Friday, November 21, 2003

life of buddy don, chaptur 76:
ye cant find the way

ifn ye gut a look at my universty trance scrip, ye mite could thank thay wuznt much differnts tween my winter n my sprang quarters at utk in 1978, on a counta how in each of em i tuck 4 hours of german n 8 hours of collidge skolars, witch fer that i had to hand in substandshill progress on my projeck, witch that wuz the novel crap notes i wuz a'ritin. only differnts wuz i tuck 4 hours of buddhism in the winter n 4 hours of islam in the sprang. but plain fack is, ye couldnt harldy find ye two quarters much differnt.

ifn ye wuz the kind that lacks to use metafors, ye mite say one wuz lack buddhism, all calm n meditayshunal n gittin the reason quite n tuther wuz more lack islam, burstin with life n intellect n mistycism.

thang is, i wuz jes trine to run the bases on all the major relijuns as part of my educayshun. twuz a way of keepin on with my search n gittin collidge credit. i had been a'studyin up on judaism frum the time i met susannah n i had studied hinduism as part of the rode to buddhism, witch i had been readin up on both of em fer years. but sum kinda way, i hadnt never give islam much chants on a counta i wuz so ignernt that i thought twuz a relijun of terrsts or i dont know whut. i reckon plane fack is i dint give it much thought.

so ye kin jes magine my sprize whenever i gut into the furst day of that class n professor runde gut started astin us did we know whut role jesus played in islam, n fack wuz, i kindly thought jesus wuz the responsbilty of the christchuns, but thar he wuz, big as life in islam. n same fer adam n moses n noah. fack is, they wuz all rated rite up thar with mohammet, witch he wuz the las of the profits.

i half to add mitt when i git sprized by a thang, i gut to read on it hardern ever to try to git caught up. so i tuck to studyin islam lack no thang id ever studied. larnt bout the mazin empire they gut goin in the furst hunnert years or so, witch it stretched frum spain to indonesia n twuz the biggest ever.

n i larnt bout the five pillars of islam, witch furst seemed a lil simple but on futher refleckshun seemed lack they wuz a way of wurkin yer bidy into bein faithful n obedient:

  1. furst thang ye gut do ifn yer a'gone be a muslim is make a two part statemint in publick, (1) that thar aint but one god wurthy of bleef, witch they call god 'allah,' witch that means 'the god' n (2) that mohammet is the final profit of god. ye gut to fergive me fer puttin it into hillbilly. thang is, ye cant translate this stuff, witch ill splain that direckly.
  2. nex ye gut to practiss yer prayrs, witch they gut em five times everday that ye spozed to pray: (1) rite after a'gittin up but befor dawn, (2) jes befor havin lunch, (3) rite round the time folks gits off frum wurk, (4) bout dinner time, n (5) jes befor a'goin to bed. n thang bout them prayrs wuz that ye dont half to concentrate on whut ye mite be a'prayn fer but ye do half to doot in publick, lease ye do ifn yer a man. i dont recolleck whut the women do or ifn they gut thar own times n places to go.
  3. ye gut to fast fer a munth ever year whenever ramadan cum around. witch that means ye cant eat or drank nuthin tween sunrise n sunset n ye cant half sex neethur.
  4. ye half to practiss charty, witch they had it all wurked out how much ye had to give frum yer gold n yer livestock n yew name it.
  5. ye had to make a pilgrumidge to mecca, witch they call that hajj.

i wont bore ye with too many details bout it. i recummend a'studyin up on it now moren ever on a counta whut alls a'goin on in this here worl. but i couldnt hardly git a nuff.

back then thay wuz plenty of muslims on the campus of utk, mainly frum iran on a counta the usa had put in the shah n everbidy always talked bout how much the iranian peeple luved us fer keepin em free frum a dictator. virgil made friens with one name of mohammet n i wood ast him bout his relijun n thangs in iran, but he dint hardly know english that well n he dint wonta talk bout iran period.

