29 Apr 2006

I dream. I fail. I dream again.

posted by John H. Doe @ 10:54 am

I visited another world, and I don’t know what I can say to make you understand just what I have seen. It is not that I cannot tell you how strange it was, but rather how normal it all seemed, seen from the perspective of one whose eyes inhabited another plane. Change is different there, not as abstract in the everyday as it is here; it seems that if you think of it, we get used to things more than we realize — there, I must say that each new moment has the potential to take your breath away…. Now, I cannot say which of the two places is better, here in the staid Euclidean structures, or there, where time branches off and returns like so many rivulets. I must say that I rather like that I can rest here, where one can rely on the sunset, even if one does grow blind to all the beauty in such things, which modestly pass by, both of you forgetting.

posted by John H. Doe @ 10:51 am

16 Apr 2006

Happy Easter, and Everything

I’m writing today to tell you that I’m going to be taking a break from journalling. It’s not that the process is in any way getting to me, just that I am about to make a great move, going from living here in Seoul to the great city of New York — for the next four months. So, right now, it’s all a little crazy. And as with these kind of breaks, I am not at this point quite sure when it will be that I will return to posting on this site, but I imagine things will settle down enough at some point, and I’ll have enough things scratched down on random places, that I’ll have some more to say about this and that, life in general. You know. But right now, it all has not really hit me yet that this great journey is afoot, and I must muster whatever resources I have into preparing for when it all does. It’s all very exciting, at any rate, and that’s what life is about — at least sometimes, right? Next time I write, it will be from the environs of the city so nice they named it twice. How great to be alive.

Cheers.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

15 Apr 2006

The nights are much colder now
I feel the need to have you near
Maybe we could start all over
I feel a change the air

There are No Mistakes now baby
We did the best we could
It takes what it takes and sometimes
And sometimes it’s so hard to understand
And just take the changes that we all
Have been dreaming of
There are No Mistakes in love
There are No Mistakes in love
Oh there are No Mistakes in love…

– Patty Smyth

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

Max Beckmann: The Descent from the Cross

Click on the pic for a larger version.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

14 Apr 2006

See everything, overlook a great deal, improve a little.

– John XXIII

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, n’est-ce pas? The part of that which is never expounded upon is that it does not end with that first step. Myself, I am starting on another journey very soon, and I am right now numb with excitement in considering it. Right now, it makes me think of where I’ve been that gotten where I am, here. I remember back in high school thinking how there was this dread in me, that one day I’d be exposed, and then everyone would see what a big fake I was. A fraud. I think it might have been much to do with the pride I had, not the good kind, but that teenage kind of thinking you know everything that anyone would care to know. And it’s been a long and winding road, a long strange trip it’s been since those twenty years back, more than half my life from the time I had it all so very under control, when the world was at my feet, and at the same time I wanted nothing to do with life, not really, not at all. The best of times, the worst of times.

What other references can I borrow from? My first thought goes to, “Stupid is as stupid does.” After being told so many times how intelligent a young man I was as I was “growing up,” how many the stupid decisions I made, how many stupid situations I got myself into, how many stupid consequences I faced for my actions, or lack thereof. But I learned. Slowly, painfully, I learned what it means that one tries to become a genuine human being. And I know it is the case that I am far from being what I desire to be: but I do desire to be… better. That’s all that one can expect of oneself, as far as I know, that there will never really be a point where you’ve reached the hilt of all you can possibly be, but you can try to get better at this thing called life. That journey of a thousand miles — another thing they don’t tell you is that a lot of times, you’ve already started on the road a good stretch before you’ve realized you’re on your way. And there’s a long, long way to go, still.

Why do we bother to take that first step? Because even though we’re all given a soul, not all of us keep it. We travel all that way to find ourselves, not because we’ll discover our truth at that other place we’re headed to, but that the courage to go is the only currency we can use to buy back the pieces of the soul we’ve sold. You know, what’s worth more than the whole wide world. Start walking.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

13 Apr 2006

Perhaps we should all remember how easy it was to slip, when we did wrong, or let something happen not right. Remember how easily we excused it away for ourselves? And especially if we were not caught in it, not held responsible for what we knew to be a sin: how easily we let it slide. So, why will we not hear someone else in such a way? Why is it so hard to forgive and forget things when the perpetrator is not we ourselves? Can we not understand it, grow up, and remember? Even if the thing that was done wrong was something that we would never do ourselves (or so we rationalize it) — think of how something that we did do in error, how we would feel if no one could understand that, especially the things we hold in ourselves as being all but justified. This is how the other person is feeling; and the soul within him is no less than ours. If only we could understand, the whole world would. For that which is the world is no more than us.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

