Monday, April 2, 2012

A Catholic in a Buddhist Temple, part 4

From the Back of the Beam

Wisdom does not belong, can never be received
In mad dash through the in-stoning of millennia of faith
By the tourist. I try to take it with me, and am all deceived
Blistering my finger, with furious photography
A three hour tour and five hundred costless snapshots
Recording in digits time’s nearest approach to eternity
Is a study in the fatuous. A Buddhist monk in Notre Dame
Would not know what he was seeing, but would see it.
We look in different directions, but we open our eyes.
In this we are much the same.

Wisdom comes to the one who does not try
To take the beauty with him, frozen, shrunk
In two-dimensional flatness, to fit his eye.

Wisdom comes to the one who remains. The monk
Intoxicated by beauty, who stays behind
To search forever for that which first made him drunk.

It comes to him who came, but not to find,
But to leave a bit of himself, a pilgrim’s gift
Of a lifetime of devotion, daily, menial and blind.

It comes to him who, day after day, shift upon shift
Glued countless tiny squares to massive walls
Or carved the hidden gargoyles. All these uplift

Their hearts in glad surrender to….
They know not what.
But He knows.
And loves.

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