November 11th, 2013
|09:11 am - Chasing the last summer sunset |
CHASING THE LAST SUMMER SUNSET
"They are like Yin and Yang, your Ladies. Coincidentally, the two symbols are related to the theme of solstice! Yin is born at the Summer Solstice and Yang at the Winter one." (Olga Hooper (Origa), a haiku poet and a sumi-e painter)
The First Sunset of Fall
I was a bit surprised when the autumn arrived this year so early, not too long after the Summer Solstice. But, thinking about it, things like this happen sometimes, first time that evening long time ago...
It was the midst of a hot sunny sweaty Polish summer stuck somewhere in the green pine forests of Mazury, the land of 10 000 lakes and 10 zillions of mosquitoes. And I was stuck, too, sitting on a side of the road on my knapsack and chanting my guts out as if my life were hinging on it. And yet, no sutra, no dharani, no mantra, not even the great Sho Sai Myo... that is supposed to reverse all disasters and alleviate all obstacles, none of them was able to reverse this "being stuck on the side of the road" karma. No truck or car even as much as slowed down. It felt like stars were align to keep me right then and there on that very spot facing the lake, gazing on the setting sun.
The Big Crimson was slip sliding behind the line of horizon, ready to rest in the quiet lake and it was getting dusky dark. "I'd be sleeping under the stars, tonight", I thought, in itself not a big deal though I felt a chill in my bones and some sadness in my heart. And then, all of the sudden, things became clear, as clear as the crisp night sky filled with the light of full moon. I felt it in my guts, and in my body, and in the marrow of my bones -- the days become shorter now.
that crimson sunset
seen long ago still resounds
in this evening blues
Beginnings and Ends
Although the autumn has began early for me, it does not mean that the summer has ended right then and there. For there can be many different ends to a summer. One, when days become shorter, right after the solstice. Another, when the calendar says so, right around the equinox. Yet another when you feel it in your guts and your bones and this is, perhaps, the most important end of summer. It surely is most important to me and also, it is probably the one over which I have most control...
The day was warm and full of puffy well defined clouds. There was so much beautiful puffiness in the air, that I placed my hopes in the dragons and hit the West shore. Perhaps it will fit their plans to keep the clouds just as well defined as they are now maybe moving them slightly to the North (that is right) side of the bridge. It would make for spectacular sights and great photos, too, I thought.
But you never know about the dragons. Though I would never say so out loud, sometimes I wonder whether they are not a bit capricious and finicky. Anyway, for as long as the sun slips out off the sky on the North side, it is still a summer, I thought. But then it dawned on me, isn't trying to stop the time like catching the breeze in an open hand?
in calm wind seagulls too
chase the sun
West Coast Blues
In terms of pure beauty, the West coast is most scenic, period. But it took me a while to discover it. Because of the dogs.
First, I was not sure about the dirt and gravel road twining through fields of dry grass. Or rather, I did not know how the Ladies would react to birds and rabbits living in the grass that is also the kingdom of rattlesnakes. An encounter with a rattler is never a good idea.
Fortunately, they grasped the concept of a path and its boundaries quickly. Now they stay all the way between the poles even though, physically, there is nothing that could constrain them if they wanted to fly in the fields. They are very smart dogs. From this point, it has been an easy sailing.
It's a great place to go especially during a weekend, when the beach is packed with cars, crowds, and noise. The Ladies stay on the path until we arrive by the Leaning Bush and the crest in the ground. Then they go into the sun.
There is never anyone here; a great place to meditate and pray. We love it, during weekends, for its spiritual healing energies. Still, in terms of our roaming needs, it is a bit cramped. We love to stretch for miles rather than for quarters of a mile. So, we say good bye and are headed even further North.
in leaning bush, please
do not leave yet sun
Chasing the Summer Sunset
There is always a bit of winter in the spring, and a bit of spring in the summer. So, speaking about summer and autumn, perhaps they may coexist, too. All I need to do to stretch summer into autumn. And to do this I just need to keep the sun on the right side of the bridge.
Thus, tonight we go even further North-East in search for yet another sight-seeing point and yet another angle on the bridge. I think, this time our attempt will fall short for sure; in fact our efforts have been futile and doomed from the start. But I keep pushing and pressing. Sometimes I just need the summer to stay in my heart for a little bit longer. Sometimes I am not yet ready for a fall
the big bell sounds
for the ancestors
So, we keep driving for miles through battered dirt roads with holes as big as a half of our car, my soul on the shoulder, ready to fly away. For I know, if something is to break down my good old Ming will be stuck here for ever. (Fortunately, I also know, we can get home safely on feet.)
At one moment Sappho asks me, "are you OK, man?" Maybe I am pale or something, but I know better than to let her drive on this occasion, and Molly is too small. And then, all of the sudden, it is all right here
no other place
for the sun to set
in the summer bay
to the farthest shore
split by the bridge rails
floats in the sea
This is as far as we have pushed, chasing the very last summer sunset. And this indeed is the very last sunset of the summer. Tomorrow, the very first day of spring. For if you can stretch yourself far enough, there will always be spring in your steps and sun in your heart.