Thursday, December 8, 2011

Bodhi Day 2011 / "the turning-point"/ Laughing with the mystical crow / True spirit of Christmas update

"Enlightenment - that magnificent escape from anguish and ignorance - never happens by accident. It results from the brave and sometimes lonely battle of one person against his own weaknesses."

(Bhikkhu Nyanasobhano)

Thanks to Beth for linking to the above quote.

Thinking about Buddha's enlightenment vigil this morning and The Four Noble Truths.

December 8, 1970, was a turning point, the day when Richard returned from his time in Vietnam, arriving at around 3 a.m. at San Francisco International Airport. We had no idea it was Bodhi Day. We certainly were not enlightened that day. I am still not enlightened, not even a Buddhist, but I have found a measure of peace in that I was with Richard in the last few days of his life and that he wanted me to be there. His last "words" to me were "Thumbs up."

Today while out walking by myself after getting together with friends for breakfast from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., I saw the regular flock of 13 geese again at Marine Park. I looked in vain for the distinctive 13th goose. Sitting down on a large rock, I studied the group for about a half hour, thinking that the light was making it difficult to see the one goose that didn't match the rest of the flock. It's a mystery. They all looked like Canada Geese today. Then a single crow landed on a rock near the flock, looked pointedly in their direction and laughed in the way only crows can. I laughed, too, because just before I began walking, I had read "The Showings: Lady Julian of Norwich, 1342-1416," a long poem from The Stream & the Sapphire, by Denise Levertov, with this:

They were abashed,
stranded in hilarity.

But when she recovered,
they told one another:

'Remember how we laughed
without knowing why?
That was the turning-point!'

My heart is still with Richard after all these years.

December 15, 2011 update:

From Taradharma's blog


Anonymous said...

love the standing bow entry, perhaps what's become of that goose. kjm

bev said...

My heart is still with Richard after all these years.

Yes, it is. Our love does not die.

Taradharma said...

your post takes my breath away. DL is brilliant, thanks for reminding me. And Peace to Richard. And you.

am said...

Dear blog friends,

Thank you for another year of cyberspace friendship through your blog posts and your comments. My blog had its 5th birthday on December 8th. This morning I've decided to take a blog break until New Year's Day, as I did last year. Turns out that this year that will cover the 10 days prior to winter solstice and the 10 days after winter solstice. Kind wishes to you and your families and friends as we celebrate whichever holidays we celebrate, and as we approach the winter solstice celebration -- at least those of us in the Northern Hemisphere who celebrate that turning point. I love that summer and winter solstice happen simultaneously. One's ceiling in another's floor or something like that.

Just learned that there are at least 37 variations of winter solstice celebration around the world and throughout history:

This year my heart is with those returning from Iraq, and with their beloveds, their families, their friends, as well as the people of Iraq.

Just found this, too, from 1969, where Johnny Cash sings about the sorrow of war and then sings about a vision of world peace in song written by Ed McCurdy in about 1950:

Peace and goodwill to all.

Taradharma said...

Thank you, dear, for linking to my post regarding the Fuller Family. As always, Peace.

Keara said...

am, thank you for your individual posts and for your blog as a whole. Reading it is an enriching experience, on both a personal and a cultural level. I hope your time 'away' will refresh you and restore all your wonderful energies.