Sunday, August 8, 2010


The heat today is as solid as a wall, and walking outside I'm struck by the weight of the air. It oppresses any quickness, and what breeze there is barely moves the foliage. The sizzle of cicadas fills my ears like the sound of heavy meat frying in a pan. I slump into a chair beneath the shade of an umbrella, an unread pile of books on the table before me.

Sweat pours into my eyes, and my Southern born and raised wife tells me I must be more still; the only movement is my fingers across the keyboard of my laptop. Time has stopped. It will always be this warm, this humid. I wish my skin off of my bones. The futility of a sigh escapes me.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Effortless Effort

For several years a statue of Buddha on the grounds of the Minnesota Zen Meditation Center has inspired me. When I first noticed him he was already showing signs of wear, his surface crumbled by year-round exposure to the elements. I admired the perseverance even as the figure chipped and flaked and appeared to dissolve into the ground.

Years have passed and this statue is much the worse for wear. Halved in height, his legs reduced to rubble and the rubble swept away he now leans against a tree for support. Yet for all of the statue's infirmaries his serenity is constant.