Buddha in the Basement

03/29/2021 0 By BuddyCushman

11 a.m. — There is a sliver of blue sky broken out and down through the seemingly endless Northwest clouds. Over to the north. Rain devils, why not travel 1200 miles south to Los Angeles where you are needed. They reside here, though, these clouds, so the blue cutting through is a gift. I’m grateful.

Yesterday morning after meditation and during coffee a thought drifted into my mind that I needed to buy a small Buddha, some tiny thing to bring down into the basement, not so much for company – which it would provide – but for some space of spiritual anchorage. This was yesterday, Sunday, and I did go on Ebay and adjusted my desire (the Buddha would have a chuckle at “adjusting desire”) and decided on an eight-inch statue, carved and painted bronze, and selling out of Brooklyn, New York. Perfect.

Spending $33 on some such spontaneous vision might seem foolish, or downright near criminal for people homeless and hungry. But there and then, in those Sunday moments – which I never lived before and will never live again – it felt like the next right thing. My wife, in fact, has a stone Buddha out in the yard. There are also Buddhas and a Kwan Yin recreation, and a Native American sculpture my mom pottered decades ago at a job as Activities Director at a nursing home back in the hometown of Wareham, around and about the house here now, plus a very small wooden Buddha my friend Jen in Oakland gave me a number of years back which sometime along the way Susan appropriated and keeps in her car. So, I’m not without a Buddha or two before mine arrives from somewhere off Flatbush Ave, a crow’s quick dash from Yankee Stadium. Still.

I’m finishing a library book, I will within the next couple of hours, “The Snow Leopard” by Peter Matthiessen. I have been supposed to read it, I’m sure, at some point during this life and a few days back began. I took it with me to urgent care Saturday afternoon where I had an EKG – nothing wrong here it said – and so much of what’s in this book is of my life now which is the same life as the one before my grandparents were born and the same life after the one when I’m gone, and shortly, here in the Monday studio, I will sit in meditation, the gong app set, and both be here now and be simultaneously all over the place and maybe they’re putting my Buddha in the Big Apple mail and maybe the sun will find its way through the Oregon cloud cover – maybe it will rain in LA – and I will sit and I will finish my book and I will post my Monday Blog’s weather and my heart and esophagus and stomach and colon and left knee and cool haircut will all do their things. Being here now.

My left knee screamed at me this morning, like 5 a.m., which reminded me both that I am 72 and that I am still here, with my very own all-these-years of running around knee(s). Still. And this is just Monday morning.