but he had im sevrul friens n i made friens with one name of shahram, witch i dont member his las name. i wuz a'studyin the sufis n reedin a book by idries shah on the topick. that gut shahrams attenchun n rite away he cummenced to astin me did i thank i could git enlitenmint frum reedin a book n i sed i dint thank i could but i did thank i could pick up sum hints bout the way to go or even not to go, bout findin the path. n that gut us a'goin n thang wuz, we saw lots of thangs alike. fack is, i larnt more frum him than i did frum that class.

fer one, he put the three big westurn relijuns together fer me:

  1. furst god cum to abraham n he brung this message: thay aint but the one god n the one god is god of all the peeple. n moses gut the furst part eggzackly rite, that thay aint but the one god. but whenever folks herd bout him talkin to god, they tuck to thankin this one god wuz jes fer the peeple god chose to tell it to, so they missed the secunt part of the message, that the one god wuz god fer all the peeple.
  2. so god cum a secunt time, only this time as a man name of jesus to give the same messages bout the one god fer all the peeple, n whenever folks herd bout thatn they gut the part bout god bein fer everbidy, but they tuck to multiplyin the gods, addin in the trinity of gods, father, son n holy ghost n mary n saints ye kin pray to n so on.
  3. so god cum a thurd time, this time as a book that ye cant never translate, witch thats the koran, n since ye cant translate it, innybidy that wonts to master whuts innit has to larn arabic the way twuz spoke back in the 7th centry ad. n this time the folks that herd the messages gut em, that twuz the one god fer everbidy. n rite away, they went out to splain this to the worl. n they wuz spozed to set up a relm of peace, witch they called it darm al islam, fer the peeple of the book, witch that wood be yer jews n yer christchuns.

n that aint even a lil bit of whut he splained to me. fer instunts, that class gut us to memrize them pillars i listed, but shahram tole me thangs they mint. makin a statemint that thay aint but the one god n that mohammet is his profit is a powerful thang. ye half to speak in publick. ye half to larn a lil arabic on a counta everthang depends on that.

n that thang bout charty, he splained, thats on a counta how nobidy is rich on thar own merit but only by the blessings of god n fack is, tiz a responsibilty fer thems whats gut to give to them whuts not on a counta tiz thars in the furst place. ifn god makes ye rich, then ye gut to do yer part fer them that god made poor n doin that brangs ye closer to god. he also sed tiz the justus of god on a counta fack is thays minny a persun that wurks hard n does rite but dont git rich n thays minny a rich persun that aint hardly good fer nuthin.

n thank bout them prayrs, he wood say whenever i sed the prayr ritchull all seemed hollow sumhow on a counta it dint matter whut ye thought. he he sed thoughts dont matter lack ackshuns do, n i had to give him that. n thank bout the times god asts ye to do them quote hollow ritchulls unquote, rite when yer bidys a'wontin sumthin else. in the mornin when ye wonta sleep, rite when yer reddy to eat yer lunch, rite when ye git off n mite could be thankin bout sumthin sides god, n rite at dinner time n rite at bedtime, five times a day to keep yer bidy doin rite.

brang yer bidy along, shahram lacked to say, n the mine has gut to follow on a counta how tiz stuck inside.

but shahram wernt thonly persun to shake up my way of lookin at thangs. i met a nuther muslim name of sa'id frum palestine at a party one time. shahram innerduced me, n soons he met me , sa'id tuck off astin me questchuns bout why our cuntry supported the theft of palestinian land, the genocide of paletstinian peeple. i tole him i dint thank we did, jes that we dint lack seein all them terrsts killin innocent folk. n he sed they wuznt terrsts but gorilla fiters n they wuz usin gorilla ackshuns same as menachim begin n the irgun zvai leumi used.

i had to add mitt i wuz too ignernt of the histry of the middle east to know whut he mint by irgun zvai leumi so he tuck to splainin zionism to me. n i tride to splain how twuz the land of the jews frum the beginnin n how god had give it to em. but he sed twuz gods will that let em be kicked out n let the arabs that lived thar have it fer nigh onto 2 thousunt years. twuz a point, but i sed how that led rite back to how it must be gods will fer em to have it now.

