POSTCARD #20: Delhi: Suddenly awake at midnight, the mind is busy with something… seeking gratification in the realization that I don’t have to search for anything anymore – thus lost in the seeking for it. Trying to remember the dream from the parts of the jigsaw that are remaining. Maybe, as I’m looking for the lost pieces, I’ll see what the story was about – the logic of the dream… In every new circumstance, reassembling the parts of who I am, and nothing seems to fit; searching for a ‘self’ to be satisﬁed with what’s going on – or dissatisfied with how things are; or upset, or angry, confused, depressed, gloomy or sad
How did I get to be here? Arrived yesterday morning – flight from Chiang Mai to Bangkok, then another flight to Delhi; a cabin-pressured, air-conditioned day at 37,000 feet, cruising speed 600 mph; up and down again – twice. I’d been awake since 4am Thai time, fell asleep at 7.30pm in Delhi then woke again at midnight – the predicament of the dream, staring wide-eyed in the half-gloom of city night, deep purplish-black night-vision. Halloween season, all doors and windows shut to keep the ghosts out, enclosed in the concrete and steel of the present moment. Quiet, except for the refrigerator noise; hmmmmmmm… masking out frequencies. When it stops, I become deaf in the silence. Small random sounds… the bark of a dog:
Death is drawn to sound
like a slipper without a foot, a suit without its wearer,
comes to knock with a ring, stoneless and fingerless,
comes to shout without a mouth, a tongue, without a throat.
Nevertheless its footsteps sound and its clothes echo, hushed like a tree. [Death Alone by Pablo Neruda]
Listening to the whisperings of stealth; a small lizard is investigating the kitchen, the tiny clink of something against a plate, rustling in the small trash bin on the counter… I switch on a few lights and it’s gone. Start up the laptop, feel more comfortable with nocturnality, more at peace with the electric light of night, shadows and darkness. Draw all the curtains closed just before dawn, hermetically sealed. The day is an exhausting awakeness. I shall stay with the night, be a vampire; halloween and ghoulishness..
Deathlessness and the buddhist undead; mind hovering in a memory; the context of an event, somewhere between remembering what happened and wondering what could have happened after that – how it might have been and how the story unfolded from there. The thought exists in the mind, then it’s gone. Curiosity, where did it go? Carefully take everything apart to find out where that thought went… everything irredeemably dismantled. It’s gone. Gone is gone; when I’m gone, I’m gone and everything else will be going on. Just the same. Comforting, somehow, to shift the focus away from the confines of ‘me’ and out into the surroundings.
‘… we are only dust. Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. The wind blows, and we are gone – as though we had never been here.’ [Psalm 103, 14-16]