(in Buddhism) a transcendent state in which there is neither suffering, desire, nor sense of self, and the subject is released from the effects of karma and the cycle of death and rebirth. It represents the final goal of Buddhism.
When I was younger I had this habit to attribute things to people, stuff like if like person X’s familiar would likely be a praying mantis because of her aura of perpetual meditation, or perhaps deliberation, and was not one to be messed with. Or this lawyer that had an uncanny resemblance and manner to a bulldog.
I grew up watching Avatar the Last Airbender, and of the four elements, earth has always been my favourite. I never told anyone this but I had this vision of myself as this oak sapling, that one day I’ll be this towering, formidable sentinel knees-deep into the earth, toes dipping in the water table beneath and branches catching amiably in the wind. They’ll be homes to all sorts of birds. I’ll be this secret place of contemplation for that harried student who’d rest against my gnarled trunk.
I can hear the rubber slippers slapping from the veranda, sharp plastic metronome keeping time with the dawn. It was Mr. Menace ambling in his habitual slouch on the sidewalk, right through the smoke that blew from the garbage heap not twenty feet from the wharf.
5:55 AM on a Sunday in December. Kids are out on their bikes chattering as they swoop in and out while traffic steadily builds to a trickle, at six or seven it’ll be a stream. But for now, birdcall still dominates sharp and ferocious.