Sunday, April 23, 2006

(on a journey for a few weeks.. take kare, and thanks for reading)

Friday, April 21, 2006


Everything needs it: bone, muscles, and even,
while it calls the earth its home, the soul.
So the merciful, noisy machine

stands in our house working away in its
lung-like voice. I hear it as I kneel
before the fire, stirring with a

stick of iron, letting the logs
lie more loosely. You, in the upstairs room,
are in your usual position, leaning on your

right shoulder which aches
all day. You are breathing
patiently; it is a

beautiful sound. It is
your life, which is so close
to my own that I would not know

where to drop the knife of
separation. And what does this have to do
with love, except

everything? Now the fire rises
and offers a dozen, singing, deep-red
roses of flame. Then it settles

to quietude, or maybe gratitude, as it feeds
as we all do, as we must, upon the invisible gift:
our purest, sweet necessity: the air.

~Mary Oliver

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

(Solar Eclipse 'Diamond Ring' March 29, 2006)

"She and He."

"She is dead!" they said to him; "come away;
Kiss her and leave her, -- thy love is clay!"

They smoothed her tresses of dark brown hair;
On her forehead of stone they laid it fair;

Over her eyes that gazed too much
They drew the lids with a gentle touch;

With a tender touch they closed up well
The sweet thin lips that had secrets to tell;

About her brows and beautiful face
They tied her veil and her marriage lace,

And drew on her white feet her white silk shoes --
Which were the whitest no eye could choose --

And over her bosom they crossed her hands.
"Come away!" they said; "God understands."

And there was silence, and nothing there
But silence, and scents of eglantere,

And jasmine, and roses, and rosemary;
And they said, "As a lady should lie, lies she."

And they held their breath till they left the room,
With a shudder, to glance at its stillness and gloom.

But he who loved her too well to dread
The sweet, the stately, the beautiful dead,

He lit his lamp and took the key
And turned it -- alone again -- he and she.

He and she; but she would not speak,
Though he kissed, in the old place, the quiet cheek.

He and she; yet she would not smile,
Though he called her the name she loved erewhile.

He and she; still she did not move
To any one passionate whisper of love.

Then he said: "Cold lips and breasts without breath,
Is there no voice, no language of death?

"Dumb to the ear and still to the sense,
But to heart and to soul distinct, intense?

"See now; I will listen with soul, not ear;
What was the secret of dying, dear?

"Was it the infinite wonder of all
That you ever could let life's flower fall?

"Or was it a greater marvel to feel
The perfect calm o'er the agony steal?

"Was the miracle greater to find how deep
Beyond all dreams sank downward that sleep?

"Did life roll back its records dear,
And show, as they say it does, past things clear?

"And was it the innermost heart of the bliss
To find out so, what a wisdom love is?

"O perfect dead! O dead most dear
I hold the breath of my soul to hear!

"I listen as deep as to horrible hell,
As high as to heaven, and you do not tell.

"There must be pleasure in dying, sweet,
To make you so placid from head to feet!

"I would tell you, darling, if I were dead,
And 'twere your hot tears upon my brow shed, --

"I would say, though the Angel of Death had laid
His sword on my lips to keep it unsaid.

"You should not ask vainly, with streaming eyes,
Which of all deaths was the chiefest surprise,

"The very strangest and suddenest thing
Of all the surprises that dying must bring."

Ah, foolish world; O most kind dead!
Though he told me, who will believe it was said?

Who will believe that he heard her say,
With the sweet, soft voice, in the dear old way:

"The utmost wonder is this, -- I hear
And see you, and love you, and kiss you, dear;

"And am your angel, who was your bride,
And know that, though dead, I have never died."

by Edwin Arnold

(image captured by Kyle Carmona near Jalu, Libya)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

To contemplate impermanence on its own is not enough: You have to work with it in your life. Let's try an experiment. Pick up a coin. Imagine that it represents the object at which you are grasping. Hold it tightly clutched in your fist and extend your arm, with the palm of your hand facing the ground. Now if you let go or relax your grip, you will lose what you are clinging to. That's why you hold on.

But there's another possibility: You can let go and yet keep hold of it. With your arm still outstretched, turn your hand over so that it faces the sky. Release your hand and the coin still rests on your open palm. You let go. And the coin is still yours, even with all this space around it.

So there is a way in which we can accept impermanence and still relish life, at one and the same time, without grasping.

~Sogyal Rinpoche

Monday, April 17, 2006

Love means to learn to look at yourself

The way one looks at distant things

For you are only one thing among many.

And whoever sees that way heals his heart,

Without knowing it, from various ills.

A bird and a tree say to him: Friend.

Then he wants to use himself and things

So that they stand in the glow of ripeness.

It doesn't matter whether he knows what he serves:

Who serves best doesn't always understand.

~ Czeslaw Milosz

Thursday, April 13, 2006

(Marc Chagall, Bride with a Fan)
Dissolver of sugar, dissolve me, if this is the time.
Do it gently with a touch of a hand, or a look.
Every morning I wait at dawn.
That's when it's happened before.
Or do it suddenly like an execution.
How else can I get ready for death?
You breathe without a body like a spark.
You grieve, and I begin to feel lighter.
You keep me away with your arm,
but the keeping away is pulling me in.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Let the fire of my body
propel and warm me
and let each darkness
reveal its plenitude.

