On Turning 63: Peace of Mind or Piece of the Rock? Decisions, decisions…

IMG_0089and the little voices inside saw me ‘starving hysterical naked’ and said, “get thee to a monastery, young man, before it’s too late, while there’s still time, before you do something you’ll regret, so as to lay down your weary crosses and your over-worked swords, and your virus-ridden little laptop thingie, at once and forthwith, for I sentence you to life without parole, to suffer in silence, and be very glad for it, free of the distractions and defilements that inevitably lead to karmic rebirth…”

and the little voices inside are usually up to no good, it’s true, trading in envy and fear and their financial derivatives, by hook or crook, nail or snail mail, those little narratives with their own lives that must have closure, if not happy endings, while biological entities crave only succor and the means of acquiring it, for future reference and global access…

but this time they nailed it, burying their little heads, into the wood, below the surface, for to suffer in silence is the only way to suffer, like poverty in poppy fields or nakedness in nature, without shame nor reticence, nor any good reason for it, for less is more by reductio ad absurdum, and should be the goal of every good citizen…

and once there at temple a wave of peace came over me, like water gurgling up on to the beach, and percolating through sand, the drip drip drip of contentment that can only come with release, from the grip of personality, my ‘own’ personality, the business of myself, the possession of myself, first person singular possessive, all the annoyance frustration hate fear and anger reduced to nothing by the very fact of their nothingness, insubstantiality, failure to thrive without means to survive. But envy is the hardest, and so is democracy…

I pity youths in love with youth

I pity celebrities in love with celebrity

I pity beauties in love with beauty

Because you’re only in love with yourself and no other,

and the other is what I live and die for, otherness in a baby’s smile,

otherness in the blood of nomads, otherness in the house of style,

falseness lying on fashion’s floor, bleeding bilious but not yet dead

enticement is not part of my Buddhism, so big-ass haughty grins can go straight to the bin, in a little corner of the makeshift office. In this life in this world, in this little corner of the multiverse, a wry little smile will more than suffice…

noise noise noise fills up every bit of space and time, in this dimension of tentative solidity, buzz-saws whirring and autos revving and sirens whining and babies crying, people screaming, horns honking, radios blaring, dogs barking…

so I beat a hasty retreat, into the woods and into my mind and into the fabric of space and time

still tunes without lyrics get stuck in my head, too, and lyrics themselves even worse than the incessant dialogue of life on blue planet, mindless and drifting, thoughtless and shifting, from foot to foot and begging for mercy…

but pictures not so much, disembodied screenshots like freedom incarnate, since liberated from womb, and no cover charge to enter mind, self-organizing and self-healing, arranging themselves in the hierarchy of a man and mankind…

so is this how memory becomes photographic? Like film without narrative, eternal and repetitive…

I’m not content to live in a world of classical mechanics, when a world of quantum mechanics lies waiting to be explored

I’m not willing to drive an automobile, when a computer lies at hand

I’m not satisfied with old-fashioned sex, when a higher love is available

I’m no longer obsessed with walking every centimeter of this earth, every minute of this era, when I can see it all clearly, right inside my head, at once and in an instant

I’m no longer willing to be passenger and point-man of the white-line rat-race to everywhere and nowhere, in a space-time capsule subject to the whims of circumstance, the laws of classical mechanics and six cylinders pounding, imperfect shade-tree mechanics and only rare quantum leaps of tall buildings in a single bound…

but these are the risks of being human, arrogance and other associated costs of living dangerously

the prostate leaves me prostrate, joints drag me down and kidneys derail me, good thing they’re only dependent contingencies, so not really mine, ‘cuz the car won’t start, either, and the a/c is on the fritz, pipes are always frozen and the heater tends to hiss, nothing works right when everything is broken, so don’t get your hopes up in this world of limits

but birthdays are the hardest part, the relentless countdown to only God knows where, and number 63 is no exception. At least it’s divisible by 3, and 7, and 9, and 21 also, a motley crew of oddball digits, cabal of kabbalah, all looking for a place to fit in and hang out. Even numbers are too easy, too compliant and too complacent, each one easily divisible by 2 and many other even numbers in a ratio inversely proportionate to the increase in quantity…

youth is beautiful, and old age ugly, by definition, and by decree, from on high, by incremental degrees, but the slow cool world is the low rude world, so these apparent limits are my freedom, in fact, these lowest common denominators a convenient point of reference to escape from, with an arrow pointing in the opposite direction from the source of craving…

the path is mostly solitary now, few family or friends, except for a few strangers lining the route and wishing me well, showering me with acts of certain kindness and offering me succor, only metaphors are my lovers, and analogies my life, similes mark my memories, symbols stand up erect to be counted and puns lay low waiting for green lights…

I’m sure that if there were a father-figure God, of wrath and retribution, with well-worn teeth and morning’s empty breath, that he would so love the world that he would create a Jesus in the image of himself, and a Buddha, too, and a Muhammad, even, and the guy down the street and the lady up the road, and that says as much about us as it does about him. And it is all good, it is all good. Happy birthday, non-self! The countdown continues…

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