Saturday, August 24, 2013

remedial reading

Doing nothing, going nowhere.

This is the current condition of salvation. Not salvation in the churchy sense. But salvation in the preservation, reclamation, lifeline sense of continuing to move through this world without succumbing to insanity, distraction, dissolving of decency, and loss of grounding in what is real.

Human beings slowly become inconsolably unkind and unmoored. Taking from others to benefit only you and yours. Stopping others from exercising freedoms and rights. Numbing and hallucinating mind and body with merde and mindlessness. Full of going places, doing things, collecting prizes, causing suffering.

There is another way. Wu Wei. Learn and know when to act and not to act.

Do nothing.

Go nowhere.

Find way through the insanity of our age.

We know how.


Begin to feel again.

Feel the connection.

Each person each being is a word ready to be read.

Learn to read; begin to see.

Let one move within and through what is there to move within and through.

Tolle Lege, Take and read, this is word! This, what you see!
Is there no way to cast my hook  
Out of this dynamited brook? 
The Fisher's sons must cast about 
When shallow waters peter out.  
I will catch Christ with a greased worm, 
And when the Prince of Darkness stalks  
My bloodstream to its Stygian term . . .  
On water the Man-Fisher walks.    
 (--from, "The Drunken Fisherman," by Robert Lowell)
     ... It is true you are

now alone in your adversity in the company of Christ

only, but the people of God shall also remember that

your misgivings have become Sacred ...

        Your uncertainty

has become certain, a source of sacred dread to others,

but to you a kind of hell in which absurdity itself is

an earnest of salvation.

(--from, "Rites for the Extrusion of a Leper," by Thomas Merton)

Early departure

Canada Geese catch 6:13 overhead

Chattering stories of their stay

Cat at window turns from station

Wait for next train

Friday, August 23, 2013

Vocational training

A lock picker I know learned his skill undoing the chain and padlock his parents wrapped him in as a kid after they went to bed drunk and left him around a pipe below the kitchen sink.

A useful skill.

See what can be, seen; then look away

One, more, beginning.

Sun rises from boy's picture holding shell in Haskell Cove many years alighting.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The simplicity of it


Is life.

I sip.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Iter, itirneris; Itinerary; quid est enim novi

There's no place else to go.

Besides, who is it that wishes to go anyplace else?

I look around. Everything there is here.

Turn this way or that way, walk in a straight or wobbly line in either direction, you'll probably find yourself returned right back here.

Like Loon hanging from hibiscus branch in midday warmth looking out over garden bench, I take my going slow, learning from stillness where I do not need to go.

 Quid est enim novi hominum mori, cujus tota vita nihil aliud quam ad mortem iter est? (Seneca)
(What new thing is it then for a man to die, whose whole life is nothing else but a journey to death?)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Ya Na; attending, another, alone, aware

 We need poets. We need mystics. We need monastics.

The world is too mean without these types. The temptation to loot, steal, murder, drug ourselves silly, become petty and pitiable, stay in illusion, perpetuate delusion, use people, claim "it's to protect family,"  dissociate and dissemble, and mostly -- to lose trust, genuine affection, and integrity -- these temptations are too powerful for 98% of human beings to resist. All, it seems, fall under the wheels of this impossible to resist train.

Today is the feast of Bernard of Clairvaux, Abbot, Theologian, and Poet, 20 August 1153: 
Bernard, third son of a Burgundian nobleman, was born in 1090. His brothers were trained as soldiers, but Bernard from youth was destined for scholarship. One Christmas Eve as a child he had a dream about the infant Christ in the manger; and the memory of it, and consequent devotion to the mystery of the Word made flesh, remained with him throughout his life. 
Bernard had good prospects of success as a secular scholar, but he began to believe that he was called to the monastic life, and after a period of prayer for guidance, he decided at age 22 to enter the monastery of Citeaux (Latin Cistercium, appearing on modern maps as Corcelles-les-Citeaux, 47:10 N 5:05 E), an offshoot of the Benedictines which had adopted a much stricter rule than theirs, and became the founding house of the Cistercian (Trappist) order. (Actually, the Trappists are a reformed (i.e. stricter) offshoot of the Cistercians, who are a stricter offshoot of the Benedictines.) He persuaded four of his brothers, one uncle, and 26 other men to join him. They were the first novices that Citeaux had had for several years. After three years, the abbot ordered Bernard to take twelve monks and found a new house at La Ferte. The first year was one of great hardship. They had no stores and lived chiefly on roots and barley bread. Bernard imposed such severe discipline that his monks became discouraged, but he realized his error and became more lenient. The reputation of the monastery, known as Clairvaux (48:09 N 4:47 E), spread across Europe. Many new monks joined it, and many persons wrote letters or came in person to seek spiritual advice. By the time of his death, 60 new monasteries of the Cistercian order were established under his direction.
As a monastic of no other I attempt in ragtag dishevelment to follow the promptings of life to live it in a manner consistent and commensurate to the co-equal promptings of Benedict of Nursa, Francis of Assisi, Claire of Assisi. Dogen Zenji of Eihei, Basho, Han Shan, Hui Neng, Santoka Taneda, Pema Chodron, Thomas Merton, Daniel Berrigan, Emily Dickinson, Dorothy Day,  Catherine de Hueck Doherty,  John O'Donohue, Mary Oliver, Shunryu Suzuki, Thich Nhat Hanh, Seung Sahn, Gary Snyder, Naneo Sakaki, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Martin Heidegger, Jean Gebser, Raimon Panikkar, Adam, Eve, Mary, as well as Siddhartha Gautama (called the Buddha) and Jesus of Nazareth (called the Christ.)

