Checkpoint One

Our commute is dotted with checkpoints.

I breathe in.

As I round the bend next to the lake and gun into the straightaway, I see the crew.

The early morning meditators. Perched, still, mindful statues on thin pillows. In winter months this group of seven huddles for warmth and dresses for the cool.

These days they are less layered. But equally, still.

Some days there are up to 12 of them. Aligned neatly and tight, legs crossed under, faces stone. Most have eyes closed but from time to time they peek out.

they remind me of bowling pins for some reason

And as I chuckle at the idea of a wayward ball knocking them out of their reverie, over the rail, and into the lake. And somehow it’s clear to me that if this happened, they’d smile and nod

retake their seats

and get back to it.

Such is the nature of their commitment.

I’ve never made eye contact.

I long to join them, to pause in this stream of life, have a moment for myself, my breath, my empty mind. But our time is short. We need to get to school and there’s too much to do.

So instead, as I pass, I make a point to turn inward, and while steering to avoid the oncoming traffic

I breathe out.

Published by Radutti

Teaching in Ha Noi, screwing things up daily but surviving to write about it. ...everything's perfectly all right now. We're fine. We're all fine here now, thank you. How are you?

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  1. Another great slice. Although we need to empathise with them, you have added some metaphorical humor here; this line is great,”they remind me of bowling pins for some reason” and you carry on using the bowling analogy.;” And as I chuckle at the idea of a wayward ball knocking them out of their reverie, “. I hope they find warmth beside each other.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The contrast between motion and stillness in this slice is powerful. Both can bring peace and mindfulness, as you so effectively demonstrate. I love the humor in the image of the meditators as unflappable, no matter the imagined circumstances.

    I’m so curious about the line: “I’ve never made eye contact.”

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  3. You’ve got me thinking of the dots of my commute. The way you wove together the breathing and the sights is brilliant. The little bit of humor woven in was just the right dose (people as bowling pins). Thanks so much for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This feels somehow dreamlike (maybe because of the quiet of the mood?), which seems dangerous on a commute, but It also fits with how I feel on many mornings. I think. you may have a more beautiful commute than I have. Mine passes strip malls. I really enjoyed the images and this white-on-black theme.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Not only a beautiful captured moment, but also calming poetic writing. I’m glad I pop over at the recommendation of TWT. My time is so limited these days, I barely have time to crank out a post everyday, much less reading and commenting. Grateful for your breath and encouragement to just slow down a little and notice.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s no wonder that Amy directed us here for today’s inspiration. The meditating “pins,” your contrasting motion, yet the conscious breath that unites us all in a stillness. This is magic. I had a practicing Hinayana Buddhist professor in college who became a friend and we would discuss ways of making every movement a meditation, how that changed the quality of life, of breath. You make space for that.

    Liked by 1 person

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