Saturday, February 28, 2009

fields of light

a snow field - each crystal a star - a universe of violet and rose light.

within the circuit of this plodding life

within the circuit of this plodding life
there enter moments of an azure hue,
untarnished fair as is the violet
or anemone, when the spring strews them
by some meandering rivulet, which make
the best philosophy untrue that aims
but to console man for his grievances
i have remembered when the winter came,
high in my chamber in the frosty nights,
when in the still light of the cheerful moon,
on every twig and rail and jutting spout,
the icy spears were adding to their length
against the arrows of the coming sun,
how in the shimmering noon of summer past
some unrecorded beam slanted across
the upland pastures where the johnswort grew;
or heard, amid the verdure of my mind,
the bee's long smothered hum, on the blue flag
loitering amidst the mead; or busy rill,
which now through all its course stands still and dumb
its own memorial,—purling at its play
along the slopes, and through the meadows next,
until its youthful sound was hushed at last
in the staid current of the lowland stream;
or seen the furrows shine but late upturned,
and where the fieldfare followed in the rear,
when all the fields around lay bound and hoar
beneath a thick integument of snow.
so by God's cheap economy made rich
to go upon my winter's task again.

henry thoreau

joseph bellacera "field of light #14"

Thursday, February 26, 2009

looking winter in the eye

as my body feels the early details of "aging" it's an interesting challenge to not let it define my mind and spirit.

"when I look winter in the eye,
i am looking down dense corridors of trees."
joan mcbreen

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

the alchemy of happiness

the visible world was made to correspond
to the world invisible and
there is nothing in this world but that which is a symbol
of something in that other world.

al ghazali

in "the alchemy of happiness", al ghazali writes:

"the first step to self-knowledge is to know that thou art composed of an outward shape, called the body, and an inward entity called the heart, or soul. by "heart" i do not mean the piece of flesh situated in the left of our bodies, but that which uses all the other faculties as its instruments and servants. in truth it does not belong to the visible world, but to the invisible, and has come into this world as a traveller visits a foreign country for the sake of merchandise, and will presently return to its native land. it is the knowledge of this entity and its attributes which is the key to the knowledge of God."

Saturday, February 21, 2009

the robin's egg

a very long time ago i walked home from school with two friends. it was england. we wore caps and blazers and ties, grey shirts and dark shorts.

the sky was overcast. the pavement was wet.

on our walk we came upon a thick hedge.

one of my friends stopped and so then did we.

in the hedge there was a small nest. and in that nest lay an impossibly blue egg. a robin's egg!

i recall the feelings of surprise, mystery, and magic contained in that twig, twine and down bed.

a secret home.

we each held the egg and felt its smooth warmth.

it seemed improbable that something so small and fragile and very beautiful could house a bird.

but it did.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

i became water

image courtesy phil douglis

i became water
and saw myself
a mirage
became an ocean
saw myself a speck
of foam
gained awareness
saw that all is but
woke up
and found myself

binavi badakhshani

in this writing, the person becomes water . . . and in that manifestation they experience the emptiness of artifice in the form of a mirage, become the allness of everything in the form of an ocean, and then the absolute of insignificance as a speck of foam.

then, in a moment of benevolent awareness the writer receives three more gifts; the recognition that they have forgotten everything, woken up and found themselves asleep. it is that self-awareness - that stepping away from everything (including your"self") - and realizing that (like gurdjieff's mechanical manifestations masquerading as people) - the unrealized individual (when given this shattering awakening) could transcend the mechanical, acted-upon self and ascend from mere personality to self-actualizing essence.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

the muffling of winds

hoarfrost and silence:
only the muffling
of winds dark and lonesome--
great lullabies to the long sleepers.

carl sandburg

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

the winter boulevard

winter in the boulevard

the frost has settled down upon the trees
and ruthlessly strangled off the fantasies
of leaves that have gone unnoticed, swept like old
romantic stories now no more to be told.

the trees down the boulevard stand naked in thought,
their abundant summery wordage silenced, caught
in the grim undertow; naked the trees confront
implacable winter’s long, cross-questioning brunt.

has some hand balanced more leaves in the depths of the twigs?
some dim little efforts placed in the threads of the birch?—
it is only the sparrows, like dead black leaves on the sprigs,
sitting huddled against the cerulean, one flesh with their perch.

the clear, cold sky coldly bethinks itself.
like vivid thought the air spins bright, and all
trees, birds, and earth, arrested in the after-thought
awaiting the sentence out from the welkin brought.

d.h. lawrence 1916

Saturday, February 7, 2009

winter in a moment, in its fullness

in a little place, in a brief moment - winter looks like this.

dry wisps of yellowed winter grass. a cold, thin breeze. snow rustling like sugar.

the great sufi poet rumi saw winter in its fullness . . .

winter is a time for death.
do you think death is a bad thing?
then you still haven't got it.
you've lived countless lives and died
countless deaths in an endless process of evolution.
each death has brought you more life.
without, death, there is no rebirth.
the ultimate death is nothing to do with the body.
it is the death of your self as separate from God.
you are standing at the edge of his ocean of love.
plunge below the surf of separation.
dive into the mystical depth.
dissolve yourself into that sea.
like a moth around a candle, be irresistibly drawn
to the light until you are engulfed by flames in an inferno of communion.
the lover chooses the fire because he knows
the secret: "the honey is worth the sting."

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

little spaces and colours

i've walked by this billboard many times. it's not unique in any way and so (as with so much) i consigned it to the wallpaper of the landscapes that i pass by and ignore.

but today as i passed it, something about it caught my eye.

there were colours inside the little grills. colours in the rusting framework.

so i stopped and really looked at the little spaces and colours.