Show and Tell: Zen Non-Attachment Revisited
August 17, 2008
In a previous Show and Tell I presented a pot that I had made. As I was removing it from the kiln, I dropped it on the ground and it immediately broke. In that post, I talked about the pot as an example of how pottery has taught me to practice Zen non-attachment. I also talked about how this attitude does not extend to TTC.
Today, I present to you a different pot that I made. It also met an untimely demise, but I didn’t drop this one. This one experienced an “incident” inside the kiln.
The “incident” occurred when one of the shelves collapsed during the firing. The glaze was in the molten stage, and pots fell onto other pots and they got fused together. When they were taken out of the kiln after the firing was complete, some pots ended up with chunks missing, and some like today’s Show and Tell pot ended up with extra chunks attached.
Here is the difference between the first Show and Tell pot and today’s. The first was broken because of my own carelessness — entirely my fault. The second was destroyed because of someone else’s error combined with the laws of physics. Although neither bothers me very much, it’s hard to say which one bothers me more. I feel a little bad for dropping the first pot, and I also think that the person who loaded the kiln with the second pot should have been more careful.
Now bear with me while I extend this metaphor to infertility. Even when a specific cause can’t be identified (as in my case), the cause(s) do exist. Female factor, male factor, combination. Genetic, age-related, disease-related, etc. I know people for whom the cause of their IF stems from past actions taken by one partner, such as a vasectomy that can’t be successfully reversed or damage caused from a sexually-transmitted infection. I know other people who never did anything that could have led to IF.
I’m not here to play the Blame Game, but with all of the emotions surrounding IF, blame sometimes occurs. DH and I are among those who never did anything in the past that could have led to our current problems. But what if one of us had made a choice that directly contributed to our current IF? How would we react now? Would the “innocent” one blame the one who had made that fateful choice? From what I’ve seen of others, some couples refrain from blame, and some can’t help it.
Even though the doctors have never diagnosed DH or myself with anything that would explain our IF, I believe that our difficulties result from some sub-clinical endocrine issues that I inherited. I don’t blame my relatives for passing the problems on to me. I can’t really blame myself for how my body works either. Yet, I do. Just a little.
It would be great if my non-blaming attitude for pottery extended to IF. But with pottery, I can always make another one. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way with babies.