Early November morning with coffee on the porch. Beholding the mountain cloud in our valley, the unleafed maple and feathered cedar in cold rain.
The vining clematis has leapt from its mooring and floats free in the air. There are books strewn about the house, mind says, sleepily. Words, cogent and scholarly, the cumulative, well-supported expressions of entire lives, focused and precise; lines of sight like threads weaving back through history and then drawn tight, pulling forth a strand of light. Campbell, Lippmann, Ophuls, Huxley and Yeats are in there, scattered within easy reach.
Mind says, there are great notes there, and begins to pick out the key it will play the one song in today.
“I must look into Rousseau and Montesquieu,” mind thinks, “and unravel the tangle that branched humanity onto the slippery slope of self-determined rationalism and manifest destiny. I must explicate the downward run it now makes to the cliff’s end of history, proclaiming, “Now we’re getting somewhere!”
“Oh! And I need to know when and how the spiritual baby was thrown out with the bath water, and how my predecessors rinsed the soul from mind, and destroyed the native earth-bonded cultures in favor of self managed industry, and how we all became cogs and lost all community. Come on, let’s get going!”
I am lazy. I like the porch, I drag my feet. Enough time for that. I will stay here just a bit. Savor the coffee. Behold the peace.
Mind, inconstant and fluttering, wonders about the porch and the time spent there, seeking words to seize it with. “I see,” says mind, “now I get it. I wake up on the porch many times each day for a reason. You come out here to center, and meditate. You restore the balance between us when I become unfocussed and agitated. You restore my soul.”
And I say to mind, “Oh, whatever…”
Then mind says, “When I was young I was annoying, and now I am old and annoyed. This proves I am not awake.”
And I said, “Examine your basic assumption, you idiot. You are not asleep. You are awake.”
The admonished disciple, touched between the eyes again,
is now ready to proceed,
back and forth,
between the word and porch,
between seeing and being.