park is crowded, warm
sunny breeze invites Qi Gong
cyclists, kids, tide falls
Fredlander, in dream
Trying to piece together
What is in a name
A whole novel writes
Itself in fragment, a name
Beyond any other
Tierce at faint daybreak,
η γη, looks to see what is
Being seen, awake
It dawns, this day, bird-
song, tu, solus, dominus,
You, alone, are, God
The ground of being
Look under your feet, freedom
Alone where each stands
"What we become by way of the Cloud prayer: Nobody doing nothing nowhere."
(Kathleen Deignan, Enter the Cloud of Unknowing: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Christians, ch.5of5, Audiobook, 2016)
Mobile crane stretches high and lifts float-docks from grass into water after winter grounding. Neck retracts into sheath, stabilizing legs withdraw back into body-frame, bracing logs restacked on aft-end, one walk about to secure anything not, and engine labors to pull enormous machine up hill leaving marine park.
Fish say nothing. Last year's hulled shell crop clinging to dried bottoms do not comprehend what this new dunking means.
Chill wind blows through empty spaces where docks, piled one upon the other, leave yellowed grass for healing sun to green.
Field's Dive Service, ferrying floats to mooring balls scattered in harbor, returns to shuttle another.
Family of cyclists, jacketed in glo-lime, walk their bicycles up the steep incline. after lunching by Andre the Seal marble.
Morning walk of 3.6 miles around hospital grounds gives shape to new medication added to all the others to slow what kills.
This week's retreat-in-place, fast-in-hermitage, zazen-in-cell-room, long walks twice a day, audio books on Meister Eckhart, Cloud of Unknowing, Thomas Merton, Catholicism, and Alan Watts' inimitative observations, carry through the cadence of each step, each thumping clank of hiking poles. I leave ten pounds in the wind.
I study about terrorism, the lead-up to the two attacks on the Trade Center a decade apart, the determination of the antagonists, the despair of those trying to prevent the carnage.
A confident seagull walks up to green receptacle for its forage, but the town worker has just carted away the pickings, and seagull seems to shrugg.
The water in inner harbor has turned dark green.
There's nothing to see here.
So, no-one watches.
This recombining landscape.
Now is here and all
Dwelling here abide as earth
And here as now is
... ... ...
* literal translation from Greek:
love is god, and earth is god, and so, love the earth
We've gotten the notion of saint wrong.
To be a saint is to be one'self. (cf. one's self, oneself, one self)
“The only real sadness, the only real failure, the only great tragedy in life, is not to become a saint.” (--Leon Bloy, from La Femme Pauvre)
“ For me to be a saint means to be myself. Therefore, the problem of sanctity and salvation is in fact the problem of finding out who I am and of discovering my true self.” (T. Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation)
Saying this in another way, Herman Hesse writes: “ Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.”
(--in Why Not Become A Saint? by Bob Toohey
A saint doesn't eliminate the other. A saint allows the other to be themselves. A saint becomes themself. Saints allow each to be what they are, becoming.
It is a great sorrow not be be a saint.
A great tragedy not to long to be what and who you are.
We are tempted to ask: What is the opposite of "saint"?
We are tempted to respond: "sinner."
But that's not true.
There is no opposite.
Schooner Mary Day, 90-foot-long two-masted schooner is uncovered, bow hull being painted by crew.
Angelique, 130-foot-long gaff topsail ketch, alongside, steel-hulled, patching and scraping.
Smaller, non-commercial Prophet, a Pinky schooner all winter long live aboard, on closer dock, sits relieved the cold blows of winter have gone.
Across harbor backhoe scrapes dirt from demolished buildings for new construction on Lyman Morse/Wayfarer waterfront site.
A penny is placed on thwart of Sam-n-Susan's green Newfoundland Dory.
In Rockport Harbor mooring balls are plopped into water, chains checked, left to bob in the tide until boaters launch in a few weeks. Loon dives below surface.
Lobster boat Kerry Ellen arrives at float, amid banter uploads bins with catch to white truck.
Elsewhere, anticipation awaits decision of jury in Minneapolis in trial of officer accused of murder/manslaughter against George Floyd.
Oak shadows fall across asphalt circle at edge of land.
Solo fisherman rows in from tethered boat that grazes on sparkling sunlight looking out to sea.
Young girl with young puppy on leash walks with father along dew sparkling grass. Fishing boat, Brenda and Lee, slowly moves out channel to open bay beyond Indian Island at entrance to Rockport Harbor.
Boat lift at Rockport Marine swinging cradle slows and stops. Docks are in. Gangplanks set on Marine Park side of harbor head, flags at half-staff waver north to south. Sun holds everything in unclouded embrace.
In my view of the world, which is semi-Buddhist, semi-Hindu, the Creator and the Creature are one, and all beings whatsoever are the masks and plays and ploys of the central self, there is just this self, which plays itself through all forms, through all of us, endlessly.
(--in Four Ways to Center, by Alan Watts)
Browning's words in "Pippa's Song" draw attention to a state of being we've come look at skeptically. We want to protest his concluding lines:
THE year ’s at the spring,
And day ’s at the morn;
Morning ’s at seven;
The hill-side ’s dew-pearl'd;
The lark ’s on the wing;
The snail ’s on the thorn;
God ’s in His heaven—
All ’s right with the world!
Robert Browning (1812-1889)
But why protest? Is it because we see corruption and dangerous points of view emerging? Maybe because just about every day a gunner slays civilians in supermarkets, workplaces, or eating joints? Perhaps because advertisements and propaganda and lies fill airways we thought were for different uses and purposes?
We say, and are confident in our saying, "Things aren't right."
Hard to argue that pronouncement.
But aren't things always both right and not right at the same time?
Some claim if each of us is playing "itself" in the world, then each of us is determining what is there to be experienced, there to be seen, there to be lived through.
And yet, it is a shared world wherein we dwell.
It is not within the power of a single individual to engineer and set the causes and conditions for everyone else in its landscape. Hence, the difficulty of living in such a diverse uncontrollable ecosystem of mineral, insect, animal, and (so-called) rational animal on the planet. Not to mention Watts' creator, urges and demiurges, all sharing the walkways and trails of countryside.
One being cannot determine One-Being.
But one person can look out and see the world as it is in itself.
As it is in itself is prior to the determinations made by preference, opinion, and judgment.
We long to know if that ground of being is right, and good, and just. As if such an understanding mind and heart would make it so.
But -- is it so? Right, and just, and good? Is it so in our sight as that which is at ground and that which is coming to be?
(--from, Speech: “” BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, (from , spoken by Jaques)
The part I play, the part you play -- has someone written it? Or are we part of an improvisation playing off one another creating scene after scene, opening and closing, an open-air theater for an audience on edge of seats ready to jump up and continue the endless scenario of creative discourse and intercourse and recourse to one another in playful, joyful, aesthetic.
Yes, that's it. The play of aesthetic interconnection. That's what we are.
But first -- we have to see it, hear it, feel it, long for it -- as we step on stage to become it.
And we are becoming, (i.e. attractively suitable).
As we become what we are to be.