Friday, May 31, 2019

I sit content








I exist as I am, that is enough,
If no other in the world be aware I sit content,
And if each and all be aware I sit content.
One world is aware, and by the far the largest to me, and that is myself,
And whether I come to my own today or in ten thousand or ten million years,
I can cheerfully take it now, or with equal cheerfulness, I can wait.
 
 
 
~ Walt Whitman
Walt's 200th birthday this year
 
 

the servant of unity







Most men in power have not the strength or wisdom
to be satisfied with the way
things are.

The sane know contentment, for beauty is their lover,
and beauty is never absent from the world.

The farther away light is from one's touch
the more one naturally speaks of the 
need for change.

Yes, overthrow any government inside
that makes you weep.

The child blames the external and focuses his energies there;
the warrior conquers the realms within
and becomes
gifted.

Only the inspired should make decisions
that affect the lives of many,

never a man who has not held God in his arms
and become the servant of 
unity.



~ St. Teresa of Avila
(1515-1582)
from Love Poems from God - Twelve Sacred Voices from East and West
translated by Daniel Ladinsky




prisoners







If an expert does not have some problem to vex him,
he is unhappy!
If a philosopher's teaching is never attacked, he pines away!
If critics have no one on whom to exercise their spite,
they are unhappy.
All such men are prisoners in the world of objects.



He who wants followers, seeks political power.
He who wants reputation holds an office.
The strong man looks for weights to lift.
The brave man looks for an emergency in which he can 
show bravery.
The swordsman wants a battle in which he can swing
his sword.
Men past their prime prefer a dignified retirement, in which 
they may seem profound.
Men experienced in law seek difficult cases to extend
the application of laws.
Liturgists and musicians like festivals in which they parade
their ceremonious talents.
The benevolent, the dutiful, are always looking for chances
to display virtue.
Where would the gardener be if there were no more weeds?
What would become of business without a market of fools?
Where would the masses be if there were no pretext
for getting jammed together and making noise?
What would become of labor if there were no superfluous
objects to be made?



Produce! Get results! Make money! Make friends!
Make changes!
Or you will die of despair!



Those who are caught in the machinery of power take no joy
except in activity and change - the whirring of the machine!
Whenever an occasion for action presents itself, they are compelled
to act; they cannot help themselves.  They are inexorably
moved, like the machine of which they are a part.  Prisoners
in the world of objects, they have no choice but to submit to
the demands of matter!  They are pressed down and crushed
by external forces, fashion, the market, events, public opinion.
Never in a whole lifetime do they recover their right mind!
The active life! What a pity!




~ Chuang Tzu
translation by Thomas Merton
from The Collected Poems of Thomas Merton




mercy









The quality of mercy is not strained;
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest,—
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The thronèd monarch better than his crown:
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway,—
It is enthronèd in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God’s,
When mercy seasons justice. 



~ William Shakespeare 
 from The Merchant of Venice
art by Van Gogh


 

the power of low position








Rivers and seas are rulers
of the streams of hundreds of valleys
because of the power of their low position.

If you want to be the ruler of people,
you must speak to them like you are their servant.
If you want to lead other people,
you must put their interest ahead of your own.

The people will not feel burdened,
if a wise person is in a position of power.
The people will not feel like they are being manipulated,
if a wise person is in front as their leader.
The whole world will ask for her guidance,
and will never get tired of her.
Because she does not like to compete,
no one can compete with the things she accomplishes.



~ Lao Tzu
from The Tao Te Ching
translation by j.h. mcdonald



Wednesday, May 29, 2019

the prodigal son

.



.
It would be difficult to persuade me that the story of the Prodigal Son is not the legend of a man who didn't want to be loved.. When he was a child, everyone in the house loved him.  He grew up not knowing it could be any other way and got used to their tenderness, when he was a child.

But as a boy he tried to lay aside these habits.  He wouldn't have been able to say it, but when he spent the whole day roaming around outside and didn't even want to have the dogs with him, it was because they too loved him; because in their eyes he could see observation and sympathy, expectation, concern; because in their presence too he couldn't do anything without giving pleasure or pain.  But what he wanted in those days was that profound indifference of heart which sometimes, early in the morning, in the field, seized him with such purity that he had to start running, in order to have no time or breath to be more than a weightless moment in which the morning becomes conscious of itself.

