It is Wednesday night and I just ate a salad full of chopped scallions. I love the way they make a salad taste. Afterwards, though, I have onion breath and I don’t love that so much. Dad always used to say the best remedy for onion (or garlic) breath was to masticate a couple sprigs of fresh parsley. The parsley acts like a natural mouthwash. Try it. It works.
Recently, a friend of my father’s who did not know that I call my blog, Frying the Onion, told me, “your father was like an onion. He had so many layers.” Yup. He sure did.
I am in the throes of trying to figure out all my dad’s layers, as I sift through boxes of files. I am looking for unpaid creditors, for appraisals of his art work, for information about his business, and for documents pertaining to his vacuum-seal art encasement process. It is all very daunting, and I often want to cry, not out of sadness at his loss, but out of frustration at the enormity of what I have ahead of me to preserve and further his legacy.
This is a huge job. Apparently, the Universe knew this was coming because I was led early on to become an art historian. Then, a museum educator, then a poet, and then, a grant writer. Somehow, all this different knowledge is going to come together and help me do what I am supposed to do for Georg. I am still learning what this is. I think I may be learning this for years to come.
Tomorrow is the seventh Thursday since Georg died. This is the day, according to the Tibetans, when the soul is done lingering around or deciding what to do and it gets on with its new life, or as the Tibetans refer to it, the next bardo. After the seventh week, the consciousness goes to one of six places. It is all very complex and a quick glance at Wikipedia has gotten me oh so confused, I won’t try to explain what I don’t know or pretend to be an expert in Tibetan views of the afterlife.
I will, however, end with some of my most favorite song lyrics of all time, from the David Bowie song, Quicksand:
I’m not a prophet
or a stone age man.
Just a mortal
with potential of a superman.
I’m living on.
I’m tethered to the logic
of homo sapien
can’t take my eyes
from the great salvation
of bullshit faith.
If I don’t explain what you ought to know
you can tell me all about it
on the next bardo.
I’m sinking in the quicksand
of my thought
and I ain’t got the power anymore…
Georg knew it was time to go to the next bardo so he could do things with his consciousness that he simply could not do here. And my sister and I are left behind to make something lasting out of all the many layers.
2 thoughts on “The Return of the Onion”
Yeah, Buddhist afterlife is incredibly confusing. Buddhist hell is where things get really interesting…