I take off my clothes,
lift them to my face,
inhale the fragrance of my skin.
By what alchemy was that unique odour created?
I soak in the bath,
submerged to my chin.
Wetness, warmth: what registers these sensations
yet never gets wet?
I towel-dry my mop of silver hair.
I marvel that it grows, it falls out;
more grows, automatically.
Can I spin one thread of hair?
I trim a toenail.
How does this perfect toe-guard
know how to grow?
Is there a how-to manual for nails (and hair and cells)?
My scissors slip.
I watch my bright blood slowly seep,
congeal, clot (or not).
Can I control a clot?
I listen to the ambient sounds of my environment.
By what miracle can I hear
the kettle boiling urgently,
and those rowdy Kookaburras?
I make coffee and slowly savour the flavour,
Where exactly is ‘taste’ located?
Then, uninvited, the mother of all questions shows up:
Where’s my world viewed from?
I gaze undistractedly
at my coffee cup.
I can’t find a point of perspective.
So then I try to find a viewer.
Can I find a fixed point,
Almost 75 years of wondering, checking for myself,
what can I report?
Well, as the saying goes: All the lights are on but
no one’s home.
I imagined myself into existence,
only to find I am unfindable.
What I find is inescapable space.
Space that’s unimagined, and unarguably aware.
Space – ceaselessly birthing
all experience in, and as, time,
including this tricky two-step called
Aware space, dancing
as every sensation, feeling, thought,
every belief – questioned or not,
every thing and every no-thing too.
And I, hobbled and hollow-boned,
know its fancy footwork as my own.
Don’t you just love the way a few moments
spiked with questions of the unanswerable kind
can deliver you to your effulgent nothingness?
– with a deep bow, ml
Art – Edgar Degas, Woman Seen from Behind, Drying her Hair c. 1905 – 1910.