I was meditating in the steel grey afternoon. Sitting on my zafu, breathing intent. Peace. And then I hear a mower, a little ways off, tearing into my peaceful place like a ravenous wild dog tearing into a side of beef. The sound of the motor distracts me. Breathe in, breathe out…
Make a wish…three words almost everyone over the age of 5 has hoped to hear whether it be from a fairy, a mermaid or a leprechaun. I remember when I was young, about 7 or 8 years old, I went to a slumber party where this question came up. There were about nine girls there, it was dark outside and we had already played a round or two of “Light as a Feather” so with bellies full of pizza and our brains humming with Kool-Aid we got into our sleeping bags and contemplated what we would wish for if we could have three wishes. Since we were positioned in a circle and I was on the right side of the girl who started, I would be last. I knew right away what I would wish for and for about a second, I thought I was so clever; I was going to wish for three more wishes. Of course for me to be able to deliver my ‘oh so clever’ answer I’d have to count on every other girl there not thinking the same thing. Each girl went one after another and I waited and hoped no one else would wish for more wishes because no matter how much I wished it, I had no backup plan. Finally, my turn came and to my surprise, no one else had wished for more wishes, I was going to get to be clever.
Some time ago I was living in a rural mountain town. It was good hearted, hard working, gun toting America at its finest. Being the type who would never limit my own experience I came to appreciate the pros and cons of a town where the coffee shop also sells beer and shooting isn't only for hunting, it's just to shoot stuff. It so happened that while I was living in town I worked at that coffee shop and discovered a great way to deal with the stress often incurred by having to work in customer service. While I never felt the need to spend a lot of money on a gun and was never interested enough to sell my first born to pay for ammo. In a town like the one I loved in, it was still pretty easy to go and shoot stuff. Part of the fun was taking a crate of Torani bottles, Torani is the brand name of the bottles of flavored syrup we used, up into the hills and setting them up on the rocks to use them as target practice. It sounds worse than it is, glass breaks back down into sand over time and I always cleaned up the big pieces as well as the labels.
Sometimes when I am reminiscing about my life, favorite moments of the past, the lighting is very striking. More intense than in everyday life it is an actual presence in the scene, as solid in feel as a person or an animal. It’s tangible. They are soft yellow days or the purple-gray dusk and dawn and they cast mysterious light and breathe life into every other object in the picture. They cast a timelessness that evokes another sensory stimulation; I can smell Nag Champa and white sage burning.