To be happy, you must be fully submerged in the waters of life.
If you are fully submerged, then Pain stops yapping at your heels. It devours you instead, (quick and painless) coughing you up after a day or two so you can continue yapping at the heels of Joy.
I think what this means is: I must learn to pay attention while I prepare soup.
Wearing an apron, slicing the heads of vegetables, wiping my hands of their juices, I must try to pay attention. Their vegetal deaths sustain the humming in my veins.
Someday, I will be like these vegetables. Humans in aprons will wash their hands of my life-juices after gently covering the body, calling the loved ones.
It jolts me too to write these words. But they live always in my belly, the slow-growing seeds.
When I was little, my uncle warned me as I ate watermelon: “Don’t swallow the black seeds. They will sprout in your stomach and grow a watermelon in your body.” I spit them out on a paper plate, one by one. Terrified.
Now I know that we have all eaten the black seeds, and cannot spit them out. Even now that fruit is growing, discomfiting our pink organs with the slow-dripping stench of death.
It is not as macabre as it sounds, you know. I will eat this bean soup with lusty gratitude, just as I hope the earth opens her mouth widely, redly, gratefully, to receive me on that day when Death comes to sweep me off my feet.
Beans to mouth, bodies to earth. This is something like a circle, something like a life.