In the interstitial moment between birth and death a universe comes into existence, something that never before existed and existed always, new and well-known, unseen and visible for eternity.
Measure it well for it is incapable of measurement, and ends without warning and precisely on schedule. In the momentary breath that marks the transit, we proceed nowhere and cannot return to where we began.
I am compiling a list, ever so slowly, of places I still want to visit, and you may be surprised to find that Paris, London and Madrid are nowhere to be found.
It isn’t that they lack beauty, charm and countless things to see and do, it is simply that they have been usurped by other places commanding my attention.
I’ve been to Zeeb and Pawpaw, if driving by on the interstate counts, and I am certain in Michigan it must, but I do need a good laugh at times, and Yeehaw Junction just might satisfy my need perfectly, and, failing that, there is always Surprise and Carefree, and if I want to lose myself for a while Nowhere is waiting patiently for me, although I have heard it’s a bit hard to find.
No, what I really need is Happy Corner, and from there, as I age I know I must eventually, end up in Truth or Consequences.
It is a large boulder in the middle of a rutted path. That path leads nowhere in particular. It comes to an end at the edge of what appears to be a dense forest. Several trees are posted with “Do Not Trespass” signs, long faded until you must stare to make out the words. The forest is foreboding, so it is not clear if anyone would willingly enter. Few ever come down the path. Fewer still make it to its end. The large boulder has been here for centuries. It stares up at the sky, in amazement.
There are those desperately searching, who stumble along the way, tripping over the dharma gems lying in their path. Others proceed slowly, pausing to examine each pebble, each twig uncertain if it, just possibly, was the key to enlightenment. I wander along, going nowhere, knowing that is where the path must lead, and I am always where the path and I must intersect in time and space. A young child seeing this merely smiles and returns to his seat beneath the Bodhi tree.
There is a man standing at a bus stop. He waits at this bus stop each day, regardless of the weather. He is waiting patiently for a bus that will not come, the bus line was discontinued many months ago. He has a cast on his leg, but it doesn’t seem to bother him. It is old looking and you suspect the break is healed, but he hasn’t gotten around to having the cast cut off. I consider for a moment at least stopping and offering him a ride. I know he will decline. He knows the bus will not come, but he is going nowhere, and here is where you catch the bus going there.
It stands at the end of a very long hallway white walls, naked like giant canvasses awaiting the overdue artist. There are no doorways off this corridor, just the one behind you through which you entered what now seems hours ago. You stand as though rooted to the polished marble floor, your legs leaden, to move would somehow rip you free of your only mooring and you think that you might float off like a balloon, its white string slipping through the fingers of a child. It rises gracefully, a white marble staircase, its steps visible only by the faint shadows they cast, each on its neighbor. Railing and its balusters are the white of clouds with no thought of rain and when you stare it seems to undulate gently, as if drawing in and letting out breath. You have no idea where it goes, aren’t sure if you want to know. It goes where it must, no farther, you think, like the walls of the house that rise just high enough to contain it, and you aren’t sure it leads anywhere, nor do you care at this particular moment. Is it to carry others up or to bring them down, or just, perhaps to sit alone and the end of a very long hallway, white walls naked pure, needing nothing, no one.