Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Original Mind

How many evenings
have you turned away?

As if the life you really want
could only begin

once something else had happened,
something else that was not yet here…

All the unmet conditions
you’ve placed before happiness

have kept you a person in waiting
like someone overlooked, someone

whose time has yet to come,
as if God somehow

forgot to pack you a lunch…

Right now
a wheel of fortune is spinning

but notice: its center is completely still,
unchanging, completely empty

Bet all your money here
on a clear reception

of that hollowness
a nothing that lacks nothing.

It’s like we have two minds.
One is conditioned, and conditional…

And it’s filled with drama:
—your anchorless ship ever drawing close

to fearful rocks of loss
or hopeful shores of gain.

But we don’t need all the drama
--or special conditions, for happiness

to visit and stay awhile.
It doesn’t need to be imported,

doesn’t need to be Maui
under a full moon,

with a special enchanting
someone in tow. Nor do we need

all our duckies
finally lined up in a row.

Our original mind
is already content

standing in any line, sitting in any chair,
or parked in an old jalopy

in any Safeway parking lot.
This mind is empty

of all that clutching
to outcomes and conditions.

Less picky, more eco-friendly.
Just this is enough.

Gary Rosenthal
Photo:  Peter Bowers