29 Nov 2005

If ye keep watch over your hearts, and listen for the Voice of God and learn of Him, in one short hour ye can learn more from Him than ye could learn from Man in a thousand years.

– Johannes Tauler

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

There is such endless fascination with knowing. We cannot be content without knowing what is happening elsewhere, about business that is transpiring, about lives in transition, about crime, about joys, about beginnings and ends. When Socrates said that the only thing he knew was that he knew nothing, though, what he was really saying was that those who held him captive knew less than that. And perhaps it is so, that the more we fill our heads with trivial details, the less we really know about what we really should know. For it was not that Socrates did not know his name, or where he lived, or that he loved his wife: what he realized is that all the truly important questions could never be answered. I can ask, “What is love?” and write a thousand poems that all answer truthfully about it, yet I will not have even scratched the surface. Thus, the wise man concedes to the mysterious.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

28 Nov 2005

I wonder at the things that never happened. For we have heard of grand projects that, barring a few, almost trivial events going the right way, would never have taken off at all. If we made some of the more unlikely things that have failed, instead, succeed — if we dot some i’s that were left unmarked, if we plugged something in that had become unplugged, if we did these things in forgotten corners, how spectacular would be the consequences? Not knowing how, we would be making history, a blind hand of fate, working secret wonders. The butterfly effect applied to fate: to change a single flutter of destiny, and in the great fabric of all that is meant to be would ripple out great and wonderful, dread and terrible. We never know until it is has all happened and is over what tiny accident or consideration will matter. What little things mean everything.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

26 Nov 2005

Love of two is one
Here but now they’re gone
Came the last night of sadness
And it was clear she couldn’t go on
Then the door was open and the wind appeared
The candles blew then disappeared
The curtains flew then he appeared…saying don’t be afraid
Come on baby…and she had no fear
And she ran to him…then they started to fly
They looked backward and said goodbye…she had become like they are
She had taken his hand…she had become like they are
Come on baby…don’t fear the reaper

– Blue Oyster Cult

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

Howard Hodgkin: After Corot

Click on the pic for a larger version.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

25 Nov 2005

Passions

I know a little
about the passions that drive you,
those from above,
and those from below.
I do not understand, though,
why it is that any true dream
will take over your whole self, leaving
nothing for anything else.
The passions that drive you
exorcise all the ordinary,
consume you
as if there were a spirit
or demon that is the homunculus,
the little intelligence
behind your intelligence,
pulling the strings that you believe
no string is being pulled,
and what is you
for that while, is not you.
Some say that this is what it
truly is to live,
that the passions that drive you
are the things that make the meaning
that in our worldy existence
we all strive to attain,
and such journeys are their
own rewards. But I
might say that when the larger voices
speak through you,
when these passions produce
their mighty fruit,
such strange ambrosia
is not of this earthly plane, but
lets you taste a little of what
it must be like, either Heaven or Hell —
and makes one think
that there is an unseen world,
after all, moving through our hands,
becoming solid through us.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

24 Nov 2005

Love can make the most worthless, random thing a priceless treasure.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

I read in the book A History of God mention of a mystic text called Shiur Qomah (The Measurement of the Height), and the image that was invoked by the few pages in which it is described left quite an impression on me. In the measurement of God, the basic unit is the parasang, which equivalent to 180 trillion “fingers”, and each of those “fingers” stretches from one end of the earth to the other. Of course, it isn’t supposed to be taken literally, but it puts into perspective the kind of scale we should be thinking in when we conceive of the Divine. And I had this image yesterday of the garment of Him, each thread the diameter of the world, and each thread composed down to nanometer scales, with images in the cross section one could only view if one cut it open — which no one would ever do. And these threads sewn together in such infinite elaborations to make the cloth as the raiment of the “I AM”.... Heady. And we wonder why we do not understand the purposes of such a being.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

