Monks Pour Sand Mandala Into Mississippi River


Joan Crawford only wished for a film with the intensity of the scene. Snowy day––cold, hard wind. Massive white-out pile-up shuts down an interstate bridge. Somewhere, a grandfather clock, blown off landing, splinters at bottom of stairs. Windows are blown in, glass everywhere. That line of Betty Davis’ in Cabin in the Cotton––“I’d like to kiss you, but I just washed my hair” sticks in Mica’s head. Auspicious Symbols do not go or stay––whispering sea-roar conch shell, victory banner summer sky, treasure chest ocean’s endless knot of water, charnel ground as a parasol of wildfire, fish shimmering beneath autumn leaves, dead of winter void stirs lotus flower’s spring rebirth. Deity syllables are removed in a specific order. From silk wrapped jar, mandala sand pours into the river. Mica feels the numb, cold current pushing harder as she steps from the bank. Wading in, she bows to the ephemeral nature of visual scripture.



[Published in The Ongoing Saga I Told My Daughter: Expanded Edition.

© 2016 by Jim Cohn.]




The Ongoing Saga I Told My Daughter: Expanded Edition
(MAP Publications, 2016)