Sunday, June 24, 2012

a perfect day

On the porch, shortly after 7 a.m., outside the door which is ajar, the day is perfect. Cloudless sky, bright sun, a single mourning dove crooning. The sun reaches in and dances on a forearm with the morning cool ... warmcool, coolwarm. Everything is so flawless. It is almost ridiculous, as if an inexperienced high school drama class had staged it all.

But perfection positively demands some imperfection and so I waited patiently for the body to reassert the aches and pains of my age and wondered what thought-ghosts would request attention and solution. It was early yet. I had not had quite enough coffee and so, for a little, the perfection of the day had its uninterrupted say: There is no forgiveness; there is just forgiving ... always.

And then the first of the thought-ghosts tip-toed in, a bit groggy still, but assured of its place in the pantheon of imperfections I would soon insist on: "He's so dumb, he would fuck up a wet dream."

Later, I will go out and do a little zazen. I will leave the door open on this perfect day and the air and light will pour in without a backward glance. It's the beginning of spider season, and here and there in the zendo, critters only slightly less gossamer than their webs will move about, taking care of business. In my imagination, they will forgive me the incense, the candle, the sounding of a small gong, but of course they really have no forgiveness to offer. They are forgiveness like the day. Always forgiveness... like the day ... every day.

Yesterday, in the supermarket, I found myself standing next to an energetically thin woman who was loading her grocery cart with super-saver packages of chicken thighs. She had five or six in her carriage and was reaching for more. "You're really going to feed the troops tonight," I commented idly. She swung into the banter seamlessly, explaining that the chicken was for her dogs. Her face was bright and open and it was a pleasure to listen to someone who just liked what she liked and did what she did. She disabused me of the notion that dogs shouldn't be given chicken ... "that's just the cooked chicken. Raw chicken is OK. And it saves on veterinarian bills. I have never found a bone in their droppings." And when she priced it out, chicken was in about the same price range as prepackaged dog food. Since she lived some 40 minutes away, up in the hills, she was loading up on the thighs, which were on sale.

Bright and friendly as a spider that gives no thought to bright or friendly or the forgiveness that is the day.

A Zen Buddhist monk I have known through email once told me that a Korean monk friend had suggested that perhaps, "suffering is just the resistance to pain."

And as the aches and pains rise up and as the ghost-thoughts heave themselves out of bed, I wonder if it is not also true, "suffering is just the resistance to forgiveness." Not the usual smarmy "forgiveness," but the forgiveness that cannot be escaped, the forgiveness of spiders, the forgiveness of coolwarm and warmcool.

Dumb enough to fuck up a wet dream. Well, wet dreams cannot help their forgiving nature any more than a spider or a mourning dove can. In the brightness of the sun and the perfection of the morning air, who could forgive or be forgiven. To forgive and be forgiven is a wet dream waiting to be fucked up.

Perfectly fucked-up. Don't be shy.

Wet dreams don't mind.

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