Sunday, May 07, 2006


"Take from the trees of summer
All their leaves
And wed them to you"
-from The Preludes
James Land Jones

on the path to Moon River

On this long Sunday afternoon of rain and birdsong, my thoughts go back to Moon River, Johnny Mercer's house near Savannah to which I moved in May exactly thirty-five years ago.

From my screen porch, I watch the squirrels scurry up the wet bark of oaks, rodents and tree trunk both the color of centipedes. The deep green canopy of rain dripping trees recalls the lushness of Moon River.

This afternoon a single mocking bird convinces me that birds must believe in the Sun God, in Apollo, Tawa, Helios, Huitzilopochtli ... for they sing their prayers to summon the Sun from the night, from the rain, from a total eclipse with all the faith and optimism of Bodhisattvas. What purity fills this simple bird cry. It is untainted by the dark world of war, disease, poverty, and ruin humans have produced.

Indoors, I listen to Spanish guitar, Rodrigo's Concerto de Aranjuez, equally pure evocation of a world removed from the horrors on televised news. And there again I find my friend Jim, now in Mexico, gazing at Orizaba, snow covered, pure, rising above the horrors, the Mayan sacrifices, the Aztec obsession with death, the black holes in the universe that are the eyes of suffering. Always more real and lived in Mexico than in the sanitized U.S.
"Take from the trees of summer..."

If enlightenment is anything, it must be the purity of birdsong, and have the  harmony of Spanish guitar.


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