Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Tight corner, one of many. Scraping sound from somewhere behind, bus pulls over, men rush out. Engine problem? Hit guard rail? Passengers stand and look back. White van is parked on other side of road. Conductor, short, comes back from outside, grabs a large wad of money and a steel pipe, leaves again. Passengers begin leaving bus -- no, just the men; women stay put. I exit, Juliette stays put. Men arguing, men threatening, each holding the other back. Posturing or real violence? Metal pipe is raised in the air, much yelling. Salaam, I want to say to them, peace. They are brothers under Allah, wishing for death because of a broken headlight. Fists have been raised but not swung. The pipe, now lowered, remains below the conductors waist. I can't tell who's making war and who's making peace. Juliette steps out, the only woman outside. Suddenly, like a flock of birds taking flight with one group mind, the tension is dissolved and everyone is back in their seats. The driver takes the bus, cautiously now, around hairpin turns, honking the horn to announce himself to oncoming traffic.

A transition from external to internal. From seeking happiness in objects, to creating it in myself. From depending on specific conditions, to recognizing the changing nature of all conditions. From reacting automatically, to acting with conscious awareness. From being a slave of the past to creating the future. Becoming free of the chains of self-perpetuating desire. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Neither here nor there, but somewhere in the middle.