When a man offers you a cold beer in the middle of the dessert in a third world country...even though you know it will harden your arteries and make you fat, you nod and smile, take the beer...let the coolness slide down your throat, and stand in quiet appreciation.
When a man offers you a cigarette and lends you his flame...even though you know it will rot your lungs, you nod and smile, take the draw, and as the buzz hits....you stand in quiet appreciation.
And when a sweet waiter brings you pan, bread, and you know the doc said gluten is no good for you...you nod with a gracias, and sit and eat in quiet appreciation.
I step out under the brilliant midnight Mexican sky and look west while the sea whispers to me something familiar and transcendent....something words cannot capture....she has comforted and calmed me for a lifetime....and I ponder the balance between temperance and vice...and understand that I am only a visitor...here and always, I am only a visitor...and so I stand in quiet appreciation.
And I will return to the states and eat salads and drink water and work my body and abstain and....sit in quiet appreciation...at least for a minute or two.
Steve Sanfield is a great haiku master.
He lives in the country with Sarah,
his beautiful wife,
and he writes about the small things
which stand for all things.
Kyozan Joshu Roshi,
who has brought hundreds of monks
to a full awakening,
addresses the simultaneous
expansion and contraction
of the cosmos.
I go on and on
about a noble young woman
who unfastened her jeans
in the front seat of my jeep
and let me touch
the source of life
because I was so far from it.
I've got to tell you, friends,
I prefer my stuff to theirs.
Gotta say, I am with Leonard on this one.....