Sunday, March 25, 2018

ode to the past





.

 
Time
is divided
into two rivers:
one flows backward, devouring
life already lived;
the other
moves forward with you
exposing
your life.
For a single second
they may be joined.
Now.
This is that moment,
the drop of an instant
that washes away the past.
It is the present.
It is in your hands.
Racing, slipping,
tumbling like a waterfall.
But it is yours.


–Pablo Neruda



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on being “old” in Bali






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It has been suggested that the linear theory of time is related to the experience of time in the Northern (and Southern) hemispheres, where it is marked by seasonal changes: life begins in the spring, matures in the summer, and dies in the fall, to begin a new cycle the following spring. Bali, however, lies in the region of tropical rain forests near the Equator where there are no reasons to synchronize the growth schedules of all livings things. Instead, the processes of growth and decay proceed at different rates all over the forest, all the time. A flower is on a short, rapid growth cycle; a tree, a much longer one; a rock, longer still. The cycles mesh in this world, the Middle World, to create life.

–J. Stephen Lansing


time crystals




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... Nobel prize-winning physicist Frank Wilczek proposes that just as there are naturally emerging crystal structures in the third dimension, this same effect could be happening within what he calls “Time Crystals”, extradimensional patterns that reside within a timeless whole.

—Alex Vikoulov
.




relation(ships




.


The classical idea that objects and processes exist “in” space and time is now dead ... space and time should instead be seen as phenomena that somehow “emerge” from relationships.

–Alexander Wendt
Quantum Mind and Social Science: Unifying Physical and Social Ontology


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Telescope





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This is the pipe that pierces the dam
that holds back the universe,

that takes off some of the pressure,
keeping the weight of the unknown

from breaking through
and washing us all down the valley.

Because of this small tube,
through which a cold light rushes

from the bottom of time,
the depth of the stars stays always constant

and we are able to sleep, at least for now,
beneath the straining wall of darkness.
—Ted Kooser

.




 

Saturday, March 24, 2018

all those things for which we have no words are lost. –Annie Dillard





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a glossary of chickens





 .


There should be a word for the way
they look with just one eye, neck bent,
for beetle or worm or strewn grain.
“Gleaning,” maybe, between “gizzard”
and “grit.” 

And for the way they run toward
someone they trust, their skirts
hiked, their plump bodies wobbling:
“bobbling,” let’s call it, inserted
after “blowout” and before “bloom.”

There should be terms, too, for things
they do not do—like urinate or chew—
but perhaps there already are.

I’d want a word for the way they drink,
head thrown back, throat wriggling,
like an old woman swallowing
a pill; a word beginning with “S,”
coming after “sex feather” and before “shank.”

And one for the sweetness of hens
but not roosters.

We think that by naming we can understand,
as if the tongue were more than muscle.


–Gary Whitehead



.

the law that marries all things





.


1.
The cloud is free only
to go with the wind.

The rain is free
only in falling.

The water is free only
in its gathering together,

in its downward courses,
in its rising into the air.

2.
In law is rest
if you love the law,
if you enter, singing, into it
as water in its descent.

3.
Or song is truest law,
and you must enter singing;
it has no other entrance.

It is the great chorus
of parts. The only outlawry
is in division.

4.
Whatever is singing
is found, awaiting the return
of whatever is lost.

5.
Meet us in the air
over the water,
sing the swallows.

Meet me, meet me,
the redbird sings,
here here here here.



—Wendell Berry



.
andy goldsworthy
.





all things flow and touch each other





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My brother used to ask the birds to forgive him; that sounds senseless but it is right; for all is like the ocean, all things flow and touch each other; a disturbance in one place is felt at the other end of the world.

—Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Brothers Karamazov

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Friday, March 23, 2018

what makes life worth living





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There is no gap between us and the process. –John Daido Loori





 .


We all behave like Maxwell’s demon. Organisms organize. In everyday experience lies the reason sober physicists across two centuries kept this cartoon fantasy alive. We sort the mail, build sand castles, solve jigsaw puzzles, separate wheat from chaff, rearrange chess pieces, collect stamps, alphabetize books, create symmetry, compose sonnets and sonatas, and put our rooms in order, and all this we do requires no great energy, as long as we can apply intelligence. We propagate structure (not just we humans but we who are alive). We disturb the tendency toward equilibrium. It would be absurd to attempt a thermodynamic accounting for such processes, but it is not absurd to say we are reducing entropy, piece by piece. Bit by bit. The original demon, discerning one molecule at a time, distinguishing fast from slow, and operating his little gateway, is sometimes described as “superintelligent,” but compared to a real organism it is an idiot savant. Not only do living things lessen the disorder in their environments; they are in themselves, their skeletons and their flesh, vesicles and membranes, shells and carapaces, leaves and blossoms, circulatory systems and metabolic pathways - miracles of pattern and structure. It sometimes seems as if curbing entropy is our quixotic purpose in the universe.

