Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Meditation 109

29 December 2020

There are two oranges in the Buddha’s lap this morning. The hoarder’s yard is framed by Buddha and six pink flamingos, legs nearly lost amid flowers and plastic buckets. In Charlottesville, two men walked past a shop with pink flamingos in the window, each carrying a pink flamingo unrelated to the others. The movie (1972) was part of a “Trash Trilogy,” I read, but then my internet falters so I can’t retrieve the plot. My husband’s name was Waters, until he changed it. By the waters of Leman the poet wept. One student hated him on principle, because he was a gatekeeper. We are stakeholders in the new dispensation, one that veers in and out of cliché, like so much, bearing the promise of something new but entangled in a net sack like an octopus. Use for bait, the fisherman says. Use for bait, my son says. Did the octopus look forward to seeing the philosopher as much as he did her? Do they wonder at our lack of suction, the way we stick to things in our heads, but let them go from our hands? How do we define ourselves without attachment? “I cannot believe I’m living in this time,” a neighbor tells me. They are all around us, and they are kind. The women who suffered violence supported him because they wanted to be safe, and he promised a lock (and a stock and a barrel). The woman who interviewed them had to stop because she broke her vow of non-judgment. There was nothing to say to the nurse who cared for a refugee but voted for Trump. Ethics writ small. When you pull the image closer to yourself, it blurs, losing the pixels that defined it. Unpinch it with your fingers, let it travel away from you like a peg on a google map. For an instant you see nothing, but your body assumes its vertigo like a lighthouse where two men prepare to kill each other for loneliness. I ask him to turn the TV off when I see the rerun image of a man dying beneath another man’s boot. Reality snuff shows keep us all in line, through the extremity of our feeling, which is never kind. “What’s it matter to you?” 

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