Thursday, March 30, 2023

no fooling the dead

 TC: "I wanted to double the number of locks on the doors." 

Murdered child: "Thanks, Mr Cruz." 

TC: "It's the Dems, kid." 

Murdered child: " Yeah, sure it is. Sure it is."

to grind the fable of my life down

 It is a Haibun, she says.  

Haibun (俳文?, literally, haikai writings) is a prosimetric literary form originating in Japan, combining prose and haiku.
haibun may record a scene, or a special moment, in a highly descriptive and objective manner or may occupy a wholly fictional or dream-like space. The accompanying haiku may have a direct or subtle relationship with the prose and encompass or hint at the gist of what is recorded in the prose sections.

Traditional haibun typically took the form of a short description of a place, person or object, or a diary of a journey or other series of events in the poet's life.[3]

 And it is Thursday:

On Moving 


by Jane Huffman

Like butter, gone. I’m moving on, because it would be ludicrous to stay. It feels like a return (to sanity), although I’ve never been. (I’ve never lived a mile west of Illinois.) “I come home from the soaring,” Rilke wrote in The Inner Sky, which I take as imperative (omit the “I”): to ground, return to Earth, to grind the fable of my life down like orpiment into a yellow ash and tie my body to the floor. Rilke writes of God (“still roaring in my ears”) but God, for me (today) is fear. Goodbye to my deteriorating house. Delirium. I’m out the door. Stasis is a sieve through which I drag myself.  

 Literature feels / far away. Black bulls grazing / beyond a pale hill. 

(Copyright © 2023 by Jane Huffman. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 30, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.)

Both Haibun and Thursday, companions. 

from other side

 dozing on sun porch

sounds of squeaky wheel -- I search --

outside, birds in tree

you can't handle the truth

 standing guard on wall

comes enemy in the night

conscience acquired -- shoot

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

rebirth this way

 First breath of infant

Breathes in every last breath

The dead have left here

Their souls linger in corners

Taken in and lived in us

being is, non-being is not

 Good versus evil

Is not the equation — ask

About what “is not” —

“What is” is reality

What “is not” is our absence

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

if i am to be compelled to take part in it

This Danish existentialist would look at our guns and lethargy and not blanch. He'd loathe the cynicism and self-satisfaction of those receiving gun lobby pay-offs.

Maybe it's not existence which is so troublesome, but what the uninterested do with their uncaring insouciance.

Hegel emphasized universals; Kierkegaard argued for decision and commitment. Hegel sought an objective theory of knowledge upon which everyone could agree; Kierkegaard believed in the subjectivity of truth—meaning that truth is understood and experienced individually.

Existence, he believed, is actual, painful, and more important than "essence" or "idea." The authentic person wrestles with fundamental questions that cannot be answered rationally. As Kierkegaard once wrote, "My life has been brought to an impasse, I loathe existence…. Where am I? What is this thing called the world? What does this word mean? Who is it that has lured me into the thing and now leaves me there? Who am I? How did I come into the world? Why was I not consulted, why not made acquainted with its manners and customs? … How did I obtain an interest in it? Is it not a voluntary concern? And if I am to be compelled to take part in it, where is the director? Whither shall I turn with my complaint?"

(--in, Søren Kierkegaard, Christian existentialist, in Christianity Today

Maybe Hegel is right -- continue to try for "an objective theory of knowledge upon which everyone could agree," rather than falling into a dread depression at the futility and shoulder-shrug impertinence of the ideologically cemented stony hearts selling nothing but hard-nosed dismissal to those in sorrow.

Their responses: Buy more guns. Shoot the bastards who try (successfully) to shoot through scopes of aimed grievance, then clean up the killing field. We've got this. Lock and load. Screw the idiots who try to curtail evil and its loud repeating reports.

Soren, the world is us.

I suspect we create us.

If you must complain, here I am.

Grab a coffee. Sit. You start. I'll listen. 

