Friday, December 28, 2018

questions





.


It belches out breath and its name is wind. So long as it doesn't come forth, nothing happens. But when it does, then ten thousand hollows begin crying wildly. Can't you hear them, long and drawn out?

In the mountain forests that lash and sway, there are huge trees a hundred spans around with hollows and openings like noses, like mouths, like ears, like jugs, like cups, like mortars, like rifts, like ruts. They roar like waves, whistle like arrows, screech, gasp, cry, wail, moan, and howl, those in the lead calling out yeee!, those behind calling out yuuu! In a gentle breeze they answer faintly, but in a full gale the chorus is gigantic. And when the fierce wind has passed on, then all the hollows are empty again. 

Have you never seen the tossing and trembling that goes on?


–Chuang Tzu



Suppose I try saying something. What way do I have of knowing that if I say I know something I don't really know it? Or what way do I have of knowing that if I say I don't know something I don't really in fact know it?

I am going to try speaking some reckless words, and I want you to listen to them recklessly. How will that be?

–Chuang Tzu

.




Hear the Wind Sing, excerpt






.


... the wind has its reasons. We just don't notice as we go about our  lives. But then, at some point, we are made to notice. The wind envelops you with a certain purpose in mind, and it rocks you. The wind knows everything that's inside you. And not just the wind. Everything, including a stone. They all know us very well. From top to bottom. It only occurs to us at certain times. And all we can do is go with those things. As we take them in, we survive, and deepen.

–Haruki Murakami


.
Lotta at Hof Butenland Farm Sanctuary
.





now it is clear





.



Now it is clear to me that no leaves are mine
no roots are mine
that wherever I go I will be a spine of smoke in the forest
and the forest will know it
we will both know it

and that birds vanish because of something
that I remember
flying through me as though I were a great wind
as the stones settle into the ground
the trees into themselves
staring as though I were a great wind
which is what I pray for


it is clear to me that I cannot return
but that some of us will meet once more
even here
like our own statues
and some of us still later without names
and some of us will burn with the speed
of endless departures


and be found and lost no more



—W.S. Merwin
The Carrier of Ladders


.





Thursday, December 27, 2018

what speaks in the blood






.


Walking, I can almost hear the redwoods beating. And the oceans are above me here, rolling clouds, heavy and dark. It is winter and there is smoke from the fires. 
It is a world of elemental attention, of all things working together, listening to what speaks in the blood. Whichever road I follow, I walk in the land of many gods, and they love and eat one another. 
Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.


–Linda Hogan

.






a contemporary

 




.



What if I came down now out of these

solid dark clouds that build up against the mountain

day after day with no rain in them

and lived as one blade of grass

in a garden in the south when the clouds part in winter

from the beginning I would be older than all the animals

and to the last I would be simpler

frost would design me and dew would disappear on me

sun would shine through me

I would be green with white roots

feel worms touch my feet as a bounty

have no name and no fear

turn naturally to the light

know how to spend the day and night

climbing out of myself

all my life

 

—W. S. Merwin












all beings are words





.



All beings
are words of God,
His music, His
art.

Sacred books we are, for the infinite camps
in our
souls.

Every act reveals God and expands His Being.
I know that may be hard
to comprehend.

All creatures are doing their best
to help God in His birth
of Himself.

Enough talk for the night
He is laboring in me;

I need to be silent
for a while,

worlds are forming
in my
heart.



–Meister Eckhart



.







Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Silence will carry your voice like the nest that holds the sleeping birds. –Rabindranath Tagore





.
 


All that matters is to be at one with the living God,
to be a creature in the house of the God of Life.
Like a cat asleep on a chair
at peace, in peace
and at one with the master of the house, with the mistress,
at home, at home in the house of the living,
sleeping on the hearth, and yawning before the fire.


Sleeping on the hearth of the living world
yawning at home before the fire of life
feeling the presence of the living God
like a great reassurance
a deep calm in the heart
a presence
as of the master sitting at the board
in his own and greater being,
in the house of life.



–D. H. Lawrence
pax


.




kindred




.


