7.12.2015

Another kind of magic

(first draft lost)

It's another kind of magic to gimpse when something already is and has been.

Perhaps
even more amazing than discovering that someone understands what you are trying to say
Is discovering that not only do they already know,
they've already told you.

I love the way gifts can be wrapped in time.
I love the way that time delivers gifts.

I am indebted to writers
for preserving an experience for others who recognize it to point at and agree
yes; with all my past and present, yes.



He was right to remind us both that you cannot prolong such gifts.  You cannot preserve them.
But, you can bring something back.

I am building a memory palace.
The bus home in Portland and everything as it should be
That 1/2 hour on Pingjiang Lu as the city kindly met with me
The block in old town painted gleaming white with gratitude, gratitude, gratitude for a gift I didn't know I needed.
The brilliant embroidered 'mandala' (I abuse the term) I planted (and by 'planted', I mean 'chose to notice') flowering on the intersection where I saw the separate woven threads emerge from their knit pattern and combine.

I endeavor to be a sculpter of time
and of meaning

I do deeply appreciate whoever is writing my book

Bedtime story of the universe

Have you ever fallen in love with a star
and then realized that it's actually a constellation?

The SuperHuman Achievement

(proceeding from Frankl's description of the human achievement as taking on a role of creator and artist of meaning itself)

(and, meaning "Super" not as in being better, but as being greater, more inclusive, transcending individual identity)

And further:

"Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality.  No one can become fully aware of the essence of another human being unless he loves him.  by his love he is enabled to see the essential traits and features of the beloved person; and even more, he sees that which is potential in him, which is not yet actualized but yet ought to be actualized.  Furthermore, by his love, the loving person enables the beloved person to actualize these potentialities.

By making him aware of what he can be and of what he should become, he makes these potentialities come true..."  
-Frankl in Man's Search for Meaning


When I was young, I asked God to see others the way He did, and through his love. This description sounds to me like an elegant and ultimate combination of the "God is Love" foundation of John wedded to the Paulo Coelho's description of love as enabling and transformative in "The Alchemist" - In a world where the only constant is change, and where love is what believes in and encourages that growth, then that is a thing, a characteristic, a vision worth aspiring to, leaning on like a cane, cultivating, embracing, and becoming.

6.20.2015

Moonshadow

'Did it take long to find me?' I asked the faithful light.
'Did it take long to find me?  And, are you gonna stay tonight?'

Thank you.
And, to the other little lights as well.


Is this part of what he (and Campbell) had mentioned?  That we are creating our own mythology?
Either way, I'll choose to appreciate the times when, after sending my request into the earth, the universe meets me in a way that I can recognize.

Today, my favorite lyrics are from "Moonshadow" by Cat Stevens.  It just occurred to me today that maybe 老子 would have also been amused.

Water. Meaning.

Flaming swords and rivers are no threat to one another


if meaning is of any importance,
and yes - yes it is. 

In some ways, it is the only thing of importance.
Although (and perhaps because) it is easily blown away without a trace.

The most important thing we can synthesize from the blocks we hack out of our minecraft-like world .. is meaning.

What art can one learn to craft from a river (or rivers) if one learns to treat time as a medium?

5.30.2015

The game between the game

Following a prompt from a friend on a better way to practice this:

I am playing a new game of seeing the negative space.
Seeing the thing as outlined by the not-thing.
Noticing the distances that make things what they are by the nature of the separation.
Seeing the thing as being the outline of the not-thing.
When I write, outlining the not-thing with the thing.
Acknowledging the decisions not made, the roads not traveled, the silence between by which sounds are defined.

The quiet into which what I don't plan can grow.

The world feels much more comfortably full,
when I acknowledge even the stories that don't speak.

The Human Achievement

I'm listening to Viktor Frankl's Man's Search For Meaning on Audible.
It's the background and description of his school of thought in psychiatry called "logotherapy".

I like the way he describes the "human achievement" as that which a person may produce from a given "predicament".

Turning predicament into a human achievement is the manner in which all people are necessarily artists.  Like any art, it can be practiced, stylized, and honed into a truly respectable craft.

