Saturday, November 29, 2014

I say goodbye, he says

Mark Strand, poet, dies at 80.
In an interview with The Paris Review in 1998, Strand discussed the process of writing a poem:
Well, I think what happens at certain points in my poems is that language takes over, and I follow it. It just sounds right. And I trust the implication of what I’m saying, even though I’m not absolutely sure what it is that I’m saying. I’m just willing to let it be. Because if I were absolutely sure of whatever it was that I said in my poems, if I were sure, and could verify it and check it out and feel, yes, I’ve said what I intended, I don’t think the poem would be smarter than I am. I think the poem would be, finally, a reducible item. It’s this “beyondness,” that depth that you reach in a poem, that keeps you returning to it. And you wonder, The poem seemed so natural at the beginning, how did you get where you ended up? What happened? 
 The Remains

I empty myself of the names of others. I empty my pockets.
I empty my shoes and leave them beside the road.
At night I turn back the clocks;
I open the family album and look at myself as a boy.

What good does it do? The hours have done their job.
I say my own name. I say goodbye.
The words follow each other downwind.
I love my wife but send her away.

My parents rise out of their thrones
into the milky rooms of clouds. How can I sing?
Time tells me what I am. I change and I am the same.
I empty myself of my life and my life remains.

(--Poem by Mark Strand)

twin-nope: becoming moment and manifestation

Each breath a gift from breathing itself. Breathing itself could be called God or it could be called that-which-is-nowhere (twin).

Advent arrives. It augurs moving toward an occasion of moment and manifestation. Can twin be actually seen or encountered? Is "here" distinguishable from the one attempting to identify it as isolatable and identifiable?

Can that-which-is-nowhere be found as something apart from inquirer or inquiry? 

Is nothingness or emptiness the inseparate wholeness of that-which-is-nowhere? Have we finally begun to glimpse -- no, gaze -- through our reality? And cease the objectification and fragmentation of what we are?

With Thich Nhat Hanh's inspiration, and with prayer for his well-being, I add:
I am immigrant. I am black men shot dead. I am the shooter. I am the man frightened with illness. I am morning dawning through fallen snow. I am reading this. I am writing this. 

There is nothing going on that is not the going on wherein we breathe, move, and have our being. There is only breathing, moving, being. Surrounded by awareness, the one thinking they are aware has arrived at no-other-place-emerging (nope).

Twin-Nope is my utopia this final day of liturgical year. It is disappearance and reappearance. All of a piece. 
I hadn’t moved. I felt the desert 
stretching ahead, stretching (it now seems) 
on all sides, shifting as I speak, 

so that I was constantly 
face to face with blankness, that 
stepchild of the sublime, 

which, it turns out, 
has been both my subject and my medium. 

What would my twin have said, had my thoughts 
reached him? 

Perhaps he would have said 
in my case there was no obstacle (for the sake of argument) 
after which I would have been 
referred to religion, the cemetery where 
questions of faith are answered. 

(-- from poem, AFTERWORD,  by Louise Glück)

That which is nowhere.

No other place emerging.


Friday, November 28, 2014

a white (snow) friday

Today I am shopping for civility and kindness.

The deal is to become both.

No discounting; no crediting. Free for the awaring.

Only God extends the product.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

what monastics look at when gratitude nods

The solitaries complete the day before the majority of people.

It is night.

In the surrounding silence the woman dedicated to the absence of God returns to her cloister.

The man who knows nothing brushes teeth and thanks empty godspace for visiting today.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

sole sight, soul safeguard

Number 4 catches my attention: "back to a starting point."

I am not a violent person. Nor do I believe in violence -- neither its use by lawful or unlawful authority. 

There is an erosion of respect for the dignity of so many individuals, peoples, and things in our contemporary culture and society. 

What is the starting point from which we began our travels as human beings toward a communion of community?

Where would a return point us? What sort of turning would bring us to that place where it comes round right?

Prayer, a writer of fiction recently stated, is not to change the world, but to safeguard the soul in the midst of what is taking place.

[rev-uh-loo-shuh n] Spell Syllables noun
1. an overthrow or repudiation and the thorough replacement of an established government or political system by the people governed.
Sociology. a radical and pervasive change in society and the socialstructure, especially one made suddenly and often accompanied byviolence.
Compare social evolution3.
a sudden, complete or marked change in something:
the present revolution in church architecture.
a procedure or course, as if in a circuit, back to a starting point.
a single turn of this kind.
a a turning round or rotating, as on an axis.
b a moving in a circular or curving course, as about a central point.
c a single cycle in such a course.
a (not in technical use) rotation (def 2).
b the orbiting of one heavenly body around another.
c a single course of such movement.
1350-1400; Middle English revolucion < Late Latin revolūtiōn- (stem ofrevolūtiō), equivalent to revolūt (us) (see revolute ) + -iōn- -ion  

Perhaps prayer is revolution. 

Back to —



Tuesday, November 25, 2014

the ambiguity of pivotal moment

"It's so sad. It's just so sad." That's what a woman said in Ferguson Missouri.

Yes. It is.

All of it.

All of it.

Monday, November 24, 2014

monday before thanksgiving

when rain arrives    (with compassion)

frozen ground    (even hardest heart)

will soften    (practices Anicca)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Gott gibt und gegeben ist

Is it true that the death of any being, animate or inanimate being, is not the work of God?

God, the given-God, is life itself -- the origin, essence, and continuation of life.

That which is not-God is the desecration, diminishment, and destruction of life.

Do we have to think about this a little more?

Even here, one can think twice, but still find a compassionate inkling under incomprehensible whimsy.
Suicide Bomb Trainer in Iraq Accidentally Blows Up His Class
BAGHDAD — If there were such a thing, it would probably be rule No. 1 in the teaching manual for instructors of aspiring suicide bombers: Don’t give lessons with live explosives. 
In what represented a cautionary tale for terrorist teachers, and a cause of dark humor for ordinary Iraqis, a commander at a secluded terrorist training camp north of Baghdad unwittingly used a belt packed with explosives while conducting a demonstration early Monday for a group of militants, killing himself and 21 other members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, army and police officials said. 
Iraqi citizens have long been accustomed to daily attacks on public markets, mosques, funerals and even children’s soccer games, so they saw the story of the fumbling militants as a dark — and delicious — kind of poetic justice, especially coming amid a protracted surge of violence led by the terrorist group, including a rise in suicide bombings.
Let's remind ourselves again -- the behavior of fanatics, whether Muslim, Jewish, or Christian, is not (is not ) Islam, Judaism, or Christianity.

The root of bigotry and violence is fear -- not intellectual conviction, not emotional piety.

Fear, not-God, is the rallying cry of government, cable news demagogues, and church hawkers.

Fear is not-God.

I, rather, trust in God. Perhaps it needs to be said and written as given-God.

So, not-God is different from given-God.

Gott gibt und gegeben ist. (God gives and is given.)

The practice of es gibt is where the breath and the breather practice communion within and through the one breathing.