I have been renewed by . . .

I have been renewed by the touch of a black rock with five “fingernail” dimples in it — as if a million years ago, someone played in black mud and left their mark.

*  *  *

I have been renewed by a small boy giving a very professional drumming performance in the S train. The car was wrapped in pink. He played on the seats and an overturned white plastic bucket. He made sure we were AWAKE — asking us four times to ask him to play by shouting “Yeah!” loudly. He was our conductor to Grand Central Station from Times Square, and our conductor to awareness. When we “detrained” he turned to the last woman aboard and, in a serious adult voice, said, “This is the last stop, ma’am.”

*  *  *

I have been renewed by seeing Myotai Sensei again this morning and connecting to my younger past through her (16? 18? years ago). The stillness of those sesshins is a refuge I can quickly return to and be refreshed by.

*  *  *

Laurel leaves* on the table. The ends cut with a sharp knife. Flat yellow woody edges. Smooth shiny leaves hugging the branches, with their faces pressed inward. Perhaps we will be crowned, as was Caesar, at the end of the day.

But when does day really end, when a satellite shows us daybreak and sunrise a few seconds apart?

*  *  *

Myotai’s bell, shattering the silence, and then staggering into silence itself.

*  *  *

A turquoise cup with gold stars beneath its waters — and a larger bowl (its parent) with the Milky Way splashed across its inside.

*  *  *

Coffee aftertaste on my tongue, brown and bitter.

*  *  *

* Laurel leaves turned out to be myrtle leaves. Oh well!

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