Sunday, September 14, 2008

the intersection of Zen and homelessness

There was a period not that long ago when I was intrigued by the side of this supermarket at a very busy intersection in Salinas. I had the idea that it would be great to spend the rest of my days sitting on the curb seen above (at the right end of the structure), watching the traffic go by and sipping coffee. That may sound like the homeless man, but it's actually the point where the homeless man and the Zen monk intersect. Certain busy intersections are rife with a palpable world-spirit, the spirit not of the ideal world, but of the world we actually live in. These intersections are everywhere and I take note whenever I encounter them. This one is a fine example and would rank among the best, possessing a near-perfect balance of urban and rural influences: the grittiness of the concrete and auto emissions offset by the row of very mature, sweet-smelling eucalyptus trees glimpsed at the right, the edge of a neighboring park (and rodeo grounds) full of such trees. In my original vision I would arrange to have someone hand me cups of coffee throughout the day, but since then they have built a Starbucks that is a comfortable walking distance.


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