Saturday, March 4, 2017

times of leaving

Like an artery pulsing into a bowl of warm water, there is what seems to be a lot of 'leaving' going on around the house this morning. My older son is off to a track meet near Boston, and my younger son hopped in his car, military gear stuffed in back, and headed out for two weeks of National Guard drill in New Jersey ...

...which will be followed by a short spell at home before he goes for a month of mobilization training in Texas ...

... and then heads to the Middle East for something less than a year's "deployment" -- a word that sounds competent and sensible and in control, but camouflages my country's uncertainties mixed with desire and greed and the knowledge that body bags (even the hidden ones) instill a diversionary fear in somewhat the same way that the Internal Revenue Service instills fear by auditing some small-fish, mom-and-pop store while ignoring the big-fish corporations that know where the big bucks are to be made.

A part of me caterwauls for my younger son... and by extension, me. Some part of me wishes him well on his mission to grow up and be a decent human being. And yet another part of me shudders that the growing up process is guided by a nation whose idea of being a grown-up is to be violent at someone else's expense.

I gave my son a burl circle I wore for 30-40 years on my Zen Buddhist raksu ... a talisman not all that different from the bobble-head Christianity dolls placed on the dashboards of the faithful. I went deep into the woods to find the maple tree and saw off the 18-inch wart that was the burl ... and then carve out and sand and oil the circle. It came with me through good times and bad while practicing Zen. Did it bring good luck? I have no clue, but I wanted my son to have something I too had had. I can't seem to find a picture, but what the hell ... may it be the thought that counts....

and yet I don't trust talisman's worth a shit ...

that too: I want a magic wand and don't believe in magic wands and am willing to live in the caterwauling dust storm of confusion than to apply for succor to either god or man, scripture or wise counsel... it's too late to improve this old duffer ... and besides, only god can pray to god ... and that's important in my lexicon.

A time of leaving. A time of tabula rasa.

Just like all the other tabula rasas.

So sad, so sad.....


  1. Life sucks, wear a helmet. But don't expect the helmet to make a difference.

  2. Namo Manjusri Bodhisattva.