slick patch to cause an accident. I've never ridden on ice, and I'd prefer that my first time not be skating downhill in almost total darkness, carrying a laptop that doesn't belong to me. Julie already expressed that she doesn't want me to try it, especially since my boss gave me the option of working from home.

In Directions on the Spiritual Life, Abba Dorotheus writes:
If we wish to be completely transformed and freed from attachments, let us learn to cut off our own desires, even in the least important things. For nothing brings more profit to men than renouncing their own will, since in truth a man gains a greater benefit from this than from any other virtue. Indeed, the cutting off of one's own will and desires can be practiced at every moment. Suppose a man is walking; his thought says to him, "Look at this and at that," but he cuts off his desire and says nothing. He meets some people talking; his thought says to him: "have a few words with them," but he cuts off his desire and says nothing. He comes to the kitchen; his thought says: "let us go and see what the cook is preparing," but he cuts off his desire and does not go, and so on and so on. But cutting off his desires in this way he acquires a habit of cutting them off and, beginning with small things, ends by easily and calmly cutting them off in big things as well. Thus, finally he begins to have no will of his own at all and remains unperturbed, whatever may happen.
In this case, it's not entirely clear what my "own desire" is. Sure, all things being equal, I'd rather work from home than commute two hours each way by bike, train, and subway. But in this case it seems that my pride would prefer the opportunity to give the nonchalant answer--yeah, of course I rode my bike in this morning; it was no problem--and know (or assume) that people wonder how he does it.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, you wimp. ;-)

    Just a note to express to you how much I love your posts. Keep up the good work.