The Gardener's Introduction

July 25, 2008

Play of Transantiago begins with a passage something like this, read by the Gardener.

GARDENER:

When the Buddha was on his deathbed, a group of children came to him and asked: “Teacher, why is there a ‘Santiago’ in Chile, a ‘Santiago’ in Cuba, yet another ‘Santiago’ in the Philippines, a ‘Santiago’ in the Cape Verde Islands, a ‘Santiago’ in California (though that one’s called ‘San Diego’), at least thirty ‘Santiagos’ in Portugal, five in Spain, one in the Galapagos…?” But by the time the children finished their question, the Buddha had died.

Ānanda took the children aside and said: “Brave Ones, the Beloved Teacher has traded in his fleshy prison for a body made of rainbows. Lucky for you, I too once asked him your question, so I can share the answer with you. In truth, the mirrored city, Transantiago, is a perfect jewel carried within the mind of Lokeśvara, the Lord of the Earth, who scatters reflections of it as he pleases amidst the grime of this world. But, I would advise you: if in the future you meet a bodhisattva on the road, pray render your speech more succinct, else he escape like the wind in your hands.”

Following Ānanda’s advice, it is my duty, the duty of the Gardener, to sheer away excessive blabber with a snip of the fingers, tending the conversation by keeping it well pruned.

[PASS THE BOOK TO YOUR LEFT, TO THE DANCER]

One Response to “The Gardener's Introduction”

  1. Ben Finney Says:

    “sheer” is an adjective, meaning “direct”.

    “shear” is what a gardener uses for shearing.


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