2020-09-09T15:38:42-07:00January 6th, 2011|Musings on life|

A balancing act

The Buddhists tells me
there is no past,
only the present,
a balancing act of breath
on the head of a pin.

Tattoos and marriages
and layaway plans
beg to differ
but even these emerge
as new in every moment,
the monks insist.

I asked a yogi once about the future.

The vanishing act of the past
I can swallow whole
but what of the summer job
I never took in Whitehorse,
the friend who hung himself
after work on a Tuesday night,
that train I missed.

I used to imagine that all stolen paths
kept going,
busting past life’s detours,
unfolding to another ending
farther away,
a satisfactory conclusion
like when you were a kid
and you rode your bike downhill
without peddling or using your brakes
and you let the momentum take you fast at first
and then slower and slower and slower
and you could barely believe
how perfect it was when you coasted,
wobbling now,
right to a stop at your back gate.

I asked a yogi once about the future.

And she said: “take more picnics.”

I was sure it was a metaphor or a Zen koan
but I decided there was no harm
in taking it literally
and my supper tasted better
dipped in the wind
as the sun bowed her head that evening,
whispering something to the grass
that I couldn’t hear
but it made me cry anyways,
my tears landing
on the blades of grass
in that perfect moment
like dew drops.

Go to Top