In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, I went into the neon
fruit supermarket, dreaming of your enumerations!
What peaches and what penumbras! Whole families shopping at
night! Aisles full of husbands! Wives in the avocados, babies in the tomatoes!
--and you, García Lorca, what were you doing down by the watermelons?
I read from Ginsberg, and I think of his journey, the journey he shared in his poetry. His, a celebration of words and images that spanned five decades. His vision brought him a professorship at the Naropa Institute; he spoke of the walls there, and he wrote of his experiences, how he learned to meditate, how he got to understand more the Buddhist philosophies.
I met him in 1988, wandering the Phoenix bookstore in Downtown San Jose, where he shared with me for a while about his poetry, his experiences writing, traveling, as a coffee shop employee brought him some gazpacho. It was exciting to meet with him.
I sat in on his talk, a talk he ended by guiding us all in a period of meditation. He counseled me on my posture, the position of my head. I think it is in his poetry I found my freedom. In his poetry I found my own gateway to understanding impermanence. He wrote, like Ram Das, of mandalas, of transitory natures, and often of death.
One of his early poems was titled Kaddish. Kaddish is a prayer said for the dead. His book of poetry, one I bought that day, was titled White Shroud. It is in these references I find a peace. I was always told to never stifle the movements of the universe, and it is in this practice I often get to see, like a scanning of my body, where my blockages occur.
I prayed often that I was willing that God could have anything he wanted from me. It was my personal surrender. It is still amazing how when I am so bold, perhaps arrogant when I say such things, that soon enough I get to face that with which I would not, could not part. Surrendering to God from my own supermarket is actually quite easy. Still, as readers have seen I have plenty that I hold onto.
My challenges are always in that hidden pocket of my life I have not addressed. Those pockets are where all my remaining fears and anger flourish. Luckily for me, I am getting better at examination of these things.
So, as I work in my little space at the store, I look back as a young girl stops me, and says calmly, “you are dropping things all over the floor.” I look down at coffee beans that already are crushing under people's feet, and I smile. “Yes. You are right.” One customer told me perhaps I already am a monk. So what? Has the bulk foods aisle become my own mandala, my own celebration of ongoing change?
Maybe all these distractions really are the things keeping me from achieving my higher purpose. So, I sweep up the floor, and resolve to know it will all happen again. Well, if monkhood is my route, I could say that with my bald spot, I now have a built in tonsure.
Thank you for reading.