In everything, the uniquely human potential is to paint that layer of perception, interpretation, and chosen response upon the canvas of situation with which we are presented.

It is the art of acknowledging and working with what we cannot change to produce, create, or accept what we can.  We may or may not consider it to be successful, but it is this layer of perception and response that would not arise in any other way, and thus, in its uniqueness, is a human achievement.

I am reminded of the quote at the beginning of Steinbeck's Cannery Row.
And Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

continue (meaning of life resolved, next question please)

Walking the evening streets of Shanghai,

Harbin beers in hand,

(considering the All as an informational map in 1s and 0s
the "things" that we know as selected groupings of those,
and a human drive to uncover meaning like an algorithm tasked with revealing its own code)

is as good a place as any

to be reminded that one's "purpose" in life is to be,

to be uniquely,

and so being,

continue.



Thank you.

4.18.2015

Fits and Stops and starts

Looking back at my own posts, not finding what I wanted.
Surprised at what I did find

including silence.

The posts, huddled in time around gaping empty spaces
craters. Trying to grow again before the next carves out its due.

Posts drafted in my head that I don't see - flags of thought I wish I'd thrown in time.
I see comments I wish I'd known about, responded to
Perhaps from others trying to walk across this same slippery stream
the stepping stones are many, but the water deep.
The breaths come few and far between.

Though I hope that others understand,
I know that really, I address myself in saying:

Please forgive the silence
it's not that I've been drowning
but all the work at breathing
makes it awful hard to speak.

At least,
I know the taste of air
I know when I'm awake
The struggle is for the next breath of consciousness
every time I slip and plunge
as I make my way across this river dream

I am ashamed at the ways I betray my own progress
but the way ahead is still forward
My previous steps, though unsteady, inconsistent, drive me from the past to start again
and on I go

2.22.2015

Home Burial

I'm sad that I'll never be able to talk with my grandfather about "Home Burial" by Robert Frost.   But, maybe I'll be able to find something in his research or class notes about it some day.

I recently learned that my grandmother says that my grandfather says that this poem said it all.
He taught it to his students.

I'd read it once before, and I didn't get it.

I just read it again,
and I get it (or, at least much much more of it)
But, too late.

3.25.2014

role reversal?

Seems that it is possible to change places without changing roles

إن شاء الله

the splash of liquid diamonds in the night sky

the commas, pause for breath, 'midst poetry

fresh dewdrops awakening, perched atop the grass

light rain of tears rebounding up unheard from dust and puddles

the scratch of drumming surfaces that beat a rhythm

flightpath of birds on their way to the throne room

hoofprints of Pitzeem's mare

the dirt in the field flying out behind Badger's hind claws

the wink of gleaming stardust settling behind rocky peaks in a yellowing dawn

3.15.2014

The Globe Theater was ringed by lamps with reflective shades that cast the light upon the stage.


Do you see good things in the world?  Since everything is a mirror, the goodness you see around you is a reflection of yourself.  Find your inner lightbulb, and twist it to aim the light back on yourself until you also feel the warmth.

crawling out of bed

It occurs to me in words that one of the most important abilities of a victim is first, to know when one is being victimized and when one isn't; and second, to know the source of the threat.

 If one is being victimized without knowing, this descends into an awful twilight swamp of partial humanity. If one is not being victimized, but feels otherwise, this brings that nightmare into waking life.

If one can identify the source of the threat, then one knows whether or not the swamp comes from oneself. Try to find that door and shut it. Anticipated, unverified threats from others have no place in one's internal world.

 Since the reality is that all humans should be able to expect to be treated with dignity and respect, to live knowing otherwise is a kind of nightmare. Even if conscious, it is a world that isn't real.
 This ... Dream.

morning sun rises

people are actually pretty cool

most of them are really interesting,
and are actually not trying to impose on me, get something from me, or judge/criticize/shame me.


I feel like I just woke up from an unsettling nightmare
It's morning and the sun is shining
The people outside are familiar in a normal way.
I shall practice again expecting commonly expectable things
when did I start dreaming?
 
I would like to remember this feeling of waking up twice.
And, not to return to that dream.