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Apple

18 Jul

Plato wrote of humans chained in metaphoric caves of their own minds. We were content to watch the shadows on the walls from our chained positions and believed those shadows were reality.  How they danced and entranced us. We sat there watching them skip, move, fade in and flash out. Most people would never be able to unbind themselves from the trappings of their minds and get outside themselves to see what caused the shadows. To find the light.  Was it then so strange that Siddhartha was baffled at what he saw?  Though he was 29 what had he known?  The shadows had captivated and nurtured him.  He lived in the garden so to speak, but he also knew desire and had accepted its sensual gifts. While on this day the Apple of forbidden knowledge appeared before him, there was no fall with Siddhartha. The dichotomy of the East and the West appears. Adam was cast out of Eden after the bite.  Knowledge had specifically been kept away from him.  With greater understanding into his world and deeper insight into himself and Eve what would have happened? Imbalance, fear, and suffering? Siddhartha would learn of such things too, but after his taste there was first wonder. An ashen faced man doubled-over and feverish was in front of Siddhartha. The poor man tried feebly to muffle his cough in front of his Prince, but his hacking only got worse. His eyes welled up with puss and his skin was knotted and hanging off him in places. “This is sickness,” his carriage driver said. Siddhartha’s eyes got big. “Sickness?”.  He had heard that word somewhere. Perhaps in the tales he had heard as a youth. But, it was just a fantastical concept. He had never seen a sick person nor had he experienced sickness himself.  Now he was face to face.  His wonder began to fade.  If this man was sick, who else could have such sickness?  He felt something stir inside. It was an odd feeling and one that he could not place. It was guttural as if in his stomach. His heart and mind were still clear, but the stirring was to make its way up. It was moving. Siddhartha had to return to the palace. He turned away from the sick man and thought about his father, mother, wife, and child. Could they all become sick too? He could not banish the image of the sick man from his mind. He had to get outside the walls again.

Awake

16 Jul
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Tian Tan Buddha – Lantau Island, Hong Kong (2011)

It would have been easy to create out of indignation.  That was the initial mantra though and it was there. Pacing back and forth – ever precarious and ready to ejaculate into the universe. But, I reeled it back and swallowed hard.

I thought back to an old church marquee that I had seen years ago somewhere in the outlying sawgrass areas of the coastal South: SAILING A CALM SEA A SKILLED SAILOR DOES NOT MAKE.  Now, the storm churned and with it the Sisyphean onslaught of whitecaps, swells, squalls. Eyes become slits. Focus…breathe…and alight.  I had to let go and so I started up.

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