Then -- after having at it -- let's go kick some butt. 

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich, you come too.

the thinking of cynics

 Guns, you would tell me,

do not kill people, shooters

perform that task. Right?  --

But such shallow assessment

does nothing for anyone

no less than

 Promo for Natalie Goldberg's "Haiku: The Leap" --

 “Haiku is about paying attention.” Natalie Goldberg offers a deep dive into the work of Tim Roberts who found haiku after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s at 49. His haiku in his new book Busted: Reflections of Police Life reveal that you can write haiku about anything. “One shot gun/Three of us walking/Doing the math.” Often, but not always, there is a leap in haiku, which “allows us to experience a little sensation of space.” Alan Ginsburg described this space as “no less than God.”

Intimation, not 

intimidation -- maybe

God's new home address

Monday, March 27, 2023


 Don’t look back, go on

There’s nothing to see back there

Go on, go on, go

corners to withdraw into, nooks to dwell in, and rooms to retreat to

When is a place a non-place? 

The distinction between place and non-place has occupied a critical role in both the philosophy of place and human geography for the last 20 years. In a distinction that stems from Marc Augé but is traceable to Edward Relph, “place” is thought as being relationally constructed, laden with meaning, and shaped by a broader history; home being emblematic of place. “Non-place,” on the other hand, is taken to mean places divested of meaning, homogenous, and largely interchangeable; airports, supermarkets, and pre-fabricated office complexes being examples.

Whilst this distinction has tended to be pervasive and influential in phenomenological accounts of place, critical analysis on the relation between place and non-place has been sparse. This paper aims to (1) develop an analysis of the distinction, ambiguities, and tensions between place and non-place. (2). To question and interrogate what kind of difference is involved in this distinction. (3). To address the role intersubjectivity and affectivity plays in the “sense of place.” 


Let us imagine ourselves nestled within the tranquility of a French villa. The place is a retreat, seemingly remote from the concerns and anxieties of the “real world” back home. Within its homely embrace, a series of windows overlooks a forest, enclosing the villa within a world of quiet intimacy. Here and there, we discover corners to withdraw into, nooks to dwell in, and rooms to retreat to. When opening the door on the world outside the villa, far from being confronted with a world hostile to that of the sanctuary, the surrounding forest and pathways toward the beach instead reinforce the peaceful sense of place. Indeed, it is a singular place, perched above the sea, with a distinct character, and quite unlike anywhere else. 


As the vacation draws to an end, as it must do, it will be necessary to leave the world of the villa in order to return home. A short drive takes us to the airport, where we are now waiting in line to check our luggage in. Unlike the space of the villa, which is characterised by alternating textures and divergent tones, the spatiality of the airport is both flat and homogenous. At no point is the fluorescent light broken up by the existence of shadows. The effect of this constancy is that the airport is deprived of depth. In objective terms, the distance between the villa and the airport is negligible.

In experiential terms, however, the villa feels distant and ungraspable. The adjustment we must undergo in the airport is full of resistance, as though our bodies were unprepared to let go of the atmosphere of the villa. As a result, we experience the airport as an oppressive place, at odds with the villa, and having no memorable or intrinsic qualities, other than being a place we must pass through in order to get home. 

(--from, Place and Non-place: A Phenomenological PerspectiveDylan Tripp,

 I dwell in a place that shrinks to a single room. It serves as zendo, library, office, bedroom, barbell exercise space, clothes closet, laundry basket, shoe and socks hangout, back of door pants hangings, museum and art gallery wall, charging center for Apple devices, dog and cat sanctuary, bird watching station, nap resource, meditation altar, storage center, and finally, anchorite cell for idiorhythmic hobo mendicant ne'er-do-well. 

I know my place

Passing through

More and more . . .

It is less, and, less

are you not or are you by yourself






Sunday, March 26, 2023

are you alone or are you not






Saturday, March 25, 2023

practice is having no home

If you ask, "Where is your temple, zendo, where is your church?"

