There was a time, still within memory’s ever more tenuous grasp that I imagined myself, at this age, as a monk in a Buddhist temple in Kyoto, that I had assumed a silence imposed by lack of language, not faith.
I am certain that the Japanese are pleased that I let that dream pass unfulfilled, that I confine my practice to that American form of Zen, softened and gently bleached from its shogun watered roots.
I recall my visits to Senso-ji, Todaii-ji and countless other small temples where I would often find a zafu and sit, but only the youngest monks I met could understand that it was there, among them, that I felt spiritually at home.
There was a time that now seems so very long ago, when I would freely admit, sometimes claim to be American, if not acknowledging my time in the Air Force as well.
Those days are gone, as is the place I knew, now morphed into somewhere much the same, and entirely unrecognizable, and I am American by proximity, knowing my welcome has been worn out for me elsewhere.
It need not, ought not, have been this way, political seas have long ebbed and flowed, but I, we, knew we could remain afloat on our constitutional raft, built to ride out whatever storms might blow our way.
We know, or have an abiding hope that this, that he and his band of marauders, will pass into history, a dark cloud finally pushed aside, but despite the shortness of his tenure, I can only nervously wonder what will remain.