Thursday, July 26, 2007

Poem #207 of 365

Abdullah cupped the phone
to look at me,
and squinted before he
spoke: "Are you Catholic?"

"What are you?"

I've seen characters
from the Koran
scrawled on the inner
wall of his mechanic's

and he has just
spoken about a tall
blonde blue-eyed

so I guess it's time
for him to learn
some things about me.

I pause for a moment,
and enjoy his curiosity,
but then plainly

"I was raised Catholic and
even went to Catholic school."

"That was the past, what are
you now?"

Again, a pause, to not seem
convicted, but to evidence
a contemplative weigh-in.

"I respect people, other religions--
whatever they believe--I know you
are Muslim, I know people who are
Catholic, Jewish, Baptist."

His squint softened, but clearly
he wanted clarity.

Again. "For me, Buddhist
philosophy has been very useful,
to help me manage my emotions,
my responses to things and people.
Buddhism has taught me more about
compassion, forgiveness, humility."

"What is that," he asked. "I've never
heard of that." His "heard" sounds
like "heared". Nonetheless, he is
clearly listening.

"Buddhism originated in the Far East,
India, Tibet, Nepal."

Clarity shown in his face: "Oh, you
mean, like, the Buddha. So, you are
for the Buddha!"

"No, I don't worship the Buddha," I
continue. "It's more the philosophy,
the ideas, that are important to me."

He begins to nod with tentative
understanding, and I feel this first
conversation about belief systems
is done for the moment. I want to
pay my money and drive away.

Abdullah worked on my transmission,
he serviced it in more ways than one.

copyright 2007 tammy melody gomez

No comments: