Having danced with the Fractal Switchblade, let me just say:
All of us
the Bardo of Heartbreak.
Tonight, I want to talk about one layer of it.
For the first time in a long, long time, I have perspective again.
I have unstitched within myself one of the great traps of man.
First, let me diagnose the conundrum.
Then, I will describe how I got here.
Let us begin with the topic of ‘Men Being Men’.
I am not referring to those beings of true privilege —
albeit “poor” in materiality, those of great wealth of spirit
born into cultures whose ‘making-of-True Human Beings’ is still intact.
I am referring to the rest of us —
recipients breast-fed on fermented trauma
inheritors of the dispensation of weaponized religion
receivers of this soul-deadening culture
into which we were born.
Warped and distorted maps and mapmaking
of what it means to really be a man.
It is precisely
embedded within this paltry, half-lit version of humanity
from which I make this commentary.
Let us turn toward the topic of mortality.
See my skull bobbing atop my Zen walking staff!
I want to talk about the kind of death we don’t shy away from.
The one with which we do not pretend.
The one we don’t try to skip to the side of
through endless distraction.
The one we stare in the face, and embrace,
because we finally see…
Death is not an end.
but a gate.
Now, I want to talk about the way older men
at a certain point in our walking
that the only way we feel ourselves bloom inside
is in the presence of a younger woman.
Have I got your attention now, lads?
We don’t talk about this in this culture.
We only point fingers and shake our heads.
We don’t ask the questions that lead
to the great interiority of men.
We don’t ponder, for example,
that in their every private moment
they are relentlessly meditating
on how they didn’t “add up”
on how they haven’t felt loved
on how there are
mere nuggets of days left in their hand
and how the rest of them
are days and nights that have already faded into the background.
this tornado of blades
will tear everything up in its path.
But, it doesn’t start there.
This trance is a two-way street.
It happens like this.
In middle-age, many men turn away.
They focus on status and career
and fitting into the empty culture
that has been fed to us.
Meanwhile, like an exiled citizen,
women cease to feel truly seen
by the ones who pledged to be at their side ‘til the end.
After many a silent tear,
the older man eventually reaches out
and finds the-once-bright-flower
who brought life to his eye
and turned the ground barren.
like a lost thirsty traveler
wandering for days in a desert,
the man is drawn to every mirage
every beam of sunlight on the rocks
any bright flower that throws the life-giving light
back to the heart of his eye.
There is only one antidote.
the wild man
in love with ALL of life
on the inside.
I am of the Ikkyu School.
we quiet priests of pine and cicada
mountain and cloud
and the practice of Conjure-Fantasy, See-Through-Fantasy, Release-Fantasy,
bend low and kiss the Kannon-kissed Earth
Joy in the midst of suffering is the mark of the Ikkyu School.