Monday, June 11, 2012


FLAT FROGS AND OTHER KARMA

You know how it could be - if you’ve seen Rashomon or The Seven Samurai you know how it could be - how heavy and slabby a Japanese rain can be, waterfally yet misty, in places clear between streaking chunks of water like in that Hiroshige woodcut of travelers at Shono Station hurrying up and down the mountain in the rain in their straw raincoats and rush hats...

That's the rain I mean, the rain that cascades in gushes and streams but with clear spots here and there where the mist moves around and wanders by, so you know how it can be if you're rolling up a nowadays mountain road on a motorcycle in the dark on a late night of that same rain, a torrent of the rainy season that follows Spring into this part of the world, especially now and here where I'm leaning left and right as I travel the curving road, trying to see in the reflected glare of my headlight with the rain running down my goggles, trying to see to distinguish frogs from gouts of rain on pavement...

This all-water ambiance is when the frogs travel in their countless numbers across roads like shallow rivers; they hop in every direction in the apparent safety of night, each making instant green decisions as to direction and timing, just as from the passive silence there suddenly comes a monster roaring out of the dark, rain running down its face invisible in the glare of the single bright eye swaying left and right, dark into light amidst countless leapings, and like the frogs the driver must make a series of instant decisions so as to not run off the road, yet avoid flattening any of the leaping frogs that in their numbers give the road a greenish cast in the wet light...

Inevitably, though as evolution will have it in this infinity of choice we must all face in life, the driver prefers to remain uninjured, so there must be a number of fate-selected frogs that evolution prefers remain on the road for countless eventualities, one among them being the hawk's breakfast, for which the hawk will be thankful...

When I'd been heading down the same road that dry morning, I'd seen a hungry hawk picking forlornly at a fallen yellow-green leaf that lay on the roadway, much like a flat frog would; he dropped the leaf at my approach as he lifted off into higher hunger, the leaf fluttering abandoned to the ground like a dream of breakfast...

The karma of tonight will be balanced out tomorrow.


3 comments:

madpotter1 said...

Oh what I would give for a bit a rain and few frogs this summer....... not even the lightening bugs have ventured forth to twinkle the dark skies.

This year I am the hose master......

Robert Brady said...

I'll have a word with the frogs, maybe they can help; they seem to have some pull in these matters...

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