Sometimes a mortal feels in himself Nature–not his Father but his Mother stirs within him, and he becomes immortal with her immortality. From time to time she claims kinship with us, and some globule from her veins steals up into our own.

–Henry David Thoreau

.





the Great Mother






.

 
The Tao is called the Great Mother: empty yet inexhaustible, it gives birth to infinite worlds. It is always present within you. You can use it any way you want.

–Lao Tzu

.





Monday, December 24, 2018

friend




 
.



Written on Christmas Eve, 1513


I salute you. I am your friend, and my love for you goes deep. There is nothing I can give you which you have not. But there is much, very much, that, while I cannot give it, you can take.


No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today. Take heaven! No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant. Take peace! 

The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. There is radiance and glory in darkness, could we but see. And to see, we have only to look. I beseech you to look!

Life is so generous a giver. But we, judging its gifts by their covering, cast them away as ugly or heavy or hard. Remove the covering, and you will find beneath it a living splendor, woven of love by wisdom, with power.

Welcome it, grasp it, and you touch the angel's hand that brings it to you. Everything we call a trial, a sorrow or a duty, believe me, that angel's hand is there. The gift is there and the wonder of an overshadowing presence. Your joys, too, be not content with them as joys. They, too, conceal diviner gifts.

Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty beneath its covering, that you will find earth but cloaks your heaven. Courage then to claim it; that is all! But courage you have, and the knowledge that we are pilgrims together, wending through unknown country home.

And so, at this time, I greet you, not quite as the world sends greetings, but with profound esteem and with the prayer that for you, now and forever, the day breaks and shadows flee away.



–Fra Giovanni



.






bless




.
(Piero, please be mine)
.





shanti, shanti, shanti





.


That is perfect. This is perfect.

Perfect comes from perfect.

Take perfect from perfect, the remainder is perfect.


May peace and peace and peace be everywhere.


–The Isha Upanishad


💗







Sunday, December 23, 2018

A Poem for Giambattista Vico, excerpt





.



The wind blows where it likes: that is what
Everyone is like who is born from the wind.
Oh now it's getting serious. We want to be those
Born from the wind that blows along the plains
And over the sea where no one has a home.
And that Upsetting Rabbi, didn't he say:
"Take nothing with you, no blanket, no bread.
When evening comes, sleep wherever you are.
And if the owners say no, shake out the dust
From your sandals; leave the dust on their doorstep."
Don't hope for what will never come. Give up hope,
Dear friends, the joists of life are laid on the winds.



–Robert Bly



.






would the heart





.


Ah! would the heart but be a manger for the birth,
God would become once more a little child of earth.

Immeasurable is the Highest! Who but knows it?

And yet a human heart can perfectly enclose it.


–Angelus Silesius


 





if you want

 




.


If
you want
the Virgin will come walking down the road
pregnant with the holy
and say
“I need shelter for the night, please take me inside your heart,
my time is so close.”

Then, under the roof of your soul, you will witness the sublime
intimacy, the divine, the Christ
taking birth
forever,
as she grasps your hand for help, for each of us
is the midwife of God, each of us.

Yes there, under the dome of your being does creation
come into existence externally, through your womb, dear pilgrim—
the sacred womb of your soul,
as God grasps our arms for help; for each of us is
His beloved servant
never
far.

If you want, the Virgin will come walking
down the street pregnant
with Light and
sing . . .



–St. John of the Cross

Daniel Ladinsky translation,
Love Poems from God



.






Saturday, December 22, 2018

nothing's a gift





.



Nothing's a gift, it's all on loan.
I'm drowning in debts up to my ears.
I'll have to pay for myself
with my self,
give up my life for my life.

Here's how it's arranged:
The heart can be repossessed,
the liver, too,
and each single finger and toe.

Too late to tear up the terms,
my debts will be repaid,
and I'll be fleeced,
or, more precisely, flayed.

I move about the planet
in a crush of other debtors.
some are saddled with the burden
of paying off their wings.
Others must, willy-nilly,
account for every leaf.