The response might be, "Nowhere."

Each moment, now here. Each place your feet or butt touches, now here. Each prayer to the God of the universe, now here.

Having no home has been a wonderful practice. It’s probably not an accident that one of my favorite 20th-century Japanese Zen Masters is Homeless Kodo. He had no temple. What binds us is sitting together no matter where or how. In addition to sitting, our main practice over the years has been group work, a talking practice we do, where we have learned to be completely open with one another. One evening last year, instead of our talking practice, we sat together in my roof garden for about an hour in total silence watching an amazing sunset over the Hudson River. A few weeks ago on a very icy morning three of us who had managed to get to Sheila’s Riverdale house for zazenkai ended up drinking tea in silence at 6:30 a.m. Eventually, we were joined by others who had successfully braved the ice. We just stayed in the kitchen, where we all had a silent breakfast together. Then we went into the living room, and without making it a zendo, we turned a motley collection of chairs around to face the river to watch the ice floes pass by.

(--from, Sitting Nowhere Leaving No Traces, A meditator learns that the zendo is wherever you sit. By Roshi Nancy Mujo Baker MAR 24, 2023, Tricycle)

 Try this.

This is where we are.

Wherever you are.

This is where you are.

Where you are is where we are.

As is, everyone.

i promise myself to treat myself / and visit a nearby tower

 I know you want to

Tell me Jesus rose from death

I appreciate

Your enthusiasm — I’d

Rather watch cat watching dawn

impossible retrieval of lost connection

 In the dream a bus —

Stepping off onto street — he

Is looking for friend

In middle of city all 

Alone at intersections

Friday, March 24, 2023

cross as intersecting intimacy

 In prison this morning one man gives tutorial on NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming). 

Another is skeptical about any formal intervention. (Nor does he cotton to popes, priests, politicians, or police.)

We are talking about amenities, civil discourse, pleasantries, niceties, politeness, communications veering from hostility, belittlement, and confrontation.

One man is saying there's no justice in prison. If someone is jumped and beaten in his cell he doesn't go to the guards complaining of the matter. Then, in prison code, he'd be a "rat." Nor might he want to "throw the switch" and enter full retaliation response with whomever might align themselves and have his back.

Which ushers in new complications

It's a hard reality. One they understand. As a civilian I can hear it, sympathize with the plight.

One man says he'd just prayed with someone unnerved by such a recent experience. Prayer, he said, introduced to the man that, throughout his ordeal, he is not alone. Which prospect, however undiminishing of the lingering turmoil, puts a different perspective in view. One which he can hope to be true, however immanently unsatisfying, but ultimately, intriguing.

Conversant in morning circle shares excerpt of Life is Worth Living | Episode 7 | Loneliness | Fulton Sheen.

He is intrigued that he was led to bump into traumatized man, paused a minute, listened to him, then offered a prayer, then resumed his place in meetingbrook conversation to punctuate the topic at hand -- our loneliness in the desert of justice.

Each week a seminar on reality.

Each person a voice from the wilderness asking -- How alone am I?

We sit in a circle of loneliness together.

Accompanying one another.

As morning fades and evening approaches.

The sixth day.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

even if you don’t understand, listen

 The dying don’t want to be entertained, they want to be accompanied.

the landscape, within/without, undivided

 If you find within

You what is without you, 

Do not fear, be glad

When boundaries fall away

Borders are crossed not knowing

no . . . one’s . . . breath

It is said that no one has ever seen God. 

When I recently asked a nurse's aide if I might go in and sit with a woman who'd just died in hospice an hour before, she said "But there's no one there." Family had left, funeral folks not yet arrived.

“If there is a God we must see Him, if there is a soul we must perceive it; otherwise it is better not to believe. It is better to be an outspoken atheist than a hypocrite.”

― Swami Vivekananda, Meditation And Its Method

We smiled at each other in the hallway and I went into her room. 

