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December 5, 2020

Merlon’s Final Voyage

by Seijaku Roshi

America mourns for the Indian
figure who knelt like a supplicant before dairy,
fatly blessed our milks, our cheeses,
anointed our lands & shores.
The Google tutorials surface—
the “boob trick:” score the box & fold to make
a window for her knees to jut through.
O our butter maiden
brought all the boys to the yard.
Twittersphere so prostrate with grief
petitions are launched for the Dairy Princess:
O our pat O Americana,
O our dab O Disneyesque,
O our dollop O Heritage.
The mourning procession bears witness:
Jolly Green Giant & Chicken of the Sea Mermaid,
Uncle Ben & Aunt Jemimah,
magically delicious leprechaun & Peter Pan—
even the Argo Cornstarch Maiden & Mazola
Margarine “you call it corn, we call it maize”
spokes-Indian raise stalks in solidarity.
Mia, aptly named, our butter girl mascot,
the only Indian woman gone missing
that anyone notices, anyone cares about.

“Distracted from COVID-19, Attention Shifts to MIA Maiden from Land O’Lakes Butter Box”
— Tiffany Midge

I wake up each morning filled with fear that this may be the beginning of my last days here with my Sweetpea, my Sisters and Brothers, and you who honor me, you who are reading this. I weigh myself, “Ah Thank You Pappa, still holding.” I say to myself, “Someday, but not today and not for long while.”

“The mourning procession bears witness,” “I’m not hungry, does this mean something, am I losing my appetite.” “Oh No, there it is.” I make myself a cup of Matcha Tea and take my time to enjoy its flavor and savor its promise, “This is good for you.” Eventually I will make that breakfast and savor it, for it is not just hunger for food, it is hunger for longevity. I remind myself of the mystery, “A thousand years is one day, one-day a thousand years.”

I hear my oncologist words, “As long as you can handle the chemo.” “I can and I will.” I’m not finished here.” “I will see my daughter become a young women, I will see my mission to completion.” “Take that science, you emotionless feelingless — “Shadow of the dark side.” You have no idea what Loving really can do.” I see her smile in the corners of my mind, I hear her voice, “Daddy, will you hold me.” I will see this through, we have, God and I, a mutual agreement that’s older than birth and death itself. I sit before a lifeless statue, a statue of “Infinite Potential”. I have nothing to say, “Just Sitting,” “Gift” more than plenty, whenever I consider “This could be the beginning of my last days.”

There’s a lot of talk these days in homes and streets, in bars and restaurants, in churches and synagogues, and I suspect in Zendo’s too — “How are we going to get through this?” “Will we?” And then, “What’s next?”

“Too many mind’s,” I hear the ancient Zen Masters say. The secret is to know the right question. “Daddy, will you hold me?” Ah yes, there it is. The secret is to have eyes that can see, to notice “What is really missing?” A lot of “ego” these days, smelling of survival – Reason enough! But is it enough? I think not.

We can’t just keep dreaming of a better world, a more inclusive world, a more Loving-kind world, a more Compassionate world. We created the one we’ve got, with its darkness and light, its monsters and heroes; we can, and we must create the one we want. We’ve delayed too long and built our cities and streets, and roads from here to there, over bodies and cemeteries of too many of our family and friends, too many strangers who only wanted to share.

“Faith” Ha! Yeah I hear you — “Love is the most powerful force in the Universe.” Really? Do you really believe that? Someone once said, “If we believed that with as much faith as small as a mustered seed, we could move these damn mountains we keep building between us.” And then there’s the never ending tendency to put it all off, until it gets really bad. Bad enough? 14,041,46 COVID-19 cases as of today. 275,386 deaths. If not now, when?

“Where oh where is love? Does it fall from Skys above? Is it underneath, the willow tree, that I’ve been dreaming of? Where is she, who I close my eyes to see? Will I ever know, the sweet “Hello” that’s meant for only me? Who can say where she may hide? Must I travel far and wide? Till I am beside the someone who, I can mean something to. Where oh Where is Love? (From the Broadway Show – Oliver)

“Oliver” is everywhere, singing the same old tune. In fields and forests; In streets and homes; in bars and restaurants; in statehouses and federal buildings, in schools and in hospitals. “Must I travel far and wide?” No! “Who can say where she/he may hide?” They were never hidden! If you listen inside, and stop chattering outside, you will hear his tune, and you will not be able to help yourself. “Daddy can you hold me?” YES! NOW! ANYTIME YOU ASK? And that will be the beginning of “Creating Heaven on Earth”. And that will be the end of the old-world where no-one saw anyone, or heard anyones voice. Where everyone is familiar and no “Inn is too full” ever again.

Bad Enough? Yet? I think so — “Let’s Begin!”

I Love you,

Seijaku Roshi

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