When I went to the first class of my MFA degree I was surprised to find that the professor spent a lot of time focusing on Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk who established the Order of the Interbeing. This is not a joke, not a funny. It is simply poignant Interbeing.
(people who've met me and plied me with liquor have heard my "poignant" harangue)
So you might say I was a bit taken aback. My writing workshop is a buddhist haven. We have three -- or is it four? -- meditation periods per workshop. We will meditate a lot. We will meditate to a bell.
Taken aback, I was, as I said. Rattled. Had drinks with students after. Some left early, others needed rides. So I offered. Driving home, we were talking about a whole lot of nothing, really, because this buddhist thing might work out. As skeptical as I sound, I withhold judgement; I think inside the jargon is quite a lot of truth. And then, apparently, I said,
"Oh my god..."
And then the minivan smashed into us as we were sitting there at the red light.
The two passengers, they said they were OK. The bumper is in shreds, the left taillight dead dead dead, and quite honestly my neck is a bit stiff. I have numbers in my pocket and will deal with things tomorrow.
For tonight, just picture it, me running to the back of his car in the storm to see his license plate, vaguely wondering what he's doing with those two lanky little daughters out at 11:30pm, rain splat splat on the black asphalt and the tremor of regret shimmering all around.
There is, sure, more to the story. Will students be mallebeable and meditate? Will the driver of the smashmobile pay up? Will I be able to sit up tomorrow without terrible pain -- and will my passengers?
Tune in tomorrrow(ish), my friends.