Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Interpretive Zen

Last Saturday I was walking around a Pasadena furniture store. It was one of those trendy shops with creatively repurposed vintage chairs and tables. Big price tags. 

An idea struck me, don’t know where it came from, but as soon as I got home I set up a two foot square wooden picture frame flat on my dining room table. Under it I had a sheet of copper. I poured sand into the frame so that it was filled and flat.

 I’m going to do a Zen garden thing on my dining room table.

 I dug around in my office and found a Matterhorn-looking rock and stuck it just off center in the sand. I got three small, smooth stones and placed them randomly in the sand. Then I got the rake we use to comb the long loose hair out of Garbo, our cat, and made wave or vector lines in the sand.

 This is a recitation of earth in its own vernacular, I am thinking: how it whispers in its bones.

 Or wait, it is an essay on repercussion, how the bounce-off ripples from the large stone – let’s think of it as a land mass, or hmm, all civilization – overwhelm the smaller stones which are barely able to offset the pattern that beset them.

 Let’s call it the womb of global synergy. Yeah.

 And, ah! A small piece of wood, let it arc above the sand, sinking at both ends below the surface. A human lifetime. A fallible accent in the celestial voice.

 Hmm, perhaps I am actually building a schematic of the soul itself. How cool is that!

 When I was done, if “done” could ever be a condition for such dynamic work, lines were neatly and fluidly flowing around the rocks and wood and I felt I had perhaps opened a portal onto a "Big Sur" of existence. I felt very Yahweh-like except I had to go off and run errands.

And when I got back, lo and behold, a great calamity had been visited upon my work. The sand had been swept to one side as if by a might wave. The smaller rocks scattered, the arc of wood--no more!  

 The great promontory rock, beacon of reckoning that reached to the very limits of reason, flung off like a pebble and beside it, sand rose into a huge dune as if to say, “gods come to this”.  

 And half emerged from the sand’s peak, a single cat turd.

 I am still rethinking the whole thing. 

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