The secret of that life of his which had never yet come into being, spread out before him.  Involuntarily he left the footpath and went running across the fields, with outstretched arms, as if in this wide reach he would be able to master several directions at once.  And then he flung himself down behind some bush and didn't matter to anyone.  He peeled himself a willow flute, threw a pebble at some animal, he leaned over and forced a beetle to turnaround:  none of this became fate, and the sky passed over him as over nature.  Finally afternoon came with all its inspirations; you could become a buccaneer on the isle of Tortuga, and there was no obligation to be that; you could besiege Campeche, take Vera Cruz by storm; you could be a whole army or an officer on horseback or a ship on the ocean:  according to the way you felt.  If you thought of kneeling, right away you were Deodatus of Gozon and had slain the dragon and understood that this heroism was pure arrogance, without an obedient heart.  For you didn't spare yourself anything that belonged to the game.  But no matter how many scenes arose in your imagination, in between them there was always enough time to be nothing but a bird, you didn't even know what kind.  Though afterward, you had to go home.

...


Once you walked in to its full smell, most matters were already decided.  A few details might still be changed; but on the whole you were already the person they thought you were; the person for whom they had long ago fashioned a life, out of his small past and their own desires; the creature belonging to them all, who stood day and night under the influence of their love, between their hope and their mistrust, before their approval or their blame.


It is useless for such a person to walk up the front steps with infinite caution.  They will all be in the living room, and as soon as the door opens they will all look his way.  He remains in the dark, wants to wait for their questions.  But then comes the worst.  They take him by the hands, lead him over to the table, and all of them, as many as are there, gather inquisitively in front of the lamp.  They have the best of it; they stay in the shadows, and on him alone falls, along with the light, all the shame of having a face.


Can he stay and conform to this lying life of approximations which they have assigned to him, and come to resemble them all in every feature of his face?  Can he divide himself between the delicate truthfulness of his will and the coarse deceit which corrupts it in his own eyes?  Can he give up becoming what might hurt those of his family who have nothing left but a weak heart?


No, he will go away.  For example, while they are all busy setting out on his birthday table those badly guessed presents which, once again, are supposed to make up for everything.  He will go away for ever.  Not until long afterward would he realize how thoroughly he had decided never to love, in order not to put anyone in the terrible position of being loved.  He remembered this years later and, like other good intentions, it too had proved impossible.  For he had loved again and again in his solitude, each time squandering his whole nature and in unspeakable fear for the freedom of the other person.  Slowly he learned to let the rays of his emotion shine through into the beloved object, instead of consuming the emotion in her.  And he was pampered by the joy of recognizing, through the more and more transparent form of the beloved, the expanses that she opened to his infinite desire for possession.





~ Rainer Maria Rilke
excerpt from The Prodigal Son
from the Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge
art by andy warhol
















the inner law





He whose law is within himself
Walks in hiddenness.
His acts are not influenced
By approval or disapproval.
He whose law is outside himself
Directs his will to what is 
Beyond his control
And seeks
To extend his power
Over objects.

He who walks in hiddenness
Has light to guide him
In all his acts.
He who seeks to extend his control
Is nothing but an operator.
While he thinks he is 
Surpassing others,
Others see him merely
Straining, stretching,
To stand on tiptoe.

When he tries to extend his power
Over objects,
Those objects gain control
Of him.

He who is controlled by objects
Loses possession of his inner self:
If he no longer values himself,
How can he value others?
If he no longer values others,
He is abandoned.
He has nothing left!

There is no deadlier weapon than the will!
The sharpest sword
Is not equal to it!
There is no robber so dangerous
As Nature (Yang and Yin).
Yet it is not nature
That does the damage:
It is man's own will!




~ Chuang Tzu
translation by Thomas Merton





he who stretches






Procrustes was a host who adjusted his guests to their bed.
Procrustes, whose name means "he who stretches."


He kept a house by the side of the road where he offered hospitality to passing strangers, who were invited in for a pleasant meal and a night's rest in his very special bed. Procrustes described it as having the unique property that its length exactly matched whomsoever lay down upon it. What Procrustes didn't volunteer was the method by which this "one-size-fits-all" was achieved, namely as soon as the guest lay down Procrustes went to work upon him, stretching him on the rack if he was too short for the bed and chopping off his legs if he was too long. Theseus turned the tables on Procrustes, fatally adjusting him to fit his own bed.