She was right, no one was there.

Since that moment I realized that "no one" is God.

I saw God in that room. I perceived that woman's soul in the room, her last breath floating somewhere around us.

Zen Buddhists will exclaim, "MU!" Contemplative Christians will say breath-spirit is holy and inspiring.

Our practice asks: 

What say you?

What see you?

What silence and stillness are you?



(sees) --



Wednesday, March 22, 2023


 Forgive me, you know

How I have hurt you — take my

Sorrow with you — all

Of you, near and far — there is

No way I can follow you

found to be

One thing becoming-another. 

In the union of form and emptiness, our bodies and minds and the whole phenomenal world are not rejected but rather are found to be direct expressions of the sacred. 

Aura Glaser, “Into the Demon’s Mouth”. Tricycle


How becoming you are! 

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

nothing doing what shunyata itself does

 Mind is not a thing

Nor is the real a thing — they

Are no-thing feeling

A pervasive awareness

Arising and passing through

just to make clear

I say this because the snow pushed up driveway is melting today as it should in spring before this coming Saturday night's 3-5" snowfall.

I know it's only Tuesday.

That God is in (its) heaven, and all is not (quite) well in the world.

But, some say, poets dig words out of mud and toss them into forms to harden into bricks for building a terrace to hold flowers that itch to show themselves when snow trickles off the mountain. 


whatever you have to say, leave 


the roots on, let them 




And the dirt 


Just to make clear 


where they come from

 (-poem by Charles Olson) 

If you want to tell me anything about God, show me, like math in high school, the work done before the answer you've found. And what you've surrounded that answer with, whether safety deposit box or broken heart, whether gold plated door arches or tattered jacket with buttons missing.

Mud season has been early. Tire tracks indent weary stones sunk into ground. Pools of melted snow-water hang out by wood gate closed to the road. Mail delivery put into box by utility pole.

So many limbs down from last week's nor'easter. 

God is stillness and silence deep in earth and far in cosmos -- waiting for creatures, slowly emerging from soil, to feel their way into the Sound of Being Here.


and dirt


Monday, March 20, 2023

ただ 完全に一人*

 I have

No reason

To trust


I have

No reason

Not to trust


I have 


Reason . . .


Is the






* Just




 Self itself

No self


What else









Because of


as winter disembarks

Some remnant considerations


    "In the very end, civilizations perish because they listen to their politicians and not to their poets. 

     (-Jonas Mekas) 


 “The danger of civilization, of course, is that you will piss away your life on nonsense.”   

(--from The Beast God Forgot to Invent)

(-Poet Jim Harrison) 


    “Society, in general, maintains such a vested interest in its cozy habits and solidified belief systems that it had rather die — or kill — than entertain change.”  


(-Tom Robbins) 

blank mirror

 Looking up at stars

With dog in dooryard by barn

Universe looks back

sad, but dangerous

 The mentally ill

Ranting from Florida warns

Us — be on alert

Sunday, March 19, 2023

sometimes, darkness

all, this

 So much political turmoil

It seems up is down and in is out

Quantum physicists are laughing --

“They’re finally beginning to understand,” they say.

I no longer believe in dissembling

What is is what is, it is

Time to sit zazen

No time for dissembled reality

Thank you for your interest in (all) this

Saturday, March 18, 2023

our non-local energy body, wandering freely

 Subtle reality, non-local presence, appear and disappear regularly. We, conditioned by social climates of facile dismissive attitudes, are oblivious of our very surround.

The book is The Physics of God: How the Deepest Theories of Science Explain Religion and How the Deepest Truths of Religion Explain Science, by Joseph Selbie and Amit Goswami

I walk the vacant snow bowl grounds listening. It remains lighter later. The dog and woman go off to toboggan area. There's one electric truck, a Rivian, alone at edge of mountain, its owner slaloms down slope after climbing up after hours. He says he's happy with it.

