Red Daruma doll with one eye colored in

Still in the Chair

Here we are again. Up against a deadline. Self-imposed, yet honored. By oneself for oneself.

When the task is complete, I’ll touch the top of the Daruma doll, a birthday gift from Maggie.

Every week since, a new post. It’s not that the roly-poly doll, a likeness of Bodhidharma, gave me the idea; rather, it’s become a touchstone, a geegaw of encouragement.

Every week, good or bad, another post. In fact, the badder the better. I’m breaking up with perfectionism. Consistency over quality. Just do it, the Swoosh instructs.

In July, to mark my resolve, I drew in the black pupil of one of the Daruma’s eyes. The other remains  blind, a white circle waiting to be filled when the wish is achieved.

The monk’s paper-mâché head is smooth, the whole doll a smooth red egg that fits comfortable in my hand. Hollow. This one has a seed or bead inside. When shaken, it rattles—a monkish maraca.

O, what we do to make ourselves do. The promises, exhortations, and threats. The schedules, software, and coffee. All this for what we want to do, or think we do. The thing, that once begun, brings joy.

Now the neighbor’s leaf blower. The cat licks her ass by the window. Soon, my next door neighbor will blast Watercolors Jazz until midnight. It’s not yet noon.

Isaac dribbles a basketball down the street on his way to playground. An oddly comforting sound. The cat curls up in a patch of autumn sun. My own ass, amazingly, still in the chair.