We are no sooner out of the womb than we must begin this precarious unfolding and shaping of who we are. If we have bad or destructive times in childhood, we begin to fix on a survival identity to cover over and to compensate for what happens to us. If we are never encouraged to be ourselves we begin to construct an identity that will gain us either attention or approval. When we set out to construct our lives according to a fixed image, we damage ourselves. The image becomes the desperate focus of all our longing. There are no frames for the soul. In truth, we are called, in so far as we can, to live without an image of ourselves, or at least to keep images we have free and open. When you sense the immensity of the unknown within you, any image you have built of yourself gradually loses its promise. Your name, your face, your address only suggest the threshold of your identity. Somehow you are always secretly aware of this. Sometimes. you find yourself listening to someone telling you what you should do or describing what is going on inside you, and you whisper to yourself that they have not the foggiest idea who you actually are.




~ John O'Donohue
from Eternal Echoes



the pools






(March 27, 1917 - June 15, 2011)


Let's picture if we can two landscapes. The first has a deep clear quiet pool, and the second also has a deep clear quiet pool. The first one is surrounded by garbage. The second one, also surrounded by garbage, has an odd characteristic - everyone who jumps into the pool takes a little pile of garbage in with him -- and there is something in the pool that eats it up, so it remains quiet and clear.


Which kind of practice are you doing ? Most of us long for deep, blissful sitting and, even if our pool of peace is ringed around with garbage, we attempt not notice it; if the garbage can disturb us, we want to ignore it. We don't like difficulties; we prefer to sit in our peace and not be intruded upon. That's one type of sitting.


The other kind of pool eats up the garbage; as fast as it appears, it is consumed as the person entering the pool carries it in with him. Still in a short time the pool is clear and undisturbed. It may churn more at first. The major difference is that the first pool ends up with more and more garbage around it; the second has none or very little.


As has been said, most of us long for the first kind of practice (life). But the second, facing life as it is, is more genuine; we keep churning up our drama -- seeing it, experiencing it, swallowing it -- throwing the garbage into ourselves, the deep pool that we are.


A practice exclusively devoted to concentration (shutting out all but the object of concentration) is the first pool. Very peaceful, very seductive. But when you climb out of the pool, the garbage of life remains -- our dualistic dealings with our work and relationships. You haven't handled them. Or you may resort to the well-intentioned but inaccurate devices of positive thinking or affirmations; the gas in the garbage increases and in time explodes.


The second pool (being each moment of life, pleasant or unpleasant) is at times a slow and frustrating practice, but in the long run, fruitful and satisfying. With all that as a background, let's look at what can be called the turning point in our life and practice. From what are we turning? Let's look at some sentences: "I feel irritated. I feel annoyed. I feel happy." What we omit is: "I feel I am hurt by you. I feel I have been made happy by you."


Actually, the fact is not that you irritate me, it's that i have a desire to be irritated. You may loudly protest, "oh, never, I certainly don't want to feel irritated or hurt..." Well, just for a few years (intelligently, in the second pool). The first and uncomfortable years of sitting make it clearer and clearer that my desire is to be irritated or angry (separate). That's almost all I have known as a means to preserve and protect what I think is my identity. With continued awareness, it dawns that there is only one person who can irritate me or make me feel lonely and depressed, and it is myself -- myself as a false identity.


We begin to see a strange and lethal truth: contrary to our beliefs, our basic drive and all our life fore goes into a struggle to perpetuate our separateness, our touchiness, or self-righteousness.


Lao Tzu said, "He who feels punctured, must be a balloon.", the balloon of irritability, anger, self-centered opinions. If we can be punctured (hurt), we can be sure we are still a balloon. We want to be a balloon; otherwise we could not be punctured. But our greatest desire is to keep the balloon inflated. After all, it's me!


So what would turning be? What is the turning point? It begins when we observe and feel our anger, our manipulation, our anxiety - and know in our hearts a deep determination to be in another mode.


Than the real transformation can begin. Instead of ignoring garbage, pushing it away, or wallowing in it, we take our garbage into ourselves and let it digest. We take ourselves with us into the pool of life. This begins the turning. After it, life is never the same.


