It happens every time, and it happened again. Whenverver I come across W.S. Merwin, I begin a couple days of thinking with him. I posted a poem of his yesterday and I again spent time with his perspectives. I wrote that i don’t share his darknesses and that he is a king of ‘Somber Beauty’. What i mean by that, is That i do like Merwin- he makes me think he gives me a different pair of mental shoes to walk in. A pair that I wouldn’t have thought to put on myself. I trust Merwin, he is that good. He is the kindof person i wouldn’t feel anxious playing chicken against in cars on a dirt road on moonlit nights (hey, i’m from Michigan. we did things like that:) He is somebody who I wouldn’t mind walking into the wilderness with even though he’s a city kid. He is brave. He is creative enough that his entertainment wouldn’t need to be at my expense, nowotimean? I know this by the way he repeatdly writes ‘thank you’ in the poem I posted yesterday. He says thank you- not to ward off bad things- but as a chant. A way to be with them. I would go poltergeist hunting with him.
Same with Bandit. A dog I met last week (The meeting is described in the caption of his photo on my photo page). He was eye-shy but I saw a few clues that let me know that he was unafraid. Just uncertain.. He didn’t slink away or bite- on open ground these are signs of a scared dog. Just uncertain. He was confident in hisself, but uncertain about me, but gave me the benefit of a few minutes to show myself. I share Bandit’s baggage and he shares mine. And i’ll probably even share yours- And if there is one thing I have to learn about living with people is to hand your baggage back to you. To let go of it. its yours, you’ve earned it- even if the intent is pure. Damnit we both know that your capable; that your tough- you have to be tough because your still here. Life may not be life-threatening but it aint a cakewalk all the time- no matter how much money or butlers and handymen you have around you. You smile, even if you only smile sometimes. That smile hangs out inside of you. You don’t buy it, or steal it from someone else. You earned that smile too.
Bandit trusted- or even ‘knew’ (in his primal deep down heart of hearts) that Life isn’t life-threatening. That life doesn’t need to be all that scary. I live life despite its danger- and I want you to feeI its warmth. I have learned to live in a way that refuse to be bound- to be a robot-I just got lucky- I don’t wear an ‘enlightened’ disguise- I’m a mess at times and its what I got. What I put forth is only what I got. I am lucky in that I have put down the need for masks-I have been lucky with the people i met when i was just a pup. masks, I have learned are for the shamans- masks are powerful, not for walking down a sidewalk. Not having a mask to quickly put on- as a crutch- actually helps me navigate- looking.Aaware. Not slinking. Present in the here-and-now. putting myself ‘out there’ is vulnerable and has given me a bruise or two- an ‘ouchy’ or 2, as it were:) but that is exactly the risk I want- actually have come to ‘need’ to take in this current ‘buddhistic’ life. A quick sidelong glance because of love or mirth (a Bukowski line) is totally worth the pain. Illusion- right? Naw, it hurt! I felt that:) “it’s okay” “i’m all right.”:-) I am lucky.
Bandit is wearing a ‘mask’. a Bandit’s mask. A shaman mask. He was a kind shaman, he just didn’t exactly know it himself. He played, he worried when his owner got up on the roof (“where’d he go!, where’d he go!” Oh God!”) but at the end of the day…It was all inhales and breath a pat on the head, a tail wag and trotting to the truck to go home- Me. I’m not sure what Bandit did. Probably the same thing:-)