Let Go Or Be Dragged

Archived | February 20, 2015 | By

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. It was Valentine’s Day, and a lovely day. Cold outside, and the sun came out awhile, and I spent much of the day cleaning and thinking about what I might give up for Lent and wishing we would have a sudden immense Sky Dump of snow for a day or three and then we might move on. I wished it only for a moment, though. I’ve really learned that we can’t do much where Nature is concerned, and Spring will come eventually, so best to get up each morning and do my thing, come snow or sub-zero or bright shining sun. 

Though I don’t know much about Zen, I like the idea of it and find much of its wisdom quite relevant to life in general. I came across a Zen proverb a couple years back, and it resulted in a pretty big shift in my thinking: Let go or be dragged.

It’s true, you know. You hang onto things, and some of them can be glorious, like traditions or recipes or people you love. But then there are the things you hang onto that can turn into baggage — old habits, people who are vampire-like in their ways (suck the life out of you), boxes of papers and things sitting around that meant something once and are causing major clutter and making your life-space stuffy and dusty and cramped, beliefs about how things should be this way or that, other people’s opinions of you — and if you don’t let ‘em go, you start limping along and days become tedious and you grow weary.

You may recall my word for this year is “release”, and I’m on it. Letting go of being in charge of the weather. Letting go of what other people think of me (I read somewhere that it ain’t my business anyway, and it’s true). Letting go of piles of high school papers, piles of books that someone else might read and love, piles of clothes I haven’t worn in years. Letting go of the expectation that things will flow smoothly and perfectly at the dinner we’re hosting, and as the kids move out and onward. Letting go of a need for a sense of control.

Real life doesn’t flow that way. It’s raw and beautiful and full of the unexpected. Hard to dance in the moonlight when you’re waiting for the snow to stop. Or start, depending on what you’re wishing for. I say go dance, snow or no. If you stop waiting for the Perfect Thing, it very well may appear. And wouldn’t that be somethin’.

Here’s a hearty dish for a cold February evening. Pair it up with some buttery pasta, some garlic toast, roasted vegetables or a salad. Double it up, invite a few friends over, and make sure you’ve got some wine to share. It’s cold outside, baby. Just as it should be.

Parmesan Baked Pork Chops

4 boneless pork chops
1 T olive oil
1 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder

Combine the last four ingredients; pour onto a plate. Rub the pork chops with olive oil and coat each one with the cheese mixture. Press the pork chops into the mixture to make sure they are well covered. Line a pan with tin foil and spray with cooking spray. Place the pork chops on the pan and bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, turning once after 20 minutes.