« He is the wisest man. »
my mother whispered to me as
she dipped her fingers through my hair and
pressed the lotus leaf wrap in my hands.
« You must learn. »
she said as she pushed off my raft
leaving me to float in oblivion searching
for this man of wisdom.
So I sat and watched the darkness around me,
cupping my offering either to retain what meager warmth it offered or
hold on to a piece of the real world
I can’t say.
I waited and stared
and when the mist rolled out of sight I paddled to a faint silhouette resembling a man onlt to grasp air
feeling the slight wisps against my wet palms.
I tried Fate to see whether he would conjure himself so
my search would not be a search in vain
though only quiet beauty greeted me.
Neither approach led me to
this man of wisdom so
I pondered on my raft
left to sit and stare.
At length a voice broke in, and behold, it was he,
emerging from the mist on a raft of his own,
gray eyes twinkling, thin beard trailing
and I held up my meager offering, arms suspended across the water, begging for enlightenment.
He reached an arm to mine
remarking « The wind blows, the sky is blue. Time continues, yet these remain the same. »
He left, shrouded in obscurity
leaving me shrouded in the coiling mists, floating on my raft pondering his words
never again to venture from the islet of my mind.
He never returned.
I began to wonder whether he was only an illusion
a figure conjured from the depths of my mind to
penetrate my reality because there was truth in his word.
People began to come, offerings ready in their hands;
youngsters sit on rafts of their own, waiting for me to emerge with small beard trailing, bright eyes shining
to break their silence, leave them to sit and stare
trying Fate and searching, always searching, for truth
and watch the mist roll about the water and grasp air
holding on to a piece of the real world
so one day they too could press an offering into their
child’s hands and whisper
« You must learn. »
And it dawned that I had become he
the new man of wisdom
the one to shatter the realities of others
if only to become an illusion after