December 08, 2007

Happy Rohatsu

Rohatsu is what the zen tradition calls Bodhi Day, the day Buddha achieved whatever enlightenment is. In Japanese, Rohatsu means the eighth day of the twelfth month.

Hundreds of years passed and people began writing down what the Buddha might have said at that tremendous moment, just sitting there, had he in fact said anything at all.

Siddhartha looked at the planet Venus in the morning sky on the day following one week's steady samadhi, and there he was, enlightened, Buddha.

One year ago today my father celebrated his last birthday. He was 89 that day, and gone in less than a month.

For Roman Catholics like my father, December 8 marks the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, mother of God. Although this feast is often confused even in the minds of nominal Catholics with the time God had his way with Mary and they conceived Jesus, it is not that conception, but her own conception that is being celebrated here. Notwithstanding the puissance of the godfucking of Mary that made Jesus, her own parent's fucking stands as the greatest, most thoroughgoing and holy human-on-human fuck of all time, producing as it did, according Catholic dogma, by the grace of god, the unblemished vessel of Mary herself, a fuck fully worthy of yearly commemoration.

My father enjoyed reminding everyone that kids got the day off from Catholic school on his birthday.

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