Sun jumps off top of Bald Mountain into lingering twilight after last week's clock change. Dirt clings to plowed snow at edges of parking area. Ice on pond is not to be trusted. We never were able to walk on ice to islands out in Hosmer Pond.

"The hidden truth of miracles, matter is the intelligent organization of energy." What we call the universe needs observation. The world is a magic show -- it is not what it seems to be. We bring things into existence, we listen things into existence, by our gaze things appear.

It feels that everything changes and is differently experienced once we have allowed stillness and silence to be our teachers, gurus, and zen masters.


Yes -- In Itself -- 


A worthy choice 

of Being 

for Being-there.

in prison he looked at me

 “I hear voices,” he 

said. Of course you do, I said,

Everything’s speaking

Friday, March 17, 2023

student in downeast correctional facility shares this today

One Foot in Eden

One foot in Eden still, I stand
And look across the other land.
The world’s great day is growing late,
Yet strange these fields that we have planted
So long with crops of love and hate.
Time’s handiworks by time are haunted,
And nothing now can separate
The corn and tares compactly grown.
The armorial weed in stillness bound
About the stalk; these are our own.
Evil and good stand thick around
In fields of charity and sin
Where we shall lead our harvest in.

Yet still from Eden springs the root
As clean as on the starting day.
Time takes the foliage and the fruit
And burns the archetypal leaf
To shapes of terror and of grief
Scattered along the winter way.
But famished field and blackened tree
Bear flowers in Eden never known.
Blossoms of grief and charity
Bloom in these darkened fields alone.
What had Eden ever to say
Of hope and faith and pity and love
Until was buried all its day
And memory found its treasure trove?
Strange blessings never in Paradise
Fall from these beclouded skies.

(-Poem by Edwin Muir)

Thursday, March 16, 2023

elsewhere, ee cummings is quoted


“A poet is somebody who feels, and who expresses his feelings through words.

This may sound easy. It isn’t.

A lot of people think or believe or know they feel — but that’s thinking or believing or knowing; not feeling. And poetry is feeling — not knowing or believing or thinking.

Almost anybody can learn to think or believe or know, but not a single human being can be taught to feel. Why? Because whenever you think or you believe or you know, you’re a lot of other people: but the moment you feel, you’re nobody-but-yourself.

To be nobody-but-yourself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”

― E.E. Cummings, E. E. Cummings: A Miscellany Revised, goodreads 


Two deer in dooryard. Our mountain guests. Dawn. 

In the dream a Franciscan from the sixties a little wary and aloof of my continuing interest in some kind of continuance. In the dream the now dead zen master attends large gathering of meetingbrook meditation practice over a hundred participants. My body encoded strongly in zazen posture. 

In the dream everything is gathered in same place at same time. A photograph of group sitting on ground in circle in New Hampshire schoolyard — the glorious attraction of faces. Nothing is retrievable, nothing is lost.


are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his

handiwork.” (Psalm19:1). The heavens tell of God’s glory. This

is metaphor, of course, but to the Psalmist, everything in creation

speaks of the glory of God. This is like the hymn: “This is my

Father's world, And to my listening ears, All nature sings, and

round me rings The music of the spheres.” The firmament

proclaims God’s handiwork and all nature sings and round me rings

the music of the spheres. Metaphor, yes. How better could it be


(—Excerpt From, Rabbouni:  Twelve Teaching Methods of Jesus, by John Zehring)

All these creatures tell tales of creation appearing and disappearing, singing and silencing, watching and averting eyes.

We are diffuse. We are encapsulated. We are silhouettes of semblance and spiritual sonority. We are the Gregorian chant of Lauds, a psalmody of awakening day scanning the orb floating amid billions and trillions of orbs in scanned surcease of sacred movement. A pause. A glance. 

A fermata . . .

