We’ve had a lot of rain lately. When I go out into the yard there are slugs making their ways across the flagstones of our walkway. And I’ve noticed something. Slugs will eat a worm. Did you know that? I looked it up just to be sure, and yes they will. I get that. The constant movement of protein. What I don’t get though is how a slug catches a worm in the first place. Do they run them down? Do they lay in wait and ambush them?
One day I awoke
to an obligation of joy.
I looked at a recent picture of myself. I looked at this picture and saw my father as an old man.
The last time I saw him his hands were folded on his chest. And I thought, his hands and my hands are the same.
Thich Nhat Hanh said that his footsteps and his mother’s are the same. He said that all of his ancestors are in him.
That’s not to say there are no endings.
This body has an ending. [I mean that figuratively. As I understand it, what I’m calling my body is the perceptual apparatus’ resolution of an energy nexus. It does seem to have continuity over time, but that’s more apparent than real.]
But I’m fading away.
If I get any whiter I’ll be invisible.
I get to thinking this life belongs to me.
Thinking there is a life… that is what it seems to be
and there is a me… that is what it seems to be
and that one of them belongs to the other.
I get to thinking I, Man, am different. I am smarter than a tree.
The trees I know all excel at being what they are. Sometimes they fall down in a strong wind. Sometimes it’s a slow crumble, a slow fade. But they always get right back up. There’s a process of course. First they turn to dirt. And then a shoot.
Is it the same tree?
Does the seed contain the tree from which it fell?
Is consciousness a personal, one-shot event? Do I leave things where they are and just fade away?
And if I return, conscious, with shiny, new molecules, a nexus of energy wrapped around a mandrel of soul…
Will I know that I was Me?
Not likely. I’ve heard that it happens. But I’m not counting on it.
What is left undone remains and must be done.
And what will be the sign that what must be done has now been done?
The sign will be that some distant, future I will have no fear. Because fear does not arise in the selfless heart.
Ashes to ashes.
Wonder to wonder.
I went outside in my socks, a quick trip. Not paying good attention. And I felt something soft but resistant give way beneath my foot.