«Some notes that may turn into the beginning of my next novel, or may stay what they are. They’re addressed to a collection of someones from my teens and twenties, and some members of my family that I’m not speaking to at the moment. It’s all run together like some sort of melted jam. I’ll probably delete this entry in a few weeks in a fit of disgust.»
The Silence of Morrow
Ah yes, you know, it can come very slowly. I break bread like a trooper but can’t seem to find that tempting silence we all know and love; the tiny place where business can be discussed and wrought into something new and extraordinary. In the violence of silence I marshall my tiny troops, the arguments for and against, and still I don’t know which way is up.
So, you? Where are you now? I want you to smile at the memory of me; but I expect that it’ll all be bitternes of confusion. Nothing real, we never knew each other properly, just two fools fumbling around in the dark. You know, I wish I could tell you how I felt, the cutting edge of sadness so sharp you can’t feel it until afterwards. Then it burns.
Then all kinds of things were gone out of my life. The years of my late childhood and early teens are just a painful blur. I have been accused of many things by various people. The main thing, is selfishness, that I will agree with. I could not see others’ feelings properly, and when I managed to it cut me even more.
Oh, the delicious scars that run over my hands. I wonder now how many of them still belong there. I’ve been accused of things I find totally abhorrent. Thing is, I can’t remember. Allegedly, under hypnosis, a brick layer can remember a single brick laid many years earlier – but is the brick remembered or reconstructed? Could the reconstruction process construct other things from within itself? Things that others would say didn’t happen? I think so. I remember very clearly looking at a bus and seeing a different number on it because I was convinced it was so, then my attention shifted and it changed to what it really was. If you can do this with something so trivial then what can you do with things that really matter? This is why no-one is ever wrong and no-one is creepy on the inside – does that frighten you?
A brick is real, and can be verified. But our crazy menage, the weeping and gnashing of teeth, the accusations and deep imprinting and learning of misery. Who knows? Thanks Dad. What doesn’t kill us makes us strong – or just weaker than we were before, but that is the counsel of despair. Circumstances do not control your attitude, but they can make you very weary.
I worry that when I stand in judgement over myself at the end of my life I will be unable to do anything other than condemn me for my teenage self, and the many other selfish fools that followed. Maybe then I will remember properly, maybe then I will be able to do something about it. But we get punished, tortured, thrown into a thousand hells of our own devising. For who can properly wreak retribution on us but ourselves? Who can forgive us? Tricky tricky.
I remember when I used to meditate I would imagine karma weaving around me like a web of chance and circumstance, like indentations in a beach between the tides. As the counting beads fell through my fingers I could feel the silk of time flowing through them, Karma and nirvana inextricably linked. The flashes of enlightenment can come at any time – the glorious warm feeling of the Buddha’s love, boundless energy, your own fear making you weep like a baby, but they are as empty as everything else and will not stay. The most fundamental lesson you can learn is that nothing lasts. The fleeting beating of two bodies, the small ecstasies of daily life are more precious for this, but more worthless also.
The harder you hold onto something, the less likely it is you can keep it. If you want enlightenment, you have to work for it. The tiny moments are little rewards for your peristence over the endless times nothing seemed to be happening. They have no significance at all. The Japanese tradition has these moments of satori, where you know what it is to be further along the path than you were. These moments come after years of work and meditation, which is something that Western commentators can’t seem to grasp.
We all want to get rich quick, pour enlightenment out of some stupid bottle and drink it down. It would kill us if we weren’t prepared for it. The pain would be unbearable. Me, I’ve discovered that under the bravura I’m terrified of dying. Suicide is not an option and, if you believe in reincarnation, will make whatever things hurt you now look like a Sunday picnic. If you don’t believe in it think, what if I’m wrong? The place suicides go is far worse than this beautiful blue planet, however you may feel at the moment.
I cannot offer any facsimile of comfort, in my beliefs there is no redeemer but yourself. You have to pick yourself up and start again, with eyes full of bitter tears, howling like a lost and tortured child. You’ve never done this?
You’ve never lived.