Briefly holding

Then releasing

Sound of inner reverie.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

hooked on necrotics

 Obsession with ex-

president is the new drug

overdosing us

thinking about what I am seeing


Out coming up to twenty

Four hours — quiet

let the great world spin

 He snores on rug by

shoes — I pick up novel I’ve

Been reading two years

long walks no longer mandatory

 Wet snow and heavy

Foot and a half, said plowman —

Shoveling concrete

Finally dog has learned to 

do his business in dooryard

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

six words, a world

 E.E. Cummings said it: “Not to completely feel is thinking.” (—in six non-lectures)

This, I feel, is true.

no distress no dismay


Of course, begins everything — 

Tell me, who are you?

being, asked, the question

 I know why I am

Here — (You do?) — To answer “Yes!”

When asked “Are you here?”

Monday, March 13, 2023

imagine you are a poem

 Speak yourself, tell us

What you feel as you feel it —

Word becoming you

the religion of silent listening

 We listen to help

One find out what they are and

Who they are, saying

if you see me here, don’t be afraid, I am here with, and for, you


To everything

Up and down, north and south

Left and right, east and west

May I be at their center

Where each crosses through each other

Fastened by freedom, safe and sound

Right where you’d expect to see

The One called Love

Pinned with kindness where all (do) pass

Sunday, March 12, 2023

buffalo bob asks: hey kids, what time is it

 Some smart aleck said

“I know how to change time” and

poof — apple did job

four bells, light left behind

 Someone took hour

Astronomical dawn peers

Through bamboo shade, shrugs,

“I don’t know where it went, I

Was told to slow arrival”

Saturday, March 11, 2023

the practice of god

It is a striking phrase, "participation in the practice of God."

"Christian practices are not activities we do to make something spiritual happen in our lives. Nor are they duties we undertake to be obedient to God. Rather, they are patterns of communal action that create openings in our lives where the grace, mercy, and presence of God may be made known to us. They are places where the power of God is experienced. In the end, these are not ultimately our practices but forms of participation in the practice of God." (— Craig Dykstra)

I read Gabriel Marcel's book "The Mystery of Being." I remember fondly studying him fifty plus years ago and thinking what a delight to read such a person on such a theme, Christian Existentialism.

In it, this:

VII. My Life  


The question: who am I? remains.  


Since it is not possible to count on a friend, a party, or a collec- 

tivity to decide it for me, the question becomes an appeal (call), 

who am I? Shall I not find the answer by enquiring into my own 



My life can be considered from two standpoints, that of:  


1. The past. 

2. That of the present, the fact that I am still living it.  


1. In the past. My life appears to me as something that 

can, by reason of its very essence, be narrated. 

But to narrate is to unfold.  


It is also to summarize, i.e., to totalize schematically. 

My life cannot then be reproduced by a narrative; in as 

much as it has been actually lived, it lies without the 

scope of my present concrete thought and can only be 

recaptured as particles irradiated by flashes of memory. 

Nor is my life in the notes jotted down day by day and 

making up my diary; when I re-read them they have for 

the most part lost their meaning, and I do not recognize 

myself in them.  


Nor is my work to be identified with my life; what judge 

could sift from my work that which truly expresses me? 

Finally, my acts, in as much as they are recorded in objec- 

tive reality, do not tell of that within me which lies beyond 



My life, in so far as already lived, is not then an inalterable 

deposit or a finished whole.  


2. In so far as I am still living it, my life appears to me as 

something I can consecrate or sacrifice, and the more I 

feel that I am striving towards an end, or serving a cause, 

the more alive (living) I feel. It is therefore essential to life 

that it be articulated on a reality which gives it a meaning 

and a trend, and, as it were, justifies it; this does not sig- 

nify that life is an available asset.  


To give one’s life is neither to part with one’s self nor to 

do away with one’s self, it is to respond to a certain call. 

Death can then be life, in the supreme sense. 

