Wednesday, June 07, 2006

313: karma

The boy had morning mean. He snarled at polite hearing people and ignored cheery anything from his friends. He grinned evilly with people who pushed and shoved, as if they shared a cunning thought. He played Jingle Bells on his hearing aid amid the elderly, to sow confusion. He dressed better than anyone else. He walked straighter. He painted children with his sneer.

He did move fast in his morning commute. His clothes were silk against his skin; he liked to control his muscles individually, taking time (in the infinity of each moment) to sense the glide of thread on pore as he followed what seemed to be pre-programmed vectors of direction, into the ground, down the stairs; through the booths, to his train; through the cars and to a seat; surveying with gracelessness the peons arrayed around him.

Of course he spilled his coffee when he got to work. He had a large stain for the rest of the day, right in front of the dapper silk, to teach him humility.

In the end he cheated, spent sixty bucks on a new shirt from Dolce and Gabbana during a latish lunch, and tried to pretend he didn't notice everybody noticing, with a grace and hauteur which (even he admitted) he hadn't been aware of possessing.

That is the meaning of karma. But also:
The man in blue saw the man in brown falling down the stairs. He gave his hand to the man in brown. He saved the man from harm, but was himself harmed in the process; the man in brown, still recovering from his own pain, could not help him, and wandered off in search of rest and security.

Because the Universe runs on stories, and stories run on pain, so it goes: Others came before him, who he had to help, as price for the magic of life and Life: the woman in grey, the man in red. Slowly pieces of himself were lost in the working of the help, more and more, until only the heart was left, struggling, slowly moving with each beat, raw to the universe, until sleep: sensing nothing, feeling nothing, only aware of each moment next to each moment, the tender membranes between time.

And the next morning, because stories sometimes end looking back at themselves, he woke, fully rested, bodily whole, felt himself, felt the joy in having all of himself, and walked singing back into the day.

That's the meaning of karma, too.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting viewpoints! I am a late deafened adult & unable to benefit from hearing aids, don't want CI, & don't know ASL. How did you learn to lipread well (if you are truly DEAF as I am - can't hear nuthin'! ) Previously, I had some hearing in the speech ranges & was complimented often on my self-taught lipreading; but once I lost ALL my hearing, lipreading became impossible for me. There are no teachers of lipreading nor deaf schools, etc., in my area - any advice greatly appreciated! Thanks. Anyone helpful can email me at