Saturday, July 17, 2021

presenting itself as now, apotheosis

 God does not speak to

Us — God is what is present-

ing itself as now

This — To believe God

Is or could be we must see

What is here as it

Is — without belief

Reality needs nothing

Other than itself

Don’t tell me about

God, show your face, look into

These eyes — see, mute, feel 

into space

 In each house a separate galaxy, closets and closers, alien life unidentifiable, passing down backroads in Ford f10s and Prius’ and Volvo suvs.

Every house a separate galaxy with second floors, computors nooks, frying pans.

We don’t really want to share space or explore space or occupy space.

We want, even among those reasonably considered friend or family, to be left alone, shuttered, benignly neglected, shunned.

Space travel is as close as turning onto county road, accelerating to 35mph, full stop at four way. 

In the stop-n-go, hazelnut coffee container next to banana nut muffin and chocolate donut seems best flightplan, passing the church and hardware store on way to dump gussied up to transfer station where former student picks his way from tin cans to mixed paper.

Each person a foreign country.

Each hour a light year.

What are we doing here?

Planet earth is blue —

There’s nothing we can do.

Friday, July 16, 2021

fine, art

 You don’t create poems

They show up like night like day

With you inside them

Thursday, July 15, 2021

it’s for the neighbor and her needs.

Churches, mostly Catholic, are being vandalized or burned to the ground in western Canada.  A sad history is being revealed.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote over seventy five years ago about religionless Christianity.

Because he was murdered by the Nazis in 1944, Bonhoeffer did not have the opportunity to see the world develop in the latter part of the 20th century. There was a somewhat post-religious and secularizing development in Europe and other parts of the West, with a simultaneous rise of religiosity taking place over the rest of the planet. For this reason, Hooton analyzes the secularization hypothesis (the idea that religion fades away as societies progress), clearing the air a bit and placing Bonhoeffer’s concept of religionless Christianity in contemporary context. 

Beyond this, we might ask: What is Bonhoeffer’s definition of religion? For Bonhoeffer, religion is the human quest for God. It’s distinct from grace, which is God’s gift to human beings. The directionality of religion matters not so much for doctrinal reasons but instead because of the operational difference it makes in the life of the believer. 

Religion has us busy doing things for God (perhaps especially in the institutional church). Religionlessness reflects the freedom of God in being for others and of Jesus as the “human being for others.” The pursuit of God, then, is not transcendence as typically understood, “not the infinite, unattainable tasks, but the neighbor within reach in any given situation.”

In August of 1944, Bonhoeffer sent his friend Eberhard Bethge his “Outline for a Book.” In this outline, he suggested that 

the interpretation of biblical concepts . . . (Creation, fall, reconciliation, repentance, faith vita nova, last things) should reflect a new understanding of the human experience of transcendence, which is the experience of “being there for others,” through participation in the being of Jesus. 

Another way to put it is this way: religionless Christianity is not for freedom from institutions. It’s for the neighbor and her needs.

Religionless Christianity is, in a sense, the church come of age. Hooton explains: 

The church, too, which is “nothing but that piece of humanity where Christ really has taken form,” is, or should be, concerned only with human wholeness. Indeed, the church is the epitome of such wholeness—the apotheosis of the God-reconciled human being roused to new life in Christ. As such, its principal concern must be “with existence in the world of human beings in all their relationships,” rather than with life’s fragmentary religious functions and expressions

 (—In a secular age, Bonhoeffer’s “religionless Christianity” is evergreen, review by Clint Schnekloth  July 7, 2021 of Bonhoeffer’s Religionless Christianity in Its Christological Context, By Peter Hooton, in The Christian Century)

We are not meant to fit into beliefs. 

What is emerging from us, however we conceive that to be, is a vision of what it means to be human in this world. This experience, this view, is a fungible experience of realization of a reality constantly evolving into clear expression of authentic human relationship in a world both difficult and demanding. 

Belief cannot contain the ever-growing reach of incomplete intention toward mature and fruitful embrace of human difference and diversity seeking wholeness and holiness with one another and the entirety of the visible and invisible world.

Nor can anyone be forced to comply with cultural or dogmatic beliefs. 

The work of seeing truth and affirming truth is unceasingly inchoate.

As things burn, we can hope that what is coming to light transcends the dry stark harsh sadness of unfeeling inhumanity.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

request by presence

 dog comes in looking 

for walk -- this humid foggy

afternoon -- misting

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

dalai lama's religion

Forget everything.

