Today At Meetingbrook

Saturday, February 05, 2011

In hospital corridor elderly woman sits in full sunshine slumped over tray near nurses' station.

She greets us. A few lines of Billy Collins poem "Litany" and she closes her eyes and dozes as we sit with her in silence.

Anon, we rise, put back chairs, and bow to her sleeping self, turn, and walk toward exit. She is a poem herself, without rhyme.

The kingdom of heaven, here?

What will God think of next?
Continue to love each other like brothers, and remember always to welcome strangers, for by doing this, some people have entertained angels without knowing it. Keep in mind those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; and those who are being badly treated, since you too are in the one body. ...
Put greed out of your lives and be content with whatever you have; God himself has said:
'I will not fail you or desert you, and so we can say with confidence: With the Lord to help me, I fear nothing: what can man do to me?' (--from Hebrews 13:1-8)
If here, then we are invited to arrive here, see here.

No fear needs keep us away.

Step through fear.

As though, since, we too, are, in one body -- here. (All seeming to the opposite.)

Rather than continuing to replicate the fear many practice in this world, namely, absence and alienation -- we might consider practicing presence, showing up with feeling and reflection, where we are and with whom we are.

You have; God; himself/itself; when you are; present.
(Note -- "Semicolon," via Wikipedia:"The semicolon (;) is a punctuation mark with several uses. The Italian printer Aldus Manutius the Elder established the practice of using the semicolon mark to separate words of opposed meaning, and to indicate interdependent statements." -- [1] (Truss, Lynne (2003). Eats, Shoots & Leaves. p. 77)
The seeming opposite might just as well indicate interdependency.


Why is it we have so much trouble seeing what is here?

Friday, February 04, 2011

Maggie is not well. That's what we learned at poetry today. She is receiving hospice care.

Sheilah read from Robert Burns:
But Mousie, thou are no thy-lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men,
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!


Still, thou art blest, compar'd wi' me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But Och! I backward cast my e'e,
On prospects drear!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,
I guess an' fear!

(--from poem, "To a Mouse" by Robert Burns, 1759-1796)
This will help:
Notes from George Wilkie's "Understanding Robert Burns" --

How many times have people glibly trotted out, “The best laid schemes” without realising that they were quoting from Burns? The sadness, the despair, the insight contained within this verse are truly remarkable and deeply moving. no ‘thy lane = not alone; gan aft agley = often go awry

This final verse reveals the absolute despondency that Burns was feeling at this stage in his life. Not at all what one might expect from a young man of twenty-six, supposedly so popular with the lassies, and with his whole life ahead of him, but nevertheless expressing sentiments with which many of us today can easily relate.
We missed Maggie and Walt.

I read Pessoa:
Countless lives inhabit us.
--by Ricardo Reis (Fernando Pessoa)

Countless lives inhabit us.
I don’t know, when I think or feel,
Who it is that thinks or feels.
I am merely the place
Where things are thought or felt.

I have more than just one soul.
There are more I’s than I myself.
I exist, nevertheless,
Indifferent to them all.
I silence them: I speak.

The crossing urges of what
I feel or do not feel
Struggle in who I am, but I
Ignore them. They dictate nothing
To the I I know: I write.
We'll look in tomorrow.

With a poem.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Look at this face.
As you discuss the skill in means here, you will think: "My physical body, composed of the four elements, was obviously born from my father and mother. At some unspecified time it is sure to decompose. What then was my original face before my father and mother were born?"
- T'aego
Now, then, there's nothing more to say.

Not originally, anyway.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011


Cairo dawns.

Stones and fire-bombs.
To learn the way, first you must find out
The ultimate point;
Hearing sound and seeing form
Are inconceivable.
If you discuss high and low
Based on words,
It's just like before you were enlightened.

- Foyan (1067-1120)
How odd!

This violence cannot explain what it means to be human.

Here in Maine, snow

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

If you are not doing something for itself, stop doing it. No amount of justifying or clarifying will ever compensate for something done for any other reason than itself.
Snow obstructs my brushwood
Door with me inside alone
One by one coral branches
Break in winter woods.
In the light of dawn
Mountain green is gone
If the plums have finished
Blooming, I for one can't tell

-
Han-shan Te-ch'ing (1546-1623)
Watched film "Longford."

You have to allow the possibility you are being played.

No ulterior motives.

Only the sake of itself.
Maybe the world is going to experience a rippling of revolution.

Maybe a heretofore hidden consciousness is slowly being revealed due to a dropping away of exhausted blockading ego. Freedom and open understanding will emerge through snow like spring shoots.

It is nice to think people are finding their footing against corruption and ruthless power.

I don't know. Absurdity wears many costumes. Theater pieces often twist and turn in middle acts.

I wish all who long for kindness and justice a good and safe performance!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Egypt is upsetting.

Everywhere, everything is changing.

Tomorrow the United States will play its hand.

Today I chopped ice from edge of roof.