29 May 2006
Fire brought me out of darkness.
Air breathed into me, a new life.
Water splashed me into becoming.
Earth where I stood, a new world.
Above me it threatened thunder.
Beneath me the worms waited.
All around me, the possibilities.
26 May 2006
I am unimpressed by everything, these days. Perhaps I am getting old. Or is it the mark of the sinner, that ambrosia itself can no longer stimulate the palate — for I am sure that a saint, even the air he breathes in has its own specific sweetness. I know that in the past, there were times when I was simply amazed by everything; I do not know if that was necessarily better in my case, though. My problem was that I did then no longer strive to do anything better than to soak in the fabulousness of the everyday. Perhaps a certain dissatisfaction can be good for me. Everything can have a purpose, n’est-ce pas? Or it may be that there is something else I need learn, and my sense of wonder restored, like the treasure of regaining what you once took for granted, and was taken away. But for now — the poetry of it all is lost on me. So what?
23 May 2006
I was a sailor, I was lost at sea
I was under the waves
Before love rescued me
I was a fighter, I could turn on a thread
Now I stand accused of the things I’ve said
When love comes to town I’m gonna jump that train
When love comes to town I’m gonna catch that flame
Maybe I was wrong to ever let you down
But I did what I did before love came to town
20 May 2006
You and I drift on through the years dully enough, because we do not believe in God, not really, and so we have no expectation. But Jesus did believe in Him, was sure He is alive and abroad in the world; that, therefore, anything may happen any hour. And thus to Him any smallest incident was a magic casement opening upon who could tell what possibilities. A fisherman offers Him a crude, inchoate half-faith, and with that He is sure that He can found a world-wide Church that will defy the powers of evil, aye, and grind them into nothingness at last: a dying brigand, paying the just penalties of his crimes, gropes towards Him in the darkness with the vague hands of a blind man, and, founding upon that, Christ dies, quite sure that He has won: two or three Gentiles seek an interview with Him, and He sees a whole teeming world of men and women being saved.
All these words are nothing but a rain that will pour away,
millions of little desires no one will differentiate,
for the river that forms can remember nothing of the sky.
18 May 2006
Sometimes the sweet is that sweet, and the sour that sour. Sometimes the world lets us feel the full brunt of what we can experience. One moment, I will feel blessed beyond measure, and in another, my heart shall break completely. But it is better to feel than not to feel. Don’t you think so? An ex-teacher of mine asked me about that statement, asking, “But how can you always leave your blood behind?” And I see his point: we cannot always be at the pinnacles of ecstasy, or in the deepest dark of pain. But our lives generally don’t have enough of the stuff to them, I might think. Sure, things can change on a dime, but that so rarely happens. Yes, we feel the dizzying highs, the terrible lows — but they come not that often, in my experience of things. Our trying to feel will surely be met by the stultifying winds that keep us pressed back from living. It’s all we can do to be.
16 May 2006
Face your fears. You may see the light, just beyond it.
I have glimpsed the workings of the Machine. The cold gears turn throughout the world, I have so seen, into the day to day, to the highest of earth’s powers. Not all who are a part of it today will be tomorrow, though most will, I think; and consider not that you have never played a part, for no one is innocent of perpetuating its machinations. It has been asked what we would exchange for our souls, and we might find that we bargain away priceless pieces for twisted scraps of garbage. Have you ever given the excuse for when you did something heartless that all you were doing was following the rules? Then you have been there, been a cog of the machinery. I know I have had such oil flow through my veins; I am no saint. Some lose themselves in such mechanism, I’m afraid to say…. Do you know of what I speak? The fearful order that flattens all will, that drives mercilessly, without conscience, without heed of any humanity? That no violence can kill, for that is of its devices.
Do not be taken in by its ruthless arithmetic, which states that all sums must equal zero. Keep to the rough paths footfalls have hewn that were noble in their passing. Remember for all its might, for all its power, it has no true mind, and certainly not a heart. Even its all seeing is a blindness: do not keep what is warm hidden. I have glimpsed the Machine and I feared, but I think I will not keep it silent, what I have learned. Do not despair that you have been a part of its hierarchy, for you are not of its cold structure. Be free, as the Nazarene has told us: the truth shall make you free. Believe that its death shall not overcome our life, and our soul. See what it is for what it is, and know: the final victory shall be ours.
