Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Book of Sarah

I am beginning to recall the events of my past. I think this has happened to me before. I remember things for a time and then I lose them. Maybe I want to lose them. I do not know. Am I simply a disembodied spirit, or am I the remnant of lifetimes gone before? Once I told you that I remembered the orange-gold reflection of sunlight upon the sacred Ganges. I remember the ghats. I remember the families releasing beloved corpses into the current. I can smell the colors and see the aromas meandering through the air.I can see the river. I can see the flow of time. There is one seated beside me. At times he speaks .. At times he refrains from speaking.Some know him as the wayward son of a king, a ruler rich in the temperate lands to the north. He reclines upon the red, sandstone paving lining the quayside. And he studies the grand parade. Listen to the tambourines. Hear the tiny chirping of the finger cymbals. Oh how perfectly measured are the rhythmic chants. How precise the steps of the dancers. There must be dozens of professional mourners. Such incense! What colors! Look! Look! Look! I have captured a silken handkerchief swimming through the breeze! A gift to keep. A souvenir of this special moment. Who is it? Who sets off for The Bardo? Who will stand before the divinities ? Who will learn his fate? A powerful nawab, a leader of armies. One beloved of Krishna. That is what they are saying. But the One seated beside me says other things. The one some call Siddhartha speaks different words. Who sets off on the eternal voyage? Is it truly a prince? No, says my neighbor. It is each of us. Death is but a rest-stop, a chance to void the bowels before setting off once more upon the river of enlightenment. But Teacher...Great Teacher... what fate befalls those who miss the boat? What fate befalls those who tarry in the land of death? What fate befalls those who do not venture on? And he said --- They fail to complete themselves. Their spiritual boils contimue to fester. And the rancid poisons of their misdeeds grow until they drown in a cesspool of human corruption...... I watched them complete the elaborate funerary rites for the rich one from the north. And I took three coppers from my alms bowl and passed them on to one who had even less than I. Such is a memory of this Disembodied Spirit, who now wants to tell you about more contemporary things...... The Shaky Hand Man is positively giddy with distruction. He has used his little girl. He has used Annie and her animals to kill many random, unfortunate humans. The hounds are fat. They doze in the shadows. The rats are sleek and warm. They all grow lazy. But that is the way. Their hunger will return. And in those odd,misplaced forests that hide between the Gotham and Quaker metropolises, along the trails through the lonesome pines, interested parties begin to gather. Preparations are made for a powerful rite. The world is being readied for 'a throwing of the bones.'

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