And I say to you: When someone leaves, someone remains. The point through which a man passed is no longer empty. The only place that is empty, with human solitude, is that through which no man has passed. —César Vallejo
We sometimes passed a billboard in L.A. that digitally tallied how many had died that year—thus far—from smoking. (It is there still.) If I was driving, he’d literally cover his eyes when we approached, wincing in disapproval. Each time he made that gesture, I was surprised and moved: yes, it was true, he’d endlessly instructed how one should use death as an advisor—“I have said it until I am blue in the face”—but the roadside version wasn’t at all what he meant. No learning, no urgent poetics came from numbers that might well have been a telethon’s tote, and nothing evoked the teachings of his lineage: to intendawareness with each breath, for such is the birthright of the impeccable being who is going to die. None: merely another ad, a crude binding upon the clear green chakra of the heart, and it filled him with sorrow . . .
Today the winds are high and piercing. They shake the house and shiver the skin: ineffable, gusty, gutsy, merciless. They come in wild, majestic packs—from left field—at once sentimental and indifferent. They do not care.
They blow in from the ocean of awareness.
From “the border” . . .
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