Friday, March 27, 2015

as one listens to the rain








Listen to me as one listens to the rain,
not attentive, not distracted,
light footsteps, thin drizzle,
water that is air, air that is time,
the day is still leaving,
the night has yet to arrive,
figurations of mist
at the turn of the corner,
figurations of time
at the bend in this pause,
listen to me as one listens to the rain,
without listening, hear what I say
with eyes open inward, asleep
with all five senses awake,
it’s raining, light footsteps, a murmur of syllables,
air and water, words with no weight:
what we are and are,
the days and years, this moment,
weightless time and heavy sorrow,
listen to me as one listens to the rain,
wet asphalt is shining,
steam rises and walks away,
night unfolds and looks at me,
you are you and your body of steam,
you and your face of night,
you and your hair, unhurried lightning,
you cross the street and enter my forehead,
footsteps of water across my eyes,
listen to me as one listens to the rain,
the asphalt’s shining, you cross the street,
it is the mist, wandering in the night,
it is the night, asleep in your bed,
it is the surge of waves in your breath,
your fingers of water dampen my forehead,
your fingers of flame burn my eyes,
your fingers of air open eyelids of time,
a spring of visions and resurrections,
listen to me as one listens to the rain,
the years go by, the moments return,
do you hear the footsteps in the next room?
not here, not there: you hear them
in another time that is now,
listen to the footsteps of time,
inventor of places with no weight, nowhere,
listen to the rain running over the terrace,
the night is now more night in the grove,
lightning has nestled among the leaves,
a restless garden adrift—go in,
your shadow covers this page.



~ Octavio Paz
from A Tree Within
Eliot Weinberger translation



clouds






I’d have to be really quick
to describe clouds -
a split second’s enough
for them to start being something else.

Their trademark:
they don’t repeat a single 
shape, shade, pose, arrangement.

Unburdened by memory of any kind, 
they float easily over the facts.

What on earth could they bear witness to? 
They scatter whenever something happens.

Compared to clouds, 
life rests on solid ground, 
practically permanent, almost eternal.

Next to clouds
even a stone seems like a brother, 
someone you can trust, 
while they’re just distant, flighty cousins.

Let people exist if they want,
and then die, one after another:
clouds simply don't care
what they're up to
down there.

And so their haughty fleet
cruises smoothly over your whole life
and mine, still incomplete.

They aren't obliged to vanish when we're gone.
They don't have to be seen while sailing on. 




–Wisława Szymborska
from Monologue of a Dog
Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh translation


Saturday, March 14, 2015

the great self






The universe must be experienced as the Great Self. 

Each is fulfilled in the other: the Great Self is fulfilled in the individual self, the individual self is fulfilled in the Great Self. Alienation is overcome as soon as we experience this surge of energy from the source that has brought the universe through the centuries.

New fields of energy become available to support the human venture. These new energies find expression and support in celebration. For in the end the universe can only be explained in terms of celebration.

It is all an exuberant expression of existence itself.




~ Thomas Berry





Friday, March 13, 2015

reveal your heart










~ Jean Vanier





Thursday, March 12, 2015

language without words








Sick of those who come with words, words but no language,
I make my way to the snow-covered island.

Wilderness has no words. The unwritten pages
stretch out in all directions.

I come across this line of deer-slots in the snow: a language,
language without words.




~ Tomas Tranströmer

translated by Robin Robertson

a message from space






Everything that happens is the message:
you read an event and be one and wait,
like breasting a wave, all the while knowing
by living, though not knowing how to live.

Or workers built an antenna -- a dish
aimed at stars -- and they themselves are its message,
crawling in and out, being worlds that loom,
dot-dash, and sirens, and sustaining beams.

And sometimes no one is calling but we turn up
eye and ear -- suddenly we fall into
sound before it begins, the breathing
so still it waits there under the breath --

And then the green of leaves calls out, hills
where they wait or turn, clouds in their frenzied
stillness unfolding their careful words:
"Everything counts. The message is the world."



