A boy is in the cherry blossom tree across the street. There are four sisters of the same height all in full bloom next to each other expressing spring with as much pink as possible. Even for cherry blossoms this group is radiant. I don’t think they notice they are in Eugene and not DC. I don’t think they care.
Petals are falling to the ground as the boy, jersey of some sports team, converse sneakers-about twelve-shakes the tree. He is picking off branches of bouquets and tossing them to his friends who are dancing beneath him, hair swaying, feet jumping, hips bending and twisting. Unselfconscious youth playing in the sun on a Saturday.
I think; don’t hurt the tree. Then I see his face-freckled and happy-he is looking at one of the girls with her bouquet-she is cradling it as if she’s won a great contest of some sort-and I think; don’t hurt the spirits of children; say nothing.
They remind me of those moments where you are not really you but more like a cherry tree, or a flower, or a stick which becomes a staff of a wise man or the sword of a pirate, those times before the expectations are placed in heavy sacks upon your shoulders–those times are your life-your real life. Yet it will take you most of it to get back there once you have left.
I will not be the adult to tell them to watch out for the tree or me or anything. I will not be the one to shake them from their reality of peaceful dreaming which is more real than any delusion to follow about making money or being important.
I am now hoping to get to where they are now. I am hoping to graduate to be around eleven.
I am often asked now that I have had my total breakdown and left being anything or anyone behind and sat on a cushion in a Zen Center with literally nothing on my mind; “what are you going to do?”
I say; “I don’t know.” It elicited a smile for awhile. Now the reaction I get is one of annoyance and sometimes despair.
That makes me feel anxious and sad and wrong just as it did when I was twelve or thirteen. So I suppose I will have to do something but it mustn’t cut too deeply into my reality of dreaming, of being, of not knowing, of not caring about the same things I once did.
I cannot go back to thinking poverty is the great sin when I know it’s actually greed and wanting what I don’t have that makes me miserable.
I cannot pretend that competition makes me better when it’s collaboration that brings me joy and I don’t see how I’m going to go around acting important when I know the best thing about me isn’t me.
As for buying power–I hope I never buy anything for me again. I’d rather be clothed in cherry blossoms and have my hair done by the breeze. That’s really true.
So what am I going to do? I still don’t know. But I know wherever you hear a bongo slightly off time, or see a flock of happy chickens or perhaps someone smiling into the breeze, I’ll be there.
Wherever the moon is, I’ll be looking at her in awe most every night. Whatever else I’ll be doing may not be as much me, or should I say un-me, as that.