Thursday, April 14, 2005

Meditation on blogging: after one month

I once knew a man who tried to commit suicide in a tent he had borrowed for the purpose; he drove 30 miles from Austin to a relict loblolly pine forest, the westernmost in the United States in Bastrop State Park, set up the tent in the evening, took a lot of psilocybin, slashed his wrists, and, as his lifeblood ran out onto the tent floor wrote a long letter to a novelist he admired, whose name I can't remember right now; a letter of homage and one in which he explained in a spirit of great exaltation how it felt to become one with the Cosmos, the stars and the piney woods.
His wounds happily enough were superficial. Come morning the effects of the drug were gone and he realized that he was not dead and did not wish to be and he staggered drenched in his own gore from the tent, causing considerable commotion in the small state park campground. He recovered. As far as I know he never mailed the letter. I think the novelist would have wanted to receive it, an ecstatic farewell message stained with the blood of sincerity, from a stranger; the darkest voice of a writer perfectly reflected in this echo from the audience; a shout coming out of nowhere.
Of course, if the attempt had not failed, that would be another matter.

Where am I going with this? Mundanely, as a Buddhist I should not care whether anyone reads this blog or not, of course. My thoughts, such as they are, would be out there, like the activities of a beaver, the product of some construction instinct without thought of whether it floods someone's backyard, or, blogwise, gives a reader heartburn. Or is ignored.

If that were how it worked there would not be three blogs in America, and they as likely to be the product of mental illness as of enlightenment. The value of a blog, to a Buddhist blogger anyhow, is that it (a) may be entertaining or useful to someone, somewhere, who knows? and (b) it is a handy index to the condition of one's personal and ever-present vanity. All you have to do is glance at the hitcount or the comments, and you have a reading. Buddhists, or Zen Buddhists at any rate, proceed on the notion that such readings are spiritually useful, if humbling.

A vivid awareness that the fucking ox has disappeared into the bushes again.

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