Monday, September 27, 2021

listening to the news

 Are you worried about the COVID variant?

Do you think the right wing Republicans are really out to cripple all government?

Is it inevitable a militant violent few will begin to execute politicians outside their narrow ideology?

It is, it seems, a dark time.

The worry, the thought, the inevitability all seem a depressing reality on the horizon.

Short term and long term prognoses fail the test of imagination.

A collective deflation of hope.

Those who pray are losing faith.

The rabid nihilists abandon charity.

powód bycia

Doris, our elder, sends her Monday poem.

Today the final two lines catch my attention:

I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility 
that existence has its own reason for being.

              (—from poem, Possibilities” by Wislawa Szymborska)

Raison d’être! 

Such an intriguing phrase. 

Such a ponderable possibility.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

when one’s name is its reality



just this

 Resurrection is

The realization of 

the True Self — just this

oremus pro invicem

 Sunday morning pray-

er, oh god, make us your own

sheer, invisible

Nothing to cling to, nothing

To let go — merely what is

Saturday, September 25, 2021

why even mention it

 There is something be-

yond this. This is fine. Still, there 

is something beyond

this. I have no idea what 

it is. I cannot grasp it. 

where do you think I am

 God is


Out of

The ordinary

Friday, September 24, 2021

alarming mendacity

 Let’s not kid ourselves

some very bad people are

Trying to hurt us

by destroying confidence

in valid voting results 

where we live these days

 The war is on truth

The lie is there is no truth

There’s no future there

Thursday, September 23, 2021

qui tacet consentiri

 the foolish mystic

said nothing to clarify

foggy emptiness

something beyond us

 Is there a space where

Nothing we understand hides

What we cannot know

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

to live is to die unto

It’s what he said as he was dying, what he was about:

 “To die unto God and hope for the best,” (Marcus Borg, 2015)

I’ll sit with that.

plus ca change

 Thanks summer, goodbye

Hey autumn, glad to see you —

That’s that, off for walk

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

why democracy is so slow to find its feet

 Reading Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security, written by Sarah Chayes.

The corruption rife in countries that is stronger than any administration attempting to govern.

Suggests why shariah law feels plausible response.

The brazen blatantness of it.

The ethical work needing to be done.

shipwrecks of judgment and chance

 It’s not about what happened.

It’s about what washes up on shore.

 We spend our lives trying to discern where we end and the rest of the world begins. We snatch our freeze-frame of life from the simultaneity of existence by holding on to illusions of permanence, congruence, and linearity; of static selves and lives that unfold in sensical narratives. All the while, we mistake chance for choice, our labels and models of things for the things themselves, our records for our history. History is not what happened, but what survives the shipwrecks of judgment and chance.

(-Maria Popova, from Figuring prelude, in brainpickings

If we are to see clearly truth and wise reality we must learn to swim the troubled waters of illusion through that which is untrue. 

Be buoyant with imagination.

Arrive happy, safe, free, and come to dwell in your true home!

pa gen okenn antre pou soufrans lan *

 Yes, cool crispness ends

summer, clear september air —

pray for each other

Haitians cross the Rio Grande 

horsemen whip them with no love

….  …   …

* there is no entry for the suffering, (Haitian Creole)

Monday, September 20, 2021

monk’s samue (作務衣) covering nothing

sitting zazen gives 

shape to working emptiness 

mind enters, looks, leaves

Sunday, September 19, 2021

seng-ts’an, third zen patriarch

 Have no preferences

Annoying zen master says

As if possible

He wants us to see what is

Here, engage, and be transformed

non-violence and bene-volence

No harm and good willing spirit.

Come in. Sit down. Tea? 

According to the Buddha, the highest dimension of genuine well-being, which never diminishes, stems from knowing the ultimate nature of reality. Such wisdom can be gained only by cultivating superbly discerning capacities of the mind. This includes rigorous training in mindfulness and introspection. A high degree of mental balance and stability is needed to sustain the kind of insight that can radically transform one’s entire being. Moreover, any such mental training must be rooted in the purest levels of ethical discipline that come to permeate every aspect of one’s life. Buddhist ethics essentially boils down to the twin pillars of non-violence and benevolence. These are the indispensable foundations of all Buddhist practice. The Buddha summarized his teachings as a whole like this: “Do not engage in evil behavior of any kind. Devote yourself to a bounty of virtue. Completely subdue your own mind. This is the teaching of the Buddha.”

