Jun 3, 2009

Old Budda. My contact with Buddha. I was under a complete "pink cloud" when the VA hospital released me April 29th of last year. I had survived (barely) 18 days under 24-hour watch for extreme alcohol poisoning. I have no memory of the days leading up to the trauma. I had obviously blacked out some days before the critical moment. Drinking constantly. Not eating. Drinking. Somehow moving on automatic. Until I completely collapsed and crashed (literally) to the ground. Luckily, I was later told, in public. If it had happened in my apartment - which was likely - I would not have survived the night. An emergency ambulance was called and I was rushed to the VA emergency room. And begin 18-day ride on Death's pale horse. But something happened. Death threw me off the pale horse, laughed, and left me. For now.

I survived. Returned home. Wrapped in a pink cloud of gratitude. To be alive. And on stepping onto my porch, I looked at the stream running beside me, the waters falling, and saw Buddha. The rock. For the first time. Clearly. And Buddha smiling.
There. Here. Now. And so was I.

Today, each day, I stop for a moment. The edge of my porch. Looking down. And say, "Thank you, God. Thank you, Love. And thank you, Buddha.


A neighbor, a friend, a photographer, at my request, took this picture within a day or two. From the porch. The same view I have daily. My using the word "Budda"? It is my own humor. My Buddha of the Ozarks. "Bubba" is a not uncommon word for "Buddy". Budda is one of my muses. His smile makes me smile. I have life. I have now. I am an artist. Thank YOU, Buddha.


Note: I have slightly darkened the creases in the rock that gives Budda his smile and the closed eyes. I have lived here 6 years. The rock always there. And it was not until that day in April that I saw Buddha. Like finding a figure in the clouds. But here, only I, have slightly enhanced the image.