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Dustin LindenSmith

father | musician | writer

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Such a good DailyDharma

This poem reminds me of a great conversation I had with Jerry late one night several years ago over a slice of pizza downtown. We were talking about food, and I was telling him this story about when I was in high school, and how I used to go to the 7-Eleven by my girlfriend's house after I dropped her off at night and buy a hoagie and an orange juice to have during my long drive home. He laughed out loud when I told him how much I used to look forward to that hoagie as I neared the end of each date with my girlfriend. He said, "And didn't you find that you almost enjoyed that hoagie more than the date after awhile?"

I've also heard him say something like enlightenment is all that and a bag of chips, or that it doesn't matter what you do when you're enlightened -- the enlightenment experience can be accessed through deep meditation or through eating a hamburger at McDonald's. This poem made me think of all that. It also made me think about how I thought I lost my mala beads on my Christmas vacation, but my mother-in-law found them last week in the pocket of a housecoat I'd borrowed while I was there. It's okay though, because I really don't miss them. They're not necessary for meditation, but they are quite nice to play with.
I woke up about 2:30 this morning and
thought about Philip's Hat.
It is bright lemon yellow,
with a little brim
all the way around, and a lime
green hat band, printed
with tropical plants.
It sits on top
of his shaved head. It upstages
every thing & every body.
He bought it at Walgreen's himself.
I mean it fortunately wasn't a gift
from an admirer.
Otherwise he is dressed in soft blues.
And in his hands
a long wooden string of Buddhist
Rosary beads, which he keeps
moving. I ask him which mantra
he is doing - but he tells me
In Zen, you don't have to bother
with any of that.
You can just play with the beads.

Joanne Kyger
From the book, Poems 1979-1989, published by Black Sparrow Press, 1991.

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awesboss February 6th, 2003
mmm, i like the poem and the dating story. I used to date a girl in Inglewood, California. We were both 18. I'd drive from Santa Monica to pick her up. On the way home, late at night, I'd pass by that famous donut stand. You've probably seen pictures of it. It's in the shape of a huge donut. A symbol of Southern California.

I'd stop and sit in my car with a donut and coffee. The peace of sitting there alone seemed very normal, though I knew it was not society's norm. But the keen taste of aloneness and donuts was a beacon that drew me almost every moment, and the beacon wasn't far away.

I think this kind of attention on the beacon of aloneness and the nature of natural being, is good. In time it changes. The attention grows toward itself until it can't be described anymore.

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