The turning is at first feeble and intermittent. Over time, it becomes stronger and more insistent (in Christian terms, the 'hound of haven' chases us). As it strengthens, more and more we know who our Master is. Of course, the Master is not a thing or a person but our awakening knowledge of Who We Are. The difficult years of practice (and life) come before the turning. The patience and skill of both teacher and student are called on to the utmost. Some but not all will make it through the difficulties.


Gurdjieff said: man is a machine. We know how machines work: when the blender's button is pushed, it goes WHOOSSSH; when we turn our car's ignition key, the motor roars. Man is a machine. Why? As long as a man's primary drive is to keep his balloon unpunctured, to avoid having his buttons pushed, he is an automatic machine which has no choice.


Even moving from passive dependence to an active and angry independence -- "Don't tell me what to do!" -- is still the activity of a machine with buttons. I feel ruled and compelled by 'something else'; I have no choice. Like the blender, if pushed, I turn on.


Suppose you do something to me that I view as punishing (it's mean, it's unfair, I don't deserve it). How do I react when this button is pushed? With anger? (And I may not reveal my anger, or I may turn it against myself). Then I am a machine. In this instance, what would the tuning point be?


The turning point is my ability, developed slowly by practice, to be aware of the thoughts and bodily sensations which comprise anger. In the observing of thoughts and sensations, anger will swallow itself and its energy can open life instead of destroying it. Then I (the angry one) can act out of this clarity in a manner that benefits me and you. This is the way of the second pool, the one that takes the garbage, digests it, letting it feed and renew life as compost does a garden.


Let us not have some naive notion that this ability is won overnight. A lifetime is more like it. Nevertheless, faithful and determined practice makes a difference and fairly soon at that.


We come to view the unpleasant aspects of life as learning opportunities. If my balloon is deflated a little -- great!. As an opportunity to be welcomed, not avoided or dramatized. each round of such practice renders us a little less machine-like, gives us more appreciation of ourselves and others.


Let's live in the second pool.




~ Charlotte Joko Beck
from the Newsletter of the Zen Center of San Diego, (Feb-Mar, 1989)



for citizenship






In these times when anger
Is turned into anxiety
And someone has stolen
The horizons and mountains,

Our small emperors on parade
Never expect our indifference
To disturb their nakedness.

They keep their heads down
And their eyes gleam with reflection
From aluminum economic ground,

The media wraps everything
In a cellophane of sound,
And the ghost surface of the virtual
Overlays the breathing earth.

The industry of distraction 
Makes us forget
That we live in a universe.

We have become converts 
To the religion of stress
And its deity of progress;

That we may have courage 
To turn aside from it all
And come to kneel down before the poor,
To discover what we must do,
How to turn anxiety
Back into anger,
How to find our way home.





~ John O'Donohue
from To Bless the Space Between Us
photo by Robert Frank



Sunday, May 26, 2019

poverty of the lover





The true lover gazes toward the reality of things:

My eyes so fix
upon your image
that whatever I gaze at
I imagine you.

Wherever he looks he finds that Face and therefore needs everything he sees. 
 "Poverty is intrinsic need; it has nothing to do with this or that."

And why does nothing need the lover? One can only need something which exists.  But the lover, outwardly detached and inwardly disengaged, has returned the robe of existence and all its trappings- which he only held in trust - ... Again he has donned the patched cloak of his own nothingness.  "He is ... as he was in eternity-without-beginning," and in such a state, who needs him?

But...in poverty there comes a state wherein the poor man himself needs nothing.  As one of them said, "The poor man is not is not in need of God Himself!"  Need, after all, is an attribute of the existent; but he who dives into the sea of nothingness needs no more.  His poverty is complete.

You are nothing 
when you wed the One;
but you are everything 
when you become nothing.