(—from, A New Paradigm for Science and Religion in the Twenty-First Century (By embracing a new open-mindedness, we may begin to explore the potentials of consciousness, and investigate the powerful role of the mind in the natural world.) By Alan Wallace SEPT 13, 2021 Tricycle)

Don’t mind me.

I’ll be




one and other in(terre)carnated

Six bells Yes ring

Two cars rush toward town coastline

Watched Jesus: His Life

As it is (in/is) heaven

Our father (is/in) heaven

Saturday, September 18, 2021

sie sagt für dich ich bin

 nothing more than tea

farina yogurt berries —

gift apple muffin

five a.m. — two bells

 she wants to pull back

from news, reinstate long view,

hear lamb mom low bleat

Friday, September 17, 2021

αναίσθητος, anaisthetos — "insensate, without feeling"

 Days since surgery

Body rests and mind retires

After deep nothing


 Zen robe still sitting

Astride wood dining room chair —

Nobody inside, schweig 

not something to reach out hand for

 Being — what we’ve got

Non-Being — what we don’t get —

God is both and none

What we call God is what we 

Long for. What if no grasping?

Thursday, September 16, 2021

renunciation is not an end in itself

 First feel.

Then, see through.

Finally, be what you are going through. 

Transparent presence. 

The first step in the interior life, nowadays, is not, as some might imagine, learning not to see and taste and hear and feel things. On the contrary, what we must do is begin by unlearning our wrong ways of seeing, tasting, feeling, and so forth, and acquire a few of the right ones.

For asceticism is not merely a matter of renouncing television, cigarettes, and gin. Before we can begin to be ascetics, we first have to learn to see life as if it were something more than a hypnotizing telecast. And we must be able to taste something besides tobacco and alcohol: we must perhaps even be able to taste these luxuries themselves as if they too were good. 

How can our conscience tell us whether or not we are renouncing things unless it first of all tells us that we know how to use them properly? For renunciation is not an end in itself: it helps us to use things better. It helps us to give them away. If reality revolts us, if we merely turn away from it in disgust, to whom shall we sacrifice it? How shall we consecrate it? How shall we make of it a gift to God and to men?

In an aesthetic experience, in the creation or the contemplation of a work of art, the psychological conscience is able to attain some of its highest and most perfect fulfillments. Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. The mind that responds to the intellectual and spiritual values that lie hidden in a poem, a painting, or a piece of music, discovers a spiritual vitality that lifts it above itself, takes it out of itself, and makes it present to itself on a level of being that it did not know it could ever achieve.

(-from, Reality, Art, & Prayer, in Commonweal Magazine, March 25, 1955, excerpt from Father Merton's ,No Man Is an Island by Harcourt, Brace)

Thomas Merton, like Leonard Cohen, showed us ways of going through.

As did that difficult teacher Robert Lowell.

So many delusions to face and flow through.

Poets call up the second great vow of the bodhisattva, Delusions are inexhaustible, I vow to transform them.

Going through and getting through this feeling form with art.


 Place atonement near

All vows extinguishable—

Take me as I am


 Shih (poetry) sound

Chinese mountain hermits sip

Tea with clouds passing

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

a gentle man writing songs and poems

 Our Lady of Sorrows and, at sunset, Yom Kippur. 

In mailbox today, Leonard Cohen’s Book of Longing (c.2006).

This from Wikipedia:

Cohen was involved with Buddhism beginning in the 1970s and was ordained a Buddhist priest in 1996; he continued to consider himself Jewish: "I'm not looking for a new religion. I'm quite happy with the old one, with Judaism."[174] Beginning in the late 1970s, Cohen was associated with Buddhist monk and rōshi (venerable teacher) Kyozan Joshu Sasaki, regularly visiting him at Mount Baldy Zen Centerand serving him as personal assistant during Cohen's period of reclusion at Mount Baldy monastery in the 1990s. Sasaki appears as a regular motif or addressee in Cohen's poetry, especially in his Book of Longing, and took part in a 1997 documentary about Cohen's monastery years, Leonard Cohen: Spring 1996. Cohen's 2001 album Ten New Songs is dedicated to Joshu Sasaki. 

