Love, No Longer an Abstract
The Buddhist monk said to me
You never dreamt that life would turn out this way
That the gray hairs would come in so suddenly…
Okay, so there’s just one
But it’s enough for you to remember days when anything seemed possible.
The past is an illusion,
Our regrets from the past cause us suffering,
Days of innocence
Turned into nights of your esophagus being ripped out of your own throat,
Your voice stolen by those who turned their back on you in alienation.
Days of hope and idealism
Turned into nights of feeding and changing and crying
And feeding and changing and rocking
And singing and rocking and singing and feeding and ah… sleep.
And the future does not exist,
Our anxieties about the future cause us suffering.
Your experiences, your reflections on the past
They’re supposed to give you some sort of wisdom, aren’t they?
And there is all this pressure to be bigger, better than you ever were
And you are.
Because now a two month old infant is completely and entirely dependent on you
For nourishment, for enrichment, for life.
You have no choice but to stand a stronger (though sleep deprived) person.
These are relative truths.
But this present moment,
We are not suffering.
We need nothing.
The meaning of life has changed.
The importance of life has changed.
The labor that stressed your body to the point of developing signs of early aging
Is not the labor whose rights you once fought for in the streets.
That is absolute truth,
There is no birth, no death,
No suffering, no joy,
This struggle, this need to struggle, is all the more apparent.
What you do now, how you act now, will have all the impact later
For your son.
Your son. Your son. Your son.
An amazing realization of your contribution to mother earth,
to the future
to the next generation
and generations to come.
Those without child could never understand
Until they experience it for themselves
What it’s like to have such a deep profound
Emotional connection to another little human being.
And that is nirvana-–
The extinction of all concepts.
You never dreamt that life could turn out this way…
It’s better than you imagined.