Children have an innate sense of their ancestry. I was a child of the city it’s streets my paths, always under the watchful eye of my warden – mother.
Dirt was to be avoided at all possible cost, so I never dug my hands into the fertile soil of my village in the heart of Lithuania, or tasted the readying harvest that dirt would remember.
I never stole a nip of poitin only the Manischewitz which, in our home, masqueraded as wine fit for drinking. It is only now in my second childhood that the ancestry very deep in my DNA has finally found purchase in my mind and soul.
In the community parking lot in the center of Taos, and old pickup sat complacent more than parked, rusting in spots, last painted by someone in the late ‘70s perhaps. It might have been able to move, but it showed no desire to do so, tires not flat but wishing so.
That was thirteen years ago, and it is likely no longer there, or collapsed into rust, but in the mind’s camera it still sits there, beckoning, unmoving, waiting for an owner who has moved on, glad to be rid of the hulk at last.
You came into my life last week, your name forever locked away inside her mind. My life, she felt, would never be the same and therefore left all thought of you behind. You loved her, I suppose, that summer night then left her, bearing me, until she turned me over for adoption, that she might forget the love that you so quickly spurned. A Jew, she said, but would say little more a father, Portuguese, is all I know, who cast his seed, then left and closed the door and me, the son, he never would see grow. You left her life long before I was born, the father I won’t know but only mourn.
First published in Minison Project, Sonnet Collection Series, Vol. 2, Sept. 2021
We have grown tired of counting the mind cannot deal with numbers of that magnitude, Stalin was correct, it is all statistics now, and bodies, always more bodies, never enough, always too many, by violence in the street, in the economy, in the courthouse, in the COVID ward, there are too many places now, where the dead gather, and we cannot bid them farewell, for we do not want to be counted among them, to join them, to admit that we in some way have led them into disease, into poverty, into death.
It is there waiting, no doubt another trap, simple initially seeming pure but harboring a malevolence that will soon consume you, leave you broken, so considering the pen as a weapon, to lay waste to it, or for seppuku, both thoughts will no doubt come to mind.
It has always been like this, always will, different if you chose the digital path, but only a difference in implement, the struggle, the loss, the outcome very much the same, so consistent.
Still you take up pen, stare deeply at your adversary, swear it will not defeat you this time, battle on valiantly, but finally, and yet again, painfully concede to the omnipotent abyss that today as yesterday is the pure untouched page.
Today I paused and had a conversation with my mind, and found it remarkably enlightening. It wasn’t a terribly long talk for I quickly ran out of things to say and I would have sworn it had heard them all before and anticipated me fully. In the end though, I did have one advantage and simply got up and walked away and that caught it wholly by surprise.
If you meet the Bodhisattva you don’t ask someone to carve the image from your mind. To the carver, she weighs but an ounce and can be carried on his fingertip but try and lift her and you will not be able to move her from her place.
All Buddhas are one Buddha but his Buddha will never be your Buddha.