My chestnut steed is ready. No supporters, no gawks, no critics. No fanfare. No audience. My target, at once formidable and vulnerable, is waiting unaware. My longbow is restless, in a flaccid grip. I have to get ready.
I try to control the storm that is my mind. I gaze at distances beyond – plains, valleys, mountains, and unknown seas. I think of past and present. Here and now, there and then. A synesthetic mixing of time and space. I mount my horse.
I let go of my thoughts. The rightness of it. The selfishness of it. I bring in the emptiness of Zen. The target does not matter anymore. It does not, not in the end. What matters are me and my bow and my one shot. The rest is vacuum. And when my arrow finds my target, I will find myself. In that perfection of the process, I will discover who I am. My horse breaks into a gallop.
I sit erect on the saddle. My left arm is outstretched and the length of the bow is a steady perpendicular. I draw the string to its limit. It seems to produce music, a martial rhythm ushered by my pounding pulse. My arrow waits in bridled power. Silence envelops me. The world comes to a standstill. I move at breakneck speed.
And then, the moment suspended in time, I see my target. I release my arrow. It whistles through time and space, beyond mountains and seas, beyond yesterdays and tomorrows.
As I ride away, the Samurai in me slowly vanishes. The void of Zen gradually fills with a clutter of stifled feelings. I am less sure of myself now. Did I really shoot the arrow? Did the arrow find my target? Was I ever a Samurai or just some street cupid, manipulating my own story? And will I ever find myself? My bow is in my hand. Will I get another shot?