Thursday, March 29, 2012

an empty loom

Sometimes it comes as something of a shock to realize that wise wisdoms, so easily adhered to with emotion and intellect, are nothing more than the truth -- the very personal truth.

The tapestries of this lifetime, woven by skilful and strangely inattentive hands, come bit by bit unraveled. No one notices this so much when they have the energy and credulity to weave those tapestries, but over time, the unraveling reveals itself.

Buddhism asserts that "everything changes" and philosophically, this is a delightful and common-sensical observation, one that appeals to the realistic observer in all of us. Soen Nakagawa Roshi, a Zen teacher, used different words to express the same thing: "Everything breaks." This stuff is true -- no need to make it up or believe it.

What brought this to mind was the news story announcing the death of Earl Scruggs, an American banjo player of some renown and a man woven into my tapestry of blue-grass loving delight. Scruggs was 88, so my oh-so-reasonable, reasoning mind says it was probably time to go.

The Emperor's new clothes
But besides the reasoning and the reason, Scruggs was a thread in my tapestry, a thread that was bound to be pulled out and yet ... well, I feel the loss of tapestry threads. Thread by thread, what was done comes undone until ...

Until nothing is left but some empty loom.

And as easy as I may find it to mouth the words "empty loom," still I wonder and sniffle at the loss. Without my well-woven threads, without the tapestries I wove, what is it that is left? When there is no place to hold on, what can I hold on to?

Is this really sad? Well, sometimes it is.

But sometimes I wonder if it's not pointing to something worth enjoying. Who built this loom in the first place?

No comments:

Post a Comment