October 5, 2015 § 20 Comments
Perhaps it was the busy, busy schedule of tasks, spooling off into infinity.
But no, that wasn’t it.
Perhaps it was the way that the turbulence of my mind kept spinning yarns of my own unworthiness.
No, not the problem. Not really.
Maybe it wasn’t me at all. It was all the others, the ones who let me down, who failed to give me what I deserved and desired. Their fault.
Seriously? That decrepit excuse again.
So what happened to me? Where did I go?
Not me, not them, not it.
The problem all along is the very idea of “problem.”
Here or there. Strong or weak. Loved or unloved.
What is the problem?
Resistance and struggle. The hopeless desire to somehow be- or to have been- something else, somewhere else, someone else.
Release yourself from the struggle.
And when you can’t, let that go too.
I am here, now. That’s all.
December 3, 2014 § 3 Comments
Precision, the right way.
A slip and it’s ruined.
Why can’t they see?
Whistling water, only for the warming, never for the steeping.
Line them up. Kettle, pot, cup.
Each thing to its function born.
An ordered life.
In equilibrial ruin.
November 1, 2014 § 3 Comments
Like clattering little children,
Seeking my attention.
Grab and take.
My so-called enemies.
Whining hovering bugs,
Endlessly tagging along.
Remember- don’t care what they think,
Else they’ll have you by the balls.
Handy mantra, don’t you think?
Like the elephant swatting away the fly.
Who’s the big shot in that parable?
Then I see Him.
Scattering the noisy ones.
They carry torches and pitchforks,
He’s got the blade.
Edged beyond sharp.
Not coming to seize what’s mine.
Or to heap me over with foul insult.
He’ll leave that to the suckerfish.
Slick words fall away.
Resolve all shadow and mist.
Cutting me just enough for the others to feed.
Taking his host just to the edge, never quite over.
Isn’t that the way?
My well spent youth in front of that magic box.
Hour upon hour of shuffling mummies, modeling my way.
So demons never show themselves in the mirror, I know.
But why is He there?
The virus beyond the scientist’s ken,
The monster always under the bed,
The beast that will stop swimming only at time’s end.
The enemy I could not hold any closer.
October 31, 2014 § 4 Comments
Sipping tea at the table,
Safe here, warm too.
Stormy damp out there,
Something in those black shadows.
My homeful existence.
God is great, good too.
Take a peek, he says,
Gulp the tea, slide the door.
Feel the fertile maelstrom,
Wind and wet leaves.
Looking back into the hollow lit up box,
Table, mug, silence, light.
Always walled in, or walled out.
If I am here,
He is there.
Slide the door,
Safe from sound.
Have some tea, he says.
It’s merely ruined,
February 2, 2014 § 29 Comments
Ever tried. Ever failed.
Try Again. Fail again.
Some writing comes easy, especially the exposition of the critical- the writing that comes from the head. But what is the worth?
Most writing now painful and difficult. Hours spent at the computer staring at the screen without a single keystroke. And so many passages, fragile and aborning, killed off with a slashing delete.
You seek to capture a feeling or a thought that it true and important, or you inhabit a world of your imagination, and then you take that precious and evanescent wisp and try to reify it in the form of words.
But it all falls apart like a clump of moist sand coming undone in your hands. You reach down and try to gather the sand but it’s now scattered across an endless beach. And so you go back, seeking again that place where the feeling lived but you stagger through a maze of spaces, lost.
And so you begin again.
The exquisitely painful work beckons, as irresistible as it is impossible.
Words piled on words. A lifetime of writing.
Yearning only to fail better.
July 19, 2013 § 14 Comments
As I recall and ponder the dark moments in my life, I can see that although each one was uniquely poisonous, one thing ran through them, one constant tying them all together. In each such moment, whatever the particular form of my darkness, I was always either looking backward or forward in time.
In those dark moments of self-loathing, I needed to look backward, seeing in the wake of my life the countless failures and missed opportunities. Similarly, to feel real anxiety or deep fear, I had to conjure what was ahead and imagine just how unprepared and unworthy I would be.
The appraising gaze back and forth along time’s arrow. The posture of pain.
And so I understand. Stay here, right here, in this present moment.
So simple, and yet such a struggle.
July 17, 2013 § 25 Comments
The Master sees things as they are,
without trying to control them.
She lets them go their own way,
and resides at the center of the circle.
Tao te Ching
I spent much of my life in rage at the unredeemed world. And I tried in countless ways to control those around me, to shape their lives and choices. I could not simply accept things as they were. I could not accept that others needed to choose for themselves.
But the world spun on. And those I cared about made choices that sometimes came crashing in on them. I failed, I thought. Failed to bring forth meaningful change. Failed to protect my family and those I loved.
To accept things as they are sounds weak and passive. Giving up without a fight.
But acceptance is the simple recognition that you cannot control others and you cannot control what will come. This recognition frees us to focus all our will and all our energy, all of our being, on the one thing that truly belongs to us. Ourselves.
And with that focus you become strength embodied. You exist and move through the world with the boundless power of presence. You reside at the center of the circle.
Acceptance is the first stone on our path.