so he ast me to listn to a story n see did i thank twuz rite. twuz a story bout a man who lived in the desert. n this man wurked hard n razed camels n gut to be prosperus a nuff to buy him a place in jerusalem. n he had im a fine fambly with many sons. n when he died, he lef the land to his sons n they kep it n built more houses on it n lef it to thar own sons until it cum to be 1946 when twuz taken by force frum the son of the son of the son of the man who bought it. n that man, sa'id splained, that man wuz his grandfather. n thay tuck everthang he had but whut he could lode onto a camel. n thay moved him to gaza.

befor i could give a anser, he wuz gone n i never saw him agin, but he gut me to thankin n i aint been able to see the middle east lack i had dun befor ever agin. n that made me wunder jes how many thangs had i only barly seen but the one side of? how could a persun ever know a nuff?

twernt only thangs lack the middle east that wuz hard to figger. thar wuz thangs closer to home. long bout this time i had dun met emily, n that wuz lack a spark on the kindlin of the dride up relayshunship susannah n i had. but befor that final blaze burnt out, we gut to talkin bout thangs n durn that talk, i sed sumthin lack i dint know whuther i wood wonta have my children be jews. twernt that i wuz agin bein a jew, twuz jes that i wuz still a'searchin my ownself.

i reckon whut i sed hurt her moren i speckted. she gut real quite fer a mint n then sed how she wuz late on her period. i ast how late n she sed near two munths. that riled me sum so i ast when wuz she plannin on tellin me n she sed she wuznt. she could see thangs wuz over fer us or fixin to be over n she had dun figgerd she wood jes git it tuck keer of. i ast did she mean aborshun, n she sed twuz her choice. we had us a argumint bout that but i could see thay wuznt no way fer me to win even if i wuz the father.

but that dint end it. in sted, i wood spend bout ever spare mint on campus with emily n then sumtimes run to make my meetin with susannah or one of her friens. i cant member when life had me runnin so ragged n yet so eggcited.

thang wuz, thay wuz a spark thar with emily n we couldnt resist it sumhow. twuz easy to talk on a counta we had red hunnerts of the same books. we both studied german n i wuz plannin on gittin a skolarship to germany n she wuz a german histry major, so we lacked to talk bout germany n thank bout travelin thar.

twernt lack innythang sexual wuz happenin. i hadnt so much as made contack with her hand. we spent lots of time talkin bout how the worl is, with men in charge of mos everthang n women victimized. she even sed the penis wuz lack a weppon, a knife or a club, witch she even gut to thankin bout how sex wuz lack a metafor fer the hole violashun of the woman by men. n she wood shiver whenever she gut to talkin tou it n everthang bout her seemed fragile n afraid.

when she did it touched me so n i ached to touch her, to comfort her, but i never intruded. i ast why did she seem so fraid of everthang n she tole how me she had been abused at a young age, n i ast her whut happent but she wouldnt say whut twuz. i wunderd wuz she raped by a older man n sed sumthin lack that n when she dint anser i figgerd twuz sumthin lack that.

after twuz quite fer too long, i ast her bout aborshun. she sed twuz a hard one to figger. in rape twood be rite. incest maybe. then i tole her bout susannah. i cant say why i wuz holdin back on that n by the time i tole her, my hart wuz beatin loud a nuff to whar she had to here it. whut wuz i specktin? i knew she dint lack men. that we wuz jes friens.

she smoked the res of a cigarette n looked down n started stampin it out n kep on long after the fire wuz ded. finely she looked up n thay wuz tears on her cheeks n she sed she wuz threatend by how she felt bout me n fraid of her own hart. i ast her whut did she mean, but she dint anser.

i deecided i wood half to tell susannah i dint see the point of us goin on. fer one thang, i dint care whut otherns thought bout it, i figgerd the father at lease had a rite to know. so i cum home, loaded fer bear, n thar wuz susannah, happily lookin over sum figgers. i ast whut wuz they, n she splained how she had signed the papers fer her land n the paymints wood be $500 a munth fer thirty munths.

i tole her i wuznt innerested in no debt that hi. i had jes gut mine down to $80 a munth on the farm n twernt fer no thirty years. n she gut to splainin how good a investmint twuz n all, n lookin back on it now, i bet she made a bushel basket of money, but all i sed wuz i dint see how i could go on with a woman that wood abort my child without givin me the rite to have a say.

twuz one of them momints when the line is crossed. we both knew twuz over, even tho i luved her n she luved me. we jes wernt mint to be.

