When a leaf leaves the tree it falls precisely where it should. When a flower petal is carried off on a strong wind it comes to rest in the proper place. When you smell the sweet aroma of next summer’s roses use the nose you had before your parents were born.
A reflection on case 32 of Dogen’s Shobogenzo (The True Dharma Eye) Koans
You say you appreciate occasional gifts of symbols of love. You expect me to bring you a rose it’s satin petals gently curling back at the edges, always threatening to suddenly unfold, alluring, drawing in the eye promising warmth and release. I bring you an onion, wrapped tightly, it’s papered skin, the luminescence threatening to break out but always just one more layer down. I help you peel back a layer, it comes off reluctantly, as if letting go of this secret could be painful or exposing. We, both of us, shed tears and I wipe yours with the edge of my thumb, you watch mine roll down my cheek and hang perilously on the edge of my jaw. I bring you an onion and peel it slowly, I lift the bit to your lips. It is sweeter than you anticipated but still it has a fierceness that borders on passion, and it will cling to your lips long after this moment has faded into memory.