–James Gleick
The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood



.

when faces called flowers float out of the ground






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when faces called flowers float out of the ground

and breathing is wishing and wishing is having-

but keeping is downward and doubting and never

-it’s april(yes,april;my darling)it’s spring!

yes the pretty birds frolic as spry as can fly

yes the little fish gambol as glad as can be

(yes the mountains are dancing together)


when every leaf opens without any sound

and wishing is having and having is giving-

but keeping is doting and nothing and nonsense

-alive;we’re alive,dear:it’s(kiss me now)spring!

now the pretty birds hover so she and so he

now the little fish quiver so you and so i

(now the mountains are dancing, the mountains)


when more than was lost has been found has been found

and having is giving and giving is living-

but keeping is darkness and winter and cringing

-it’s spring(all our night becomes day)o,it’s spring!

all the pretty birds dive to the heart of the sky

all the little fish climb through the mind of the sea

(all the mountains are dancing;are dancing)


–E. E. Cummings


.
 




Thursday, March 22, 2018

707





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The Grace–Myself–might not obtain–

Confer upon My flower–

Refracted but a Countenance–

For I–inhabit Her–


–Emily Dickinson




.




grace(ful





.


The time of judging
Who is drunk or sober,
Who is right and who is wrong,
Who is closer to god, and who is farther away,
All that is over.

This caravan is led instead by a great delight,
The simple joy that sits with us now.

That is the grace.


–Hafiz

.




this




 .


Kiss the mouth 
which tells you, here, here is the world.

This mouth. This laughter. 
These temple bones.


–Galway Kinnell


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

this one is mine






.


I am a forest, and a night of dark trees: but he who is not afraid of my darkness, will find banks full of roses under my cypresses.


—Friedrich Nietzsche
Thus Spoke Zarathustra


.



Someone put
You on a slave block
And the unreal bought
You. Now I keep coming to your owner
Saying
"This one is mine."


You often overhear us talking
And this can make your heart leap
With excitement.

Don't worry,
I will not let sadness
Possess you.


I will gladly borrow all the gold
I need

To get you
Back.



Hafiz



.






dear one





.


put some honey and sea water by your bed.

acknowledge that your being needs sweetness and cleansing.

that it is sore.

that you are soft.


–Nayyirah Waheed


.





just one for day





.

For a day, just for one day,
Talk about that which disturbs no one
And bring some peace into your
Beautiful eyes.


—Hafiz

.





dear world






.


One regret, dear world
That I am determined not to have
When I am lying on my deathbed

Is that
I did not kiss you enough.


–Hafiz

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

needful things





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Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn,
a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter.

If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things,
this is the best season of your life.


—Wu Men
Stephen Mitchell translation.


.



small bird on fire





 .


It was passed from one bird to another,
the whole gift of the day.
The day went from flute to flute,
went dressed in vegetation,
in flights which opened a tunnel
through which the wind would pass
to where birds were breaking open
the dense blue air -
and there, night came in.
When I returned from so many journeys,
I stayed suspended and green
between sun and geography -
I saw how wings worked,
how perfumes are transmitted
by feathery telegraph,
and from above I saw the path,
the springs and the roof tiles,
the fishermen at their trades,
the trousers of the foam;
I saw it all from my green sky.
I had no more alphabet
than the swallows in their courses,
the tiny, shining water
of the small bird on fire
which dances out of the pollen.

Pablo Neruda

 
.




💗



.


Poor, dear, silly Spring,
preparing her annual surprise!

–Wallace Stevens


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Sunday, March 18, 2018

Interval


 



.



Instantaneous architectures
hanging over a pause,
apparitions neither named
nor thought, wind-forms,
insubstantial as time
and, like time, dissolved.

Made of time, they are not time;
they are the cleft, the interstice,
the brief vertigo of between
where the diaphanous flower opens:
high on its stalk of a reflection
it vanishes as it turns.

Never touched, the clarities
seen with the eyes closed:
transparent birth
and the crystalline fall
in the instant of this instant
that forever is still here.

Outside the window, the desolate
rooftops and the hurrying clouds.
The day goes out, the city
lights up, remote and near.
Weightless hour. I breathe
the moment, empty and eternal.



–Octavio Paz
Eliot Weinberger
translation



.





imagine






.


Imagine if all the tumult of the body were to quiet down,
along with our busy thoughts.
 
Imagine if all things that are perishable grew still.
 
And imagine if that moment were to go on and on,
leaving behind all other sights and sounds but this one vision which ravishes and absorbs and fixes the beholder
in joy,
 
so that the rest of eternal life were like that moment of
illumination, which leaves us
breathless.


–Saint Augustine


.




spirit(uality




  

.



