On the in-between
This morning, a petal dropped off the bunch of flowers sitting in an old Italian pitcher on my table, and I suddenly had something to write. That faint sound, a whisper, was more than the night and its fears. The birds outside, too, and the gray and white cat who saunters by. The sun shone through the window making a blur of night, watery rays over the chair, the green tile, the glass of water holding paintbrushes, its tiny etched stars, scattered. The things on my table: a white shell, a rock with a perfect hole worn into it, a dish shaped like a small hand holding some cast-off earrings, a lilac colored candle, a coffee mug of pens, a pitcher of flowers, a petal. That faint sound, a whisper, was more than the night and its fears. Sophie. How easy it is to be plunged into another time, an earlier time, a fraught time how deep its grooves, to slip back or be carried by the back stream forward. Play with those words. You won’t ever understand it, get it, that feeling, in the night, unless you know those nights. What comes before a seizure and what comes after. The enormous force. Death skittering through. A slip, a slipstream, the air left behind that petal’s fall is more than the weight of the night and its fears.
I think we are in the Bardo. A time of transition, a gap, an opening. I think I am a reflection of the larger world — nothing but. An individual in the collective whose sense of certainty (whatever remnant of it) has been upended. Tibetans practiced living in the Bardo for hundreds if not thousands of years, navigated these transitions even into death. Perhaps I may as well. An opening presents itself, even as I write. The bardo of this life, the bardo of dream, the bardo of meditation, the bardo of dying, the bardo of dharmata (reality), the bardo of existence (becoming).
All the instructions concerning the six bardos are basically to do with allowing that gap to open, by undermining our belief in the ordinary world that we take for granted and then letting go into the space beyond.”
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