Readying the Mother Ship


Nearly three months now, practicing, going through my steps, sleeping in the local parks. Everything just is. The aim of life, just as it is. “Leaving oneself as a birdsong.” Christ, too, is a Crazy Cloud. Transcience and interdependence. Harvesting grapes grown into old roses in rain. My knit beanie catches a thorn as I’m backing out, and is lifted from my head. Leather gloves sopping wet. I back out and remove the gloves and wring them out. My pruner squeaks as it goes into the leather holster around my waist. I stop everything here, leaving the cut grapes in their cardboard box in the rain, even though the box may not be able to absorb any more water and hold the harvest. I retrieve my camera from the kitchen table and walk back out to the grapes. Light is perfect, and even though the hat is nearly the same maroon-red color as the fence, I photograph it hanging from the rose thorn with the grapes and fence as background. Harvest is everywhere. My notebook

is open on the covered part of the deck. The mothership is on the launch pad and winterized. Birds line up on the wires ready for their share of the grapes. I’ve left them plenty. The ship itself, the Cloud(ship) is nearly loaded. Just as it is. Everything just as it is. Now for my sailmates.

Burton Watson, R. H. Blyth, Barry, Gary Snyder, Red Pine, Lovins. Dan. Jody. All the Crazy Clouds, not that many, really in my circle. Cold Mountain, and with the pocket editions for travel, Han Shan. Loading the mother ship. Red Pine’s Han Shan the one in my heart. Getting ready for blue snow on the road. Karen. Karen the quilt. Karen the maker. Mother Quilt and Karen. Karen and her state of the art sewing machine. Micro-machine. All loaded. As they are, with the Zen Dog, Sister Sadie Sadie.

Ikkyu as Crazy Cloud, too. The pen name for the wandering teacher, a pun on the Japanese word, unsui, the Buddhist monk whose detachment from worldly life has him drifting like a cloud over water. Not bound by past or expectations. A heavy duty story truck. A Diesel. Dodge Ram Diesel. The little book of the Benedictines.

All this work to get her parked for winter. A season of preparations.

Jim Bodeen

14 October 2009

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