figure C

Humor for a moment my crush on the Buddha—or should I say what can I say? I enjoy thinking about not thinking and living the life I’m not killing. In my flirtation I have run across the following dialogue between the layman Ho and the Chinese Zen master Baso. With this exchange, Ho became deeply enlightened. It is intended to break your mind:

Ho: What is it that transcends everything?

Baso: I will tell you after you have drunk up the waters of the West River in one gulp.

Ho: I have already drunk up the waters of the West River in one gulp.

Baso: Then I have already told you.

It’s difficult to explain the attraction or speak of it at all without sounding like I’m selling what is less a religion than a state of being, that has less to do with itself than it has to do with me, that makes me want to shout shout shout! then instantly shut up when what’s all the fuss about demands explanation of the fascination or seeks conversion, the infusion of enthusiasm.

I get so quiet. Breathe so deep.
I am not trained in anything.


The more I learn about my self, world, life and the people around me, the less sure I become. The less sure I become, the less certainty matters. The less it matters, the less it bothers me. The longer I laugh. The harder I dream, believe everything and nothing means anything and all things at once, happen, at once—too-easy wordspin complexities effortless to say but impossible to put away, to refute fully, you want this anyway, so why not? Why not. Why not.

In the past few years I have examined myself I thought thoroughly, every hard edge and blindspot, understood and grudged but without true perspective. I had a notion of an ideal self I perpetually failed miserably. But I had no idea of self—no footing and no sky. The boundaries set self-restricted, the faults and fears were self-inflicted. I’m far from having “it” “figured” “out,” but now I know I don’t and I know it doesn’t matter, and with comfort, not indifference or terror I will wrong step into wasted time, a dull cycle, harm or incessant delusion. Now I turn out my pockets for Asian cuisine, ice cream, stargazer lily stems and bedsheets bought ’cause they remind me of math, which I never liked except in theory, artforming formulas smothering me to sleep. Doing the what that makes me happy, even if it’s fumbling.

Yet, of course, consumption and gratification do not function to complete; I am not the sum of what I don’t have any more than I’m the acquired that I have yet to throw away. But yet. When I want. I take. When I don’t know what I want, I take anyway, just to see what letting go means, what not waiting to find out or have solved for me will do to me and hey guess what surprise I’m alive and no longer so severely hung up on who I think I am. Who I think I ought to be. The struggling for the undefined unfeasible right kinda.

The right kind of person. Right kind of daughter. Right kind of sister. Right kind of scholar. Right kind of friend. Right kind of worker. Right kind of grinner mourner sinner crier. Right kind of life-liver life-giver lover. The right kind of writer. Any kind of writer at all.

The weather has turned and I dance on my bike again. I turn off my music to hear the birds and traffic both equally pleasing, intriguing, calming, bliss. My knees back up a decade plus to remember how to skateboard except now on twisty trucks long boards are for hippie sucks! what did I say about why not. Why not and wtf.

When I was a freshman in college, a guy I barely knew bit me bruising at a They Might Be Giants concert. Those six and a half years ago I said approximately six and a half sentences to him over the course of a couple years before losing track of this king of the atheists rhetoric slut urban adventuring grody punk. Now he calls at all hours, a seize the day night now stupid bastard, sometimes I don’t answer but I always smile, give in to the drifting, reality grifting, grafting ways of seeing to the quarter-life shift.

He gives me shit and lessons in said long boarding, the warming afternoons sunsoaking pleasantly exhaustingive of sense and probability smacking mind veins for the illicit use of metaphor shrugs and pattern seeking, tongue in cheek with magical meaning automatically disclaimed hey, we’re still our soulless, godless selves. We’re still never unchanging. Highway lost, time stretched. Where we shouldn’t be. Finding pretty things.






Last Monday, gorgeous weathered and begging for play, my brother Ben and I roadtripped to a funeral, better than working in a basement all day? can’t say—I’m not supposed to say.