so we talked n laffed n cride till bout midnite n then the nex weekend, she moved her stuff out. everbidy at the farm thought twuz odd how we wuz friens even while we wuz a brakin up.

twuznt thonly brakeup neethur. turnt out brew n gretchen split up too, n he tuck up with a gurl that had the same birthday as emily only three years younger. twuz a gurl name of eliza beale that i had known at utk fer bout a year n invited to the rug party, witch ill splain thatn direckly.

fer a while, i had to wunder whut i wuz a'doin. i hadnt never touched emily n thay wuz no way i could magine it. but i wonted to be with her so that i couldnt bear fer thar to be nuthin to stop it. n that mint givin up susannah. shore, thay wuz plenty uther reasons i could use, the aborshun or the differnt ways susannah n me wonted to go, but plane fack is, twuz all on a counta emily.

n that gut me to wunderin bout the hart. i had dun studied mos flossofers n the major relijuns n dint find nuthin that seemed rong nor nuthin that seemed to eggsclude all tutherns. n seemed lack my hart felt the same way bout women. i still luved darlene even if i wuz finely glad we wuz apart. i still luved susannah. mos of all, i luved emily n hadnt never sed it.

i gut to talkin to shahram bout the hole thang. i wonted to talk to virgil, but he dint lack susannah nun to begin with. same with mama, who wuz glad to see i had quote finely got shed of the jewess unquote. but shahram could see it in the terms it wuz hittin me hardest, witch i couldnt see how it could be rite fer me to be feelin all this. wuznt i spozed to luv jes one woman?

he sed twernt thataway. ye aint trine to larn how to luv one woman only. yer trine to larn how to luv god only, cept ye cant even see nuthin bout im yet. when ye do, yer a'gone fine that ye aint trine to larn to luv jes one, but to luv em all.

i ast how could that be? n not only that, but how could it be that i could be in luv with so miny differnt flossofies n relijuns?

he had a way of gittin me to look him in the eye. then he wood hold up one fanger n start talkin. thats jes whut he dun then. he splained bout the sufi way, how the sufis is all on a journey to fine god n tiz powerful hard on a counta god is more than inny one mind kin hold. n not only that, the intellect is confused by the ego, witch he sed that wuz the bidy n twuz one reason in islam ye had to make yer bidy do thangs lack pray a sartin number of times n ye had to fast n perform hajj n all. n whenever ye do that, ye push back the ego a bit to give yer sole a chants to git closer to god. he talked a bit bout the names of god n how each pilgrum on the path wood figger out his own name n each name wuz a way god had epiphanized his self fer the pilgrum.

i sed i dint git how this splained innythang. whut differnts did this make?

he sed twuz all in whut god is, witch he sed god is everthang that god made n god made everthang sos to eggsperients more n whenever ye cum closer to part of god, ye give god a chants to see his ownself.

but whut wood that mean?

twood mean that whenever ye git to mysticull illuminayshun, ye gone fine out that ye should luv everthang n everbidy since tiz all god.

he could see i wuz purr plexed so he sed the hole thang aint sumthin ye gut to unnerstand. tiz sumthin ye gut to ackcept.

nex thang ye know, it coulda been a presbyteryan. he splained how god dun knows everthang that is, everthang that has happend n that will happen, so ye gone do whut ye gone do. thonly questchun is whuther ye keep god in her hart n larn to ackcept yer own fate.

still the puzzlemint wuz lack a mask on my face.

so he splained a nuther way. he sed how i wuz always sayin i wuz a lookin to find a master but i dint unnerstan the mos basick thang bout that, witch that is how ye dont find the master. the master finds yew.

i ast wuz he trine to say he wuz my master n that made him laff.

then he splained it one more way. ye dont find a map to larn yer path. yer path finds yew n frum it yew make yer map. n ifn yer map is a'gone be rite, ye half to take whut cums. n that means ye gut to ackcept yer fate, witch ye gut to go thru everthang yer own way. ye cant go rong longs ye git to whar ye ackcept whut ye be.

i wonted to tell him i had dun been knowin that fer a while but i kep quite on a counta knowin it hadnt hepped me a bit at doin it.

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