Saturday, March 02, 2013

Upon considering my net worth; nothing

Of course I'm naive.

I have no wisdom, experience, or judgment.

Wisdom suggests something that does not belong to earth. Experience believes there are objects to be experienced and a subject to experience. Judgment implies a calculating rational mind and a scale to analyze and evaluate.

Not me. Not here. Not now.

When I look at the foolish template of progress based on technical and economic advancement I can only look without understanding.

When I see any suffering ignored or deprivation manipulated I can only look without understanding.

Where to look?

I look into silence and mere connecting and I begin to see that there is a great mistake being made by myself, my brothers and my sisters.

We have forgotten what it means to be in the world together.

Money and power, progress and security, certainty and ideology -- these are coordinates of the mistake continually plotted.

"Look around," the quiet room says to me.

"Look within," the stillness whispers to me.

"Look out," the smiling monk glances without words.

Naïveté wanders the lane by itself; footprints following no pattern.

I am lost.

Only the empty everything surrounds, accompanying the no one along the pathless open.

There is no way for me.

No way out, no way within, no way around.

Friday, March 01, 2013

generous koan; cheerful contemplative realism

In America Magazine this week, an intelligent and thought-provoking article:

The Shape of the Church to Come, by James Hanvey S.J.  -- Reflections on where we are going. 

As light snow falls and painful back slowly returns to functional capability, soft-boiled egg settles into strained mid-section, accompanied by green tea with honey and ginseng, I send a response comment:
From a similar darkened, hidden, and discarded place James Hanvey refers to, I read his article with reluctant cheer. I have so wanted to feel part of the community dear to my history and heart, the Catholic Church, but it has been remarkably difficult in the interstice between the Aggiornamento of the early 1960s and the Absurdity, (read: ridiculously incongruous or unreasonableness), of Church governance and awkward theology in this nascent 21st century. 
Augustine recollecting the angel's words, “Why seek the living among the dead?” -- might have been a converting impetus for him, but resonates today as a departing trope for the disaffected leaving the empty tomb of Jesus and empty seat of Peter for more reasonable, accepting, and compassionate spiritual environs.
That said, I agree with the template of acknowledging desolation, moving through new sensibility, and standing at the unknown but heuristic emergence of a self which is willing to incorporate the mystery, mysticism, and mindful awareness of what is coming to be unconcealed. 
The catch, and it is an important one, is that this emergence, this Christ-Minding and kenotic resignation might not need the ancient structure and archaic mindset of our hierarchical prelatry. 
A Trappist monk once said to me: “Cheer up, Bill, things are only going to get worse!” It was a generous koan he offered me from the depths of his cheerful contemplative realism.
Hence, the abandoning exodus of the faithful to other horizons, where similar experiences of desolation, revived sensibility, and prayerful emergence will, no doubt, recur. But the experience, tried and suffered, will be without the heavy burden of disappointment that is an unhearing institution -- a weight disturbing enough to extend the stations of the cross and innumerable fallings of the suffering servant beyond their typical end.
Still, I remain, poised and open, in the dark.

Birds in cedar tree snowy branches are audienced by Panta Rhea at window. Then she turns her attention to more immediate, accessible options.

As do we all.

Then, say it...


It's the right thing to say.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Vatican vacancy; a long while

Now that Peter's seat is vacant, a recent New Yorker poem seems timely:


Now I cannot not see
the blight everywhere

                                          (--Poem by Maureen N. McLane)

It is the pause, like Camus' Sisyphus as rock rolls downhill, and before beginning the shoving labor uphill again, it is the pause . . . wherein wonder arises.

Non habemus papam

Arrivederci Papa!

May what follows assist light in the world!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Being me what is not available

Young woman in Maryland has another spinal fusion. She is weary of her many surgeries.

Class cancelled tonight; snow, sleet, rain.

Physical fragility visits this front room. Cars barely make hill outside. Liquids.

The world becomes encrypted. No one knows the code. It is random, unstable, and with no extant key to unlock.

Welcome to technical being!

Would you like to sign in?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

weary; traveling

Where we come from appears once we've been there.

Where we are going is sometimes scouted by members of our animal family.

We walk, appearing our presence, no trace of us before us, following tracks. 

Sometimes, there's no place to go.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Over-looking winter harbor on mount desert island

Being, says Heidegger, withdraws from us.

Technology makes things available to us.

Thinking looks to what is beyond us, beyond the graspable.

Thought captures what we know and, invariably, freezes it.

Poetry gives us, in words, what we cannot have. It creates a longing and insight, saying, "Look!" The trace of what is beyond it is intuited; the unnaming following loss enters silently. Uselessness, a sacrifice of words to unknowing nearness, twilights a fullness of holiness for each at hand.

Listening to Heidegger conversation.

Light, I am; of the world, compose a new way of being

Robert Lowell in his poem "Epilogue" wrote: "All's misalliance. / Yet why not say what happened?"

It's what Camus said of Sisyphus and what survivors say of war. The fatal casualties of war say nothing.

We have to find an earlier creative voice -- learn to become poets of life, and peace, and human service -- a preemptive sound antidote to the absurdity of war.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

hay in field, hole in ground; moving through experience, seeing oneself here

We try to avoid what will accompany us through.

We are being conveyed and carried. It's ok not to know where we are going. It's good enough to realize we are here.
Epochs of great confusion and general uncertainty in a given world contain the slumbering, not-yet-manifest seeds of clarity and certainty. The manifestations of the aperspectival world... show that these seeds are already pressing toward realization. This means that we are approaching the "zenith" of confusion and are thus nearing the necessary breakthrough.
(--Jean Gebser, 1953; The Ever-Present Origin)
Driving as child with parents the roads before Catskills turning to Delaware River above Port Jervis, Shohola, Barryville, Callicoon. Hay fields through northern New Jersey ringed with wire fence or split rail. Cows loll afternoon laze near lone tree far from road.

Pastures in Brooklyn were different. Rusting iron with pointed tops circle brick building, trucks parked like civilian armory transports, empty weekend factories. Walls with squares, strike zone for stickball, fast pitching in white paint, 'Strike! You are out!' Stand ready.

I went heying in city streets. "Hey, Bobby! Hey Joey! Hey Geraldine!" To the schoolyard, sandlot, sewers in center of asphalt streets; punchball, touch football, bounce stickball. Our liturgy of experience!

Bundled papers bicycle delivery as cloth man's harnessed nag clopped down bay ridge avenue grandfather cupping Chesterfield at front green fence by maple tree.

Later great hole in wall led to walking out of church. Falling through hole in ground.

Walking into great whole as partial falls away. Feeling no partiality as awareness, plena gratia, embraces all, gazes with compassion. The whole watches you tumble with nothing to hold -- you fall, falling through all you think will buoy you up. Thought doesn't. Nor dogma. Neither constriction. Not anything -- but love seeing us through.

I loved the quiet of the unknown. Now I love the silence of unknowing.

All around are purveyors of certainty and security. They do not interest me.

From early years it has been the unseen unheard unexplainable presence without shape or form. No definition, no explanation, no reasonable proof moves my curiosity -- rather, magnetic dissonance turns me around, dizzying, looking up: unfathomable distance of enormous space; looking down: unquenchable delicious nearness of brown earth under white snow.

God is Being Itself.

Being seen through.

Are you yourself?

Am I myself?

Do we see God? Believe in God? Touch the wounds of each and every being? Thing? Idea? Experience?

Gaze and blink. It's all here, no matter what we think.

This snowy morning in Maine!