Each morning, once I have completed the often unpleasant task of dragging myself from the womb of blankets, I make my appearance in front of the mirror.
I stare closely into it, and am unsurprised to find it returning my stare, and on every occasion, I notice that the mirror has once again chosen to wear the same clothes as I, albeit not as well or stylishly, no doubt the result of its limited sense of dimensions.
It is odd that I know so well what the mirror looks like, how it masquerades as this or that until it can no longer hope to avoid me, and yet despite its familiarity, I have no idea at all what I really look like anymore.
I would reach out in touch you but as it is my fingers barely reach the keyboard. I would take your picture the next time I see you, but it would appear instantly, no waiting for someone to tell me as you were merely a blurred image appearing days later pulled from an envelope. Perhaps I’ll leave a posting on your digital wall and simply hope you are still alive somewhere just out of reach.
There is little you can do about it, less that you want to do, although they are not pleased with your decision. Remind them that they are the ones that left the decision to you, mostly in the hope you would do what they hoped, taking them off the hook, but they now realize they have been hoist with their own petard and the walls, gates they wanted breached still stand with you on the sideline watching their farce unfettered. They will not ask again and you laugh, for if they did it you would give it a try just to see the look on their faces.
If you want an answer do not ask a question – your answer cannot be mine nor can mine be yours. Instead, ask the stone wall, it has nothing to say and in its perfect silence all questions are asked and all answers are found.
A reflection on Case 41 of the Shobogenzo, Dogen’s True Dharma Eye
When you assume the mat and gaze at the wall, what is it you see? If you see nothing, what do you think? If you are certain that you see nothing, that is what you think. Do not see, do not think, and let the cushion fall away until the moment you no longer exist, but let the moment fall away as well and there is only the emptiness of peace.
A reflection on case 17 of the Entangling Vines Koans
The old, weathered maple leans into the sun, its trunk stroking the cobbled cottage which sits against the foothill. The square window peers out over a wildflower garden as the roof’s peakline settles comfortably into old age. Walking around it I see the back roof has collapsed the back wall ever threatening to return to the earth of its mountain home.