22 Nov 2005

You hear stories. Stories are, for one, an exquisitely simple way to organize things. And even stories like, “boy meets girl, girl wants boy, they get married and have children,” even the boring ones make you want to hear what happens at the end. Then there are those stories where you dread the ending you can sense is approaching, that you hear and you hope they aren’t true, though what makes them so effective is that somewhere, you believe that they did really happen, to somebody. There are stories that are fantastic, and not all do all doubt that they ever really happened: Christ, many believe, rose from the dead, without any earthly intervention; Muhammad was supposedly given the whole of the Qur’an by the angel Jibreel; Elijah was said to have been swept up to heaven in a whirlwind. And perhaps these go to the quick of the story’s very essence: they make you want to believe. If only for a little while, and perhaps, the part of you — however small — that is still a child. Which wide-eyed, still has a world to discover.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

21 Nov 2005

The Way is not a religion: Christianity is the end of religion. “Religion” means here the division between sacred and secular concerns, other-worldliness, man’s reaching toward God in a way which projects his own thoughts.

– David Kirk

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

...I then drift off, to where I chase the wind across the waters,
to where I cast my net across the night sky and draw in comets;
I must return to earthbound dreams, but within my eye, stardust…

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

19 Nov 2005

Valentine is done
Here but now they’re gone
Romeo and Juliet
Are together in eternity…Romeo and Juliet
40,000 men and women everyday…like Romeo and Juliet
40,000 men and women everyday…redefine happiness
Another 40,000 coming everyday…we can be like they are
Come on baby…don’t fear the reaper
Baby take my hand…don’t fear the reaper
We’ll be able to fly…don’t fear the reaper
Baby I’m your man…

– Blue Oyster Cult

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

Paul Signac: Portrait of Felix Feneon

Click on the pic for a larger version.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

18 Nov 2005

Long did I desire flight, until I realized I could do so much more with my feet on the ground.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

O Lord, make me a humble man, for pride is the root of all sins, the worst of them all (it is said). If it could make the brightest angel believe that he could conquer the infinite, how much the more blind could it make me, who has not the intellect he must have possessed? When I stretch myself to the height of what I can reach, let me see how much greater there is in the world, how feeble the greatest claims of mine reach on such utterly grander scales. Make me understand: I, who cannot for the life of me will one atom into existence: how can I bow low enough to Him who made all that is out of nothing at all? Make me understand: how your plan ultimately cannot be comprehensible to such a small part of it that I may be, and that is the best I may hope for: a single cog such as I should instead understand its place in the machinery of this life. O Lord, make me a humble man, not that it is the greatest of all virtues, to oppose the worst, but that I may clear my eyes and see what greatness is around me. How miracles every day happen everywhere, if only we choose to look.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

17 Nov 2005

There are those moments… I get that sensation that I am not really here — not that the world is fake or anything so conspiratorial, but that I am a visitor from some other world, who has left his true self behind at home, and sent this doppleganger with the eyes and ears. That my body is a shadow of a truer substance I can still taste at the odd moment, and that all around me are these people that belong to this place — while I am merely watching, waiting for something I know not what, waiting. Is it so very strange? Or is it more common than I suspect? Who among us walk as if they were controlling it all from a remote place, that what really mattered were very far away from the things we touch in everyday routines, and wonder when it will be that we go home? Perhaps we otherworlders are from the same place, awaiting a sign, something….

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

15 Nov 2005

Do not desire crosses, unless you have borne well those laid on you; it is an abuse to long after martyrdom while unable to bear an insult patiently.

– François de Sales

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

Storms (2)

In storms we braced
for the whole world to be turned upside down,
and mosttimes, nothing would happen
except for the winds
that would whip by, bend a few branches.
And we thought nothing of it,
because really everything had stayed the same.
But then, there would come
this once, when it seemed that the sky itself
had it in for us, when we had to leave
it all behind, for the torrents
to swallow it all up — no — smash it all,
break up everything we had and leave it there.
There was no reason we could think of
why why why why why why
why the forces would converge on us,
just like they had, why
the whole of our living remained only
in the soft and fragile folds of our memories:
the hard evidence had met something harder.
And mom would pray, and ask
all of us to thank God for our lives,
that we had what was most important of all.
And I didn’t understand her then,
because we had had them, too,
along with everything else, before the storms
had torn down all structure.
But I look back now,
and remember the face of this one boy
that I saw on the news, whose mother was gone,
the bewildered, blank stare,
and I wonder how many heaps of everything
he would have traded to be me.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

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