In a 1993 interview entitled "I am the little Jew who wrote the Bible," he says, "at our best, we inhabit a biblical landscape, and this is where we should situate ourselves without apology. ... That biblical landscape is our urgent invitation ... Otherwise, it's really not worth saving or manifesting or redeeming or anything, unless we really take up that invitation to walk into that biblical landscape." 

Cohen showed an interest in Jesus as a universal figure, saying, "I'm very fond of Jesus Christ. He may be the most beautiful guy who walked the face of this earth. Any guy who says 'Blessed are the poor. Blessed are the meek' has got to be a figure of unparalleled generosity and insight and madness ... A man who declared himself to stand among the thieves, the prostitutes and the homeless. His position cannot be comprehended. It is an inhuman generosity. A generosity that would overthrow the world if it was embraced because nothing would weather that compassion. I'm not trying to alter the Jewish view of Jesus Christ. But to me, in spite of what I know about the history of legal Christianity, the figure of the man has touched me."[175]

 In this recuperating bed reading Cohen’s poems, looking at YouTube interview on Scandinavian television  (Al Gore seated next to him), and an interview with David Remnik where he says, “The specific task of the Jew is to repair the face of G-d.”

And this from the book of poems:

ROSHI AT 89   

Roshi's very tired 

he's lying on his bed

He's been living with the living 

and dying with the dead

But now he wants another drink 

(will wonders never cease?)

He's making war on war  

and he's making war on peace

He's sitting in the throne-room 

on his great Original Face

and he's making war on Nothing 

that has something in its place

His stomach's very happy 

the prunes are working well

There's no one going to Heaven 

and there's no one left in Hell

Leonard Cohen

Mt Baldy, California, 1996 

Elsewhere he quotes Simone Weil’s question, “What are you going through?”

And we are given to ponder.

The quiet joy and holy celebration of someone worth listening to and having heard.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

the cross

suffering all four

directions, inner outer —

this earth this life, feel

wake up before dying, ah

In dreams or awake

where everything falls into 

itself, nothing gone

Monday, September 13, 2021

new charlatanism

 Cynicism, thy name…

republican governors,

seeking high office

what the hay

Twilight: After Haying


Yes, long shadows go out

from the bales; and yes, the soul

must part from the body:

what else could it do?


The men sprawl near the baler, 

too tired to leave the field.

They talk and smoke,

and the tips of their cigarettes

blaze like small roses 

in the night air. (It arrived

and settled among them

before they were aware.)


The moon comes 

to count the bales,

and the dispossessed--

Whip-poor-will, Whip-poor-will

--sings from the dusty stubble.


These things happen. . .the soul’s bliss

and suffering are bound together

like the grasses. . .


The last, sweet exhalations

of timothy and vetch

go out with the song of the bird; 

the ravaged field

grows wet with dew. 


(Jane Kenyon, 1947 - 1995, From Otherwise: New & Selected Poems by Jane Kenyon)


 What if this was one's final day on earth, final day in the body, final day alive?

What would you say?


And thank you for the peanut butter and jam on toasted English muffin.

It has been a joy. 


From Twitter:



The September 11, 2001 attack in the United States killed 2977 people.

On September 11, 2021, COVID killed 4409 in the United States.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

no wait

 Here is a koan

(I’m waiting) — For what? (Koan)

Here is what it is

behold what is within without

 If God is inner

Life emptiness itself shapes

Everything outer

Saturday, September 11, 2021

passing through

 names names names names names

ears ears ears hearing these names —

no name no name stays

arriving sorrow

 Suddenly, surprise

Something happens — bang, boom, Oh

No — comes grief trailing

a great fall

The losses
Every day for twenty years
Lives, integrity, face —

War and deceptive character
Turn away a nation
Dishearten a people

Still, we remember the planes
The fires, the awful 
Death and destruction, and are sad

But the other — the cynical making of
Other, the lies and cruelty — America 
Turning on its integrity and itself —

Twenty years of smoke and dust
Making eyes burn and sight fade —
We have been broken, broken in half

Friday, September 10, 2021

the teaching of 9/11

 Please be seated. There’s something I want you to hear.

 Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.

–Henry James

Any questions?

Thanks for showing up.

Andiamo in nome di dio!