My life is infinitely beyond the consciousness I have of it 

at any given moment; it is essentially unequal in itself, 

and transcendent of the account that I am led to keep of 

its elements. Secondary reflection alone can recuperate 

that which inhabits my life and which my life does not ex- 


                (--pp.24-25, The Mystery of Being, by Gabriel Marcel, 1951, Translated by G.S. Fraser, 1971) 

To listen.

"Death can then be life, in the supreme sense."

To respond to a certain call.

And, again -- To listen.

My life is infinitely beyond the consciousness I have of it 

at any given moment; it is essentially unequal in itself, 

and transcendent of the account that I am led to keep of 

its elements. Secondary reflection alone can recuperate 

that which inhabits my life and which my life does not ex- 


Returning to Dykstra, I love the way his words suggest that we are involved in a "participation in the practice of God."

Good sangha to be sitting in!

And with!

how once we described ourselves

"Place of collation

and recollection, Ragged

Mountain" -- meetingbrook --

a phrasing once a tagline

remembered, reading, light meal 

reserving yes or no,

 When sitting, just watch

Don’t conclude — let everything

Reveal what it is

Good and evil do not take 

You — not unless you assent

presence is not something (to be) seen

 Don’t talk to me of

Jesus Christ, or anything

Not seen  —  not if you

Don’t want what is here to be

What it is — in itself — hah!

sound of han not being hit

Two friends at morning

Practice, cars pass, psalms from France —

At ragged mountain 

It’s not hard to practice zen

Only include everything

Friday, March 10, 2023

reminder it is where we are

 Short shrift in prison 

this morning, stark commotion. 

Ride out, until next 

Thursday, March 09, 2023

vigil near where she once was

 Her last breath must be

Somewhere in this room — I sit

Next to where she lived

through, what we call, life — religious and spiritual

Anything that holds us together is religio. It is the willingness, however hesitantly, “to go through again”(relegere).

Breathing through each moment with alert presence is spiritus.

For our purposes, in everyday ways of speaking, we are both religious and spiritual —
  • We go through each moment, again and again. 
  • We breathe through everything, again and again.

 This from the Online Etymological Dictionary:

religion (n.)
Origin and meaning of religion

c. 1200, religioun, "state of life bound by monastic vows," also "action or conduct indicating a belief in a divine power and reverence for and desire to please it," from Anglo-French religiun (11c.), Old French religionrelegion "piety, devotion; religious community," and directly from Latin religionem (nominative religio) "respect for what is sacred, reverence for the gods; conscientiousness, sense of right, moral obligation; fear of the gods; divine service, religious observance; a religion, a faith, a mode of worship, cult; sanctity, holiness," in Late Latin "monastic life" (5c.).

This noun of action was derived by Cicero from relegere "go through again" (in reading or in thought), from re- "again" (see re-) + legere "read" (see lecture (n.)). However, popular etymology among the later ancients (Servius, Lactantius, Augustine) and the interpretation of many modern writers connects it with religare "to bind fast" (see rely), via the notion of "place an obligation on," or "bond between humans and gods." In that case, the re- would be intensive. Another possible origin is religiens "careful," opposite of negligens.

In English, the meaning "particular system of faith in the worship of a divine being or beings" is by c. 1300; the sense of "recognition of and allegiance in manner of life (perceived as justly due) to a higher, unseen power or powers" is from 1530s.

spirit (n.)
Origin and meaning of spirit

mid-13c., "animating or vital principle in man and animals," from Anglo-French spirit, Old French espirit "spirit, soul" (12c., Modern French esprit) and directly from Latin spiritus "a breathing (respiration, and of the wind), breath; breath of a god," hence "inspiration; breath of life," hence "life;" also "disposition, character; high spirit, vigor, courage; pride, arrogance," related to spirare "to breathe," perhaps from PIE *(s)peis- "to blow" (source also of Old Church Slavonic pisto "to play on the flute"). But de Vaan says "Possibly an onomatopoeic formation imitating the sound of breathing. There are no direct cognates." 

