Admit, first, that you weren’t in the crosswalk, that you didn’t see the car coming and that while you’re up in the air time really does slow down, so before you return to earth, …
Admit, first, that you weren’t in the crosswalk, that you didn’t see the car coming and that while you’re up in the air time really does slow down, so before you return to earth, know that you’re a long way from the streets of New York now, that the road’s end you’re about to behold offers no consolation, but in the language spoken here, what you’re looking for is looking for you. So don’t lose heart because on this side of the veil you’ve fallen in the sand with the sun blazing twelve golden rays through your cranium’s brain-stem: a walled city will yet appear on the horizon just around the next bend!
If you’re still concerned with how you might land on that other side of the veil, you won’t see the city shimmering beyond the dunes, but sooner or later you will and when you do, you won’t care why it appears out of nowhere in the middle of what was a New York afternoon or who Buster Keaton waits for while playing solitaire because you’ll approach with a lover’s abandon knowing here is water and well, your journey complete, the mystery unfolded, the roundness of all roads shining in the silence of the sun, the edge the troubadours reach for in song, one world’s death birthing another made manifest.
Nevertheless, there’s no entrance. Only jagged glass welcomes those scaling her walls. To enter, become with your whole heart your intention, and like all things, your intention shall come to pass. It’s why the City of Karmic Completion is so named, why you’ve discovered what others insist doesn’t exist.
Once inside her gates, appear to notice no one and no one will appear to notice you. Past the fakirs on their beds of nails and the sadhus coated in ashes, find the stall that sells the hazelnut. For the city to have meaning chew the nut slowly and swallow the pieces before its subtle sweetness reveals the city’s deepest secret: although you’re no longer alive, the delicious taste of the hazelnut does not stop but only turns, as all things will, into something else.
Buster Keaton knows this but keeps a straight face, the same one he wore years earlier in a Hollywood classic now being shown at the city’s cinema. There’s world enough and time before the show begins except that the hazelnut stall is hard to find and the afternoon heat is so killing that even Samuel Beckett stops filming Mr. Keaton who in silent deadpan watches Rocky Colavito stretch his back in a full nelson with his bat. Veiled women in black surround him, paid to weep and wail for who can forget how Rocky blasts a cold beer Cleveland Indian homer?
Further up the midway, Wilhelm Reich tells reporters how his orgone box drew rain during a drought in Maine. As the sweltering heat melts his speech liquid, you may notice holes in the field your sense organs perceive. Falling into sleep or stepping into your pilgrimage bath, you may simultaneously find yourself entering a painted cave where a thousand voices call and ten thousand answer, creating a sound current which keeps your consciousness floating above the ruins of a lost city where a single singer in sun and sand laments in riming rubiyats that her Beloved has gone. Don’t get too close! Everyone turns out to be you in the City of Karmic Completion.
Would you rather pretend you’re not here, that all this is merely the side effect of being accidentally lifted into unconsciousness twenty feet into the air? In that case, let’s say you’re an American playing softball in Nagasaki and a pitcher hangs the ball just where you can’t hit it. Over the course of your swings his catcher may tell you there are no undertakers in the Land of the Rising Sun. The body is washed by the family, put in a hazelnut casket and cremated, the charred bones placed in an urn where the dead turns into a kami, a spirit to live in the living room shrine. However pointless his pitch, you will have struck out by its end.
Meanwhile, in the City of Karmic Completion the harvest has just begun. On rounded hillsides monks gather hazelnuts in their brown robes. To their unique order alone, the nut, which they call the filbert, bears the remembrance of Philibert’s feast day, which they turn into a spirit known as Fra Angelico. Like their patron saint, a French aristocrat who gave his wealth away to seek the vision of lamby Jesus in a grotto, the taste of that spirit is said to grow richer with regret, disgrace and denial. As goes regret, Rocky Colavito admits there are no Indians in Cleveland. As goes disgrace, a shackled Wilhelm Reich raises his fingers skyward in heart attack to demonstrate rain’s a dance that ends in renewal. As goes denial, Samuel Beckett knows cinema is magic and the soul’s true abode is comedy.
Nevertheless, in the city’s stadium, a softball game is underway. As goes the loudspeaker that just called the faithful to prayer, expect to hear, if the announcer is Buster Keaton, nothing. In return, light a candle. As goes the ageless woman the city is especially famous for, that beautiful, white-clad, green-eyed, olive-skinned courtesan with dragonflies mating in the twilight around her, she may brush up against you. If she asks, “Where does the burned wax go?,” get ready: you’re the next batter.
As you approach the hot plate where energy meets matter and consciousness greets carbon form, find at the microphone the face of that famous silent screen actor whose deadpan draws but one conclusion: you cannot go on but you must go on for dehydration has by now made your body a wick and your mind a ball of wax. Like your vision of the City of Karmic Completion, the extinguishing of your flame does not stop but only turns, as all things will, into something else.