You may have heard, it’s the custom for kings
to let warriors stand on the left, the side of the heart,
and courage. On the right they put the chancellor,
and various secretaries, because the practice
of bookkeeping and writing usually belongs to the right hand. In the center,
because in meditation they become mirrors.
The king can look at their faces
and see his original state.
Give the beautiful ones mirrors,
and let them fall in love with themselves.
That way they polish their souls
and kindle remembering in others.
A close childhood friend once came to visit Joseph.
They had shared the secrets that children tell each other
when they’re lying on their pillows at night
before they go to sleep. These two
were completely truthful
with each other.
The friend asked, “What was it like when you realized
your brothers were jealous and what they planned to do?”
“I felt like a lion with a chain around its neck.
Not degraded by the chain, and not complaining,
but just waiting for my power to be recognized.”
“How about down in the well, and in prison?
How was it then?”
“Like the moon when it’s getting
smaller, yet knowing the fullness to come.
Like a seed pearl ground in the mortar for medicine,
that knows it will now be the light in a human eye.
Like a wheat grain that breaks open in the ground,
then grows, then gets harvested, then crushed in the mill
for flour, then baked, then crushed again between teeth
to become a person’s deepest understanding.
Lost in love, like the songs the planters sing
the night after they sow the seed.”
There is no end
to any of this.
(to be continued)