Last night’s full moon is hiding in plain sight. Like some jellyfish, without the fringe, and the bouncing bob-dance. Winter sun’s out. It rises behind the river, climbing the sky in an arc, crossing over and dipping behind the city’s clustered rooftops. A summer sheen deceptively covers the calm old city. The kites flying in the skies color the hazy air. The pathways are scattered with cut-strings. Often the strings cling on to your shoes, tying you in awkward fellowships.
All this happens by the river. The river is home. The river is sacred. The river is life. The river also talks, if you care to listen, answering all your projections. When projections subside, and there’s a lull in the incessant need to label and box the object, the river is there, still flowing.
Smoothly making its way to the sea. But there’s nothing more a man likes to do than watch and judge.
Where the eyes see what it sees, and the mind begins constructing the plots. Someone once noted you only see what you recognize. And that as soon as recognition sets in contamination is also present. How do you see a recognizable thing without drawing it to your being? And how do you know what you know when it’s a thing you do not know?
Being thoughtful, it seems, is not the kind of wizened state we paint the state with. Being thoughtful, it seems, is being lost, in a world of memories, none of them faithful and loyal to what’s being seen, heard, tasted, touched and felt.
Communication then, as one master put it, is nothing more than a successful discussion of differing misunderstandings.
It’s also been said that we use an illusionary self to get rid of a non-existent self. Where do you draw the line? Who do you trust? What is this self? And who is looking for it? And should you locate it, what do you do with it?
The source and the mouth of this river is already flowing in a beginning, middle and an end you cannot put in order, much less comprehend. Hence the river taunts, telling you “who cares”?
Nameable and unnameable life makes up the river. They are in the water, on its shores, and in the air. Fish swim in it. Boats sail by. The water birds are above, skirting, hovering, and gliding. On the banks people bathe, swim and do the laundry. Buffaloes lounge in and out. Monkeys forage rooftops. Kites fly in the skies. Dead bodies burns. Solid and liquid matters become mere components of the same thing that eludes all compartments. All description becomes wagging fingers, pointing selectively at imaginary moons.
Yet the river is everywhere, in silent ripples, and in sounds coming from life on the dry banks.
Interlocked, woven in one fabric, yet displaying a thousand patterns. But you try, and what you know is never quite as real as anything being described. Dead thoughts take on a life of their own, never quite touching the living, but ever so stubborn in their persistence.
What you see is one part of the river in flow. A part where the past, present and future are displayed effortlessly, forever eluding with grace, all trappings. It cannot be caught. You can try but you’ll die, in a futile effort of solid regret. Vainglorious, yet doomed to failure.
A man is a man from head to toe. Just as a goat is a goat from horn to tail. Moments are elusive, the present is already past, and absent. The future is seductive, and many are lost in the embrace. But the turbulence seems meaningful, so the fatal hug ensues. “The most important thing,” said a man, dangling this carrot and stick in your intellectual face, “is to find out what is the most important thing.”
Which, I’m beginning believe, is nothing. Yet it is everything, and everything, as it begins to unravel, peels down to nothing. Clearing the way for the fact that the trouble on the path is always something.
Like the song.
Something, then, is the attractive highway robber, ever vigilant, snaring you on the road of form and emptiness, displaying wayward signs in thoughtful recurrence. Goading you with meaning, tempting you with legacy, alluring you with usefulness, baiting you with bravado, convincing you that you are someone. And that in a world of everything, that you are not nothing but something far more special. Something far more unique.
And this, as they say, is the final nail in the coffin.