Saturday, November 06, 2021

by asle eikrem

 article’s title

God as Sacrificial Love” —

(Darkness into light)

Little wonder belief is

So rare, so few, sacrifice

but the fact itself

preaching no no no

every reformer tries to 

eliminate you —

you are not important, they

want their idea of you

a utopia is no place you want to be

There is no perfect

world but fantasies hatching


Friday, November 05, 2021

seeing one go by

 Meteor through night

Sky, northwest northeast backyard

Watering cold ground

Thursday, November 04, 2021

last word

 Detect, uncover

What hides beneath, below sight

Reveal what poets touch

it will be a short visit

 Everybody can

Come back nurse says in hallway

Elder mother’s room

Wednesday, November 03, 2021

what is born dies in lockup

 At end of the day

Saints and souls disappear, one

Will kill, one will die

Tuesday, November 02, 2021

stummes verständnis*, stummes einverständnis**

 The dead

Cannot speak


The living

Do not understand

The dead

I have


To say

Nor do I



Today, All

Souls Day, is

Our feast day 

*Mute understanding,

The human condition,

A canticle for rising sun

**Silent consent


Seeing all things


Monday, November 01, 2021


 when my friend died five

years ago today, absence

found another face

turned away from many years

she was happy, disappeared

where everything is just the opposite

Doris sends Milosz. 

Just in time. 

On Prayer

You ask me how to pray to someone who is not.
All I know is that prayer constructs a velvet bridge
And walking it we are aloft, as on a springboard, 
Above landscapes the color of ripe gold
Transformed by a magic stopping of the sun.
That bridge leads to the shore of Reversal
Where everything is just the opposite and the word 'is'
Unveils a meaning we hardly envisioned.
Notice: I say we; there, every one, separately, 
Feels compassion for others entangled in the flesh
And knows that if there is no other shore
We will walk that aerial bridge all the same.
(Poem by Czeslaw Milosz, 1911-2004)

And it occurs to me the reversal of 'is' in Spanish is 'si', 'yes.'

Read together, they say 'I am' or 'to be' ... 'yes.'

Affirmation, therefore, is the essence of Being.

And prayer, the springboard/bridge we walk.

living out the meaning of her life,

Earth turns. Light arises. Night fades. It is morning. Outlines of tree branches. November. All saints. 

What is holiness? 

According to Dr. Ambrosio, the secular saint is a person who lives the question of meaning fully while at the same time they are committed to searching for meaning along both the paths of hero and saint.  It is common for the secular saint to work toward mastering their vision.  In the case of Simone Weil, she not only lived but also died her life in search of meaning.  She died of tuberculosis that was aggravated by lack of food.  This lack of food was self imposed as she was avoiding food in an effort to show solidarity with her countrymen in Nazi occupied France.  This act alone provides us with insight into what makes Simone Weil and how she defines the secular saint.  As someone who is trying to live a life that is meaningful at least to themselves, to die by this meaning would be to fulfill the meaning in its entirety.  Simone Weil, in her spiritual zeal, felt it was necessary to show solidarity with her countrymen as a way of finding meaning for herself.  She had lived her short life in such a way that this death comes as little surprise. She had tried to identify with others through the course of her life, in other ways as well.  She had taken a year off from teaching to live as a factory worker, a way to better understand the challenges of such a life.  Through these examples from the life of Simone Weil, we can see how she did toe the line between the path of the saint and the path of the hero.  Through her spirituality and love of humanity as a whole, she exemplified the life of the saint while her commitment to living her life out in such a way as to find herself at death’s door while in the midst of living out the meaning of her life, she exemplified the life of the hero.

(—from blog, something more, by GEM2011) 

Victor Frankl captures descriptions of the secular saint in his Man’s Search For Meaning.

  • Life is not primarily a quest for pleasure, as Freud believed, or a quest for power, as Alfred Adler taught, but a quest for meaning. The greatest task for any person is to find meaning in his or her own life.
  • We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms -- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.
  • Don't aim at success — the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one's personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long run — in the long run, I say — success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think of it.
Viktor E. Frankl

Saints aren’t owned by churches, religions, or nominating committees. They are everywhere asking the questions:

What is this?  

Who am I?  

What can I do for you?

 The exercise of such inquiry, the fumbling steps toward anodyne* action to relieve suffering, the willingness to practice healing and presence when meaningless absurdity permeates existence — these are signs of a holiness that is in itself unseen trust and unnamed compassion, the mystical signets stamping whatever is touched with what is holy, hopeful, and good.

Simone Weil believed that while people may not be able to alleviate all suffering, no harm should be done either.  People should attempt, in Weil’s opinion, to alleviate any suffering they can, at any cost but if this cannot be done, one must at least live their life in a way that sees to it that all avoidable harm is, in fact, avoided.  In these stances in their lives, there is an overwhelming sense of the justice they were each seeking while an obvious love of humanity is also evident.  For Weil, it is in her sense of justice where we can see the life of the Greek citizen hero has been of particular influence on her; the way that she focuses her vision on all, not just some. (—from blog, something more, by GEM2011, Nov.14, 2013) 

 The question ‘Who am I?’ is not different nor separate from the corollary question ‘Who are you?’ This second expression of inquiry doesn’t get answered without the first expression being investigated.

What we do is forever done. 

It is the season of considering what holiness is. Inquiry, meaning, and presence are known associates of holiness.

Hang with them if you wish to enter the season of justice and obvious love of humanity.

Live out the meaning of (your) life.

…   …   …

* anodyne (adj.).     

"having power to relieve pain," 1540s, from Medieval Latin anodynus "pain-removing, allaying pain," from Latin anodynus "painless," from Greek anodynos "free from pain," from an- "without" (see an- (1)) + odyne "pain, torment" (of the body or mind), a word of uncertain origin, evidently Indo-European, but none of the proposed etymologies satisfies Beekes. Some suggest it is a suffixed form of PIE root *ed- "to eat" (compare Lithuanian ėdžioti "to devour, bite," ėdžiotis "to suffer pain"). 

 As a noun, "substance which alleviates pain," 1540s; in old slang, frequently a euphemism for "death" (as the final relief from the mental pain or distress of life) as in anodyne necklace "hangman's noose." Related: Anodynous

allegro ma non troppo

 Cheerful but not too 

much — early glimpse faint blue dawn

turns tide from dark night

Sunday, October 31, 2021

hallow’s eve

 Are some holy some not?

And those who are, are they real?

Do we still have saints?

benefit one benefit other

 Give yourself some space

Stupid crams tight leaving no

Room for What-is-this?

returning to sanity

 cat at foot of bed

torrential rain at window —

night — nothing makes sense

twitter absurdum

 Scrolling through dead words

about dead politics, dead

moments without hope