LXIII. Notes from the Yamabushi’s Cavern

Foraging for growth on the spring forest floors, roots and grubs, the same satisfaction; the beginning  of the notes scribbled in the Yamabushi’s cavern here on the mount. Visions of the marauding hermit, a sack full of leeks and chicory root, here, how the forest trembles, the snap of a twig, the songs of unseen birds in the tops of trees. Communion with nature, this pillage, the cleanest communion, how in escaping humanity one comes to the most fundamental understanding of it. These boiled roots, now edible, now succulent , now nourishing, this future enlightenment. Is survival purely human? Only the qualities of being comfortable in it. All these vicious attributes pressed against one, hiding the very source for the magic that is sought. Elements, what are they but interpretations? Satisfaction, what is it but interpretations? So illusive, the source, what is it but a spell? Interpretations, samsara, this interactive curse, what is it that it floats on? Why it is right here, in this yamabushi’s humble abode, where a cup of tea tastes like stones, but who is it that tastes the flavor?  This yamabushi brews the perfect pot, but with nothing to pour into, must let its steep turn to spoil, and let its spoil turn to a steep. This fermentation, but a process in this great floating, levels of potency, of involvedness, such drunkenness! This yamabushi is to busy studying the ethical discourse of shrews and squirrels and the mosquito sampling on this meditative pose. This yamabushi, who brings a berry when he goes down to visit his anthill village, too humble to ask for the queen’s blessing, shares stories with the worker ants instead. Content to hear bees buzzing around unpicked flowers, for this is the very reason for them, their beauty being turned to thick wildflower honey, an amalgamation of taste from a variety of being, all this yamabushi is, for if they aren’t cherry blossoms, what the hell matters then about the correct variation, if in the beauty of the sight, the thought emerges of the cherry blossom.  When even shit is fragrant, who has the succulence to say what is pleasing? This yamabushi says the bear, and oh how in hibernation this hermitage of life has been one long sleep, now these nostrils wait for spring. The climate is not telling when berries should be picked, only a shake of the thorny bramble. No need to taste for ripeness, when ripeness shows itself.

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