Posted on January 13, 2020
There was a time, decades long, I tried to fill my mind.
I ceaselessly crammed all kinds of noisy cr*p in there.
Now I’m often trying to empty the conceited bastard.
That… just seems a whole lot harder.
Learning the systems on, say, an AS355F1, twin turbine helicopter takes time. But once you’ve officially qualified, your license endorsed, you’ve spent time flying the noisy bubble, poking around the brown grime of Los Angeles, the knowledge, although nice, is no longer life crucial. It’s rear view mirror time. In areas of learning languages, cultures, or traversing through the worlds of philosophy, theology, literature, and (shivers) Irish Politics, to a degree, a not dissimilar process takes place.
Oh, it’s nice to learn. To roam and travel around the world. See places, and watch ‘Homo Stupidus’ feverishly at work. Or, often enough, not. But then there comes a certain Crossroads Moment, if you’re like me. And if you are, well, poor you. You’ve been at odds with Polite Society for decades, have you not?
When my noisy mind, that too often resembles an overcrowded, badly littered flea market, finally does filter out the incessant screech & clamor of the daily, teeth-on-edge grind, I’m more often than not, inclined to sit back and enjoy the view. And the Quiet.
It’s not so much Miller Time, with the cheap beer. But the “Aaaaahhh….” element is very much available, and I maintain I could watch the Panorama unfold for a Thousand Years, and not get tired.
Hanging lazily under the rings of Saturn, and, with difficulty, discerning the tiny, faraway, shimmering dot that is the home of the ultra noisy ‘Genus Stupidus’, I always get this feeling I should have gotten there decades earlier. But no, I was too busy to look properly up. Making money, then losing it. Career and success. Opinions. Status. That perfect vertical snap roll. Landing on that rolling deck, in a sixty knot gale. With a thirty foot heave. Real ‘portant stuff, you know. Not really.
Here, under the rings, there is Peace. And, I submit, a Greater Awareness. A quiet, meditative state. Many a pang of regret. Many a fervent wish, if only. What would my old, 8th century, Buddhist mate Han-Shan say, from there, if anybody would listen? After he’s explored my gun cabinet? And discovered my Winchester lever-action? (“Don’t touch that!”) (“No!-No!-NO…!”)
(“Ah!… well, too late.”)
Ho-hum. Well. He seems quite proud of the hole he parked in my ceiling.
I reached Cold Mountain and all cares stopped
no idle thoughts remained in my head
nothing to do I write poems on rocks
and trust the current like an unmoored boat.
Our lives are circumscribed by dust
we’re like bugs inside a bowl
going in circles all day long
never leaving our bowl.
I look in all directions. Space is dark. Space is amazing. Space stretches everywhere. Time, when you consider eons, is stunning. Our lives? A hiccup. A noisy burble. The parade of our labors, much pomp and color, much Delusion and Desire. Who was it that wrote this doggerel?
Great Vanity of vanities
How much Art and feeling
In our world today
Is warped and twisted
Perverted and falsified
For the poisonous pleasures
Of Reward or Fame?
I admire the man
Who left only his zither and a donkey
And the donkey ill at that
But he left his rhymes
His touch on our Times
The pure sense of his thought
In the letters that he wrought.
But I must say goodbye, soon, to that distant pearl in the Amazing Void. As we all must. Our accumulated pretend wealth, the baubles and the colored beads, the fractional hot puff of vanity and feeble power, our striving and strutting, our schemes and our incessant Talmudic trickery, our Delusions and Desires… all nothing more than the momentary noise, of over randy crickets on a quiet, Moon lit night.
I shall leave the last word to my esteemed visitor from the 8th century, Han-Shan. Via my toaster, (still smoking from the entire loaf he experimentally ran through it), and the exhausted micro-wave, now banned from my gun cabinet, his twelve hundred year old mind is now curiously pondering my Red Road King Harley. This could be interesting.
But he says it best. I forgive him the bullet hole in my ceiling.
I’ve always loved friends of the way
friends of the Way I’ve always held dear
meeting a traveler with a silent spring
or greeting a guest talking Zen
talking of the unseen on a moonlit night
searching for truth until dawn
when ten thousand reasons disappear
and we finally see who we are.
Last edited by Francis Meyrick on January 13, 2020, 10:17 am