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Grief is like the wake behind a boat. It starts out as a huge wave that follows close behind you and is big enough to swamp and drown you if you suddenly stop moving forward. But if you do keep moving, the big wake will eventually dissipate. And after a long time, the waters of your life get calm again, and that is when the memories of those who have left begin to shine as bright and as enduring as the stars above.
Eroticism is mystique; that is, the aura of emotion and imagination around sex. It cannot be ‘fixed’ by codes of social or moral convenience, whether from the political left or right. For nature’s fascism is greater than that of any society. There is a daemonic instability in sexual relations that we may have to accept.
When I was young, my father used to say, ‘If you are alive, there is hope for a better day and something good to happen. If there is nothing good left in the destiny of a person, he or she will die.’ I thought about these words during my journey, and they kept me moving even when I didn’t know where I was going. Those words became the vehicle that drove my spirit forward and made it stay alive.
We say that to ‘give up all evil and to develop the good’ is the heart of the Buddha’s teaching. If we only make merit but have not stopped doing bad things, then we will never have a day of completion. It is like an overturned bowl which is left outside in the rain. Even if the water is falling right on it, it only touches the outside and not the inside. In this way the bowl will never get full.
All my early memories are of forms and shapes and textures. Moving through and over the West Riding landscape with my father in his car, the hills were sculptures; the roads defined the form. Above all, there was the sensation of moving physically over the contours of fullnessess and concavities, through hollows and over peaks – feeling, touching, seeing, through mind and hand and eye. This sensation has never left me. I, the sculptor, am the landscape. I am the form and the hollow, the thrust and the contour.
I mean, think about [the phrase ‘love the sinner, hate the sin.’] Isn’t it like saying, ‘I love left-handed people but hate that they’re left-handed.’ Is that really love? Or is that saying, ‘I’m willing to love you as I’d like you to be, not as you are’? Either God’s love is unconditional or it’s not.
I sat on a toilet watching the water run thinking what an odd thing tourism is. You fly off to a strange land, eagerly abandoning all the comforts of home and then expend vast quantities of time and money in a largely futile effort to recapture the comforts you wouldn’t have lost if you hadn’t left home in the first place.
If that’s how it all started, then we might as well face the fact that what’s left out there is a great deal of shrapnel and a whole bunch of cinders (one of which is, fortunately, still hot enough and close enough to be good for tanning). Trying to find some sense and order in this mess may be as futile as trying to … reconstruct the economy of Iowa from a bowl of popcorn. [On searching for evidence of the Big Bang.]