"Old age, sickness, and death. Our lot, as individuals and a species. If everyone will one day be no one, then we are only temporarily separated right now. Our true home is no home, together. The Zen master Rinzai said, 'Before brightness is manifest, darkness is bright.' Everything contains its opposite. Nothing exists apart from anything else.

" 'Beyond right and wrong there is a field,' the poet Rumi wrote, 'I'll meet you there.'

"Perhaps I'll buy an old Subaru Forester and travel around the country. There is a wisdom from ages past that runs through the human race straight down into your spinal cord. I will find it on the road, visiting different dharma centers, taking psychedelic mushrooms in the forest, and spending what little money I have on camping gear and Rogaine. When I'm exhausted I'll settle down, grow some love handles, maybe get married. One night I'll lie with my wife and three hundred nights later, our child will be lying in that same bed between us.

"That would be a nice ending to this story, which has yet to be written. I look into the child's eyes and I see the future, and suddenly the future doesn't look so bad. Our eyes close, our foreheads touch, and we manifest True Love.

"Then we move on to the next koan together."