And now, the gradual lengthening of days, rather than the primal darkness of an approaching winter. It is effortless--the planet's tilting--but is registered here through some elemental knowingness. Oh, how I have treasured the snug twilights and the bright, ephemeral days.
Gone (or nearly so) are the scarlet ovals of the Callery Pears and the lemon-light on the Florida Maples, both of which I would get out of the security truck to touch, as if to imbibe their hues. Someone would stop and ask directions to the movie theater, and I would point to this immediate resplendence. "Oh yeah," the driver would dryly offer. And I'd smile at his unknowing eyes and give precise directions to the cinema.
In Barnes and Noble, I get water in the cafe. At one of the tables sits an attractive and diminutive American Buddhist nun, working at her laptop. As I'm leaving, she glances up at me, frowns acutely, and then re-focuses on her ancient Dell. Is it my security uniform? Or does she know me from my books and blog, and sees me as the anti-Buddha?
But I am not anti-anything! And further, "There is no multiplicity here," as the advaitic scriptures rightly posit, despite any appearances to the contrary, whether they be man and woman, or Buddhist nun and very ordinary guy. All is Presence.
Outside, gunmetal clouds extend from horizon-to-horizon.
Flicker of remembrance. Another solstice: I loved our balcony in Montreal, just off Boulevard St.-Laurent. The entire alley, three-stories below, lay plumed with snow. On our first morning, as you showered, I stepped out onto the ebony grate that was adorned with alabaster wedges from the midnight storm. Gingerly, I cupped my coffee to warm my hands and thought of you inside--the water caressing every part of you, just as I had done throughout the Siberian night.
We had eaten at Schwartz's Deli, to nourish your "starved Jewish roots," you joked. You had some kind of medium-smoked meat on rye, and I an egg salad sandwich, of which I only ate half--for I could not stop gazing at you...Our break-up was as benumbing as the air that I was feeling on that arctic balcony--the arguments, the separation, and then the heart-wrenching, single-line email: "You should know that I am now seeing someone else."
I pause to search for that decade year-old pain...and not a scintilla can be found--only the full memory of the event itself. No flutters of heartache or angst. That kind of attachment is gone for me now. Multiplicity has ceased, though still appreciated--even reveled in! It is a kind of Love after love. But this one is unceasing, impersonal, and wholly without measure. And It never disappoints. Right here and now, peer into your very own wonder. Absolutely no one can give you that.