By SM Stubbs
For centuries, an order of Japanese monks
chose one of the elders to deliver prayers
to the island of an important Bodhisattva. They set
the elect adrift in a shrine shaped like a coffin
with a month of salted fish, rice crackers & water
while brothers on shore kept watch for signs of panic.
In many cases, the sacrifice tried to row home
but the others turned him, shoved him back
into the sea. A mirror of human existence:
each of us sent to beg forgiveness from whichever
gods we recognize while death patiently paces
the sky. As darkness swallows the world, imagine
the cry of gulls, glimpses of a distant horizon,
the slow groan of the casket atop the waves.
"When I read about the monks of the Fudarakusan-ji temple and this end-of-life ritual, I became fascinated by the deep commitment to their beliefs," Stubbs told Poets.org. "I took a stab at evoking the experience -- what they saw plus the overwhelming terror and peace -- during this final demonstration of faith, and wondered whether I believe anything as completely as they believe in the Buddhist paradise."
On Monday I was supposed to pick up the same prescription CVS had told me was ready yesterday at a different location, only to be told they never got the prescription in the first place. They also told me that the medication was out of stock pretty much everywhere around the city, denied being able to find my records online, and long story short the rest of my day was on the phone unable to straighten this out.
So today it wasn't the new computer taking up my whole day, but trying to stay alive in a medical system in which a pharmacist actually suggested that, if I can afford it, I should go to a private pharmacy that can compound things for me. It's a very high level of "fuck you." Otherwise, we had beautiful weather, walked to the beach, and watched most of the rest of Suits. The barnyard at Kelsey Creek Farm Park: