Friday, December 16, 2005

Drawing Down

What the inchworm really measures
with its green prostrations.

A flustered woman would clutch her housecoat. "What do you want?" she would ask anxiously.

Sgt Friday's face would twist into a faint grimace. "Just the facts, ma'am."

Drawing down to the solstice. Eight o'clock, and the sun has not yet risen. To the northwest, set in a sky that washes from lavender to violet, is a brilliant white moon. Full -- or nearly full -- it is startlingly far north, this time of year. Yes, Virginia, the Earth does tilt.

And it spins as well. In two hours will be the Hundredth Day Sit -- 6:00 pm Greenwich Mean Time. I've never been more aware of the spinning globe. Soen Joon's temple in Korea is still asleep. I'm just getting my breakfast. Brenda's been at her temp job in Toronto for hours already. Across the Atlantic, Jean is coming to the end of her working day. I try to hold all these facts in my mind at once, and fail, defeated by the hugeness of the world and the the intimacy that can so easily circle it. Empty, luminous, and unimpeded. When I first heard Kalu Rinpoche's often-repeated description of mind, I listened making indulgent allowances for Tibetan mysticism. Now it strikes me as hardheaded, unsentimental observation. Just the facts, ma'am.

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