The Temple Bells Have Fallen Silent

The Buddha folds in on himself and disappears into the wheel of his life. He sets himself by the side of the road and waits as only the patient can wait.

Seasons pass, then years: spring to spring, winter to winter. The wheel waits. The road deepens, broadens, cracks, fades, and is paved again.

A woman traveling with her family takes up the wheel and uses it to fix her cart. In this manner the Buddha comes into the city; in this manner he descends from the mountains and the high places.

In the city the woman sells her cart to a tongueless dung hauler. The Buddha grinds through the mud and the filth of the city for years, waiting as only the patient can wait. At last he unfolds himself and speaks to the dung hauler, who listens silently. When he is done speaking, the dung hauler stabs him. The Buddha smiles and falls down gracefully into the filth and muck of the city.

There he waits, as only the patient can wait.