Someone once said there was a Zen
to waiting in line. Maybe it was me.
The trick is to empty the mind,
become one with humanity around you.
What is life, after all, but waiting?
Why do we live, except for people?
He had been living in Japan at a zendo,
Now he was in France, applying for
residency, electricity, school.
Meditating in line he smelled
and heard the lives of people,
petty torments, sweat and smokers,
gossip of ebb tide, regrets shifting
from foot to foot, before inevitable
confrontation with sullen cashier,
and creeping truth: waiting in line
for you is not the line that waits
A painting in the State Museum of St. Petersburg