It’s odd how your stature has grown as I dream of you occasionally staring at your yearbook picture. It was only four years ago that I knew you existed, but hadn’t the faintest idea of who you were, anything about your life, why you gave me up, and, therefore who it was I might have been. Now you are a selfless icon, caring more for siblings who needed education, at the immediate cost of your own, a child who needed two parents in a world that frowned deeply on anything less than a pair. Someday soon, I will visit your grave, place a small stone upon your stone, and a kiss, the closest I can ever hope, ever dream to coming to the face of my mother.
“Describe yourself,” she said “that I might capture you if only for this moment a footprint left once you have departed this place and time.” I am, I should think, biologically plausible though straining the bounds of reason once and again. I tend to philosophic androgyny hovering on the fulcrum of paradox. I am the cynic, hurling great brick bats at God, relying on her forgiving nature. I am the imprisoned child who can see through unclouded, smiling eyes beauties and joys just beyond reach. This is the impression my foot will leave, until the first wave erases it from memory.
He comes to me in the dead hour of night the old shriveled man poling his poor ferry across the river of my dreams. He comes when the moon has fled and the stars fall mute and he beckons me holding out the copper coins stating his fare.
He comes to me, beckoning, and for his fare I show him the butterfly perched on the window box his wings folded darkly iridescent a tissue paper opal awaiting the first sun.
He comes to me, beckoning and for his fare I hold the rose beneath his nose letting the carmine velvet petals caress his nostrils as he smells the luscious aroma that bathes his face.
He comes to me, beckoning, and for his fare I pass to him the crystal goblet of the sauterne and he sips as it washes over his tongue, tasting of honey and fruit.
He comes to me, beckoning, and for his fare I give him the voice of Wolfgang’s strings of Johann’s harp of Ludwig’s piano of Callas, Pavarotti, the symphony of the rain forest the sonata of the surf.
He comes to me, beckoning, and for his fare I give him a picture of the young child tugging my hand, as he pulls me to see something marvelous he has just discovered, his laughter deafening.
He comes to me in the dead hour of night the old shriveled man poling his poor ferry across the river of my dreams. Each time he retreats, the fragile boat empty his fare uncollected.
The youngest child, her mind uncluttered, can answer any question unburdened by words, and her answers can only rebound across the universe. If you stop struggling to hear her, let the silence surround you both, you cannot escape the answers.
A reflection on case 84 of the Shobogenzo (True Dharma Eye)