On Saturday morning I was biking to the SMFA for a pottery class, and as I passed through an intersection in Inman a flock of pigeons flew overhead.
Echoes of Pigeon
Hearing my classmates expound on the emptiness and meaninglessness of life was dishearteningly nihilistic. Instead of the sadness and fear that permeated the discussion, the teachings of Nagarjuna—that emptiness is a means of connection (that in our emptiness we are alike)—were simultaneous balm for my anxieties and a source of immense pleasure (Inouye 38). The darkness of our class discussion yielded to a model of total light. With that understanding, the life of lady Sarashina comes into focus. Her life, her “dream world”, was constituted of her desires: for a perfect man, for spiritual enlightenment (As I Crossed A Bridge of Dreams, 64). She cuts herself off from the people in her life that can give her the connection she so desires; her husband passes in an out of the tale as a ghostly figure, whereas her dream man becomes more real. Even as her mistakes seem glaring, I also am connected to lady Sarashina, for my heart “strives” as well (Inouye, 28). I want love to be real, lasting. Still, everything is changing in “the world of dust and sorrow,” people die and we yearn for that which we cannot have (Inouye, 30). If I can see death as another droplet in the well of ether perhaps my isolation will shrink like passing landscape through a train window, until it becomes too small to see.