Images for Meditation

A little girl from a foreign country who apparently only needs 4 hours of sleep a night, who teaches me words I don’t know, and laughs at me and calls me “stupid” and “beautiful,” drags me out of bed in the morning. “Where are we going?” I ask, and she won’t say, a game I’m all too familiar with by now. No one else is awake, and we don’t try to wake them– it’s been a long journey. She leads me by the hand down a dirt road, past a gamelan we aren’t allowed to play because of our respective genders, backgrounded by the noisy carelessness of roosters. It’s too early. The sun has barely arrived. I am without coffee and my spirits are soggy. “I want to show you something,” she says, “c’mon, c’mon.” I accept the new reality like one does a sleepwalk and I trudge along. Skinny cats are everywhere, darting and hissing. Flies buzz around my face, probably smelling the fruit sugars rotting my unbrushed teeth, as mosquitos lavish their vampire attentions on my body, and exhausted, I allow it, lending my ankles to them like a martyr, patron saint of whatever, school of veteran pacifists. I don’t/ can’t care. The little girl gets this; it’s understood, it’s fine. We keep walking, turn a corner, and we’re “here,” she says, and stops at a fence. Beyond it is a rice field, undulating, vast, white, sodden, during sunrise: overwhelming glare, some rainbows and reflections. It is gorgeous; I am wordless. She smiles at me and swings our clasped hands back and forth. A needy cat prowls at our feet. I’m awake.

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