THE THREE BUDDHAS
There are events, singular incidents and coincidences that seem to be very significant and strike one as personal messages addressed to oneself. But could they be messages if they don’t have a sender? Such phenomena arise out of nowhere, then submerge back into the unnamable.
One cold winter day I was sitting at home at my table, alone and idle. My mother had died a few days before, after a serious illness. My mood was somber. Suddenly a book fell out of my bookcase. Most likely it was my coat sleeve that had brushed the bookcase as I entered the room: it stood right next to the door, and all its shelves carried a double load of books. Brushing against it with my coat sleeve I must have destabilized things. Now pages fluttered out of the fallen volume.
Weary as I was, I got up from my chair and picked up the first page that had landed closest to me. I saw that it was a page from my old ABC book, the one I had used in grade school at the age of six. The paper-bound book had seen such hard use that almost all of its pages were loose.
The page I picked up demonstrated the letter M. The picture showed a little girl on her way to school. Her mother stood by the gate to their yard, watching her child go, stood there with one hand on the gate and the other raised in a farewell salute to her daughter.
M for Mother, anybody’s mother, my mother.
Synchronicities is what some call such events. After my trip to Kyoto, I started calling them buddha messages.
Hiroko had written to me: “What is best about travel on the bullet train is