Thursday, May 28, 2009

a recurring dream

théo van rysselberghe "voiliers sur l'escault"

and so -

it begins with a dream.

a recurring dream that I have about abandonment. about being given up by someone - my mother, my brother, my wife, my children - in the dream a person who is intimately and emotionally connected to me leaves me for someone else.

i cry.

i hit them with anger.

i throw things, and as i throw things i have a sense of myself as a child and all that i have carried from that time.


my intuitive sense is that the "other" person constitutes the world.

it is also my sense that i have worked very hard to earn acceptance from the world. that i make every effort to earn this acceptance through my work, my behaviours, and through my self-deprecating attitude towards my apparent self.

it is there.
it is associated with me.
it has damaged me.

it is my perception of the perceptions of the world towards me that i strike out at. it is my own idea of what constitutes 'acceptance' from the world that i have worked towards. it is an empty game.

because 'the world' only exists as a construct of ideas in me that i need in order to give my self context and form.

it is my self that even now i am trying to accept.

and so the fight is between my outer (perceived) and inner (actual) selves.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

last night the moon came dropping its clothes in the street

"daylight moon v" parisa tirnaz

the new rule

drunkards fall upon each other, quarrel,
become violent and make a scene.
it is the rule.
like the drunkard and
worse than the drunkard is the lover.
to be in love is to enter a gold mine,
but what kind of gold is found there?
the lover, king above all kings,
is not afraid to die and cares nothing for a golden crown.
just as the dervish, with a pearl concealed beneath his worn out cloak,
is not ashamed to beg from door to door.
last night the moon came dropping its clothes in the street
“get up,” i told my heart, “and give the soul a glass of wine.
the moment has come to join the nightingale in the garden,
to taste sugar with the parrot of the soul.”
i have fallen, with my heart shattered
i have fallen on your sacred path and broken your bowl
i am drunk my idol, so very drunk
shield me and take my hand.
a new rule, a new law has been decreed.
break all the glasses and fall toward the glassblower.

"let the water settle; you will see the moon and stars mirrored in your being." - rumi

Thursday, May 21, 2009

we contain all the passions

"the madonna of port lligat" salvador dali


we contain all the passions
and all the vices
and all the suns and stars,
chasms and heights,
trees, animals, forests, streams.
this is what we are.
our experience lies
in our veins,
in our nerves.
we stagger.
between grey blocks of houses.
on bridges of steel.
light from a thousand tubes
flows around us,
and a thousand violet nights
etch sharp wrinkles
in our faces.

george grosz

there is so much floods into me in the course of a day. so many voices, so many needs, so many expectations. then there are the voices, needs and expectations of my self.

on my way home west into the evening, the sun sets like a gold bar behind the hill i live on. and as i walk or ride, as part of my daily practice, i consider the day behind me and the evening before me.

i unpack all the written, spoken, felt, perceived and imagined histories of the day.

i search for the points of truth that sometimes rise discreetly above the whole. moments unbidden that have walked in the door and afforded a momentary transformation, an elevation of purpose and intent.

an opportunity to see and experience beyond what was intended - to see and experience what is necessary.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

a breathless radiant moment

loren paints the way with his camera inside a moment . . .

one fallen flower
returning to the branch? . . . oh no!
a white butterfly


Thursday, May 14, 2009

awakening the swan

"the swan" milton resnick

the sleeping swan . . . mirra lokhvitskaya

my earthly life is a ringing,
an indistinct rustle of rushes
it lulls the sleeping swan
my disquieted soul.

far off one catches a glimpse of hurrying ships
greedily plying.
peacefully in the midst of the bay,
where sadness breathes like the weight of the world.

but the sound, born of trembling
blends with the rustling of the rushes
and shakes the awakening swan
my immortal soul.

it surges into a world of freedom
where the waves echo the sighing storms
and where the ever changing waters
reflect eternal azure.

from birth to death people sleep.

one day, you begin to wake up. you become aware of several "i's", each with its own demands and expectations.

john bennett describes this awakening . . .

"you have to ask yourself: "what do i really want? who is it in me that want?" each of your centers wants different things. every 'i' in you wants something for itself. there are some things that you really need; for example, you need not only food and clothing and the direct requirements of your bodily life, but you also need certain kinds of impressions. if you do not get those impressions, your spiritual life remains hungry. it can even be starved.

but you have to realize that life can never give you all that you want. it cannot even give you all that you need. if you are hungry for one kind of impression which you cannot get, you have to be clever and try to find what other impressions will give you the food you need. it is true that you need food of impressions. life sometimes will not give us the impressions we need. It is not only that life can deny us impressions and experiences that we want. it often will not give us impressions that are really necessary as food for us. we must study ourselves. we have to learn what kinds of impressions are necessary for work. It is always possible to get what we need if we know how to look for it."
extract from talk j.g. bennett

Sunday, May 10, 2009

others had echoes

as a child, they could not keep me from wells
and old pumps with buckets and windlasses.
i loved the dark drop, the trapped sky, the smells
of waterweed, fungus and dank moss.

one, in a brickyard, with a rotted board top.
i savoured the rich crash when a bucket
plummeted down at the end of a rope.
so deep you saw no reflection in it.

a shallow one under a dry stone ditch
fructified like any aquarium.
when you dragged out long roots from the soft mulch
a white face hovered over the bottom.

others had echoes, gave back your own call
with a clean new music in it. and one
was scaresome, for there, out of ferns and tall
foxgloves, a rat slapped across my reflection.

now, to pry into roots, to finger slime,
to stare, big-eyed narcissus, into some spring
is beneath all adult dignity. i rhyme
to see myself, to set the darkness echoing.

seamus heaney

all paintings by andrew wyeth

Thursday, May 7, 2009

lights in the dark

from kandinsky's "concerning the spiritual in art" . . . "our minds, which are even now only just awakening after years of materialism, are infected with the despair of unbelief, of lack of purpose and ideal.

the nightmare of materialism, which has turned the life of the universe into an evil, useless game, is not yet past; it holds the awakening soul still in its grip.

only a feeble light glimmers like a tiny star in a vast gulf of darkness. this feeble light is but a presentiment, and the soul, when it sees it, trembles in doubt whether the light is not a dream, and the gulf of darkness reality.

our soul rings cracked when we seek to play upon it, as does a costly vase, long buried in the earth, which is found to have a flaw when it is dug up once more."

Sunday, May 3, 2009

the blurred form of an evening

the blurred form of an evening sky rushes past the night train. by the yellow-orange light of a fringed table lamp, a man pushes his face closer to the window. a small cloud of breath ebbs and flows from his mouth across the glass - a humid tongue of moisture.

stations and signals flow by the darkened window frame in sudden jarring colour-filled moments. an illuminated sign, a wall of brownish-red bricks, light flooding from an opening door, someone peering from behind a curtain.

life is like this.


night from a railroad car window
is a great, dark, soft thing
broken across with slashes of light.

carl sandburg