11 Apr 2006

I know I’ve had small dreams come true, just can’t remember what they were.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

Wanderlust

The city streets call me
in some James Dean-ish shrugging off the rain
sort of existential wanderlust,
like there’s a crime I’m about to commit,
whether I know it or not.
There is no room for dreaming anymore.
Everything is hard,
whether you’re going for the metaphor
or if it’s really something like a brick wall
hitting your face, because
you forgot to look in the obvious place
(open your eyes, just maybe).
We’re bent on something,
usually, and I mean that with purpose;
crouched over a sewer, groping
for the One Ring that you let slip
and roll out of your grasp.
Nobody can think ahead enough that it
makes a real difference
once the wheels contact, and the rubber burns.
And the pavement is wet
with the crocodile tears of a million salesmen,
and we never knew that we never knew
— we could go somewhere
else, you know? Rainy days
shouldn’t keep us from going out
into that gray dollop of a world, the city,
walk right into a broken heart
and set up shop, there at the end of the world:
where everything holds its breath,
and you let out a burp to ease the tension.
Don’t laugh. It’ll happen.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

10 Apr 2006

Breathe once like it was to be your last. Or try, and find that you cannot. You cannot possibly understand the finality; I know I have no such comprehension in me. My thinking is that life is not to live each day as if it were to be our last; even were we to have been mistakenly told that it were so, and then after that day had passed, we were given the good news that we would survive: how we would think of how we were glad that it were not the end, for there would have been things, always, that we forgot them, to do, or others we remembered, but had no hour for. Better that we live knowing that we have some time left, and then to understand that we will not always have this time. Better that we go and remember all those things we wish to try, and actually to do them. Now that this day is not our last; this is good news, to those who will hear it. There is even room for a second chance, if we need it.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

8 Apr 2006

I walk through a fire in my dreams
Just to pull you through
But when I’m awake sometimes it seems
I’m just so hard on you
Baby a change has got to come
And I can’t see
After another winter’s gone
Well who’s gonna rescue me

There are No Mistakes now baby
We did the best we could
It takes what it takes and sometimes
It takes much more time than it should
To just to make the choices that we both
Have been dreaming of
There are No Mistakes in love

– Patty Smyth

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

Gerhard Richter: Cathedral Corner

Click on the pic for a larger version.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

7 Apr 2006

In the dreaming, time stands still, and then flashes ahead, an approximation of eternity.

In the dreaming, I have noticed that I have died, several times, but never looked down.

In the dreaming, light is as pure as the first instant of creation, unmixed with solid things.

In the dreaming, I fell and fell, and I could not wake, and the feeling became as like a womb.

In the dreaming, there is no wind I have ever felt, as if all the air was less than imaginary.

In the dreaming, I leaped high and walked on air, and vowing to use my power for good.

In the dreaming, the shadow of death is like so much paper, easily torn, blown away at whim.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

6 Apr 2006

When we look out towards this love that moves the stars and stirs in the child’s heart and claims our total allegiance, and remember that this alone is Reality and we are only real so far as we conform to its demands, we see our human situation from a fresh angle; and we perceive that it is both more humble and dependent, and more splendid, than we had dreamed. We are surrounded and penetrated by great spiritual forces of which we hardly know anything. Yet the outward events of our life cannot be understood, except in their relation to that unseen and intensely living world, the Infinite Charity which penetrates and supports us, the God whom we resist and yet for whom we thirst; who is ever at work, transforming the self-centered desire of the natural creature into the wide spreading, outpouring love of the citizen of Heaven.

– Evelyn Underhill

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

What is your name? You are fainter than things I’ve forgotten…
like whisperings of stars among themselves… and asking, suddenly,
I fear to fall, as if I were thrown aloft a thousand miles.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

4 Apr 2006

Don’t complain that it’s not all fireworks. You don’t know what you’re talking about — that would be hell.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

The scenes are set like oil paintings in my mind’s eye, that slowly pan away and leave the darkness. I have the vision of an old woman’s face, whom I have never met, whose visage I imagine are the amalgam of many grandmothers I have heard stories about. She is dressed in a velvet maroon, black except where the light reflects the redness. I do not know why the setting is Victorian like this; I do not know why the things I picture do not move. It is not life, I conclude, and I wonder why I think on these things, which have no bearing on my being. The scenes pass through, as if they are on their way toward something else, and I was merely a transient station that was not meant to hold them. I do not think I will consider them any more than this. Fleeting, like a notion that you can do nothing about, and do not really even wonder about it.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

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