~ William Stafford
from The Worth of Local Things

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

one soul






Never forget that the universe is a single living organism 
possessed of one substance and one soul, 
holding all things suspended in a single consciousness and 
creating all things with a single purpose that they might work together 
spinning and weaving and knotting whatever comes to pass.



~ Marcus Aurelius
from Meditations
with thanks to Love is a Place


Monday, March 2, 2015

behind the screen





Love plays its lute behind the screen - 
where is a lover to listen to its tune?

With every breath a new song,
each split second a new string plucked,

The world has spilled Love's secret -
when could music ever hold its tongue?

Every atom babbles the mystery -
Listen yourself, for I'm no tattletale!



~ Fakhruddin Iraqi
from Divine Flashes
photo by Christine de Grancy

Friday, February 27, 2015

wander the pure and simple





HeavenRoot was wandering at BrightAbundance Mountain... 
he met Human NoName and said: 
"Might I ask about bringing order to all beneath heaven?" 

"Get lost!" shouted NoName. "What a slob. 
 How could you ask such trashy questions? 
 I wander the Maker-of-Things and just now stumbled into this human form. 
 When I get tired of this, I'll mount the SubtleConfusion Bird and soar out beyond the six horizons. 
 I'll wander in a village where there's nothing at all, 
dwell in a land where emptiness stretches away forever. 
 So why are you cluttering my mind with your talk about governing all beneath heaven?" 

HeavenRoot asked again. 

"Let your mind wander the pure and simple," replied NoName. 
 "Blend your ch'i into the boundless, follow occurrence appearing of itself in things, 
and don't let selfhood get in the way. 
 Then all beneath heaven will be governed as well."





~ Chuang Tzu 
from Chuang Tzu: The Inner Chapters
translation by David Hinton
with thanks to http://fivebranchtree.blogspot.com/




Wednesday, February 25, 2015

between






Between going and staying
the day wavers,
in love with its own transparency.
The circular afternoon is now a bay
where the world in stillness rocks.

All is visible and all elusive,
all is near and can’t be touched.

Paper, book, pencil, glass,
rest in the shade of their names.

Time throbbing in my temples repeats
the same unchanging syllable of blood.

The light turns the indifferent wall
into a ghostly theater of reflections.

I find myself in the middle of an eye,
watching myself in its blank stare.

The moment scatters. Motionless,
I stay and go: I am a pause.



~ Octavio Paz


bridge






Between now and now,
between I am and you are,
the word bridge.

Entering it
you enter yourself:
the world connects
and closes like a ring.

From one bank to another,
there is always
a body stretched:
a rainbow.
I'll sleep beneath its arches.



~ Octavio Paz


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

brotherhood






I am a man: little do I last
and the night is enormous.
But I look up:
the stars write.
Unknowing I understand:
I too am written,
and at this very moment
someone spells me out.




~ Octavio Paz

Sunday, February 15, 2015

messenger







My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird —
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be 
astonished.
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.






~ Mary Oliver
from Thirst


willing to be






Nobody told us that what we are is a point of awareness, or pure spirit. 
This isn't something we're taught. Rather,

what we were taught was to identify with our name. 
We were taught to identify with our birth date. 
We were taught to identify with the next thought that we have. 
We were taught to identify with all the memories 
our mind collects about the past.

But all that was just teaching: all that was just more thinking. 

When you stand in your own authority,
based in your own direct experience, 
you meet that ultimate mystery that you are. 

Even though it may be at first unsettling
to look into your own no-thingness, you do it anyway. Why? 

Because you no longer want to suffer. 
Because you're willing to be disturbed. 
You're willing to be amazed. 
You're willing to be surprised. 

You're willing to realize that maybe everything 
you've ever thought about yourself really isn't true.




 ~ Adyashanti
with thanks to whiskey river

Saturday, February 14, 2015

the beauty of music







~ John O'Donohue