I sit tall to see the wind turbines grind out energy. Ben announces ducks like our mom used to do—roadside wildlife and livestock taking stock, pheasant. Steer. Bison. Dead barn. Transformer. South Dakota. Graffiti for the Lord, TRUST JESUS at every overpass. Ben drives fast and doesn’t signal. Arcade Fire, 50 Cent and New Order. We swear in front of our younger brothers morphing into men!


I fold down the airsuck control top of pantyhose I fret about, is “Nude” inappropriate for a funeral? How about snarled hair? Hot pink toenail foot drags and eye dodges at detailed instructions on where to stand when viewing so that death may achieve the most life. In small towns white teens operate fast food. In small towns god is god.

In South Dakota, performing abortions is now a felony. On Tuesday, an hour outside of Sioux Falls, I buried my step-aunt and her full-formed but unborn son they removed from her womb to embalm and display in her arms in the casket just how painful. just how tragic is the sudden unexpected sending to heaven or so they say lots of things I didn’t want to look but I did.

Witnessing the bodies changed nothing about them and only barely changed me, just another piece of morbid, horror and oh humanity, zero understanding in adequate distance not to cry uncontrollably but still feel the sad. The living clutching onto me. Sugar cookies and styrofoam coffee,

Oh Grandma, oh Grandpa. You’ll see them soon.
You’ll see them soon enough when enough is enough is all you need.

At my brother Sam’s birthday party, a murder mystery glamour fest of drunk, fancy and nonchalant nods at “Blow out your lasagna!”

Sam, Ben and I stomp-shout along to Modest Mouse we will all float on! in faked-up finery, siblinghood and same-city living, and on my mind is getting older and caring for our parents’ idiosyncrasies and ailings, and of me, leaving, and missing them. All of us. Dancing with them, tears well and I’m acutely aware of it—aware of wanting to share it, to hug my brothers until they break.

Wield my love like a crowbar. Wreck them up with just how much it takes. How much it’s taken to feel okay with living just the way I am on the way to where I want to be.

And where is that? Exactly? Or even imprecisely? Or even just evened out enough. I read old words, letters and journals, and feel myself spinning, a not-kidding vertigo punch into rotation trying to turn me onto the floor, insides out a.gain? turn me in to the here-I-am-again police,

I’ve drunk this up already. I have told you this before.

I am so… full. “Happy” would describe were it not so silly, “free” did it make any sense, “content,” yes, but I’m not stopping, I am so densely packed with light weightless, bright more than I have ever been, with reasons but no reason—only questions that don’t need answering and wonder that wants nothing.



  • Hamm

    November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    effing a

  • megh

    April 19, 2006 at 12:25 pm

    word, dogg.

  • bree

    April 26, 2006 at 12:13 pm

    Oh megh. You are the best ever.

    P.S. Gabe bit you? You’re urabn exploring now? Your brothers are hot. How jealous am I?

  • megh

    April 26, 2006 at 4:46 pm

    i am the best, hooray!

    i’d ask on what point precisely you’re jealous, but i’m scared.

    i miss you. we should hang out. not for awhile though, Art is killing me. lovingly. fun choking garrrr!

  • Bree

    April 26, 2006 at 9:37 pm

    I miss you, too. I am mired in finals and petitioning…should be free free in June. Will be looking for distraction from petitioning mid-end of May. I really want to see your screenprinting.

  • megh

    April 27, 2006 at 5:23 pm

    mid-end o’ may sounds poifect. closer to end. you shall see my screenprinting for certainly. with work, class, and after/beforehours in the shop, i’ve been pulling 14-hour days on campus this week. this morning i finished print 2 of 3 (in the series, not edition). i am a madwoman, hands a’cracked and filled with ink.

    i need a vacation. oh! how about i go to Vancouver in two weeks with two of my bestest friends in the whole world! okay! it’s a plan! 😀

  • megh

    April 28, 2006 at 12:48 am

    Vacation sounds nice. The law library is open 24 hours a day.

  • megh

    May 1, 2006 at 1:56 pm

    your law library non sequitur burned out my circuits.

  • passing the timing // d e e p s i c k s

    June 18, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    […] I’ve drunk this up already, I have told you this before. […]

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