Every tissue in us lies
on the debit side.
Not a tenacle or tendril
is for keeps.

The inventory, infinitely detailed,
implies we'll be left
not just empty-handed
but handless too.

I can't remember
where, when, and why
I let someone open
this account in my name.

We call the protest against this
the soul.
And it's the only item
not included on the list.


–Wislawa Szymborska



.





to be true





.


The gift, to be true, must be the flowing of the giver unto me, correspondant to my flowing unto him.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson


.




for you





.


You have no idea how hard I've looked
for a gift to bring You.
Nothing seemed right.
 

What's the point of bringing gold
to the gold mine, or water to the ocean.
Everything I came up with was like
taking spices to the Orient.
 

It's no good giving my heart and my soul
because you already have these.
 

So I've brought you a mirror.
Look at yourself and remember me.



–Jalal al-Din Rumi


 .




Friday, December 21, 2018

at the still point






.


At the still point of the turning world.
Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards;
At the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement.

And do not call it fixity.

Where past and future are gathered.
Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline.

Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance,
And there is only the dance.


–T. S. Eliot


.




so much love





.



The earth turned to bring us closer,
it spun on itself and within us,
and finally joined us together in this dream
as written in the Symposium.
Nights passed by, snowfalls and solstices;
time passed in minutes and millennia.
An ox cart that was on its way to Nineveh
arrived in Nebraska.

A rooster was singing some distance from the world,
in one of the thousand pre-lives of our fathers.
The earth was spinning with its music
carrying us on board;

it didn't stop turning a single moment
as if so much love, so much that's miraculous
was only an adagio written long ago
in the Symposium's score.

–Eugenio Montejo
Peter Boyle translation



.





Shapechangers in Winter





.


This is the Solstice, the still point
of the sun, its cusp and midnight,
the year’s threshold
and unlocking, where the past
lets go of and becomes the future,
the place of caught breath

–Margaret Atwood 

Eating Fire


.





Thursday, December 20, 2018

winter trees






.


All the complicated details

of the attiring and

the disattiring are completed!

A liquid moon

moves gently among

the long branches.

Thus having prepared their buds

against a sure winter

the wise trees

stand sleeping in the cold.


–William Carlos Williams


.





beautiful icelandic words



 

.



afdrif, the fate of somebody
afturganga, a ghost, “one who walks again”
álfadans, dance of the elves
átt, the direction of the wind
augabragð, the twinkling of an eye
álfatrú, belief in fairies
bíldóttur, having black spots around the eyes of animals
blámóða, blue mist
blika, a cover of clouds, often foreboding storm or rain
blær, soft, calm wind
draugagangur, the walking of ghosts, a haunting
draumaland, land of dreams
dúnalogn, calm as death
dýjamosi, bright green moss growing in quagmires
fenna, to fill with snow
fjallavættur, a mountain spirit
fjúka, carried away by the wind
flygja, a ghost who accompanies a certain person
föl, a thick film of snow covering the ground
galdraöld, the age of magic
grængolandi, deep and dark green
gullbúinn, adorned with gold
hlakka, the cry of a bird of prey
hrafnagervi, the outward form of ravens
huldurdalur, hidden valley
kaf, to plunge into deep water
kollgáta, the true answer to the riddle
kossleit, looking for kisses
leirskáld, a bad poet
lumma, a pancake, or, the palm of a small hand
mói, ground covered with heather
morgungyðja, the goddess of the morning
mosavaxinn, overgrown with moss
náttúrufegurð, the beauty of nature
norðankaldi, a light breeze from the north
rammgöldróttur, full of witchcraft and wizardry 
rósóttur, with a design of roses
selslíki, the shape of a seal
sjódraugur, the ghost of a drowned man
smáminnka, getting smaller and smaller
sólskin, sunshine
stirndur, set full of stars
sumarsól, the sun in the summer
sæbrattur, rising steeply out of the sea
sælurdalur, the valley of bliss
undirsæng, a soft feather mattress
veturnætur, a few days before the first day of winter



.






the snow man





.



One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;
And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.



–Wallace Stevens



.