Friday, September 25, 2015

tangles and merges






look at love
how it tangles
with the one fallen in love

look at spirit
how it fuses with earth
giving it new life
why are you so busy
with this or that or good or bad
pay attention to how things blend

why talk about all
the known and the unknown
see how the unknown merges into the known

why think separately
of this life and the next
when one is born from the last

look at your heart and tongue
one feels but deaf and dumb
the other speaks in words and signs

look at water and fire
earth and wind
enemies and friends all at once

the wolf and the lamb
the lion and the deer
far away yet together

look at the unity of this
spring and winter
manifested in the equinox

you too must mingle my friends
since the earth and the sky
are mingled just for you and me

be like sugarcane
sweet yet silent
don't get mixed up with bitter words

my beloved grows right out of my own heart
how much more union can there be



~ Rumi
from Rumi: Fountain of Fire
Translated by Nader Khalili








no places to go to







For some it a terrifying prospect. It would be better, think they, if Heaven were above and Hell below—anywhere outside, but not within. But that comfort has been knocked from under us. There are no places to go to, either for reward or punishment. The place is always here and now, in your own person and according to your own fancy. The world is exactly what you picture it to be, always, every instant. It is impossible to shift the scenery about and pretend that you will enjoy another, a different act. The setting is permanent, changing with the mind and heart, not according to the dictates of an invisible stage director. You are the author, director and actor all in one: the drama is always going to be your own life, not some one else’s. A beautiful, terrible, ineluctable drama, like a suit made of your own skin. Would you want it otherwise? Could you invent a better drama?




~ Henry Miller
from Sexus
photo by Christine de Grancy




Wednesday, September 23, 2015

the call away









A cold wind flows over the cornfields;
Fleets of blackbirds ride that ocean.
I want to be out of here, go out,
Outdoors, anywhere in wind.

My back against a shed wall, I settle
Down where no one can find me.
I stare out at the box-elder leaves
Moving frond-like in that mysterious water.

What is it that I want? Not money,
Not a large desk, not a house with ten rooms.
This is what I want to do: to sit here,
To take no part, to be called away by wind.

I want to go the new way, build a shack
With one door, sit against the door frame.
After twenty years, you will see on my face
The same expression you see in the grass.




~ Robert Bly 
from Like the New Moon, I Will Live My Life
art by van gogh


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

time, means to change







Humans are amphibians - half spirit and half animal. 
As spirits they belong to the eternal world, but as animals they inhabit time. 
This means that while their spirit can be directed to an eternal object,
 their bodies, passions, and imaginations are in continual change, 
for to be in time, means to change. 




~  C. S. Lewis
from The Screwtape Letters
with thanks to whiskey river

a single tree












Not so much time itself
as the changes, 
the constant shifting 
and metamorphosing
of things into 
their opposites,
or, more likely, diminished versions
of themselves.

The cat, grown old,
stumbles about the room,
and doesn't remember the year
she leapt from sill to sill
taking the lace curtains
down as she went.

And the tree,
a blackened scar,
opening its side to weather
minus its most stately branch,
long since taken off
by wind, or lightning,
or something obsessed
with symmetry --
does it recall the winter it stood
alone, unyielding,
against the hammering gale?
Or its abundant leafiness in spring,
its green proclamation
of all that continues
unabated in this world.




~ Dorothy Walters
from Marrow of Flame



Sunday, September 6, 2015

invitation






Sabbath observance invites us to stop. It invites us to rest. 
It asks us to notice that while we rest, 
the world continues without our help. 
It invites us to delight in the world’s beauty and abundance.


~ Wendell Berry



The time for contemplation is the spring that feeds our action, 
and our action will be as deep as the spring. 
We need time to allow the spirit to clear the obstacles 
– the clinging debris and mud – 
that keeps the spring from flowing freely from its clear, 
deep source. And we need time for the spring to 
overflow into insightful and compassionate action.


~ Thomas Merton


Compassion is the destroyer of illusion




Compassion is the destroyer of illusion, 
it isn’t helping ladies over the road or helping people get through life.  
Compassion doesn’t help the separate individual,
 it exposes the dream of separation and leaves freedom. 
 Unconditional love doesn’t recognise that there is
 a separate person who needs help… 
that is the freeing nature of the boundlessness
 that is palpable when we are together.



~ Tony Parsons


help





When another person makes you suffer, 
it is because he suffers deeply within himself, 
and his suffering is spilling over. 

He does not need punishment; he needs help. 
That’s the message he is sending.




~ Thich Nhat Hanh


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The mountains stood in haze






The mountains stood in haze,
The valleys stopped below,
And went or waited as they liked
The river and the sky.

At leisure was the sun.
His interests of fire
A little from remark withdrawn.
The twilight spoke the spire.

So soft upon the scene
The act of evening fell
We felt how neighborly a thing
Was the invisible.




~ Emily Dickinson

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

the runaway








The Place where you are right now
God circled on a map for you.

~ Hafiz


The poet tells you
god has put a circle around you on a map
to locate you in sacred space.
Then why do you keep tunneling
underground,
carving labyrinths for your escape?



~ Dorothy Walters
from Marrow of Flame
art by Picasso