According to Barnhart and OED, originally in English mainly from passages in Vulgate, where the Latin word translates Greek pneuma and Hebrew ruah. Distinction between "soul" and "spirit" (as "seat of emotions") became current in Christian terminology (such as Greek psykhe vs. pneuma, Latin anima vs. spiritus) but "is without significance for earlier periods" [Buck]. Latin spiritus, usually in classical Latin "breath," replaces animus in the sense "spirit" in the imperial period and appears in Christian writings as the usual equivalent of Greek pneumaSpirit-rappingis from 1852

The word itself, words themselves — this is our focus. 

If we let words speak, preferably in silence, they — like every given situation we encounter — carry with them, replete and with integrity, all that is needed for us to engage, move through, and breathe with alert presence, what is there, as it is there, with our being there.

Remember — no one owns the words religious or spiritual.

They belong to themselves.

They offer themselves to us for our consideration and use.

(There are those, however, who might claim to own these words, build structures and institutions around them, and manufacture rules and regulations, beliefs and dogmas, imposed on anyone they usher into their confines.)

For the rest of creation, for those among us who pilgrimage back to original sound and inner silence, the creative encounter with sound and silence reveals, always, new and liberating relationship and movement to journey within (our source adventure) through (what we call) life.

Wednesday, March 08, 2023

guímid ar son a anama *

                (* Gaelic: we pray for his soul)

 Calendar says it's 

Tommy's birthday. It took me 

about a year to 

learn of his death.  I liked him. 

He was cranky, kind, faithful 

to be released from

Cynicism, in the face of absurd and cruel distortion of what we’d come to call factual, true, or obvious, is a crippling attitude that strikes, firstly and bitterly, the hearts and minds, bodies and souls, of those articulating and enacting themselves as cynics. 

It is firing a handgun with thumb on trigger, barrel pointed at oneself, a suicide leaving a tortured note saying — ”You made me do this” — or, perhaps, “You made me. Do this!”

Finally, I ask all of us to pray for the freedom to be released from cynicism and judgment. We’re going to encounter people who do and say things differently. If we move into “sophistication,” we will lose the childlike spirit that Jesus talks about. A pilgrim must be like a child who can approach everything with an attitude of wonder and awe and faith. Let’s pray for wonder. Let’s pray for awe. Let’s pray for desire, or better “the desire to desire,” and ask God to take away our cynicism. 

(—Richard Rohr,  in Spiritual Disciplines of Pilgrimage, 8mar23)

Listening to cynicism is a visit to the morgue.

Promulgating cynicism is pouring poison into the orange juice you serve your children.

Assuming a blasé world-weary “that’s the way things are” pseudo-philosophical shoulder-shrug fatalism as to the prevalence of morbid impugning of motives and intentions of anyone in the cynical perimeter, is the open door, open gate, open invitation issued to sadistic and cruel intruders with assault weapons into your house, heart, and hope.

It is time for pilgrimage.

Out into the open.

With truth and wisdom.

One step at a time.

Tuesday, March 07, 2023

it’s all about the prepositions

We want to live on

The earth, but we don’t wish to

Live with and as earth

and if the wind is right you can find the joy / of innocence again *

          * (from song, Sailing, by Christopher Cross)

Here, in the eastern-most state of the US, I keep waiting for someone to saw along the border of our one contiguous state and allow us to drift into the ambiance of New Brunswick Province, the coastline of Nova Scotia, and the saner-feeling land of Canada.

Things have become strange and dangerous in our non-united ideology compounds nicknamed red-and-blue and other notably insulting names soapboxed everyday by "watch me/watch me" characters whose primary talent consists in being loud, snide, and obnoxious.

Do not lend them your ears.

Get out your oars.     

nothing comes from nothing —- nothing ever could

Table wonders if

Soon there will be Sunday

Evening Practice 

Morning, cross, tramp

And Buddha behind bamboo —

This is what is true

I am not a man

Of great faith, great doubt, deter-

mination — unsaying — MU