December 28, 2004

by Norman Fischer | December 28, 2004 at 7:45 PM

December 28, 2004

It is raining again. Has been for a few days, after a week of bright weather. The hills are covered in mist, water falls continually from the sky. How can it rain so much? Doesn't it get tired of it? Too bad, my brother and his family are here and it means we spend a lot of time sitting around eating and talking which is not so bad after all. A fire in the woodstove. Up above the house, on the hill, looking down into the water below, dolphins swimming. They do not care whether it rains or not. Many small birds are walking around in the rain because I suppose it is more difficult for them to fly.

The amount of input, data, that comes into a person's life in a day, rain or shine, staggers me. Perception after perception, moment after moment, the unceasing flow of thoughts, feelings, visual or auditory objects, etc. Filtered and organized by our preconceptions, wishes, desires.

Maybe we are all living according to a metaphor or a set of connected metaphors. Buddhism is probably one such set of metaphors. Choose your metaphors well, because they condition the life you live. If your metaphors are bad ones, change them. This is easier to say than to do- lots of hours on the cushion, dharma talks, dokusan, is probably what it takes, or whatever other practice you do. And then to see beyond all the metaphors, knowing that they are metaphors: this is the best. Still, one gets caught up in metaphors. Like "me, " and "you," or "life" and "death." In writing poems I am always flying in the face of my var ious metaphorical systems, trying to listen to something beyond them, that comes out in the lines, that never say what I mean, only what they mean, so as to liberate me. A necessity.

Writing this weblog is for me practicing with a new way to work with metaphor. It is all fictional of course. A convention. Possibly something is expressed that conveys meaning and does someone some good? 

In the news is the horrendous tsunami that has taken, by today's count, over 50,000 lives in Asia. Imagine a wall of water suddenly appearing to wash your life away. Just like that. And here, now, the rain is falling, washing down the hillsides and into the sea.


Norman Fischer