The sky was the sky

rindou

That morning I drove through a dawn sky so glorious I thought the world had come to a spectacular end.

I drove as a vehicular robot while tears forced their way out, bringing my 60% liquid content out on a bore tide.

My route is a weekly occurrence, same time, same speed, same stops and starts, but today I was certain I would die before I arrived.

The massive sun pulses like an orange human, pulling me further out on my own river with each beat. I am molten, formless, in a silence shroud.  A synapse pops and I suddenly feel exactly why I learned to drive: to flow out I need automated speed at this moment. But am I really moving? The gold leaf samovar of sky is running and we are part of it.

I pass a few vehicles and look across to search for other tears and glory on drivers, but they chew gum, drink from hot tins of coffee, talk illegally on their phones. No-one seems moved, so this dawn must be for me. It must be my turn to die today.

Flowing forward on my tears I notice another hidden orb reflecting through silver and bronze clouds. Can it be the moon? My river turns to silver now, cool, wise. How privileged to be served up with wisdom and passion in one splash. This sky silence has spoiled me forever I smile, and the close-guarded secret of the illusions of time and space are out of the bag.

Now I know the sky is not too high, the earth is not too still, and our edges are not real at all. I am inside-out, wielding an acetylene torch to cut through the thunderous blue between the two orbs to reveal a vertical scratch of white light. Aboriginal desert dwellers call this the Djang, the final moment when the human spirit climbs out of its human chrysalis to travel on.  They long for it from the moment the oxygen is connected to them.

That morning my robot delivered me to my usual destination. I sat on the temple boards, palms together in gassho, serious on the first day of winter austerities.  The Djang dawn was my robe and hood drawing all the Buddhas in close. And then I opened my physical eyes on an etching of my Djang sky in gold.

The sky was the sky.

Shiroi Hana no SEIREI copy

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Runaway Team

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Why do I hold up a vast array of masks to my sticky face one after the other? While I’m showing someone else’s face to the world, behind my fear erupts like a team of runaway horses. It shifts my carriage at terrifying speed across dark moorland to an unknown destination! 

This fear gallops off whenever a scent of love or hope reaches my nostrils: One whiff and the stallions tug their reins out of my hands, ebony manes streaming, so I cannot drive them. It has happened many times before, but this time the fragrance of someone who has universal courage to show himself, with no single mask, incites them to tear away like scalded devils. This is un-precedented. I rear up before they do!

Such a wild reaction is in the name of protection, of keeping myself in the good books, of being fully approved of by all beings.  I blindly cherish my reputation and status – my black and white treasures.  Their ‘permanence’ distracts me from the rapid stamping of the masks I hold up in succession into the flesh of my face.

Meanwhile, the hoofs of my equestrian team gouge and kick, repetitive, relentless, but the jolting and jostling is the worst thing.  Then, my mind shakes clean away from my true nature on a matchstick bridge, which collapses behind us. It wants to annihilate the now-sour stench of you, paragon man.

So, I spit out my dislike and rejection of you like a mad witch. I trash you outright! Although there is no truth in my barbs, your fragrance remains to point out my madness, staying close to my spirit despite the racket of slow moors as the gallop accelerates.

To balance the fear and guilt of not living up to people’s expectations of us, most of us so quickly judge others instead of honestly reflecting on and evaluating ourselves. We react viciously, needing always to have the last word, the upper hand, insisting on full control.  Our thoughts have become caustic soda, stinging and purging away all dangerous feelings.  We burn and sting with it behind the masks. Oh, my darling, you are so very dangerous! These acid feelings are, I’m afraid, more important than you are.

Impulsive destruction and rejection of your flesh and blood is plain fear that I am not attractive enough to you. That you may pass me by, reject my flesh and blood as un-beautiful on a whim. But I want you to feel it too, so I lash out at you. Then a tiny flag waves close to my heart, and makes me notice that I am putting all my energy into rejecting mere figments of my imagination. Is it you waving it?

An insight somehow breaks through the rough beneath hooves. The visible aspect of the invisible is random, obscure, a rapid grey sketch which I grab at greedily and add to my collections.  And I suddenly see it. I catch myself classifying – hate – love; fragrant – odious; adoring – despising; you – not you. All or Nothing.  Black or white you see.

Then I am desperate to erase these files, to uninstall. I panic, but I can’t! And I sink down in the shaking and swerving, and give up all hope.  The evacuation away from you is unstoppable now.

Oh, how I misjudged you and folded you away in my ‘redundant’ files like a Spring wind! I struck out at you in a fury and almost lost my chance. But now, there, thanks to your clarity, I notice you are striding steadily towards me, with neither horses nor carriage, to bring your full fragrance to meet mine. You have always known that we will blend together again, waiting patiently for me behind my masks.

Your uninhibited tall striding turfs me out and away from my carriage so I can stand finally still, damp-footed and trembling in the dawn. The furious steeds have vanished forever, and with them ‘I’ and ‘my,’ and the paraphernalia of masks.

We are one silence, one perfume of stillness, which has no need of racing on to the future, or of pelting back to the past.

 

runaway 2

 

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Airwaves pause: enjoying invisibility

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You may have noticed that I have had a low profile recently! It is possible to get attached to social media, to the masks that you show to the air waves. I felt I was being swallowed up in something invisible which had become compulsive, a compulsion to be visible in an artificial world.  I eventually realised that there was something much greater at work than devices and instant publishing, and blowing my own trumpet. One day I asked myself, what was more important, my daily life in the real world as a creative artist, or my media life as a cheap fashion item?  My honest answer led to this pause.

As a writer, I had failed to see that the media was hounding me, from many angles. Messages teemed in flattering and poking me, trick-clicking me into getting involved in spending lots of money, albeit in infinitesimal amounts, on amassing ‘likes’ and ‘mentions,’ and the like.  I suddenly noticed the current was rapid and reaching a crescendo, but that I was going in another direction from the one I had selected. In other words, I was being pulled on board a gigantic raft loaded with a million dime-makers. Shocked, I stood up and turned over the money-changer’s tables. Writing was a different stream, and so I floated away from the vibrating, dollar-dangling internet waves.

It was a moment of immense power to know that what I write communicates in other natural ways, without the expensive charges of opportunists.  The great writers have survived by dint of their brilliance and the appropriateness of the message they were sharing. There were very few intermediaries from the media circus. Ah! This was the luscious slow-flowing stream that I belonged in. I am grateful for the harnessing of the air waves for our convenience, but at the same time, the internet is only one of the many tools we can make use of.  I am certain that not one of the tools we humans create will ever be a patch on our divine mysticism as a race, our natural individuality and precious voice.

To me, writing is a meditation, and if my stillness and silence is to be shared via the symbols I scribble, then greater powers will come into play than those of the sordid profiteers and end-gaining capitalists, who could be pushing bingo cards or zinc supplements for all they know about writing.  Money is not connected in any way to it: I’ll take my chances financially in the world. I’ll move to a hot climate if necessary, and comb the beaches for feathers to make into quills and milk octopuses for their ink so I can continue scribbling.

Writing needs stillness and silence uncomplicated by compulsions and commercial strangleholds. I have decided to write as well as I possibly can, as comprehensively as humanly possible, rather than split my energy and knack and get rich overnight.  I have more confidence in the human spirit to bring to the cosmic surface the messages that are most needed to our development as a species of love and goodness, than in hype and ‘like’ scores. I am certain of my message because I’m in touch with my sincere heart. That’s all.

So, my next book, ‘Glorious Life: Glorious Death’ will be finished very soon, thanks to my realisation and the empty road ahead on which to travel.  The crowds have gone home, and the surface of the river is swollen with possibilities.

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