Sunday, July 4, 2010

another time, another place

In the clean and cool of the early morning on Main Street, four or five cars are parked where I want to park -- near a shop that sells ersatz bagels that are marginally better than Dunkin' Donuts but still lack the heft and heroism of a real Jewish bagel. I park, walk to the store, buy a dozen bagels and then return for a leisurely ride home.

On the streets, there are few cars and fewer pedestrians. At a crosswalk, several people look each way before moving towards the church on the other side of the street. On the radio, a young man (or is it a woman) issues enthusiastic dicta about the need and enthusiasm for creating new communities -- the kinds of gatherings not so wedded to the acquisitiveness of the parents who gave birth to those who seek less acquisitiveness. A breathy optimism issues from the radio speakers.

Yesterday, at the fairgrounds, there was a colorful tent and banners advertising a circus within, but this morning the field is empty and green, not even an elephant turd to mark the spot. Outside my house, Joe is just getting out of his car as well and we chat a little. Today is a big day for him: He and his wife Pat are going for a two-week trip to Kenya to visit an orphanage ... children left behind when the parents died of HIV-AIDS. Joe and Pat are not allowed to bring medicine or much else with them. They cannot speak the native Swahili, but they are going anyway as part of their Christian, or perhaps just human, leanings.

In the southern U.S., vacationers are staying away from the Gulf of Mexico in droves, trying to steer clear of the oil spill that is spilling and spilling and spilling into the Gulf and some of its gloppy results are washing up on what might otherwise be tourist-packed shores.

Funny how strong the yearning is for something else -- some other state of affairs or other words that bind or other visions that heal or other acquisitions to acquire. Something else ... and yet no matter how far and fast anyone might travel, still there is the quiet steadiness of the mirror, the home port that cannot be improved.

Isn't it an accomplishment worth noting -- the green grass; not an elephant turd to mark the spot?

1 comment:

  1. The Buddha told a parable in a sutra:

    One day while walking across a field a man encountered a vicious tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung himself down over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from above. Trembling the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting to eat him.

    Only the vine sustained him. Two mice, one white and one black, little by little started to gnaw away the vine. The man saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with one hand, he picked the strawberry with the other. How sweet it tasted!

    ... and how green the grass!

    Thank you for your sharing Adam/Genkaku.