There is a bridge across time from my composing this work to your reading it. It is even possible that you may happen upon this wordy ramble long after my body has entered the great sea of dust which circles the planet in perpetuity. In such an event, I will have gone from being somewhere to being everywhere, since that is the nature of dust, and also how we are all eventually transmuted in life after death.
This lyrical dust may even insinuate itself as a thin layer on your mahogany table if you are not scrupulous with your housekeeping (and by that I mean righteous with your dusting). Regardless, the microscopic parts of what I will have become shall bear no allegiance for or against your tidiness or lack thereof as you scroll the page where these words are gathered, and having thus delivered this initial preamble concerning the cosmic qualities of dust, I will continue.
I will speak here where it is morning, even though for you it may be in the later afternoon. Alternately, you may be reclining in a comfortably appointed suite on a sleek space cruiser. Out your port window you may notice the Earth receding in the distance like a mote of dust. Time will then be measured differently, which says something interesting again about relativity, but in any case, the launch was obviously successful, and now you are on your way to the outer zone with my words as a companion.
On the other hand, you may be sitting nervously in a dentist’s office, waiting for a possible tooth extraction, and this particular essay may have appeared (through no effort on my part I assure you) in one of the periodicals littering a table in the waiting room. I do hope the publishing proceeds were credited to my estate, but regardless of that, I cringe in advance at the expression on your face if you have managed to get this far into the piece, but were hoping to chance upon some celebrity gossip. Alas, I have none to share. However, now that my words have found their way here into your hands, for better or worse, let’s make the most of our transpersonal meeting and get on with the story.
As today’s variation on an old tale goes, so too was a fine young fellow snatched away and carried off by a deluding trick of interpretation on perception to a dim and dingy fortress dark. This grim and grimey mind-made dungeon was established on a cloudy mound of gathered dust in the midst of a mara-infested island, surrounded by great illusory heaps of shifting powdery grit.
Sentenced by an ego-mind’s horrid thought to dwell on the empty concept of ash, he alas became himself quite ashen. Due no doubt to the specks of soot which, clinging, cluttered up his eyes, his own true self he could not see, and so things went, perpetually. To paraphrase the great Kabir, there was no water, no boat, no boatman there; no sky above, no tick of time, nothing but vast emptiness (and of course the ever-present dust which swirled about because it must).
By some gracious stream of amazing grace which came from the amazing nowhere place, he woke at length from the dream of dirt and, crying hot tears of glad relief, dissolved the cinders of his eyes till he with the return of sight could see and sing the joyous song of the already free throughout the day and into the night! What truly grand delight, though this was not the end of tale, but barely the beginning. The telling of this story itself might just be never-ending!
The pious housekeeper sees dust on the mirror and tries to wipe it clean. They may succeed for a little while, but the dust inevitably returns, requiring more dusting. This can go on for quite some time, become a constant struggle. Life after life the dust piles up, and we try our best to sweep it away, but still it clings to the mirror.
Every once in a very great while, a gracious fellow may come forth who has been to the island, been imprisoned in its fortress dark, but by some fortunate grace at last woke up. What sort of words would that one say when confronted by the dust on the mirror which won’t go away?
“There has never been a mirror, that’s a mischievous trick of the playful mind. Since there’s nowhere for any dust to collect, you may as well enjoy your time here, singing the songs of the already free throughout the day and into the night!”