~ Fakhruddin 'Iraqi
from Divine Flashes



the silence inside the illusion






Everything is ecstasy, inside. We just don’t know it because of our thinking-minds. But in our true blissful essence of mind it is known that everything is alright forever and forever and forever. Close your eyes, let your hands and nerve-ends drop, stop breathing for 3 seconds, listen to the silence inside the illusion of the world, and you will remember the lesson you forgot, which was taught in immense milky ways of cloudy innumerable worlds long ago and not even at all. It is all one vast awakened thing. I call it the golden eternity. It is perfect. We were never really born, we will never really die. It has nothing to do with the imaginary idea of a personal self, other selves, many selves everywhere, or one universal self. Self is only an idea, a mortal idea. That which passes through everything, is one thing. It’s a dream already ended. There’s nothing to be afraid of and nothing to be glad about. I know this from staring at mountains months on end. They never show any expression, they are like empty space. Do you think the emptiness of space will ever crumble away? Mountains will crumble, but the emptiness of space, which is the one universal essence of mind, the one vast awakenerhood, empty and awake, will never crumble away because it was never born.


~ Jack Kerouac


a stream I go a-fishing in







In eternity there is indeed something true and sublime.
 But all these times and places and occasions are now and here.  
God himself culminates in the present moment 
and will never be more divine in the lapse of the ages.  
Time is but a stream I go a-fishing in.  
I drink at it, but when I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is.  
Its thin current slides away but eternity remains.




~ Henry David Thoreau 
from: Walden, "Where I lived and what I lived for," 1854



in love that long





I am here, this moment, inside the beauty,
the gift God has given,
our love:

This gold and circular sign
means we are free of any duty:

out of eternity I turn my face to you, and into
eternity:

we have been in
love that long.




~ Rumi
from The Glance - Songs of Soul-Meeting
translation by Coleman Barks





Saturday, May 25, 2019

recognize your own poverty





The opening of the spiritual eyes is a glowing darkness and rich nothingness... It may be called: Purity of soul and spiritual rest, inward stillness and peace of conscience, refinement of thought and integrity of soul, a lively consciousness of grace and solitude of heart, the wakeful sleep of the spouse and the tasting of heavenly joys, the ardor of love and brightness of light, the entry into contemplation and reformation of feeling...


A real pilgrim going to Jerusalem leaves his house  and land, wife and children; he divests himself of all that he possesses in order to travel light and without encumbrances.  Similarly, if you which to be a spiritual pilgrim, you must divest yourself of all that you possess; that is, both of good deeds and bad, and leave them all behind you.  Recognize your own poverty, so that you will not place any confidence in your own work;  instead, alway be desiring the grace of deeper love, and seeking the spiritual presence.  It you do this, you will be setting your heart wholly on reaching Jerusalem, and on nothing else.



~ Walter Hilton (1340-1396)
Hilton wrote the masterpiece The Ladder (or Scale) of Perfection, first published in 1494, written in English but also known under its Latin title, Scala Perfectionis.



soul unfolds itself





And a man said, Speak to us of Self-Knowledge.
And he answered saying:
Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights.
But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart’s knowledge.
You would know in words that which you have always known in thought.
You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams.
And it is well you should.
The hidden well-spring of your soul must needs rise and run murmuring to the sea;
And the treasure of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes.
But let there be no scales to weigh your unknown treasure;
And seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line.
For self is a sea boundless and measureless.
Say not, “I have found the truth,” but rather, “I have found a truth.”
Say not, “I have found the path of the soul.
” Say rather, “I have met the soul walking upon my path.”
For the soul walks upon all paths.
The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed.
The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals.



~ Kahlil Gibran



all paths






And he who defines his conduct by ethics
imprisons his song-bird in a cage.
The freest song comes not through bars
and wires.
And he to whom worshiping is a window,
to open but also to shut,
has not yet visited the house of his soul
whose windows are from dawn to dawn.
...
And if you would know God be not
therefore a solver of riddles.
Rather look about you and you shall see
Him playing with your children.
And look into space; you shall see Him 
walking in the cloud, outstretching His arms
in the lightning and descending in rain.
You shall see Him smiling in flowers,
then rising and waving His hands in trees.





~ Kahlil Gibran
from The Prophet


grace?







"What is grace?" I asked God.
And He said,

"All that happens."

Then He added, when I looked perplexed,

"Could not lovers
say that every moment in their Beloved's arms
was grace?

Existence is my arms,
though I well understand how one can turn
away from
me,
until the heart has
wisdom."



~ Saint John of the Cross
photo by eliot porter



I loved what I could love






I had a natural passion for fine clothes, excellent food, and
lively conversation about all matters that concern the heart
still alive. And a passion about my own looks.

