Saturday, February 25, 2012

only a fool lacks a broken heart

Like some flotsam in a grubby harbor, bits and pieces floated by this morning:

-- Without any particular context, George Orwell and Lord Mountbatten's wife drifted on the random swells. Had they been lovers of the cinq-a-sept variety favored by British and other aristocracy? I didn't even know if they were close contemporaries. It seemed a bit of an odd pairing, but not really all that odd ... aristocracy of all kinds so often becomes dulled and unfulfilled in its aristocracy. Looking it up, Edwina was indeed a butterfly in the bedroom, but Orwell's name does not appear on the shopping list. Random and wrong ... no matter.

-- A posting without attribution on newbuddhist ... which I have twisted from prose to poetry:

A novice in whose heart the faith shone bright,
Met with his teacher in a dream one night and said,
"I tremble in bewildered fear
How is it master that I see you here?
My heart became a candle when you went,
A flame that flickers with astonishment.
I seek truth's secret like a searching slave --
Explain to me your state beyond the grave!"

His teacher said, "I cannot understand,
Amazed I gnaw the knuckles of my hand.
You say that you're bewildered --
In this pit, bewilderment seems endless, infinite!
A hundred mountains would be less to me
Than one brief speck of such uncertainty!"

 "One brief speck of such uncertainty" ... I like that.

-- In the book "Remembering Nakagawa Soen Roshi," Soen is quoted, perhaps in sorrowing reference to his difficulties with his student, Eido Shimano, as saying. "Everything breaks. Everything breaks." Such easy words to write. Such easy words to associate with Gautama Buddha's observation that everything changes. Easy ... easy. And yet, everything really does break. The plaint of monk and layman alike ... everything breaks.

Only a fool lacks a broken heart.

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