After a fashion, in erratic and chaotic manner, a daily life is lived under the guide-points of contemplation, conversation, and correspondence. These also translate from poverty, chastity, and obedience into another triadic: watching, listening, silence.

Perhaps: idiorhythmic, idiosyncratic, idiomatic.

Bernard wrote:
  • “There are those who seek knowledge for the sake of knowledge; that is Curiosity.

    There are those who seek knowledge to be known by others; that is Vanity.

    There are those who seek knowledge in order to serve; that is Love.” 

    ― Bernard of Clairvaux

  • “What I know of the divine
    science and holy scripture,
    I learnt in the woods and fields.” 

    ― Bernard of Clairvaux

So, we are grateful for this man, for all the men and women who have touched and transmitted something of truth, love, peace, service, learning, and joy.

It is a practice we gladly practice: attending, another, alone, aware.

It is a matter of conjoining "yes" and "no."

YA! NA!  -- You are not alone!

IAHWY: I am here with you.

May each of us be and become: bewithed and bewithing!

O God, by whose grace your servant Bernard of Clairvaux, Kindled with the flame of your love, became a burning and a shining light in your Church: Grant that we also may be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline, and walk before you as children of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. (Ibid)

Monday, August 19, 2013


The mathematician conceives the name of god with numbers.

I eat ice cream.

Moon nears full.

republicans want to cut out the core

In New York Times:
E. D. Hirsch, an advocate of the Common Core whose Core Knowledge Foundation distributes a widely used curriculum, warned in an interview that if the standards were not carefully implemented, schools could still end up emphasizing “mindless test prep” over substance. 
“The Tea Party’s worried about the federal government,” he told me. “What they should be worried about is the education school professors and the so-called experts.” 
But — as with that other demonic federal plot, Obamacare — the Republicans aren’t interested in making reform work. They just want it dead. 
“Conservatives used to be in favor of holding students to high standards and an academic curriculum based on great works of Western civilization and the American republic,” two education scholars, Kathleen Porter-Magee and Sol Stern, wrote in National Review Online. “Aren’t they still?” 
Good question. 
(--from, OP-ED COLUMNIST, War on the Core, by Bill Keller, Published: August 18, 2013) 
In response:

It's just a phase. Republicans will emerge into mature, caring, intelligent, useful contributors to the health and well-being of the citizenry and country.

(Glad I got that out while my mind is still alert! Back to my studies: Mexico is the capital of Italy; Clinton was president of Wyoming; The road to Heaven is paved with no intentions of helpful lobbyists; The old Soviet Union is currently hidden in a warehouse in the District of Columbia. 

Boy, is history fun! )

Sunday, August 18, 2013

as we are is

Student reads philosophy paper about Wabi-Sabi on porch of cabin Saturday afternoon. 

Conversation stretches.

I write four phrases she is stitching:
  • "This" is what I am realizing.
  • "God" (or Father) is this saying: "I am here for you."
  • "Jesus" was the is (incarnating) coming to be.
  • "Spirit" is silent effortless energy moving through and between us becoming what is to be itself.

Ours is the ongoing, ever-present, origin revealing itself, moving through nothing we know, through the somethings we don't know, toward the "is" --  unconcealing, coming to be, from the nothing it was toward the nothing it already is.





As is, we are.

As we are is!

When God disappeared, this occurred

Of course there is the question: What is this?

Walking mountain with Rokie and Cody comes four words to describe four noble truths:

1. Suffering
2. Desiring
3. Releasing
4. Realizing.

Suffering is from desiring; releasing is through realizing.

This is how we move. Into now. For now.