Vanities: they do not exist.

Have you ever walked across a stream stepping on
rocks so not to spoil a pair of shoes?

All we can touch, swallow, or say
aids in our crossing to God
and helps unveil the soul.

Life smooths us, rounds, perfects, as does the river the stone,
and there is no place our Beloved is not flowing
through the current's force you
may not always like.

Our passions help to lift us.

I loved what I could love until I held Him,
for then - all things - every world
disappeared.



~Saint Teresa of Avila
 art from the Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam

 

Friday, May 24, 2019

a poem for Giambattist Vico written by the Pacific






A rephrasing of Vico;
All cultures go through three stages, Culture moves from the
Sacred World to the Aristocratic Realm to the Democratic Place,
and back again.


1.

We were sitting there, badly blessed, and brooding
On aristocracies near the trouserless ocean.
We knew we were pure prose; the ocean stretched
Out, blown by wind, but we remained where we were.
The sand shifted; all of us walked on flat boards.
We were no one in particular, in our messy lives.
We tended to stay who we were. Our minds stay in this
Particular room with Nils and Judy and Tom.
If death is the mother of fashion, we don't mind.
I am myself; I am what is around me.
Pine cones fall and stick where they fall.
That is what it's like when we are born
Not from wind or spirit, but from things. 

2.

Spirit moves where it moves; that is what 
People are like who are born of the Spirit. 
For in high air there burns a furious spirit.
It rises out of ground like Milton's mind
That meets all furies high above the sea.
It wants to rise. "If music be the food of love,
Play on." So notes, inspired not by our toes
But by th'inspired intellect, take us
Out of the dark soul-house, upward through turns
And spiral stairs, fighting the darken'd air.
The Spirit carries us, and in our minds
We know if we are high or not. It is 
Something like this for those still in the Spirit.

3.

 The wind blows where it likes: that is what
Everyone is like who is born from the wind.
Oh now it's getting serious. We want to be those
Born from the wind that blows along the plains
And over the sea where no one has a home.
And that Upsetting Rabbi, didn't he say;
"Take nothing with you, no blanket, no bread.
When evening comes, sleep wherever you are.
And it the owners say no, shake out the dust
From your sandals; leave the dust on their doorstep."
Don't hope for what will never come. Give up hope,
Dear friends, the joists of life are laid on the winds.




~ Robert Bly
from Morning Poems


 

no way or path






There's a moment there in Arthur's banquet hall when all the knights are assembled around the Round Table.  Arthur would not let anyone start to eat until an adventure had occurred.  Well, in those days adventures were rather normal, so people didn't go hungry for long.

They were waiting for this day's adventure, and it did indeed occur.  The Holy Grail itself showed itself to the assembled knights - not in its full glory but covered with a great, radiant cloth.  Then it withdrew.  All were left ravished, sitting there in awe.

Finally, Gawain, Arthur's nephew, stood up and said,  "I propose a vow to this company, that we should all go in quest of that Grail to behold it unveiled."

Now we come to the part that interested me.  The text reads, 

"They thought it would be a disgrace to go forth in a group.  
Each entered the Forest Adventurous at that point which he himself had chosen, 
where it was darkest and there was no way or path."

You enter the forest at the darkest point, where there is no path.  Where there's a way or path, it is someone else's path;  each human being is a unique phenomenon. 

The idea is to find your own way.







~ Joseph Campbell
referring to:  La Queste del Saint Graal,
taken here from Pathways to Bliss





Thursday, May 23, 2019

how it feels to be free








~ Nina Simone

 

it's probubly me








~ Gregory Porter

starry starry night






~ Vincent Van Gogh and Don McLean

one source of bad information




There's a boy in you about three
Years old who hasn't learned a thing for thirty
Thousand years.  Sometimes it's a girl.

This child had to make up its mind
How to save you from death.  He said things like:
"Stay home.  Avoid elevators.  Eat only elk."

You live with this child, but you don't know it.
You're in the office, yes, but live with this boy
At night.  He's uninformed, but he does want

To save your life.  And he has.  Because of this boy
You survived a lot.  He's got six big ideas.
Five don't work.  Right now he's repeating them to you.



~ Robert Bly
from Morning Poems