Friday, May 2, 2008

Buffoonish, Insufficient, Opaque Even

A light rain which may or may not confound our planned later get-together. The next thirty-six hours are specifically accounted for, though I can't say how many will be spent sleeping.

For two days running now I have subjected these twenty sentences to revision. Today's was literally to cull over half the intended piece. I can say the redacted portion involved a dream of execution, in which I was one of four assistant executioners. The gallows was spidery, metal, a gleaming architecture of wheels and pulleys, of murderous efficiency. I was terrified of the mind that created it (my dream=my creation=the need/desire to amend, to redact, i.e., the inevitable necessary culling).

Also in this dream I lacked a language to console the condemned, a specifically spiritual language. I ended up saying "may your spiritual journey be . . . " and then could only bow, which felt buffoonish, insufficient, opaque even.

I woke up as if dropped from a great height then, with an almost physical need to repent wracking my body. And recalled - seeded perhaps from yesterday's skimming of Philip Whalen's Collected - the idea of making gassho. Years ago in in a third floor apartment in a city that shall remain nameless I read and reread Suzuki Roshi and all I could understand, and all that remains with me now, that I can still say moves within me, was about making gassho.

And I do, still, I long - physically, spiritually - to make gassho. To praise or honor or hold up to the light not with words but with the body, forehead to the ground, a submission, recognition, as if prostrate out of love one might learn to stand with grace.

Several times in the night, Jeremiah asked in a tiny voice still seasoned with sleep, "When it will be morning time?" Before bed there was something I meant to tell Chrisoula but she was tired so I let it go. Now I can't remember what it was. Thus it was not something that I had to say.

If I am a child of anything, I am a child of hills. My body understands North, leans toward it - does it bow - like an old tree weary of its soil.

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