I found a dead swan. In the middle of the road. In the middle of nowhere. On the way to a funeral. Maybe there's a message from the universe in the experience. Maybe.
I met with the Dalai Lama a couple of years ago, as the result of a random successful scholarship application whilst studying Eastern Religion at university. A true scholar I was not, but I found a way of picking elective classes that would boost my GPA while allowing me ample social time for boozing and sinning in ways that a 20 year old should. I wrote a pretty questionable essay on Vipassana Meditation which was pretty much just 3000 words on acting stoned when you're not. I got a 'high' distinction.
Anyway, I sent the essay in to the Dalai Lama and his gang. With it I wrote a note saying that I wanted to say g'day during his visit to Sydney but I had no money for tickets. I outlined that I enjoyed reading Buddhist scripture and was disheartened by the reality that a financial hurdle could stand in the way of enlightenment. Two weeks later I received a letter of acceptance into a scholars program and was flown to Sydney for a three day intensive. It was intensively boring, as half of the day was spoken in another language, but it was a special experience none the less.
Ever since then I have felt a connection with Buddhist monks. They are happy, they wear cool gown things, and they walk a 'middle path.' This basically means that anything goes in the loveliest of moderations. Some might see it as fence sitting, but I like to apply the middle path principle to remain impassive to trends and exaggerations. Being in the moment and finding calm in impermanence; these principles are woven deep into my personality like syrup on a pancake.
There is a point to this whole Buddhism thing. I was driving a Monk to this funeral when we saw the swan, neck limp and curled around like a cold hard question mark. If I was alone I would have stopped to move the body off the road. Instead I let out a drawn out 'ooooofph' sound, and I caught the monks placid response in the rear vision mirror. I continued on, slowly, thinking about both the swan and my passenger. I didn't know whether to talk about it or if the conversation would be deemed as inappropriate on the way to a funeral. The monk sensed that I was ruminating, because after a short moment he smiled and followed with "Death is a strange field for a young lady to be working in...."