There is some kiss we want with our whole lives,
the touch of spirit on the body.

Ocean water begs the pearl to break its shell.
And the lily, how passionately it needs some wild darling!
At night, I open the window and ask the moon to come
and press its face against mine,

Breathe into me,
Close the language-door and open the love-window.

The moon won't use the door, only the window.


–Rumi


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Saturday, March 17, 2018

all my relations






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Consciousness is reflected in a word as a sun in a drop of water. A word relates to consciousness as a living cell relates to a whole organism, as an atom relates to the universe. A word is a microcosm of human consciousness.

Lev Vygotsky
Thought and Language, 2012, p.271


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a winter night





.


The storm puts its lips to the house
and blows to make a sound.
I sleep restlessly, turn over, with closed
eyes read the book of the storm.

But the child's eyes grow huge in the dark
and the storm whimpers for the child.
Both love to see the swinging lamp.
Both are halfway toward speech.

Storms have childlike hands and wings.
The caravan bolts off toward Lapland
and the house senses the constellation of nails
holding its wall together.

The night is quiet above our floor
(where all the died-away footsteps
are lying like sunken leaves in a pond)
but outside the night is wild!

A more serious storm is moving over us all.
It puts its lips to our soul
and blows to make a sound. We're afraid
the storm will blow everything inside us away.



–Tomas Tranströmer
Robert Bly translation


.





foraging for food on the mountain





.


The wild up here is not creatures, wooded,
tangled wild. It is absence wild.
Barren, empty, stone wild. Worn-away wild.
Only the smell of weeds and hot air.
But a place where differences are clear.
Between the mind’s severity and its harshness.
Between honesty and the failure of belief.
A man said no person is educated who knows
only one language, for he cannot distinguish
between his thought and the English version.
Up here he is translated to a place where it is
possible to discriminate between age and sorrow.



–Jack Gilbert


.




tree(speak




.


In the years following his stroke, Whitman ventured frequently into the woods — “the best places for composition.” One late-summer day in 1876, he finds himself before one of his favorite arboreal wonders — “a fine yellow poplar,” rising ninety feet into the sky. Standing at its mighty four-foot trunk, he contemplates the unassailable authenticity of trees as a counterpoint to what Hannah Arendt would lament a century later as the human propensity for appearing rather than being. In a meditation from the late summer of 1876, Whitman writes:


How strong, vital, enduring! how dumbly eloquent! What suggestions of imperturbability and being, as against the human trait of mere seeming. Then the qualities, almost emotional, palpably artistic, heroic, of a tree; so innocent and harmless, yet so savage. It is, yet says nothing.


Nearly a century and a half before researchers uncovered the astonishing science of what trees feel and how they communicate, Whitman adds:


Science (or rather half-way science) scoffs at reminiscence of dryad and hamadryad, and of trees speaking. But, if they don’t, they do as well as most speaking, writing, poetry, sermons — or rather they do a great deal better. I should say indeed that those old dryad-reminiscences are quite as true as any, and profounder than most reminiscences we get.

...


Go and sit in a grove or woods, with one or more of those voiceless companions, and read the foregoing, and think.

One lesson from affiliating a tree — perhaps the greatest moral lesson anyhow from earth, rocks, animals, is that same lesson of inherency, of what is, without the least regard to what the looker on (the critic) supposes or says, or whether he likes or dislikes. What worse — what more general malady pervades each and all of us, our literature, education, attitude toward each other, (even toward ourselves,) than a morbid trouble about seems, (generally temporarily seems too,) and no trouble at all, or hardly any, about the sane, slow-growing, perennial, real parts of character, books, friendship, marriage — humanity’s invisible foundations and hold-together? (As the all-basis, the nerve, the great-sympathetic, the plenum within humanity, giving stamp to everything, is necessarily invisible.)'

–Walt Whitman
–Maria Popova


.
Arthur Rackham illustration for a rare 1917 edition
of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales.
more here

.







Out of the quarrel with others we make rhetoric; out of the quarrel with ourselves we make poetry. —W.B. Yeats





.


Make a place to sit down.
Sit down. Be quiet.
You must depend upon
affection, reading, knowledge,
skill — more of each
than you have — inspiration,
work, growing older, patience,
for patience joins time
to eternity. Any readers
who like your poems,
doubt their judgment.

Breathe with unconditional breath
the unconditioned air.
Shun electric wire.
Communicate slowly. Live
a three-dimensioned life;
stay away from screens.
Stay away from anything
that obscures the place it is in.
There are no unsacred places;
there are only sacred places
and desecrated places.

Accept what comes from silence.
Make the best you can of it.
Of the little words that come
out of the silence, like prayers
prayed back to the one who prays,
make a poem that does not disturb
the silence from which it came.


–Wendell Berry
how to be a poet (to remind myself)