take your place on the great mandala

Today in the car a song by Peter Yarrow called The Great Mandala came on the radio. It was a live version, with Richie Havens and Peter, Paul and Mary. Tonight I am obsessed with it and played it for Tony and the boys. It’s not a new song, and I’ve heard it many times over the years. I’m not sure what struck me about it today, but I know that I am living in a time of three wars with two military-aged sons, and maybe it hit me a little harder because of that. The vocals are beautiful, but the lyrics are aggressive, sad, haunting, and with no satisfying resolution. “It's been going on for ten thousand years”. We talked about the building of tension in the music, also without resolution. It keeps us tense and wary. 

THE GREAT MANDALA (The Wheel of Life)
Peter Yarrow- Pepamar Music Corp.- ASCAP

So I told him that he'd better shut his mouth
And do his job like a man.
And he answered "Listen, Father,
I will never kill another."
He thinks he's better
than his brother that died
What the hell does he think he's doing
To his father who brought him up right?

Take your place on The Great Mandala
As it moves through your brief moment of time.
Win or lose now you must choose now
And if you lose you're only losing your life.

Tell the jailer not to bother
With his meal of bread and water today.
He is fasting 'til the killing's over
He's a martyr, he thinks he's a prophet.
But he's a coward, he's just playing a game
He can't do it, he can't change it
It's been going on for ten thousand years


Tell the people they are safe now
Hunger stopped him, he lies still in his cell.
Death has gagged his accusations
We are free now, we can kill now,
We can hate now, now we can end the world
We're not guilty, he was crazy
And it's been going on for ten thousand years!
Take your place on The Great Mandala
As it moves through your brief moment of time.
Win or lose now you must choose now
And if you lose you've only wasted your life.


insomniac thoughts, nyquil dreams

My heart is throbbing faster in the ball of my foot as I wonder again if I should just poke it. It’s probably not true insomnia when you can’t sleep because you’re obsessing about what’s imbedded and healed over in your foot. But no matter, true insomnia or not I am awake, coughing the last residue of a cold and trying to remember what it was I stepped on. I’m sure they’ll ask me this in the emergency room, or in the doctor’s office, and I don’t want to seem idiotic or anile when they do, so I think about what I could make up and then I realize that how could everyone possibly know what it is they stepped on unless they planned it, and who plans to land on a sharp object that can become imbedded in your foot and that you’d then try to get out even though you know full well that you put it there? Not me. I don’t know what’s in my foot, but I know that it’s only half of what was once there because I pulled the other half out three months ago I just don’t remember what it was. I’ll leave that part out of the story. I’d better poke it again. I’d better just leave it alone so as not to cause infection, but then I remind myself that it’s already infected on the inside. Maybe it’s better to poke it, let the sickness out and put some polysporin and a bandaid on it, and be done with it. I’d better leave it alone.
              Now I’m coughing again and with each cough my foot reminds me that it has a foreign object imbedded in it. I decide to take some Nyquil to stop coughing and get to sleep and lope off to the bathroom and am faced with the decision of Nyquil Cold & Flu or Nyquil Cough. I don’t have the flu so I go with Nyquil Cough even though the Symptom Selector does not have checkboxes for obsessive thoughts or healed-over splinters. I pour the sticky red shot to the top of the plastic measuring shotglass and down it in a few sips. It’s kind of nasty but far from the worst thing I’ve had to swallow and already I feel a bit of a glow coming on as I make my way back to bed. I know that there’s a finite amount of time between when the alcohol and antihistimine make me drowsy and the dextromethorphan keeps me awake, so I try to settle in but my foot is still beating and now that I’m feeling a little more relaxed I start thinking it would be a good idea to poke it. A little. I am gentle, because if I have to go to the emergency room or the doctor I don’t want them asking me why I allowed wolves to try to remove the splinter. I draw blood, not what I expected, so I dump some hydrogen peroxide on it and crawl under the covers where the Nyquil Cough takes me on its Original Cherry flavored dreams.