But then again. It’s the easiest thing in the world to distrust joy, all the more if you’re the sort of person who thinks of herself as hard to fool.
When Sojun used to walk around the meditation hall correcting people’s postures, he would put his hand on my shoulder to urge it downward; and I literally didn’t know how to drop my shoulder. It was a clumsy piece of armor, perpetually bunched up against a coming blow.
My cello teacher said the same thing about my inability to relax my bow arm.
If the body is a motel where the spirit puts up between wanderings, then there’s no question of loving it; a motel is either tolerated or intolerable. You expect running water, soap and towels, an Internet connection: enough to get by. It’s not as if it was made for you.
Why you would insist on something as dangerous and onerous as designating yourself a different class of human, why you would change your name, your grammar, your private chemistry, knowing you could never justify any of it when the proud man’s contumely comes knocking: I think it’s only for that scarcely imaginable hope, the possibility of a body that would not be a motel, but instead a place where the spirit might be coaxed to finally open its bags, lay out its little array of memorabilia and call itself home.