“After enlightenment, laundry.”
I love this proverb. It means several things to me:
- No matter how much you try to think your way around it, the material world exists and must be dealt with.
- When you attain enlightenment, you are finally capable of handling reality.
- After you attain enlightenment, you’ll inevitably get brought back down again to square one. Everything cycles. Laundry cycles. Heh.
I have a poem about cycles. I’ve referenced this concept before in other poems. Let me dig it up and see if it’s still any good.
…Hm. It’s not perfect but it has its moments. I’ll post it anyway. Maybe I’ll rewrite it one day when I’m not half asleep.
Death is like a birth
The quiet room
The person in pain
And the uselessness of those standing beside the bed
Their helplessness and inability
All you can do
Is hold the hand of the dying
And wish them speed
And wish them peace
And do the best you can
To make them comfortable.
The breathing labors
The breathing hitches
A moment of silence
And then someone cries.
Death is a birth
Out of the dead
Springs new life
First the microbial and bacterial
Then the insects and things without spines
Then perhaps a mammal will take choice bits
And a bird scavenges what’s left
Only bones and ligaments remain
A mammal breaks into the marrow
Insects and spineless things clean up the ligaments
Bacteria and microbes break down the bone
And we rejoin the earth
To become once again a plant, an herbivore, a carnivore, a human, a plant.
Everything in cycles
Cycles within cycles
Death within birth
Birth within death
Life in cycles
Everything has been done
Nothing is ever finished
And we are so dizzy with it
As we die,
Of course this has been noticed before
The wheel of time
The Mayan calendar
The Golden Spiral
And it will be discovered anew
By the next generation