April 14, 1980: Poetic Apprentice
“It’s nice, isn’t it?”
Gray hair pulled into a bun,
forehead pointed towards
the tip of her cane, buried
inches deep in brown black mud
in the gutter near the curb,
white knit sweater over ruffled
red fifties dress, when she
lifts her head there are
endless blue skies instead of
eyes reflected in the sunglasses
that see me smile as we pass.
Beth and I came upon a cool empty blue pond in the hills. Later as we were swimming, a black boy with a fishing pole walked by calling down from the dirt banks of the canal, “You crazy? There’s snappers in there’ll take your toes off.”
I crossed the street to walk in the shade, passing lazy summer music and happy conversations, the shopkeepers’ doors propped open for a breeze. The line at Haagen Daz began at the counter and continued onto the sidewalk. A young girl in a red blouse and white pants walked by, licking the tip of a brightly colored, yellow-flavored cone. I followed the bouncing light-bloused business women staggering up the red brick mall on hazardous, high-heeled shoes, their knee length slit skirts winking,
Ran into a member of the Buddhist sangha from my Tai Chi class and he got me to see that there was a certain amount of arrogance and smugness on my part, rejecting certain ideas and accepting others. And that rejecting ideas is an aggressive activity. And strange, come to think of it. Why, out of the millions of ideas we hear, are there only three of four that really drive us crazy? And whatever you don’t feel seems like a mania from the outside. He likes the crazy enegy and finds real security in it.
It’s 8:30 and Rinpoche hasn’t even shown up yet.