– projecting interest in the tone of my voice
– Buddhism and motivation
– the sound of trees rustling
– the smell of water and pine
– the life story of my father
– the ignorant future in front of me
– the need to prove myself
– the pessimistic outlook that all good things come to an end
Waking up the next morning, I was not upset that I would spend Valentine’s Day without a lover in my arms. The trip and this journey would be me ethereal companion, and with Epstein’s help, as with everyone else’s help on this trip, I would make the most out of this fleeting moment on the train. Happy Valentine’s Day. My gift – a memorable walk up and down the National Mall, a two hour excursion, full of discussion about our nation and our beliefs. Half the walk was dedicated to the beatnik wisdom of Alan Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, and the other half, from the monument to the capital building, was wholly devoted to the connections and differences between Buddhism and Judaism.
“Buddhism elaborates on the concept of compassion. Infinite, everlasting compassion.” Even as I said those words, I coughed or hiccupped at the unbearable truth that I don’t know a damn thing about Buddhism. I only know how to be compassionate. It’s a hard concept to tackle, especially when Epstein knows so much more about Judaism and spirituality overall. All that aside, I know now how fundamentally different the two dogmas are. It opened the floor to a discussion about forgiveness, and Epstein was having a hard time finding the divide between forgiveness and condonation. There is a difference, but more importantly, to forgive is to personally relieve oneself of the stress induced by another’s wrongdoing. Whether or not you condone it is individual of your ability to forgive the negativity influenced on you… Epstein dropped me off at Union Station after that, and my odyssey through unknown frontiers would truly begin.
Tonight I placed a necklace with a charm called eternity on a notebook on my nightstand, in front of a photo of a Buddhist pagoda in Leverette. There it rested in two overlapping circles, one half to a half, perfect like a venn diagram.
Off I unbuckled my grandfather’s Waltham wristwatch and placed it there, in between the shaded realm, in symmetry with the photo and everything. There it rested on my nightstand for seconds, minutes, and hours, ticking it’s winding heart away.
My grandfather’s memory awoke in the watch as if interrupted or bumped out of thought. The same had happened with eternity. The lights eventually go off, and I would eventually fall asleep, but the two would be elsewhere.
I can see the difference
The Earth in the sky,
The trees and the wind,
And the space between stars.
The Love in our heart,
I am only a physical part
Of the earth we live
Of the universe we share.
I am always a spiritual vehicle
Of all that is good
Of all that brings joy.