12 May 2006
Time is a stillness while the world rushes past
Time is a racing to meet your own end
I know — all I have is this life, no more
Fires that ignite then die down, nothing stays
I have walked all the way around the world
Nowhere, though, was where I could find myself
I am tired now, sometimes, only gone halfway
Why is it that I have to ask why all the time?
Dreams rise and subside, no, nothing stays
I am not who I was, but aren’t I still me?
Time is a demon that steals everything
Time is divine intervention saving the day
And where do I go now, all grown up?
And can I finally get what I wanted back when
I can scarcely remember what things they were
Time starts tapping you on the shoulder
Time ends things just as you get used to them
This is not where I begin, that was when?
I have this life, no more: it can be enough
I don’t have to go anywhere to find myself
9 May 2006
I thought I knew what love was
What did I know?
– Don Henley
7 May 2006
If it be the earnest desire, and longing of your heart, to be merciful as he is merciful; to be full of his unwearied patience, to dwell in his unalterable meekness; if you long to be like him in universal, impartial love; if you desire to communicate every good, to every creature that you are able; if you love and practice everything that is good, righteous, and lovely, for its own sake, because it is good, righteous, and lovely; and resist no evil, but with goodness; then you have the utmost certainty, that the Spirit of God lives, dwells, and governs in you.
I don’t know how far back it was when I really thought that, that love was all I needed — or in fact, if I was kidding myself in the first place. Who is it, these days, that would really die for love, as E. E. Cummings put it, “if your wish be to close me, i and my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly, as when the heart of this flower imagines the snow carefully everywhere descending”? Who puts such poetry into practice? I’ve thought in the most cynical bent, at least once, believing that no one really acts in behalf of this way, that all we’re talking about is some pretty words to get that special someone to go to bed with you. Something like that. It’s hard to think that some people would really go the whole way for the sake of a pretty promise — not out of pride, not out of obligation, but that they just felt that way, so deeply as to compel them.
What are we left in the world when we believe that way, though? When the enchantment lifts completely off of us, and all we are left with is a bleak solidity? Myself, I’d rather there be some magic in the world — if it has to be me who makes it for it to be so. Why not make up some pretty words and put my backside into it? Why not dare to live the dream? It is a better thing, then, that I do, than when I only believed in the words, the idea of it: let us bring the love of divine ideal and hammer out a facsimile into the waking world. Let us not complain that there is no marvel left in the world, but make it for ourselves, for all the world to see: that there is hope left for those who dream. It need not be anything miraculous that we bring about, but just that we do not forget what we say. That we commit to the promises we make, and make at least a few fabulous promises. Let’s not kid ourselves. Let’s live it, instead.
5 May 2006
We shall desire what we shall desire, and no one shall tell us what it is that we want. Or so we would like to think. Our tastes are massaged every day in every way by the sensations of our experiences; though there are too many advertisements that tell us, drink this, wear that, that we cannot remember why it is we buy the things we do — we invariably do follow the wills of those who would sell us something. If it were any other way, such advertising would have died out by now. And it is not only in commercial planes in which we are so influenced: what ideas have you bought recently? What parts of your spirit were sold to you with the certain smile that convinces? Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance asked the question of who is to tell us what is good and bad? And I answer: anyone who has an opinion. And a few who don’t even, but are merely repeating what they’ve heard. But don’t be confused: you are still you. Just understand what it is that might be.
3 May 2006
To love another as oneself is only the halfway house to Heaven, though it seems as far as it was prudent to bid man go. The “greater love than this” of which our Lord speaks, though He does not command it, is to give oneself for one’s friends. And when one does this, or is ready to do this, prayer even for “us” seems too selfish — and it is unnecessary, for we then possess all that God Himself can give us. The easy renunciation of self for the Beloved becomes the very breath of life.
I came upon the mirror world in a dream, somewhere there,
and light escaped from my eyes, and were drawn in by the candle’s wick;
and no one knew who they were themselves, but every stranger did.