Grief, sorrow, disappointment are quiet feelings we can live with. They can be peaceful and poignant, they can be motivating. When we feel these feelings, we can be more compassionate, kinder to one another, we can be patiently active in promoting solutions.
– Norman Fischer, “No Beginning, No Ending, No Fear”
Remember one thing.

The condition of being dissolved.

Kindness is the solution.

morning mini-polemic

 What are we here for?

I don’t know — maybe kindness.

Let grace have its way

Monday, July 12, 2021

the extended all

 God, it seems to be agreed, is above and beyond human ability to grasp or conceptualize.

Whatever qualities or characteristics humans describe as pertaining to God must be, of necessity, in accordance with our limited comprehension or experience.

God, the thinking goes, is so far exceeding the dimensionality of human conjecture that we have only an infinitesimal appreciation of what it means to be “God.”

Think space.

Think time.

Think no restriction within space/time, or, an infinite transcendence of space or time so as to defy what we consider to be the laws of nature and laws of physics.

What if there are no accidents, that everything is necessary?

What if there is no coincidence, that everything is connected and interconnected by intricate cause and effect, a butterfly effect, mirror neurons, spooky action at a distance, quantum entanglement?

What if what we call a “thought” is a physical creative material that floats through space and time, through our body and mind, with no intention other than propagating and proliferating itself in, with, and through whatever it meets and activates?

If “God” is “what is” how do we sort through what we consider the good and moral and the bad and immoral?

When so-called “bad” people harm and maim, or when “good” people help and heal, are both these activities indistinguishable in the ledger-scales of universal assessment?

Throughout human history we’ve wondered about God. 

Deists say God created then went missing. Theists say God intervenes in human life. Atheists say none of the above. 

Are we alone? Or, are we all one? Or, perhaps, we are the all, each thought and act billiarding every aspect of the extended all.

When we say “God help us” are we really pleading with what we are to be what we are beneficially?

Do I believe in God?

God help me…

I don’t know…


no future no fear

 “There was nothing to be afraid of because we didn’t have a future anymore.”

                                                                       (T.L.— at Sunday Evening Practice)

If no birth no death

We appear and disappear —

One continuance

Sunday, July 11, 2021

rumors, sightings

Catching up. 

With each piece there was a journey. Sculpture was a form of prayer, a way of asking, a way of searching. One day, I wrote the passage below and pinned it on the wall of my studio. I returned to it often.

 There have been rumors.

There have been sightings.

There have been reports of something incredible,

Something wonderful---

at once terrifying and awe inspiring. 

And I wait crouched by the path, waiting 

to see.

I engage in art not necessarily to represent anything but to affirm the integrity of the very process itself, to bring that process to a completion and by so doing to arrive at a sense of unity. What compels me is not only a deeply felt desire to see, but also the desire to respond to space as something palpable and tactile. The process of each sculpture concludes with a sense of awe and wonder as I find myself in a place where I never expected to be. For me, art is a place within oneself; a place which one continually discovers as if for the first time, and a place to which others are invited to share and explore.

(—Sam Fuller,  Life as Art, Art as Life, letter to students)

Sculpter, Franciscan, Capuchin, mensch. 


                 (haiku for Ieva, atpūties mierā)

Solitude listens

carefully — what’s that? — the one

there —  all — included

slosh slosh

 Do you think much about death?

I don’t

Think much

About death.

 The point of this meditation isn’t to frighten; quite the opposite: the way to overcome fear is to face it and become familiar with it. Since fear is always fear about the future, to face the present fear, and see that it is misplaced, is to reduce it. When I give myself over, for a period of time, or perhaps on a regular basis, to the contemplation of the realities of my aging and dying, I become used to them. I begin to see them differently. Little by little I come to see that I am living and dying all the time, changing all the time, and that this is what makes life possible and precious. In fact, a life without impermanence is not only impossible, it is entirely undesirable. Everything we prize in living comes from the fact of impermanence. Beauty. Love. My fear of the ending of my life is a future projection that doesn’t take into account what my life actually is and has always been. The integration of impermanence into my sense of identity little by little makes me less fearful.

(-from, No Beginning, No Ending, No Fear, By Norman Fischer SUMMER 2021, TRICYCLE)

Why not?

Why not what?

Think about death?

There’s nothing to think about.

Once you’ve bailed the dinghy there’s no more water in the boat at that present moment to take away.


 Human beings tell

Stories of their relations

Without any there