Tilting at Windmills

Don Quixote de la Mancha and Sancho Panza, 1863, by Gustave Doré.

I wonder whether I am guilty of “tilting at windmills“.

A kind friend told me today that she had spent many hours reading my posts and was at a loss to know how to describe them, other than as a “diary”.  My diary, my thoughts.  I felt a little uncomfortable at that but had to realise she was probably right. It made me feel rather exposed, somewhat uneasy.

I am shaking my fist at the universe.  Confronting an imaginary enemy, pursuing a vain goal, searching for ideals, looking for justification, betterment.  For me, for everyone perhaps.  I am really not too sure.

I look around and I see such divide and unhappiness.  I wonder whether it need always be thus, whilst reminding myself that it always has been.

I am neither religious nor altruistic. More of a hermit than anything else and yet I find there are things I want to say. Even if I am baying at the moon.

I am sure things need not be what they are and yet I find myself so puzzled and disturbed that at every level of society strife and conflict seem inevitable.

It is just very difficult to get on with each other.  I find people very difficult and I am not the most competitive of souls.  How much more damaging could I have been had I been more grasping, dramatically successful, driven, determined to enforce my will, my aims.

So the windmills I am tilting at are the ills of the world, whether perceived only by myself or real and objective.

I would say to my friend: these are simply my thoughts on life.  My thoughts on how to combat my own destructive emotions.  My thoughts on what is important to me and the many, many things that are not.

To quote the Tao Te Ching:

Empty yourself of everything.
Let the mind rest at peace.
The ten thousand things rise and fall while the Self watches their return.

(translation by Gia-fu Feng and Jane English)

Who knows, some may find my ramblings helpful, many will not.  Perhaps this is a diary after all.

Don Quixote de la Mancha and Sancho Panza, 1863, by Gustave Doré.
Don Quixote de la Mancha and Sancho Panza, 1863, by Gustave Doré.

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