Friday, November 29, 2013

... then or now?

Part I:

In a workshop
on mindfulness
I wondered
whether I’d
let go of my past
turn to the present.

I worked so hard
on that past,
why throw all that
I wondered?

What a waste!

Why would anyone
throw out the baby
with the bath water?

A Buddhist monk claimed
there is a way to be present
thinking about the past.

by what he said,
I understood
nothing more than
he believed he could.

If nothing else,
I was convinced
by his sincerity.

Six years later,
I remember
the monks conviction.

I consider now,
looking back,
how my feet planted
in THIS ground,
about THAT ground.

If a gust of wind came,
would I blow over
or stand my ground?

Part II:

I remember,
fifty years ago
a loss—
the other guys walked
my girlfriend home.

I discovered jealously,
chasing them down
the asphalt road,
turning to sand
as it neared the surf.

Funny thing was,
now that I go back,
I had never
walked her home,
or even
thought about it.

I missed out
not doing that.

Something incomplete
about that day.

I was so angry
I threw my bike
in the bushes
and yelled something
vile at them
as they passed
over the dunes.

So how do I,
sitting in this chair
many years later
return to this little town,
a few feet from the ocean,
without forgetting
how many miles
and how many days
I am from that ocean.

Without forgetting
on her wedding day,
they drank too much
and went over a cliff.

Part III:

I hear a dog barking.
Is it that lab
that I had picked up roving
near my house
50+ years ago,
or is it a dog
here and now?

And how do
these worlds intersect?

Where might
I be?
Where am I,
there or here,
then or now?


Sarah Webb said...

I love that, Kim. It's a real question, one I have too. And I love how the memories came as you explored the question. I think we can't turn away from who we are, just suppressing our self. I think we have to go i who we are and let a transformation happen. and, while I certainly don't know, there have been some descriptions of the awakened state that imply that we don't lose who we are but find that little self part of a bigger picture, an expansion which includes the smaller in it.
The other thought that came, reading it, is we experience our memories but maybe we hold them lightly, knowing they are both real and not real. Sarah

Unknown said...

wow, i really felt it with you, even chilled as they went over the cliff. I concord with Sarah's response re the little self in the bigger whole . . .and real and not real.
I used to tell my students i think we can live in the here and now but learn from the past and plan for the future. sheila

Kim Mosley said...

I had a "vision" the other day of my brain as this grainy mass that contained stories about what I had experienced, what I am experiencing, and what I will experience—all mixed together. The past wasn't a place way out there, but rather part of this moment. There wasn't the linear timeline where I would go to one time or another. They were mixed in together.