Wednesday, April 02, 2008

More of the Same

April already? Really? Winter just started. Hell, it was just Thanksgiving.

The trees budded. It's light out at 8:00. It's bright out, but still cold.

I've never before felt I wanted to hold back time like now. The summer will be by, another fall, and I will expect the calendars to read 1999.

I feel 21. Not like I did when I was 21; then I scarcely felt.

When I was 16, I made problems up to see how many I could leave unsolved. They were biting flies that swarmed me. Terror and beauty were no different. Abjection and beauty. Desolation and beauty. I wanted to somehow draw inside me the thousand night lights of the oil refineries along the Turnpike, near Newark Airport. I wanted to draw them past my reflection into the car into my self. That they represented some grand truth I knew certainly.

I wanted simultaneously to be destroyed by wickedness and to defend purity. Even if that sounds trite, it is also true.

I still make up problems. Now I solve the problems too. Each fly is hardier than the next. Each next whisks with it the thrill of maybe being the one that prostrates me.

I remind myself that when I fixate on the past or the future, I miss the present. I hold my breath, I force a deep breath, I imagine popularity or rejection. I hold my breath. If I'm lucky, I'll think, this is right, which it no longer is. Then I force a deep breath. Then I rue.


Anonymous said...


vacuous said...

Do you know the practice of tong-len, sometimes called "taking and sending?" Pema Chodron talks about it. It's somewhat reminiscent of your desire to internalize the external impurity of the world. You breathe in and imagine all the suffering of sentient beings is drawn in to your body as a black smoke, where it dissolves into emptiness. When you breathe out, you breathe out all of your virtue and happiness in the form of a white light which dissolves into all sentient beings.