December 26, 2004

Looking for the Tao on an afternoon in the park:

Twin sisters tumbling on a lawn, the tails of their big–flowered coats flapping

A guy waters his driveway with a green hose, then sweeps it with a yellow broom

A sharp shadow in the southwest side of every footprint in the gravel under the swings

It’s all nice but I’m feeling critical and choosy…

And then hymn voices rise from the Korean evangelical church across the street, and something shifts. Sound takes over from sight as the dominant sense:

Splash of gravel kicked against a vinyl slide

The unmistakable tone of business, in a language I don’t understand, from a man in a sharkskin suit talking on his cell phone while sitting on a swing

As if I've changed into a different species, relying on different organs. Pictures still form but they don’t register—only sounds, calling to one another from horizon to horizon: hiss of hose water hitting cement—gusts of traffic as the signals change…

Teasing me, making me turn this way and that, where is the next sound going to come from, can I somehow seize it before it’s there?

As if hearing is a metaphor for some other sense, one I strive for and don’t know how to use.