dozens of unborn
dissolving on my tongue:
I place caviar in the same category as nattō: foods that over the years I have tried to like, but so far simply cannot. Both nattō (a stringy, sticky, gooey, fermented soybean thing) and caviar (slimy, salty fish eggs) are reputed to have admirable nutritional qualities. So every now and again — when the opportunity presents itself — I chance a bite or two of one of these. Last week, it was caviar. And, once again, I came away from the experience wondering: what exactly is the appeal? Why would anyone go out of their way to eat this?
Infinitely more satisfying than the experience of eating those fish-eggs was the haiku that the experience gave birth to: dozens of unborn / dissolving on my tongue: / caviar. And this, I supposed, is what makes poetry a kind of medicine — how it has the power to transform even the most gnarly of situations into something beautiful.
Two Truths … Dissolving
And since I’m still happily engrossed in Sonam Thakchoe’s The Two Truths Debate — teasing out the various ways to understand the relationship between Ultimate Truth/Reality and phenomena — the caviar have now become a favorite metaphor for the appearances constituting “relative truth” (which, again, renders them “delicious” in a way that doesn’t have to involve my actually eating them).
Even as appearances arise vividly, if we clearly apprehend their unborn nature — i.e. avoid any tendency to reify them — they dissolve instantaneously back into their essence: like waves receding again into the ocean; or caviar dissolving on the tongue.