Thursday, June 5, 2014

A crying Buddha

June 2, 1980

She sits under the tree like a little Buddha, tears dripping down her cheeks; miscommunication in this endless effort to seek ourselves, our language full of presumption, of what we think is rather than what really is, of storm clouds hovering over our lives full of threat and malice that may not actually exist.
We struggle to find common ground, rather than domination, a classic conflict not so much between man and woman as between any two people, close enough to hurt each other because we have allowed each other to get under the harder layers of skin that normally defend us against such things.
And so, I strike a nerve with a pin, and she takes refuge amid bark and leaf, tears watering the roots instead of rain.
I ache to be a hero in her life, and became the dragon, breathing fire I never intended to breathe, singing her and her world so that she has to move to a safer place, and I am cast out for the moment, standing out of reach of the most distant leaf, until enough time passes to allow the smoldering to cease for me to go and sit beside her.
Part of it isn’t my fault. I am not the first dragon to singe this ground, and that is the problem.
He (whoever that is) blamed her for everything, and so each time someone raises a similar question, the old wounds reappear, and she regrets letting anyone get so close that they might do her damage again.
Around us, life goes on in this all too familiar park in Passaic, the glittering water broken by the sailing geese, the gurgle of the tiny falls, the murmur of lovers lingering on benches on the other side.
I fit in her arms; she fits in mine. Nothing else should matter.

And we touch, we make love without making love, and the storm clouds that hovered over us pass at least for the moment, at least until the next time I stumble over some unexpected hurt, and she becomes a crying Buddha again.

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