Here is another entry from my journal, not one that I have caused to be superimposed on your own notebook, just something I found in an old notebook, late one night, going through what little I have in the way of worldly possessions:
Yesterday evening around 9, sitting at the table after eating, hands resting on stacked ankles, regarding them, the unaccustomed veinedness of the backs of the hands — an impression they were not part of me. Mild but clear, and unbidden: these were alien features of the world. It is not that I experienced revulsion for them or a desire to have them removed or destroyed … just a neutral dissociation. Looking at them now, I can summon it again, even as they move under my command.
The room I have called home the last eight years and change is a converted closet on the north side of the main building, behind the kitchen, away from the front office and the zendo proper and all the ancillary spaces you associate with a center such as this — the abbot’s office, etc. When the laundry is running, I hear the purring of the drum through the wall, and since we often run the laundry in the evening — we have the kind of machine that features a washer and dryer sharing a drum, so we can start it in the evening without fear the clothes will be sitting in the drum damp overnight — I have grown to associate the sound of the washer and dryer with security, with the gratitude I feel at the end of the day when I crawl into my futon, the relief to be here and not one of the places I was before. The room has no windows and gets no natural light, nor is it ventilated the way you’d like a room where someone is sleeping to be, and the floor is finished in industrial carpeting that does little to protect the feet from the cold of the cement subfloor in winter and that bears the indentations of the chrome-wire shelving units that occupied this space until it became mine. The walls are scuffed but it is difficult to paint in here, because of the ventilation. Apart from the futon and the brass hooks where I hang my clothes — a splurge at the hardware store about a year after I moved in — the only thing in the way of furniture is a polyethylene tote, the kind that’s transparent but tinted, with an opaque lid with hinged clasps that snap down over the rim of the body. Mostly it holds things I use every day: the caddy in which I transport toothbrush, razor, and soap to the lavatory and shower down the hall, a rotation of paperbacks from the used-bookstore in town, a spare sweater, a bead-blasted pocket tool, gift from a guest a few years back, plus a handful of tokens from my earlier life. Apart from the pocket tool and the winter boots that live in the rack by the entrance by the kitchen there is nothing to my name worth stealing.