gatineau morning.

gatineau morning.
photo by douglas mcarthur.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Flowers.

Early morning in Kullu, when the sun streams in through my tall porch windows, I like to sip a coffee while watching pheasants flutter around the bushes and trees in my yard.  They wag their long, colorful tails up and down instead of from side to side.  They look in my windows, as curious about me as I am about them.  Eventually, I lie back down on the bed and a channel, a steady and intoxicating stream of consciousness inevitably opens up, flowing through me, carrying me along its current to a place I like even more. 
I’ve had a lot of time to hang out in that place lately.  I’ve been staying home, sick with something exotic such as malaria, or maybe it’s just a simple, garden-variety flu.  But, let’s not quibble.  I’ve been sticking close to home and that’s the main point, lying on my bed drifting, dreaming, standing by the sink gargling, drinking; walking in the yard coughing, wheezing, sitting in the garden, watching.
About ten days ago, I put in some nice flowering plants, a couple of ancient stone carvings, for effect, and cut back the shrubbery.  Of course, it takes a while for plants to proliferate and for flowers to flower.  And I’m not at all against instant gratification, in principal.  So I trundled off to the spring crafts fair in town and bought some silk flowers, put them in an urn and put the urn in the new garden for something bright to look at immediately.
As I sat there, I soon realized that I wasn’t the only one enjoying the new, silk flowers.  A big old bumblebee came along and alighted onto one of them, buzzing from one to another of them, doing what bumblebees do, I guess.  And, while I am a firm believer in keeping my nose out of other folks’ business, I couldn’t help wondering what that big old bumblebee might be thinking and feeling.  There she or he was sitting on what, to all appearances, was a terribly luscious, bright yellow flower in full bloom, trying to draw out the good stuff only to come up empty.  That’s gotta sting, excuse the expression. 
A second bumblebee sat down upon a neighboring fake flower.  I envisioned that the first bee had called out; ‘Hey, Freddie, come give us a hand will ya? Something’s all messed up here either with me or this friggin flower. I don’t get it. I mean, I really don’t get it.’  While I don’t pretend to know the bumblebee mechanism for extracting nectar from a flower, I do realize that ‘hand’ is probably not the word he or she used.  In any case, the second bee had no better luck, shot me a withering glance, and eventually they both buzzed off in a huff.  And I went back to my bed.   
Of course, whoever may be reading this blog posting would be well within their rights to assume that my description of the bumblebees’ ordeal has been the meanderings of a drug-addled flu sufferer, or maybe it’s malaria.  But, I assure you that nothing could be further from the truth.  I perceive that the bees’ frustrating, futile, failure for fulfillment is an apt metaphor for the human condition.  Let’s face it.  We do tend to seek fulfillment where it isn’t, or at least where it isn’t for long. 
According to all the ancient saints and sages, except for St. Leonard of Lascivious, this world is not real because it’s not permanent.  Leonard disagreed, but apparently his heart attacked him while he was fulfilling himself.  The others realized that true fulfillment can only come from directly knowing that one steady stream of consciousness, pure, free and forever, runs through all of God’s creatures, irrespective of color, caste, creed or any differences.        

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