b r e a t h i n g   r o o m

21 Dec 97

briggs gave me a wheel of time sand mandala circular jigsaw puzzle. dick, briggs, and i sat around last evening working it after a baby-swarm of a solstice open house in the afternoon and a early hangover-y seafood gorge (they had the oysters, i had the crab).

It makes you pay attention, that puzzle. It not like some foliage scene where four out of five of the pieces are identical. If you look carefully enough at any piece and at the overally mandala pattern, you can figure out exactly where it goes. It made me more mindful. Aside from my aching lowerback (overdid the twists in yoga on friday), the hours spent hovering over the puzzle were wonderfully engaging and relaxing. Dick eventually, around ten, put his coat on and said his goodbyes (Briggs, eyes bleary and at her cut off point of Lagavulin, was playing slowly at the piano) but ended up working the puzzle for another 45 minutes, unable to tear himself away, seduced by one single piece after another. Dick likened the process of scanning for pieces to mushroom hunting (another of his pastimes).

I like to think that in my degraded commodified western fashion, I'm doing the same thing the Tibetan monks do when they meticulously paint these mandalas out of colored sandstone they've ground themselves. (When they're done, they sweep it all up and throw it in the nearest body of water). Through attentiveness and study of the mandala pattern, working alongside, we'll assemble this fascinating image (even if we don't know who the various fat little gods are).

yester morrow
day one
first lines

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