The wisest of men, when asked at what time it is best to pursue the Way, will answer when a thousand stars have made their presence known. The wisest student will say when cleaning myself by bathing in the mud. This will become clear when the frog consumes the dragon.
A reflection on Case 35 of Dogen’s Shobogenzo Koans (True Dharma Eye)
As we walked slowly through the Forum the Coliseum receding into the late afternoon, the Virgins stood patiently as befits a priestess trained to avoid the stares of passing men, even tourists such as we were, the columns staring down reminding us of our youth
despite the birthdays that we celebrated with the joy of togetherness, and the nagging knowledge that we were another year closer to that moment we refuse to acknowledge, aware always of its growing proximity.
We stare back at the Coliseum, as the sun slides behind its walls, and as the vendors selling all manner of items the buyer will regret in mid-flight home pack up for the day, I imagine Caesar pausing in thought then, sneering, turning his thumb down.
She says every woman should own a little black dress, and during the time she tries them on I am thinking what she meant was every man should be married to and in love with a woman who wears a little black dress as well as she does, but I say It looks really nice on you, You should buy it, and I think, I will find events to which you can where it frequently, because it looks so good on you, and you in that little black dress make me look so good standing next to you, and men, although they will never admit it, are all so often about reflected glory.