In the beginning there was a void, stasis, dimensionless. I am a point, without size taking form only in motion, so too the seat on which I sit on United flight 951 not going from point A to point B for neither can exist in motion transcending time.
Each decision sets one me on a path, into a dimension, dimensions while I tread a different path and I a third, yet I have seen the step ahead before having been on its path as all random walks must cross endlessly. The universe grows crowded with exponential me’s creating paths, and so must expand, until we cross and in some minuscule amount contract the cosmos.
Often I seek pain to slow the pace, or pleasure to quicken it, always immutable. I have learned all of this in my endless search for my paradoxical twin who prefers the accelerated pace, moving as quickly as possible, who looks younger at each intersection. Good night Albert.
First Appeared in Afterthoughts (Canada), Vol. 2, No. 4, Autumn 1995.
On very dreary days I like to drive through the cemetery meandering among the stones until I find a freshly dug grave. I stop, under the vigilant eye of the caretaker and carefully place a cassette of Dvorak’s Slavonic Dances or Smetana’s Die Moldau into the player. As the melodies spill forth I hope they lift the spirit of the resting, bringing them a moment of unabashed joy, a memory to carry into an eternity, a lingering riff, sweet as the juice of the strawberry trickling down the chin, a chocolate slowly melting on the tongue. Night will come soon enough bringing a darkness in which they can see their dreams take form and seep away to mingle in the void.
First appeared in Aura Literary Arts Review Vol. 26, No. 1 (2000) and reprinted in Legal Studies Forum, Vol 30, Nos. 1-2 (2006)
As the seasons change I will stand with one foot on the highest peak and the other at the bottom of the deepest sea. But do not ask that I stand in a place where there is no Buddha, or my feet and legs shall fall away into the void.
A reflection on Case 68 of the Shobogenzo (Dogen’s True Dharma Eye) Koans
Merriam-Webster declared me an orphan yesterday morning, when my father slipped away from his morphine dreams. Some would argue I cannot be an orphan at my age, that is a sanctuary reserved for children, but I am long past admitting my age, and my behavior gives no lie to my claim of childhood. I will continue to miss him, for his dementia stole him memory by memory over the years, and I was left to fill the void with stories of my childhood, remembered and imagined, to him there was no difference. I can now fully mourn my birth mother, gone for years before I found her, and my birth father, who I can now claim and at the same time assume dead, more a commentary on my advancing age than any reflection on him, save in the mirror and the faces of my grandchildren. And now the two men who adopted me and the woman they really wanted, and I are no longer part of the same package.
Today my intentions fell away through the hourglass the best, heaviest, first, followed in course by the lesser, until I could mark my day by the void left in their wake. But tomorrow I shall turn the glass over yet again.