gatineau morning.

gatineau morning.
photo by douglas mcarthur.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

the dentist did it.

"there is no loss. the sun sets and the moon sets, but they're not gone. seeds go into the ground only to come up again with some unimagined beauty. your mouth closes here and then opens with a shout of joy over there." rumi.

well, i hope so. because i lost two teeth the other day and i'm not shouting for joy here or there. i'm pretty sure i know where i left them, but they're gone now. the problem is, i really don't have too many left and losing those two, well, it was a blow. it was one of those situations that happen every now and again, when you're too busy, distracted, on a fast train or a crowded street corner. i went into an office, got swept up in the moment. i only realized i'd lost the teeth once i was home, grabbed an apple, went to take a bite and nothing happened. my mouth just kinda slid along the thing as i drooled onto the table. it was too late to do anything about it. by then those tusks were almost certainly nicely carved and sold on the black market. i had to accept their loss, wipe the table and carry on with my life.

there's a meditation often suggested during which one contemplates what you are not. for example: you're not your arms because you can live without them. you're not your legs. you're not your hair, your eyes or your ears. the procedure continues and gets rather more intrusive once you include various organs that are non-essential or can be replaced. it gets downright weird as you consider your brain, your heart, your gentles. at that point, after being mentally sliced, diced and dissected, it is suggested you contemplate what is left: the power animating your body, the very all-permeating life-force, pure and free.

i get that, but i do miss my teeth. and i'm afraid of where i'm heading. i recall a time in india when i was given the job of escorting an elderly lady, the wife of a prominent indian general, to a dinner-party. she was an extremely obese woman and we had to make our way up a long set of stone steps. at one point she stopped. she leaned against the railing and let out a massive breath that sent her dentures flying from her mouth. with a tremendous trajectory, they landed in the dirt clear on the far side of the fence and, yes, you guessed it, i had to pick them up and wash them off for her. will that be me soon, minus about 200lbs?

there is no sense bemoaning my fate. i know that. rumi also wrote: "don't grieve. anything you lose comes around in another form." which is great, if that other form is gonna help me chew. because the loss of my two teeth has not just left a gaping hole in my heart and my mind but, more specifically, in my mouth.

"sunlight fell upon a wall. the wall received the borrowed splendour. why set your heart on a piece of earth, dear one? seek out the source which shines forever." rumi. 

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