Monday, December 31, 2007

Thanksgiving and Some of Dharma


November 22, 2007: Thanksgiving, for Robert
333 magnify
Thanksgiving and Some of the dharma

It is time for me to be, to fix our meal
I haven’t meditated; i shall now
I haven’t written; i have too
and i haven’t read
but a very little of Some of the Dharma by Jack Kerouac up to page 35.

His mother was a devout Catholic; his older brother, Gerard, died early. Kerouac loved him.

i so long for the glow of life
its sweet taste--

the world’s contempt of me
cuts into my heart
a stabbing wound that bleeds
no matter how i sing and joke and laugh
the world is unmoved and has nothing but disregard for me.
To the world i am a fool.

i want love, his mother’s kitchen (Kerouac’s), candles burning, oil cloth on the table
i want novenas and rosaries, i want holy water, the confessional screen
i want love, his friends, Cassady and Ginsberg
i want Mexico and California and New York City
i want love: safety, a night of stars, moving through the desert at night
i want love and memory
i want the glow of life; i want its sweet taste

i have a memory of safety, of moving through the desert at night,
a new Chevrolet, two tones of gray
and silver chrome
heading east in a star-filled darkness
bringing me here, to this moment
to prepare a meal,
to love. -- Mai Celia

In Some of the Dharma, (Viking-Penguin: NewYork, London; 1997; p.32) Jack Kerouac writes:

Verily, because beings, obstructed by delusions,
ensnared by cravings, now here, now there,
seeking ever fresh delight, therefore
it comes to ever fresh rebirth. --From MAJJIHIMA-NIKAYA


I am a student of Buddhism and very often feel lost in a vast continent of the unknown, Asia and its unfamiliar past, Tibet, China, India. As i read Some of the Dharma it is India with its long words and names from the Sanskrit, full of k's and y's, that spreads out upon its pages and Kerouac, in jeans, in the USA, in the fifties, small with short dark hair (at least he seems small) inhabits this huge ground (India) and the geography of its past , and visits teachers in caves and valleys, upon mountains and in books with loosened pages.

There is so much space in this book of his; its words like footprints left behind on soft earth,
like lines criss-crossing the universe where we wade through the stars. --Mai Celia