The bum knee has me laid out. Most everyone is gone from the house to their family huddle-ups — just me and the precious Cretan, both equally inept at food-making. The normally chit-chattering back-atmosphere of passers-by outside Mun Su Am has been reduced to the sudden ambience of a tomb. Ah, there, now, are some ancient bells, pre-auguring the Midnight Mass in the cathedral unfolding. As the minutes pass, ever more layers of bells are added on. Every church in this ancient city now, it seems — they’re all filling now the dark empty night. The spirit opens. There is this still vastness, covering all things and in all things.
What’s a monk and a Greek to do in a Zen center without people? We have already done evening practice. It’s back to the editing lap-desk with heating pad installed and stoking.
Morrissey’s eternal bleating comes to mind, a revelatory Christmas Carol from hell: “The devil will find work for idle hands to do.” Even on Christmas Eve.