August 11, 2015

Things I Have Seen. {Poem}

Photo: kwanie via Flickr

Things I have seen, in no particular order:

I have seen the world from many angles.

I have seen great Buddhist teachers teach and students struggle.

I have danced with a woman I loved under the stars in Africa, Bali, Sydney, Rome, Las Vegas, Nice and Mexico.

I have swum with fish in the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, the Pacific, and in Hawaii, Fiji, Australia and Bali.

I have been in a typhoon and witnessed a hijacking in Hong Kong.

I have seen sporting events I did not understand and I have played music at the Super Bowl.

I have seen Sting at home, in a strip club and singing in my studio on my Neumann U87.

I have worked for and spoken with Michael Jackson backstage and listened to his strange words of concern.

I have seen Tokyo several times.

I have seen the cherry blossoms bloom in NYC, Tokyo and Nagasaki.

I have seen and ridden the bullet train.

I have seen and felt the 1992 earthquake in LA.

I have seen sunsets in Assisi, Rome, Paris, Nice, Hawaii, Big Sur, Bali, Fiji, Sydney, Colorado and hundreds of other places.

I have seen Fijian water so blue that it looked like a clear blue sky.

I have seen a school of 200-300 hammerhead shark swimming below me as I drifted past the Yellow Wall in 8000 feet of Fijian water.

I have fed the seagulls in the Sydney Harbor with giant prawn tails and fresh bread while I laughed and kissed a woman I loved.

I have befriended a nun in Assisi when I travelled on a silent retreat following the path of St. Francis.
I have followed the forest paths of St.Francis and stood where he stood, sat where he sat, asked God questions where he asked God questions.

I have welcomed in the New Year in a 2000-year-old apartment overlooking the Riale Valley.

I have seen the transformative power of music and the newly imagined moment.

I have seen the power and beauty of craft and mastery.

I have seen my woman’s eyes—usually bright with pleasure and happiness—shut slowly during a great kiss.

I have made love to women who I loved and who loved me deeply.

I have stood in silence in the great cathedral of trees in La Verne.

I have seen the stillness of the Tunisian desert and ridden on a camel.

I have seen the gift of true healing.

I have seen the backs of other Zen students as we sat for weeks at a time in silence.

I have seen unbelievably generous acts of kindness and integrity.

I have seen tremendous loneliness.

I have seen a train coming towards me and a group of others as we lay down on the tracks to prevent Uranium from being delivered to make weapons,

And I have seen that train stop because we were there to stop it.

I have seen Allen Ginsberg bring me a pizza onstage while I was playing, and then refuse to leave until I had eaten.

I have seen betrayal and cruelty, selfishness and greed.

I have seen disrespect and unkindness and still seen the good arise in that person.

I have seen incredible beauty in the most unexpected places.

I have seen a woman paint with sand.

I have seen and tasted Italian grapes so sweet and beautiful I could not eat anything else.

I have seen and tasted a French meal that stunned me.

I have tasted chocolate so good that I could not eat anything else until the memory had faded.

I have slept in Central Park and seen the sun rise over the buildings.

I have seen the beauty and inspired craziness of Burning Man.

I have seen a woman lost and confused at Burning Man call the Godphone while I was sitting in the chair and speak to me as if I were God and I helped her.

I have swum in the sea by Cinque Terra.

I have seen the ocean in Big Sur speak to me in diamond waves and holographic dolphins.

I have seen a blue whale up close.

I have scuba dived through a volcanic lava tube tunnel in Kauai with my son on his first dive.

I have seen the completion of two amazing CD’s of Blues music that I imagined and created with some of the best musicians on the planet.

I have seen solutions to problems that no one else could see, and I have seen my solutions work.

I have seen my own father die in my arms.

I have been blessed by saints and gurus.

I have seen my whole family die.

I have seen people I love, women I have loved, die.

I have seen pain in my body and in my heart.

I have seen despair in others.

I have seen many tears—mine and others.

I have seen people lie for no reason.

I have seen the gift of people telling the truth.

I have seen a King Cobra in the rafters above my bed while in a Balinese bungalow and chosen not to be afraid.

I have seen the edges of three volcanoes and the tops of two mountains.

I have stood at the foot of a great tulku and taken refuge vows.

I have seen a roomful of meditators, sitting in silence, start laughing spontaneously.

I have seen the Rocky Mountains in winter.

I have seen snow fall on three continents.

I have seen the Sydney Opera House.

I have seen the shores of Grand Cayman Island recede as I was swept out to sea on a riptide.

I have seen a black bear in the wild.

I have seen a baby being born—my son—right in front of me

I have seen a bank robbery and a liquor store hold up.

I have seen the hood of my car after I went out the windshield when I was hit by a drunk driver,

And I have seen my father’s face tremble with relief when he saw I was not dead from that.

I have seen poverty.

I have seen dignity.

I have seen depression and pain.

I have seen passion so deep that nothing could stop it.

I have seen a double rainbow in Kauai.

I have seen Fijian men dancing a Meke on a remote island, drinking Kava and playing music under the stars all night long and I became friends with the chief of that tribe.

I have seen a pod of dolphins racing by so fast, so close to me that I could touch them.

I have seen and ridden in the original Batmobile.

I have seen poetry with words so beautiful that they echoed through time.

I have seen words in languages and stories that moved me, inspired me, bored me and angered me.

I have seen too much traffic in Los Angeles.

I have seen Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower and NYC from the top of the Empire State Building.

I have seen and eaten sushi so good and so beautiful it could make you cry.

I have played music all over the world with great musicians.

I have sailed on the colonial ship that was used as the Bounty in the movie.

I have seen Barry White too drunk to sing.

I have seen Oscar Peterson play 30 feet away from me.

I have played music with Ray Charles.

I have seen NYC from the top of the Pan Am Building when we were not supposed to be there after the helicopter disaster.

I have seen 40 foot seas breaking over the bow of the QM2 while crossing the Pacific in winter with my son as we sailed to Hawaii.

I have seen the Chinese Military Police running towards me with guns drawn.

I have seen the floodwaters rise and my arms broken in agony.

I have seen the women I love change into strangers.

I have seen friends come and go.

And in this life of mine, as yet unfinished, I can say with absolute certainty, that the only absolute proof of God that I have seen, is in the face of my son, who is the greatest gift I have ever received, and the finest human being I have ever met.

I have seen my son ride away on a bike without training wheels and cried with pride and joy.

I have seen my son unable to breathe from asthma while I drove him to the hospital.

I have seen my son scuba dive for the first time.

I have seen my son jet ski for the first time.

I have seen my son test out at martial arts for a new belt and pick himself up and break a board when it looked like he would not be able to do so.

I have seen my son look at me with eyes shining with true love.

I have seen my son dance.

I have seen Terence McKenna teach my son to play chess.

I have seen my son walk on stilts.

I have seen my son drive a car by himself.

I have seen my son’s heart break and begin to mend.

I have seen my son act on a stage.

I have seen my son walk the streets of NYC, Cinque Terra, Paris, Nice, Kauai, Playa del Carmen and Tulum.

I have seen him grow into an excellent man.

I have seen my son be my best man at my wedding.

I am, I realize, despite all appearances to the contrary, truly blessed.


Relephant Reads:

To My Son. {Poem}


Author: John March

Apprentice Editor: Caitlin Oriel; Editor: Caroline Beaton

Photo:  kwanie/Flickr

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