Let the hills
flatten under my wheels
and let the eloquent curves
yield up their good surprise.

Let my heart be obstinate
when I need to climb
and let my lowliest gears
restrain my spinning down.

Let there be flat land, too,
and into that glittering place
let me stretch with the heart of a lover,
at full speed, blind and intent.

~ Barbara Hendryson

Monday, April 10, 2006


a black bear
has just risen from sleep
and is staring

down the mountain.
All night
in the brisk and shallow restlessness
of early spring

I think of her,
her four black fists
flicking the gravel,
her tongue

like a red fire
touching the grass,
the cold water.
There is only one question:

how to love this world.
I think of her
like a black and leafy ledge

to sharpen her claws against
the silence
of the trees.
Whatever else

my life is
with its poems
and its music
and its cities,

it is also this dazzling darkness
down the mountain,
breathing and tasting;

all day I think of her -–
her white teeth,
her wordlessness,
her perfect love.

~Mary Oliver

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Lords, inspiration of sacrifice!
May our ears hear the good. May our eyes see the good. May we serve Him with the whole strength of our body. May we, all our life, carry out His will.
May peace and peace and peace be everywhere.

Invocation to the Mundaka Upanishad

In the stillness of your presence, you can feel your own formless and timeless reality as the unmanifested life that animates your physical form. You can then feel the same life deep within every other human and every other creature. You look beyond the veil of form and separation. This is the realization of oneness. This is love.

Friday, April 07, 2006

"I looked, as it were, over the world, asking: 'What is there of interest here? What is there worth doing?' I found but one interest: the desire that other souls should also realize this that I had realized, for in it lay the one effective key for the solving of their problems. The little tragedies of men left me indifferent. I saw one great Tragedy,the cause of all the rest, the failure of man to realize his own Divinity. I saw but one solution, the Realization of that Divinity."

~Franklin Merrell-Wolff

May all beings realize their Divine self!
May all beings know they can ask for help!
May all beings be free!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

"Introspection teaches us to respect the sacred cycle that continually nourishes the universe: birth, life, death, and rebirth. Can we see our genuine place in the cosmos, a cosmos so inextricably linked to everything but not elevated beyond anything else? Within the context of the universe, a human dying of cancer is no more dramatic than the death of a gazelle brought down by a lion or the slow death of an aspen leaf in autumn. As we learn to remember our true place in the cosmos, we become nourished by an elevated sense of gratitude for being alive right now."

~the author, Steve Ilg

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Ode to Clothing

All my inhibition left me in a flash,
When he robbed me of my clothes,
But his body became my new dress.
Like a bee hovering on a lotus leaf
He was there in my night, on me!

True, the god of love never hesitates!
He is free and determined like a bird
Winging toward the clouds it loves.
Yet I remember the mad tricks he played,
My heart restlessly burning with desire
Was yet filled with fear!


Each morning you’re waiting
My clothing, on a chair
For me to fill you
With my vanity, my love
My hope, my body
I hardly
Have gotten out of sleep
I say goodbye to the water
I enter into your sleeves
My legs look for
The hollowness of your legs
And so embraced
By your tireless faithfulness
I go out to walk in the grass
I enter into poetry
I look through windows
At things
Men, women,
Deeds and struggles
Keep forming me
Keep coming against me
Laboring with my hands
Opening my eyes
Using up my mouth
And so,
I also keep forming you
Poking out your elbows
Snapping your threads
And so your life grows
Into the image of my live.
In the wind
You ripple and rustle
As if you were my soul.
In bad minutes
You stick
To my bones
Empty, through the night
Darkness, sleep
Populate with their fantasies
Your wings and mine.
I ask
If one day
A bullet
From the enemy
Might leave a spot of my blood on you
And then
You would die with me
Or maybe
It won’t all be
So dramatic
But simple
And you’ll just get feeble,
Growing old
With me, with my body
And together
We will enter
The earth.
That’s why
Every day
I greet you
With reverence and then
You embrace me and I forget you
Because we are just one
And we’ll keep going on together
Against the wind, in the night
The streets, or the struggle
One single body
May be, may be, some time will be immobile.

~Octavio Paz

Monday, April 03, 2006

Mukti or Liberation IS Our Nature

Mukti or liberation is our nature.
It is another name for us. Our wanting mukti is a very funny thing. It is like a man who is in the shade, voluntarily leaving the shade, going into the sun, feeling the severity of the heat there, making great efforts to get back to the shade and then rejoicing,
"How sweet is the shade! I have reached the shade at last!"
We are all doing exactly the same. We are not different from the reality. We imagine we are different, that is we create the bheda bhava [the feeling of difference] and then undergo great sadhana [spiritual practices] to get rid of the bheda bhava and realize the oneness. Why imagine or create bheda bhava and then destroy it?
- Sri Ramana Maharshi