Basho and Wallace Stevens What I like about language is what I like about fog. What comes between us and things grants them their shine. - Mark Doty How many times can a koan stub the mind’s toe? Or a sensei clap his hand with no sound? Here it is, late at night, and you’ve come together, like two old friends who never knew each other. Stillness, whispering leaves, and a promise that only things themselves can make, or the moon as the ghost of everything possible. Step in, step in… and together we’ll go down the long darkened hallway in the House of Being, down to the last window at the end where the stars glimmer in the flickering light, like a scatter of coins. And later, when fog is a thief clouding the moon, what better veil than the mist? I’ve fallen in love with illusion. And if I whisper, tell you the truth of a life, that I lean on your lines, will you come and sit by my side while I read, read everything into your worlds?
John Valentine has recently retired from 45 years of teaching philosophy courses at various colleges.