Saturday, March 25, 2006

Buddha's Hippocampus

This Buddha was sitting in an Iowa City shop window. Why? Only Buddha knows. I once went to Japan to study about Buddha...I was not a very good student. When I was getting ready to return to Florida a priest quoted the Bible. I thought it was odd that a Buddhist would quote the Christian Bible but then I was not myself when I was in Japan. Maybe I have never been myself. I don't know, or really care anymore. Like I was saying...the priest quoted the bible passage about wine skins:

Luke 5:37,38 No one puts new wine into old wineskins, or else the new wine will burst the skins, and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved. No man having drunk old wine immediately desires new, for he says, ‘The old is better.’"

I don't understand what the priest was getting at, but as I said, I was not a very good student. I no longer worry about ideas like new and old, much less wine. It has been my experience that worrying about distinctions like old and new causes me pain. Whatever I have in front of me must be sufficienct or else I will be unhappy. If I am new and long to be old I will be unhappy. If I am old and long to be new I will be unhappy. If I want that which I do not have then I will always be unhappy. I wrote a poem about this idea when I got back from Japan. It was written in Iowa City, an old wineskin of mine, about what I felt that day, definitely new wine since I was in a manic fit (or at least so I am told).

Old and New Wine

The old wine can be made new.
Plum blossoms can become buds.
Shiva can learn to waltz to "Also Sprach Zarathustra"
Vasque hiking boots can be the key
For me
To set free
That which is in me

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