Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The place the Buddha touched

LyP found the essence of this phrase at a blogsite:

A couple of days ago we walked down to the Rongbuk Monastery, visited the cave monk in the old Monastery on the way (got to feel where the hand of Buddha touched), and ran into a group of people bicycling from Lhasa to Kathmandu.

Seonie stopped at the edge of the clearing. There was something about this place that wanted you clean and sacred, and Seonie didn't feel all that sacred after the morning she'd had. Paulo came home just as she awakened, the scent of ganja chalky on his clothes. Tomorrow, she would send him to the city, though she could not bring herself to disown this man who was once her son.

The sight of him in her mind's eye rekindled the rage she journeyed here to cede. The rage incited the despair that bore tears to her eyes. She tried to remember that it was the sick part of her thinking that rejoiced in this feeling. She tried to remember that there were brushes with happiness in the past 14 months. She tried to remember that the disease wanted her in despair so deep that it could sink its teeth into the soft, bruised place she had yet to heal. In the in-breath, she tried to remember how the breeze cupped her cheek that day she remembered her spirit. This time it won't work. She thought. This time, the darkness will win. But even as she thought it, the space inside lightened. Another piece of blackness cracked into ash and swirled into a devil of dust, the edges sloughing off fingers of debris with each spin.

Behind her closed eyes, Seonie hear a bird call from far away. She echoed its love-you-love-you-love-you-love-you mantra. She felt that inner shift that said something was different forever, that she would never again have to travel this fork of the path of darkness.

This was the place where she felt the bigness of the world, the so-bigness that she could not know it for more than a second. It made her feel so light that a ray of sun could carry her away. It lay so heavy that she thought her heart would break open, or stop beating. The bottom of the world fell away, just for the space of her in-breath. Then, in the out-breath, the world rebuilt itself under her. The tree she leaned on regrew heart-wood and ring-flesh and bark-skin. The clearing remade itself exactly as it had been, so close a copy that only she knew it was completely different. And she, fortunate enough to pass this moment of light so near to the remaking of this piece of the world, she was re-created as well.

The brush of a warm palm on the back of her hand caused her to jerk away from the tree, and everything re-became ordinary, except that her hand sang in a way she had never heard, or maybe noticed, and she studied its unfamiliarity, as if she had only just discovered this strange bit of her. She leaned against the tree again, and knew with every piece of her spirit that the Buddha once touched this place, this place on the tree, this place in the clearing, this place in the world, this place in her heart.

Now, gratitude fueled her tears, and a different kind of humility carried her forward. She felt empty and full, and not at all concerned with the incongruous melting of that moment into this.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

10q, J9... Luv K8

So, I'll take the tag of love from ChemicalBilly, though she has not formally swabbed me with her blogistick.

K8 watched J9 break over the prow of the boat. Ship, she corrected. A throb of sympathy swept through her. She remembered the days of splash-over-the-side waves and San Francisco Bay so close she could dangle her hair over the edge and touch it, her mind shouting "We're going over! We're definitely going over!" And the miracle of keel preventing same.

She found, then, abject terror to be a most effective remedy for seasickness. Thence, motion conjured excitement, tingles of arousal that she hesitated to voice.

J9 straightened, leaning hard on the railing. After several rolls, she lifted one hand to wipe her mouth. K8 joined her at the railing, not touching her, remembering how touch once encouraged nausea.

J9 stared straight ahead, not looking toward K8, but K8 could feel the spark they shared, an old, embery warmth, not the flashy electricity of youngsters falling into the distance between each other. The horizon carried the promise of a clear afternoon, but K8 knew that spring's wildness powered the ocean's capricious nature this time of year, and what was clear in one instant could be cloudy wretchedness the next.

After many moments, J9 said, without turning her head "Well, all right then," as if she had just decided something. K8 moved her hand so it touched the little finger of J9's small, white hand. J9 gave a great sigh and turned toward K8.

"Remind me whose idea this was," she said, a look of defeat warring with irony in her eyes.

"Yours, Jeanine," K8 said, with gentle humor.

"Ah, yes, mine," J9 answered, and gave a small sigh.

K8 covered J9's hand.

"C'mon," she said, "let's take a walk."

"OK, maybe not," J9 answered. "Standing still is working for me right now, so maybe I should keep doing that. I can't even think about moving on a moving ship."

J9 closed her eyes, and K8 could sense the wave of nausea that passed through her. K8 quickly removed her hand.

"Sorry, sweetie. I thought it would help," she said.

J9 shook her head and took another deep breath.

"But you go ahead, Katie," J9 said, opening her eyes and focusing on the horizon. "I hate to be so pitiful, but I really need to be still for a while."

"'S'okay, sweetie," K8 answered. "You take as long as you need. I'll be around when you're ready."

K8 carried her disappointment up the ladder to the topdeck. She struck a course for the wheel house, counting her steps. One-tilly, two-tally, three-tully, four-telly, five-a-whack-a-doo, whack-a-dee, whack-a-day. The remembrance of her childhood counting scheme opened memories of other loves and other times. Her eyes leaked a tear or two, regretting and celebrating those past days.

One hundred-tally-sally-mally-whack-a-doo. And then J9-J9-I'm-a-loving-you.

She walked the circuit enough times to form a mile, then once again to cool down, and finally once more for the goddess of the sea. Then she settled into a deck chair, waiting for the wild red of the sunset to color the bottom of the cloud wall that raced toward the west.

"10q-J9," she whispered into the darkening sky. "10q very much."