Let’s Not Upset Our Entire Applecart

There’s your applecart, stacked high and neat, full of apples.  It took time, toil, and stress to get to this point and to bring it to the top of this hill.  But now, the neater and higher it gets, the more apples slip out of place and some fall, so you carefully put them back. 

A shiny new apple, a big apple, and even other not so great apples, but they’re apples, so you put them onto your cart as well.  One falls from the top, rolls all the way down, off the cart, and onto the cobblestone street, but before you can get to it, it rolls downhill and you chase it.  You chase that one apple, leaving the entire full cart behind. 

Somehow you catch up to it and walk it back to the cart as you dust it off, clean it, and polish it.   The cart seems fine and you carefully put the apple back into its spot.

Someone accidentally bumps your cart; a few apples fall and as you try to gather them, you notice the whole thing has become unstable.  You’re frantic, trying to make sure the damage is minimal as you scramble to keep it all together. 

After you place the last apple, it seems all is well again, when another slips out and falls. 

You let it.  You step away.  You look at it, just staring at the applecart.  Without much thought, you walk up to it, grab one side and flip it over.  As all the apples roll down the hill, you pick the one up that didn’t.  You polish it on your shirt, take a bite, and walk away in the opposite direction.

Life is good.

In the famous song by The Fixx, Cy Curnin sings, “Maybe … someday … saved by zero – I’ll be … more together … stretched by fewer, thoughts that leave me …”  And the recurring chorus is, “maybe I’ll win; saved by zero.”   

What Curnin explained about the lyrics is that when they found success and success was building and building, everything became more cumbersome.  He was nostalgically looking back to when he was at “zero”, as if it was easier.  How easily we forget what it was really like.    

He said, “When you’re on the floor, you can’t fall further, you can only go up.  Life was starting to get more full with distractions, and I’m a sort of minimalist at heart. I always fight for that space. So, it was a sort of a mantra that came from some of the teachings that I was learning back then with my earliest dipping into Buddhism. It was East meeting West for me. It was Eastern ancient philosophies that people live as a daily code over there to necessity. And we in the West absorbing this Buddhism, at the time it wasn’t a necessity for functioning life, but it was a necessity for calming the mind and getting to a place of no mind and losing frustration and ego.”

We don’t need to upset the entire apple cart, but I can understand the frustration.  Maybe instead, it’s time to take inventory.  Minimize the distractions and reduce the “apples” to those that are necessary, those that make us happy, and those that are truly fulfilling.  Now, maybe we don’t need an apple cart this size?  Maybe it’s better to park it on somewhat less of a slope.    

Now, we’re more agile, with less stress, less worry, and we’re not chained to the apple cart.

The Fixx continues to play in the background, “I will … conquer … space around me …”

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