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Shokai

Something comes to mind

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A few days ago Jundo and I were discussing weather and the fact that his family relocated from New York to Florida when he was a boy to escape the cold weather. Early this morning it suddenly occurred to me that I may have been holding on to a fallacy for some time now. Back in 1965 taking English 101, we were asked to write an essay on our earliest recollection. Mine was a certain vignette of me as a toddler (probably 3+ yrs) standing on our upstairs front balcony looking ( from the south shore of the St. Laurence River) at the skyline of Montreal with a Naval officer walking by on the side walk below. He was tossing his keys in the air and whistling a tune. But now, Jundo having talked about leaving New York as a boy, I recall a similar flash of consciousness about my father returning from the New York World Fair. He and my grandfather drove from Montreal to New York in 1939 to attend the fair and their return, with souvenirs, was a memorable family event that I recorded on my young memory bank. Mine was a small toy replica of the sphere and obelisk that were the symbols of that fair. I was born in April and the fair ended in August meaning I would have been witnessing that event at something less than 2 1/2 years of age. Judging from the clothes I was wearing in the balcony scene above, that flash must have occurred in the autumn; which leads me to believe my father's return from the fair must be my earliest recollection. The amazing aspect to me is that these are memories that are almost 75 years old and I sometimes forget what I did yesterday or last week. One of the most vivid of these is the audible memory of listening to the crackling radio signal of Winston Churchill declaring war against Hitler. You've probably seen the pictures of a whole family gathered about a huge cabinet radio listening to news. Well. we actually did that. And, it was at least another ten years before we had B&W TV !! Btw, these flashes of awareness are very much similar to the clouds that drift by during zazen; showing us splotches of truth that are ours to wrestle with.

gassho,
仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
Just another itinerant monk; go somewhere else to listen to someone who really knows.

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