I don't remember what lake it was -- Waldo Lake? Triangle Lake? -- or why we were there. It was not a real lake -- Oregon doesn't run much to natural lakes, being so geologically young -- but a reservoir, a drowned river valley. We didn't ordinarily go to such lakes, my Dad having an aversion to man-meddled landscapes, so I wonder that we were there. Wild rivers and mountains were more in his line.
But I remember just this -- seeing the wrecks of trees below me, dark green shadows, like a dim nightmare of giant pick-up-sticks. Sinking into the cool, hazy water, sunlight filtering through uncertainly. My feet touched the cold water underneath, and recoiled. It was icy down there with the corpses of the trees. "Not yet," I thought.
Today the sadness surrounds me, just like that. The light of the dharma weakly illuminating it. There is a different world up above, and a different one again down below. But for now I'm held up, held down by the sadness. Suspended.
(Love, which made all things -- ah well, it made this, at least.)
The cherries are already blossoming.
Here, where winter never really takes hold, and never really leaves.
"You should believe in reincarnation," my teacher's teacher said to him. "You should believe in reincarnation."
"Why?" he said
"Because believing that will push out all the other stupid things you believe."
Sometimes the loneliness and longing are so intense, that it feels like an intoxication. I am poisoned with it, drunk with it. I become reckless. Sometimes there is a really dangerous moment or two -- but then I just become weak, weak and sick.
But listen, enough of that.
Oh penny, brown penny, brown penny
One cannot begin it too soon.