Time drops by with remembrances of moments skimming the surface of consciousness from deep within the mind leaving signs of a world beyond. The passage of time touches the world leaving marks such as deep erosion in cliffs, stratification of geological layers, and the presence of fossils from distant ages. A branch broken and dying may start to decay and become immersed in the foliage around it. Everywhere there are the signs of impermanence, and the markers of time.
This morning as usual, when I left for my morning walk, I placed buds in my ears and chose music that I felt like listening to: today it would be Santana’s Caravanserai. After several kilometers the sun rose across the horizon as I rounded a corner, and in my ears I heard the words, “…just in time to see the sun.” I marveled at the synchronicity and reflected upon time, and emptiness.
Later in the day I returned to my study readings which included a discussion upon Buddha, and epithets which had been used to describe the great teacher, and which included:
“He teaches by means of the here and now, of the life to come, and of the ultimate goal, according as befits the case, thus he is Teacher (satthar). “Teacher (satthar)”: the Blessed One is a caravan leader (satthar) since he brings home caravans. Just as one who brings a caravan home gets caravans across a wilderness. . . gets them to reach a land of safety, so too the Blessed One is a caravan leader, one who brings home the caravans; he gets them across. . . the wilderness of birth” (Ñyanamoli).
I read these words and sought to gauge its significance, of the caravanserai, caravan and the teacher. Deep within I felt a deep pain. An alarming pain, that I felt must be endured. I struggled to gain an insight into this pain in my heart, and the deep emotional hurt that rose to the surface in memories as if from the geological past. I lay down for a while to recover and find silence.
Later, before sitting down to write this reflection I went out to the mailbox to see if there were any letters and collect them. I still love receiving cards and letters, and saw that there was an envelope from my friend Jesus in Barcelona. I opened the envelope and inside there was a print, a solargraph entitled the “window of enlightenment”, and his best wishes. I was gobsmacked by the further synchronicity that seemed to be in play across the universe.
I cannot explain in my emptiness these signs. I do not know if there is a deeper metaphysicality, hidden meanings to be adduced, but can say instead that in some way I have joined the caravan and perhaps might find a path in the wilderness of time, to find insight, and enlightenment.
All photos taken at Mermaid Inlet, Abrahams Bosom Reserve using a Chamonix 045F1 View Camera, Rodenstock Apo-Sironar-S 150mm and Nikkor-SW 90 f/8 lenses, on Ilford FP4Plus, and developed in a mix of Xtol(1.3)+RO9(1.160).