Someone had faked his death. I tell my friends that I can do this too, and fall to the ground, where I lay with my eyes closed, slowing my heart rate and respiration. I feel myself moving away, until I hear their voices from a distance. A woman playfully blows into my ear, but I feel only a pleasant breeze. There are no desires, no opinions, no religions, no sides. I see how much energy ordinary consciousness demands: It is not autonomic, but dynamic. While here everything it just is. I don't want to return.

This morning I walk under the bridge, past the non-objective iron sculpture, picking up Balch Creek to the left, as I enter the forest of tall trees.

A single leaf sails down, dipping and spinning. Watching it fall, "I've lost her to herself," I sigh. In the wilderness, where a billion species live interdependently, it is almost humorous, and profoundly sad.

A runner flies over the stone-riddled path, like a lung-gom-pa, eyes partly closed in trance. Behind him, an old man and a black dog are slowly approaching.

    Lopping after his master,
    the dog takes a moment
    to lift his leg.

"Is this the path to the Japanese Garden?" I ask. "Yes," he replies. "But it's far." "I have all day," I naively say.

Continuing on, soon the man and dog are approaching me again! "Did you get there? he asks. (A smile's playing in the dog's dark eyes.) I admit that I didn't. "Have you seen the Pittock Mansion? It's quite beautiful," he offers like a consolation prize. "It's close by."


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