Thursday, September 27, 2007

Tenpa Rinpoche and the Furies

There was no shock of recognition.

No coup de foudre; no love at first sight.

It did not happen that way.

There was instead a chiaroscuro day of etched shadows and pacific blues in the early winter sun of the western ocean.

We had been together for years by then, but we did not really know why.

The experience was neither sudden nor gradual; it was suspended. If I had to find a single word to define it, I would use the word “coincidence.”

By coincidence, one suspended afternoon in a place along the western shore, the present incarnation of my previous incarnation’s mirror began shining through the luminous appearance of my present incarnation’s mirror.

It was as if the sun emerged from behind clouds, striking a ray of light from the heavens to the street where we stood.

By coincidence, the synchronous experience of mutual respect and conjoined divinity awakened memories of all we had been before; neither sudden nor gradual, but steady, like the continuous rain that builds the instructive flood.

The unprompted power of the steady suspension of time and space, and the self-dawned knowledge of our continuity, buckled our knees. As tears of joy kindly washed our faces, we stopped on the sidewalk and held each other so tightly against the winds of death, intermediate stage, and rebirth, and we knew, yes we knew why we were together.

Here was the finest moment of our life together, and today, even with all my caprice, I believe I may have remembered the last time I truly cried in the street:

I am an old garden
beside a river
grander than its shores,
where flowers no longer
turn to the light
but become stained glass
that admits color, not life.

I am an old garden
no one is left to harvest,
where nothing else matters
except the weathered glories
of sun, moon and stars
fallen to the ground
like neglected bounty.

I am an old garden
where once you paused
and inhaled the afternoon;
where the things you planted
grow wild without you,
as careless as your samaya;
careful as wind across long grass.

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