Saturday, May 04, 2013


Peering through.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Joan will be leaving soon

Elderly friends spoke about the poem. About "alone."

They had much to say.
"When I'm alone"—the words tripped off his tongue
As though to be alone were nothing strange.
"When I was young," he said; "when I was young..."
I thought of age, and loneliness, and change.
I thought how strange we grow when we're alone,
And how unlike the selves that meet and talk,
And blow the candles out, and say good night.
Alone... The word is life endured and known.
It is the stillness where our spirits walk
And all but inmost faith is overthrown

(Poem by Siegfried Sassoon, 1886-1957)
All but...

Say goodnight!

Thursday, May 02, 2013

May flowers

In Montpelier Vermont, at the end of the street where a fellow I know lives, police detonate a suspicious-looking box found on a sidewalk near a bank.

It contained, they discovered after the blast, home-school materials.

It is Thursday night in early May.

And we are a troubled people.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013


Ursula K. LeGuin wrote the short story, "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas"in 1973.

It needs reading.

One commentator wrote:
The main point, I think, is slightly hidden near the end. As the narrator describes the people who decline the bargain, she mentions the place to which these people go. It is a better place than Omelas; she says, almost in passing, "I cannot describe it at all." 
Recall -- and this is the thing that would be easy to miss -- that this same narrator just spent the beginning of the story describing a city of perfect happiness to us. And she did it very well. She did not introduce the tragedy, the price, the child, until later on. And yet here she is, now, saying that she cannot describe this place that is better than Omelas, at all. One would have thought that the better place would simply be like Omelas, minus the hidden room, minus the tormented child. But the narrator could have described that; in fact, she did. So the place to which the decliners go must be some other sort of place, entirely. 
The point here is very deep. I think the idea of the story is that the narrator cannot violate the logic of human happiness, which requires a price, a flip-side. Our very conception of happiness, perhaps, has built into it a notion of the impossibility of perfection. This being the case, the fact that there must be a price of some sort -- not so dramatic or singular as the price of a tormented child in a locked room, but a price none the less -- seems inescapable. The place where the people who decline the bargain of Omelas go must therefore be a place where something other than happiness reigns; a place where some other inconceivable concept applies.       
The inconceivable concept other than happiness -- interests me.


Tuesday, April 30, 2013


New season returning to chapel/zendo.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Ragged Mountain, Haiku

Late afternoon yurt
resting inside sound of brook
Buds today open

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Coming round

Back in the cabin, repaired, painted, and cleaned, for Sunday Evening Practice. Then, afterwards, compline.

The question arises, again: remain a hermit? or, throw hat in ring for full time position?

Searching out "no" answers. None forthcoming. Will have to take another tack.

The question arises: Where do you want to die?

That answer is easy: nowhere.

Then, just do
what I am

Only moreso.