|About the Book|
My Japanese Zen friend had been watching me in silence for over an hour. Finally he asked in a hushed tone: “Have you seen the Buddha?” I knew that he too could see the light that had been with me for weeks- in the morning, in the afternoon and inMoreMy Japanese Zen friend had been watching me in silence for over an hour. Finally he asked in a hushed tone: “Have you seen the Buddha?” I knew that he too could see the light that had been with me for weeks- in the morning, in the afternoon and in the night while I prayed…The Black MadonnaThe candles burn all night, the fumes from the flamesdarken her face, her eyes and skin.The living see her in flashes of light but it is rare.The dead are often surprised by her power,her gravitational pull.More will come, more will rise from their beds,riding on ocean waves,riding on clouds blown from the other sideof the known world.Many are startled by her love.She was once just a rumor, a fairy taletold to children in nursery school.The candles burn all night, the fumes from the flamesdarken her face, her eyes and skin.More will come, more will rise from their beds.Z WorldThe old ones had grand and glorious machines. They could fly across oceans. Their sailing vessels filled the skies. They inhabited glittering cities of light. They mapped the stars and sent men into space—but they went mad and destroyed themselves. We are their offspring. Z World is so named as it stands at the end of that old world, faint traces of which can still be seen in our world, in ruins and refuse not yet been reclaimed by nature—its rolling hills, farms, forests and streams.We do not know what lies beyond our shores. Our seafaring vessels are not capable of traversing the globe. Over many generations our people have engaged in battles but nothing like the great wars of the past. We live a peaceful existence. We feel blessed.We share a common language with the old world, with our ancestors- even so, many of their words seem foreign to us and are difficult to decipher. The old ones were capable of great magic. They were able to record and transmit images of themselves across great distances. This art has now been lost. We do have transcripts of these talking pictures along with faded photographs, ragged books and other deteriorating volumes archived in makeshift libraries.Sadly the largest of these libraries recently burned. This is why we have decided to compile and distill from the existing archives a few stories that moved us. We are thinking of future generations, that there will be a record not just of sacred texts, of poets and philosophers (of that we have already made abundant copies), but we wish to produce (using the archives and literary techniques discovered in the books of the old ones) a record of the final months before death and the whirlwind overtook them.