Thursday, September 25, 2008


Estate Sale

The room is full of books, all four walls lined with dusty volumes: spines cracked and corners folded. Space remains only for the hollow door and bare aluminum window. The simple desk, scattered with papers, waits for your return. But you are not coming back, at least not back here. Instead I'm here to score a morsel for my collection.

I am not interested in the rest of the house. Except, of course, for the sunken tub, tiled red and buried in the bathroom like an upright barrel. How did you get in? And, for that matter, how did you get out? Did you not worry about frail bones shattering on ancient linoleum? Or had you come to terms with your own mortality? The world be damned! I want an upright tub. Tile it red, my dear, for red is the color of blood. Is it, I wonder, easier to read in an upright bathtub?

Your house is sparse with threadbare carpet and outmoded furniture. There are expensive paintings from China and elegant Indian tapestries but these are not for me. These are not my memories nailed to the wall; physical remnants should the mind falter and forget the road from there to here.

But here, in this room, I feel it. I’ve crawled inside and am plucking at grey matter, spreading the pages of your being. You and I are walking the same path. Buddhism Without Belief. Spirituality in a Scientific World. Good doctor, for I see your diploma, where have you gone? Body in flames I am picking at your soul, inspecting the medical reference section, the psychology section and the shelf and a half of buddhist works. Clearly you believe in the concrete, in evidence, in proof. But where is the proof in the Now?

Were you scared? Did you falter? Did you question Him? Or were you ready; ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

I’m taking you with me. The cost was minimal. What a deal; two souls merged between the pages of Essential Crazy Wisdom and Glimpses of Abhidiahrma. From your shelf to mine we become one. You have been reincarnated.

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Excerpt from Essential Crazy Wisdom:

"...Taoists and Zen masters listen for the rhythms of the natural world and adjust themselves to those beats. Staying in touch with nature's power and mystery reminds them continually of how little they know and how small they are. Issa's* haiku demonstrates the type of lessons that nature offers on how to live and die:

Simply Trust --
Do not the petals flutter down,
Just like that?

Elevating human civilization above the natural world may be a fatal hubris."

*Kobayashi Issa

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Not bad advice for fifty-cents.

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Today is Love Thursday over at Shutter Sisters. This week I'm loving estate sales, Essential Crazy Wisdom and, of course, nature!

8 comments:

ELK said...

great post ~ I find myself thinking that at estate sales sometimes ~HLT

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

Wonderfully written, it created a very vivid image in my mind.....

Erin Faye said...

You are an amazing writer! Beautiful post.

Kyla said...

This is wonderful! Have you written any books and if so, what are their titles?!

Shalet said...

Oh my goodness - what a wonderful compliment! No, no books yet. :o)

Shelli said...

What a beautiful post. And I love the flower photo!

Jentarbet said...

YET!!! ; ) maybe that will be your road to retirement...

Shalet said...

Ha! If only. Right now I'm knitting my yellow brick road. ;o)