Thursday, September 09, 2021


Don Delillo, at end of novel, this phrase: “… arms waving like nothing in this life.”

Then, novel ends.

Second time reading it.

What good phrasing.

Seeing this.

qui tacit, temporibus

A Thursday of quick responses: 


Ama Nesciri | Camden Maine

So well worded. Yes, of course they won. From the "banquette full of blondes" to "covered forever with a bit of the ash," we are reminded of the sometimes absurdity and oftimes haunted character of American culture and life.  


This anniversary, and the military abscond from Afghanistan, are poignant visitors, ghosts trying to awaken us to things gone by and things to come, if only we could welcome what is real and what is for the good of everyone. 




Ama Nesciri | Camden Maine
While I concur "Religion is American society’s last taboo," I add its penultimate muted topic is evil done in the name of good. When philosophers suggest that Moral Law is an evolutionary stage of becoming human, that the consideration of what is good and right versus what is bad and wrong pivots us toward a future worthy of human effort, we were not warned that calling one the other -- good-evil, evil-good -- would be the rhetorical hurdle too high to clear. 

Pick your stance on this one. Is choice, not compulsion, good? Is state demand, not individual preference, evil? From vaccines to masks to abortions to truth-telling by purported political celebrities -- we are bombarded with mentally compromising munitions telling us one thing is the other, up is down, our saviors are our executioners. 


We've got to practice the difficult art of clear thinking, seeing through inauthentic speech, and be/become caring for one another. 




Ama Nesciri | Camden Maine

I stepped over a penny in the parking lot of a thrift store yesterday. I figured it was safer where it was, rather than picking it up and sending it as donation response to fundraising request.  


If kids still delight in finding coins on the ground, I support their cheerful discovery over the greedy con of political professionals using every ploy to enrich their cloying agendas.

 Silence would be a better behavior.

But I do not consent.

transparent, at least at first glance



The poetic character of thinking is still covered over... But a poetry which thinks is in truth the landscape of being. 

The poem...[is] a vortex that snatches us away. Not gradually, but...suddenly... We are forcefully drawn into a conversation.

(- Heidegger)

 (Heidegger and Poetry)

Don't try to convince me.

Surprise me. 

In the introduction to Poets Thinking: Pope, Whitman, Dickinson, Yeats  (Harvard University Press, 2004), Helen Vendler writes:

Poetry has often been considered an irrational genre, more expressive than logical, more given to meditation than to coherent or defensible argument. The “proofs” it presents are, it is judged, more fanciful than true, and the experiences it affords are emotional and idiosyncratic rather than dispassionate and universal. The additional fact that poetry is directed by an aesthetic imperative, rather than by a forensic or expository one, casts suspicion on the “thinking” represented within and by poetry... Unlike the structure of a perspicuous argument, the structure of a poem may be anything but transparent, at least at first glance.

    In short, the relation of poetry to thought is an uneasy one.

    Some law other than the conduct of an argument is always governing a poem, even when the poem purports to be relating the unfolding of thought. On the other hand, even when a poem seems to be a spontaneous outburst of feeling, it is being directed, as a feat of ordered language, by something one can only call thought. (1-3)

“Intellectuals” and their “ideas” (invariably expressed in prose) occupy at this moment a privilege in academic and popular discussion which is (absurdly) denied to poets and poems—as though poetry and responsible ideation could not, or did not, overlap. “Great books” curricula, while including epic and narrative poetry, have on the whole suppressed the very presence of lyric in Western literature, as though lyric poems had nothing to contribute to thinking. (6)


Why not tell me, in our conversation, in poetry, something I don't know.

Tell me nothing. 

I will, carefully, listen.

remaining stem

 early downpour nips

considered morning walk bud

leaving shoes on rug

Wednesday, September 08, 2021

remembering 9/11

 the losses they drift

through our hearts slowly with grace —

word by word by word

considering my death

 this bright ninth month day

noting breath in and out, late

 summer fading green

Tuesday, September 07, 2021

ראש חאשנה שמח

 It is Rosh Hashanah.

Happy New Year!

This beautiful Tuesday.

Such weather!

Of course, my mother would say at her Bensonhurst kitchen table, מזל טוב Mazel Tov!

what can be seen

Jesus, says Marcus Borg, must be seen in the light of what is said of him in the New Testament.

He posits:

"He's not God, but the revelation of what can be seen of God in a human life."  (Marcus Borg, in ch.9, in Days of Awe and Wonder: How to Be a Christian in the Twenty-first Century)

Also see:

Was Jesus God? No. Not even the New Testament says that. It speaks of him as the Word of God, the Son of God, the Messiah, and so forth, but never simply identifies him with or equates him with God. As John's gospel puts it, he is the Word become flesh - that is, he reveals what can be seen of God in a finite human life. To say, "I believe Jesus was God" (as some Christians do, or think they are supposed to) goes beyond what the New Testament affirms and is thus more than biblical. He is the Word incarnate - not the disembodied Word

Did some of his followers experience Jesus as a divine reality after his death, and have some Christians had such experiences in the centuries since, including into the present? Yes. These experiences led to the conviction that Jesus was "one with God," "at the right hand of God," and ultimately to the doctrine of the Trinity: that God is one (monotheism) and yet known/experienced in three primary ways (as God, the Son, and the Spirit). This is the context in which it makes sense to praise and pray to Jesus. But this doesn't mean that Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus during his historical life, was "God." (Marcus Borg: A Letter About Jesus, Saturday July 12, 2014, Day1)

I listen to books 

as I walk.

I ponder what I hear.

It is good to be able 

to do 

all three.

not man apart


What did you say?


Yes to what?

To all of it.

I think you’re mistaken.


Yes what?

I am mistaken.

That’s not much…

Much of what?

…of an answer.


  The Answer   

     by Robinson Jeffers

Then what is the answer?- Not to be deluded by dreams.

To know that great civilizations have broken down into violence,

      and their tyrants come, many times before.

When open violence appears, to avoid it with honor or choose

      the least ugly faction; these evils are essential.

To keep one's own integrity, be merciful and uncorrupted

      and not wish for evil; and not be duped

By dreams of universal justice or happiness. These dreams will

      not be fulfilled.

To know this, and know that however ugly the parts appear

      the whole remains beautiful. A severed hand

Is an ugly thing and man dissevered from the earth and stars

      and his history... for contemplation or in fact...

Often appears atrociously ugly. Integrity is wholeness,

      the greatest beauty is

Organic wholeness, the wholeness of life and things, the divine beauty

      of the universe. Love that, not man

Apart from that, or else you will share man's pitiful confusions,

      or drown in despair when his days darken.  

(From THE COLLECTED POETRY OF ROBINSON JEFFERS, edited by Tim Hunt. Stanford University Press. Copyright 1936)

Monday, September 06, 2021





being nothing in order to enter

 The less said about God, the better.


Don’t ask. (The answer is unsettling.)

As is God.

 Since it is God's nature not to be like anyone, we have to come to the state of being nothing in order to enter into the same nature that He is.  [Meister Elkhart, German sermon 7, trans M.O’C. Walshe]

God is nothing like what we think of God.

Not even close.

What, then, do we do about God?

You might say God matters. (Literally, God causes to be that which becomes matter.)

What’s with matter? (‘What is’ is with matter.)

We are what is with matter. (We are with God. God is with us.)

‘With’ is the unspoken name of God. 

What’s with you? (The answer is in the question.)

I have nothing to say about God. 

That nothing, that unsaying, is middle of the night zen.

You ask, ‘Do I believe in God?’

What’s with that question? (What is, with, that question.)

Water drops from eaves onto sun porch roof. I hear this. Silence holds it within itself.

Out across Penobscot Bay in Pulpit Harbor a sailboat rides anchor or holds mooring ball in the moist morning after-rain quiet. 

(Dreams lift and laze hull and soul before dawn lifts tide and tone of faint light.)

They and you — God be with you! (God be-with you.)

May we each experience bewithing. 

(A zen enlightening act of being.)

God is no parenthesis.

(Rather, God is nothing sounding itself with silence.)

Nothing, sounding, itself, with, silence.

Sunday, September 05, 2021

alles ist gut

 Labor Day, the work

of zen consciousness — stirb und

werde — immersion

avoir l'intention, 自体 (itself)

 Ah, intentional 

life looking through what is seen

becoming … itself

Saturday, September 04, 2021

not facemasks

 If you follow me

You will see nothing seen be-

fore, yourself unmasked

the intuition of imagination and creative regard.

