birthmark of bravery

I think of you every day. Rest in peace AA.


A black cat leads us in kora.
And we follow in dumb curiosity.
Underestimating the confidence in that stride,
The intentionality of that tail,
Not until three rotations does it dawn on us,
That we have been taken for a ride.
The Cat, he now perches himself perfectly.
In a shape that we finally recognize as divine.
By the time we catch up with him, he is feigning interest in his paw.
So as not to embarrass us.
As we are left dizzy.
In the convergence of impossible realities.

A dakini whispers to us from behind a stone,
A foreboding wind blows,
But doesn’t stop us from a typically human and stumbling approach.
The closer we get, the farther we know we should run away,
Yet we ache to hear the song clearer and, instead, inch closer still.
Till the song is a scream in our ear, and the ground begins to shake.
And finally comprehending that it’s a language we don’t understand,
That these are secrets we are not yet ready to hear,
We turn – and unclaimed momentum shoves us away.
The door shuts. The dakinis’ whispers hushed.
And we are left, windblown, in the awe and calm,
Of a story rarely re-told.

Aaron Anderson. Of kora-ing cats and whispering dakinis,
You have always been and will be.
A living witness to the greater mysteries,
Ever pulling on our strings.
On the door of the Mystery, you (always) knock.
On the porch of the Mystery, you pull up a chair with a stranger.
In the trees outside of the Mystery, you identify birds.
In the basement of the Mystery, you search for the rarest records.
On the hardwood living room floor of the Mystery, you breakdance, in spandex.
Face to face with the Mystery, you exchange mantras.
And on the water-bottle of the Mystery, you leave your autograph.
Famous AA, you will always be.
For the birthmark of bravery on your soul,
That ever called to you in this life like a bird from the bardo.
I have never had anything but faith in you.
Or doubt that you would not follow that song in kora,
Around this world, around our hearts.

Once upon a time, in Sierra-tree-stump-sitting dreams,
We laughed together at our fumbles through this fumbling world,
And at our happiness in finding our friendship in this lifetime.
As I have had faith in all your journeys AA,
I have faith in this one.
Bardos have never held you back. (Quite the contrary.)
May we fumble, find, and laugh again.
As I have always signed all my letters to you:
With love,
From this life to the last.

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