One day, a wanderer named Enrico heard the woman’s sad, desperate song of yearning. She introduced herself and told him him her sorrowful story.


By Enrico Blanca

Once there was a very enchanting and passionate woman. She lived in a small windowless room.

Her once beloved husband had grown thin and weak from too much drink and an obsessive pursuit of meditational inquiry. It had come to where he never touched her and had begun to feel that she was a creation of his febrile imaginings. The woman grew increasingly starved for erotic release as he became more devoted to spiritual liberation.

One day, a wanderer named Enrico heard the woman’s sad, desperate song of yearning. She introduced herself and told him her sorrowful story.

She also taught him to follow her into the dark, labyrinthine entrance to her room. This took some practice, but Enrico was able to enter her candlelit sanctuary. Once settled, he could see vast worlds. Every grain of dirt and speck of dust contained a matrix of shimmering, interwoven gossamer threads. At the nexus of each intersecting web was a jewel vibrating with pure crystalline brilliance. Each jewel contained a universe of recursive galaxies.

At first, the woman’s and Enrico’s growing passion was sublimated into poetry and song. But, at the culmination of their first ecstatic corporeal union, Enrico watched as the room exploded in a fireball like ten thousand suns. His lover and her husband were both killed. Unnerved to the edge of madness, he continued his travels walking from city to city. In those streets he blended with the affluent and ostentatiously extravagant as well as the lame, diseased and suffering alike.

The song he sang became known far and wide. Its refrain was,

“Life is a wondrous and strange affair.
Great surprises will unfold to
those who only look there.”



Enrico Blanca is a free range intellectual (of pecking intelligence), poet, flaneur, socialist and cosmopolitan bon vivant who lives in New York City. He has had a nearly 30 year career as an academic librarian and is now embarking on a second one as a substance abuse counselor. A long-time Zen practitioner, he now studies with Barry Magid at the Ordinary Mind Zendo. He has a passion for music, cooking, writing and performing his poetry, and cherchez les femmes. Right now he is all about Ikkyu.


Photo: Pixabay

Editor: John Lee Pendall


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