 Commenting on Trump’s strategy regarding COVID-19, the author writes:

 Oscar Wilde reportedly said the following about religion, “Religion is like a blind man looking in a black room for a black cat that isn't there -- and finding it.” 

(—Excerpt from: "Only I Can Fix It" by Wendell Blue. Scribd)

I'm afraid circumstances are such that neither Trump nor republican followers nor democrats of any stripe have the savvy, will-power, or moral energy to dissuade a re-continuance of his presidential ambitions in next election.

The quotient of emotional or intellectual intelligence required to slow the descent of the United States into degraded status in world stature and corresponding decline in quality of life or soul among its population is lowering and glowering across the nation.

This is not about God. This is about what is not. It’s not that God is not great, rather, it is about the unimaginative and intemperate people who wish that man and the know-nothing subservience surrounding him to be the face and misfortune of America.

I’ll be dead. Nor do I suspect there’s more than a dark room with soundproof non-resonance to follow. (Gott sei dank!) But some will still be here. And it will not be pretty.

About religion, my only belief is becoming what in essence and existence we already are. It is faith in what is here and now our true nature arcing toward wholeness and kindness of the good. Toward that direction I am a follower of clear inner light, the intuition of imagination and creative regard.

There is where I greet you.

There is where I watch with apprehension the foolish degeneration of responsible acts and effort.

There is where, if prayer has any efficacy or innate purpose or benefit, I pray for each being passing in front of me.

Friday, September 03, 2021

like trees

 This from Sojourners:  

Verse of the day 

Love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. 

- Romans 12:10


Voice of the day 

If we surrendered / to earth’s intelligence / we could rise up rooted, like trees.   

- Rainer Maria Rilke, “How Surely Gravity's Law” 


Prayer of the day 


Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts. 

- The Book of Common Prayer

a dazzling sacred ecology

 The author writes (if I recall hearing correctly): 

God, the one who dwells in the midst of it all here on earth.  (--Diane Butler Bass, in Grounded: Finding God in the World - A Spiritual revolution)

There is something attractive about calling God "the one."

"One" at the center of it all. It echos comfortably inside the question I hold for every description/depiction of God, namely, "Do you believe in or behold God?"

I resonate with "the one." This suggests there is no two, or that the two we manufacture is not the truest reality. There might be differences within the one. There might be others within the one. But no one is excluded from the one. No division made by rational thinking can escape the wholeness of being enwrapping everything.

Elsewhere Bass writes:

Where is God? Not up "there" in heaven. Rather, God is here. With us.

Often unnoticed or misunderstood by commentators and even some religious leaders, a theological shift is happening around us, a revolution of divine nearness. People use a new spiritual vocabulary to describe it - God is in the sunset, at the seashore, in the gardens we plant, at home, in the work we do, in the games we watch and play, in the stories that entertain us, in good food and good company, when we eat, drink, and make love. In the midst of the problems and challenges we face, the distant God is being replaced by a more intimate presence. Millions of people are experiencing God as more personal and accessible than ever before. This is not a romanticized greeting card divinity, but it is a God who is robustly present in the chaos, suffering, and confusion surrounding us, the Spirit who invites us to save the planet and make peace with the whole human family, and who is a companion and partner in creating a hope-filled future. This is the God that many are reaching toward, realizing that a far-off God will not do. A God who is not with us cannot be for us. The only God that makes sense is a God of compassion and empathy who shares the life of the world.

This is the grounded God, the presence at the center of a spiritual revolution growing from the ground up, an earthy faith that insists on the importance of the planet and its people. Instead of living in a disconnected three-tiered universe, we are discovering that we inhabit a dazzling sacred ecology where God dwells with us. God is in nature and with our neighbor, whose "face" can be seen in both creation and human community.  (--Diana Butler Bass: Where Is God?  Thursday October 15, 2015) 

Everything has a center.

What that center is called has various names. Still, it is the center. Despite arguments as to whether your depiction of center is better than your neighbor's depiction of center; whether your description of 'one' is better that your neighbor's description of one -- center is center, one is one.

Can we face such inquiry?

Will we face one another in this investigation.

The zen proverb still reverberates wisdom:

Better to see the face

than to hear the name

I keep watch.