Sunday, August 17, 2014

expedient freedom


The koan of ‘expediency’ sat at table during Sunday Evening Practice. Jory said, ‘Acting within the constraints of the situation.’

Perhaps freedom is the recognition of necessity.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

ad majorem Dei gloriam


I let down green shade behind blue chair. Grey-brown cat stirs looking out window, steps through purple tent near white canvas bag under iron-legged table.

This is life on thursday morning.

White dog and brown dog in dooryard.

Egg and toast remains drift on plates in metal basin sink.

I read obituaries the ages of whom are my age or younger.

Every ailment is deadly.

On walk this morning at Still,Marbles we do our periodic enthuse about it being a final stay place for the dying, an interim practice place for the meditative, a beginning consciousness place for the contemplative.

As much of the world sniggers with political deviousness or inflamatory aggression -- we prefer to encircle a moribund property with imaginative thought.

Two cats on blue futon close eyes and take their rest. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

quies, presque silencio


Illness defines nothing. I suspect illness undefines. Falls everything apart.

The curious sensation of reading obituaries -- there I go, there I go!

What do we want from one another?

Enter quietly; visit briefly; leave with ease of back door closing quietly.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

See through?


Illness is temporary. It must be seen through.

Illusion is transitory. It must be seen through.

Illumination is terrific. We are frightened by it. And yet, without it not one thing is seen that must be seen through.

Still -- we are seeing through what is to be seen through. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

46 years after 1968

Drop, drop in our sleep, upon the heart sorrow falls, memory’s pain, and to us, though against our very will, even in our own despite, comes wisdom, by the awful grace of God.[3] 
(--in Edith Hamilton’s 1937 AESCHYLUS, Agamemnon 179-183)

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day 2014


War is a way of declaring the absence of insight.

It is despair writ large. War is each murder and each greed lust ambition power taken to full height. It is deception and deviation as twin celebrities posing full face photos for mass consumption. Artifice as ascriptive achievement.

War is the failure of imagination to see the true relationship of me to myself, you to yourself, earth to ever-present-originator.
The God
Is near, and hard
to grasp.  
But where there is
danger,  
A rescuing
element grows
as well  
— FRIEDRICH HÖLDERLEIN  (-- Epigraph, in Tomas Halik’s Night of the Confessor: Christian Faith in an Age of Uncertainty) 

In the face of such massive and irrefutable ignorance all we humans can do is cry and declare with pathetic prayer: jamais plus la guerre, jamais plus la guerre! 

It is memorial day in this morally ravaged country. The dead lay silent in their ground. On town streets bands and cars and marching children put a face on helpless celebration of sorrow for the things done, lives lost, souls and psyches stunned and devastated.
People sometimes come to a confessor, at least to the confessor whose confession this book is, in situations in which their entire “religious system”— their thinking, their experience , and their behavior— is in a greater or lesser state of crisis. They feel themselves to be in a “blind alley” and are often unaware whether it happened as the result of some more or less conscious or self-confessed moral failing or “sin,” or whether it is to do with some other changes in their personal life and relationships , or whether they have only now realized the outcome of some long and unperceived process during which their faith dwindled and guttered out. Sometimes they feel a void, because in spite of their sincere endeavors and often long years of spiritual search they have not found a sufficiently convincing answer in the places they have looked so far, or what had so far been their spiritual home has started to seem constricted or spurious. Despite the uniqueness of individual human stories, after years of practice as a confessor one discovers certain recurrent themes. And that is the second aspect of the confessor’s experience to which this book seeks to provide a testimony. Through the multitude of individual confessions, which are protected, as has been said, by the seal of absolute discretion, the confessor comes into contact with something that is more general and common to all, something that lies beneath the surface of individual lives and belongs to a kind of “hidden face of the times,” to their “inner turning.” 
(--Halik, Tomas (2012-01-10). Night of the Confessor: Christian Faith in an Age of Uncertainty, Kindle Locations 125-135). 
Will we relent? Change our mind? Come to senses? See what is real and true?

One can hope.

Without optimism.

Hope.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Remove the sandals from your feet


There's a resistance to opening oneself to an alternative reality. So says Avivah Zornberg — The Transformation of Pharaoh, Moses, and God,  On Being. Radio interview with Krista Tippett (originally, from 2005).

Obdurate and closed to appeals from the outside world. A hardened heart; Pharaoh. A slow and heavy mouth; Moses. A dull and uncomprehending mind; us.

This story, as with all stories, is ours. Right here and right now, ours.
"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all. From now on you'll be travelling the road between who you think you are and who you can be. The key is to allow yourself to make the journey." 
(~~father writing to his daughter, Amelia, in the movie, "The Princess Diaries," script by Gina Wendkos, from the novel by Meg Cabot)
Adam and Eve are expelled. Moses and Aaron are expelled. You and I are expelled.

Into the unknown.

Our true home.

Prospective Immigrants Please Note                   
                        by Adrienne Rich 
Either you will 
go through this door 
or you will not go through. 

If you go through 
there is always the risk 
of remembering your name. 

Things look at you doubly 
and you must look back 
and let them happen. 

If you do not go through 
it is possible 
to live worthily 

to maintain your attitudes 
to hold your position 
to die bravely 

but much will blind you, 
much will evade you, 
at what cost who knows? 

The door itself makes no promises. 
It is only a door.
                               (Poem by Adrienne Rich) 
The possibilities of story, the endlessly open possibilities of our leaving, our exodus from the known toward the infinite and curious unveiling of what-is unfolding from the nothing we know into the nothing we don't know which sets in motion the nothing we are.

Here.

God-with-us.