I love watching the cat

(en español)

Today I was looking at my cat through the window. He was very quite, not sleeping, just being there. At other times, he can be very attentive, following the movement of a little worm passing by.

Suddenly, he may decide it’s enough, and stand up, stretch, and go to wander around. He may find a spot of sunlight, and lay down to savour the moment.

If he’s hungry, he’ll find something to eat, or look for that person who will give him food. He may look after me, just because he wants some company, or could it be that he knows I like him and wants to be kind to me.

If he is feeling energetic, he may go on hunting. Very careful not to be seen, following the movement of a bird, waiting for the right moment for a fast run and a jump to get it. Sometimes he might be generous, and share his pray with me.

At night, he may move around the house, like a guard on duty, watching for an unwanted presence, making sure we are safe. Taking a nap in between rounds until he discover I’m awaken to greet me.

It make me remember what was said by a Buddhist monk: when I eat, I eat. When I sleep, I sleep.

What riding can teach us

(en español)

Sometimes I think that there may be people thinking: what is he talking about, bicycles and zen, or meditation?

Well, let me tell you that back in the 70’s there was a very popular book called “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”, by Robert M. Pirsig. I didn’t read the book, since I was not interested in motorcycles, but the idea got stocked in my mind.

Then I discovered that zen was not a thing of the temple only, but a way one sees life, and the way we do whatever we do. And bicycling, not racing, but riding a bike, was an activity that allows you to be in the present moment, now, with full attention.

When I started with meditation, and trying to have a rich spiritual life, what I constantly found was the reference of a path. So I had to move, in a direction. Well, I thought, what a wonderful thing! I have a bicycle, I can ride the path. And discovered that, like practicing martial arts as I did, or drawing, I could bike the path.

A few months ago I was in the bookstore, wandering after picking the book I needed, when I spotted a little book: Mindful thoughts for cyclists, by Nick Moore. What a discovery! I was very excited. I bought it and started to read. I have given the book to other three bicycle enthusiasts. I gave the first one, even without finishing the reading, to a new friend, Cecilia. It’s a beautiful book.

At the end of the book we can read: “The awareness we can cultivate on the bike can help us to detach ourselves from desire and entrenched thought patterns and view things more objectively. It’s raining. It’s cold. This hill is steep. I am traveling at 25 miles per hour. That’s it. No value judgement, no good/bad, right/wrong. The moment is sufficient unto itself. Does it need to be about anything else?”

On having less

(en español)

I keep on my intention to review why I have what I have, and reducing what I don’t need.

I have discovered that it is not easy for me. I’m attached to some of my stuff more than I like. I keep some clothing that I haven’t used for quite a long time.

There are, also, some small collections. My VW little toys, pipes for tobacco smoking, 6 bicycles, and old mail stamp one…and a lot of books. Do I need them? No. Do I want to keep them? Yes. Then, what about decluttering and having less?

I think that the object of this exercise is to be able to have less, to get rid of things I don’t need or use, to be conscious of what I acquire, and, most important, not to be attached to things.

In this quest I don’t intend to make an immediate change. It has not been as simple as I thought. So I’m going slow, but going. Specially there are things that I have found very difficult to get rid of. So I’m letting them to be there, until I can manage others.

So far, I’m keeping my collections. I love my bicycles, they stay. But I’ll keep looking in my clothes.

A couple again.

(en español)

I think that my father was a wise man. Practical. A few years before his retirement from the Army, he was deciding what he would do then.

Lesson taken. My wife and I were sure that our children would leave the family home soon. So what we were going to do then, how our lives would be like? So we prepared in advance.

It’s funny that every mother and father knows that their children eventually will go away. But they suffer when that happens. At least this is true for Mexican families.

I knew that my son and daughter would go away, as I did once. We are supposed to make that possible in the best way for them. They must be ready to fly away in the best condition.

As a parent, sometimes I felt that I wasn’t doing the right thing. My father onece told me: “you and your siblings are trying to do right what you think I did wrong, but you are going to makes mistakes anyway”. And yes, I did. But one do the best one can do.

And now was the time to let them go, and reunite with my wife, as a couple. Now we have good art studios at home, one next to the other. We’re planning to make some arrangements to the little garden, cooking what we like, enjoying a glass of wine. We have more time together, time to talk, time for each one.

I’m a lucky man.

The new normality

(en español)

There’s a new way to explain life after Covid 19: the new normality. A strange way to say that we’re not going back to our way of life before it, what ever that may mean to anyone.

Sincerely, I don’t think we were living really well, many things should of change. But what it seems to be the new normality is, definitely, not nice at all.

Could you imagine yourself wearing a mouth mask all the time you’re not home? Not having the great pleasure of greeting loved friends with a hug or a kiss? Being frightened by all the terrible viruses we may encounter?

When I was a child, I remembere some cousins who were living with my grandma for a period of time. She was afraid of them getting sick. So she used to cover them with blankets at the slightest weather change. They were always sick with a cold or throat pain.

I understand the need to protect us from the new virus, trying to be healthy when the hospitals are full with Covid 19 infected persons. But I refuse to be terrorised with nature or catastrophic news.

We must exert our freedom of choice, of how we want to live. Of working towards better societies, more empathic, just. For a way to live with the world, nature, in good terms. For people accepting the differences we have, and celebrating what makes possible to live as a brotherhood.

Another round in the weel

(en español)

Life surprise us with some opportunities from time to time. So here I am, in the middle of the lockdown, in a new studio. This gives me the chance for a new begining, producing art. There are some projects going on, and a renew desire to work and share what I do.

That is why I have worked on a new site: ruizlimon.com

There I’m going to share what I do as an artist and designer. I’m happy.

A good idea

This Friday afternoon I was reading, with my cat and Scottish terrier by my side, enjoying a slightly aromatic tobacco. I remembered a text that I like:

“Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need – a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends, worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog, and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing”.
Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men in a Boat