The sun is hesitating behind the shoulder of Mt Hood, patting her hair and checking her makeup, I suppose. Half the sky is watered rose. As I watch, yellows begin to infiltrate the intricacies of the clouds, exploiting tiny weaknesses, and pale blues begin to gather behind it all. And then, suddenly – though the sun is still not up – it all collapses into plain morning, ordinary day. The patterns blur, the rosewash dissolves, even the yellow loses its warmth. A smear of light in the east, a tattered hood of cloud to the west. Nothing else.
I try to gather some courage for the day, and know before I start that I'm going to come up short. The mantra that was so useful a few days ago – “everything you do will help” – is meaningless. I want to open my torso, take out the organs, one by one, wash them and polish them, and return them to their places. Political animosities are drawn to my face like moths by my anxieties, and I worry about them making their way into my ears or my nose or my mouth. Until enlightenment I take refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma, and in the supreme assembly of the Sangha, I mutter, but I don't really: I take refuge in the car starting and in scrambled eggs and in coffee fatted with cream. I think of all the cancers growing in my friends, and in strangers, possibly in myself: the race between cells that know restraint and cells that don't is not a hard one to call. The worst are full of passionate intensity, and single-mindedly, bloodily intent on replication. The faces in the Republican Convention hall didn't even look human to me: they looked like masks. And say he comes to disfigure, or to present, the person of Moonshine.
I am out of the path, out of all paths. So damaged by grief. And not one of the ways seems to go toward the light.