counting these small epiphanies

I step from my room to the hallway.   eyes turn right toward the front, kitchen then living room then balcony.   where’s the cat?   first thought so swift, no time to consider reality.   then, yes then the places where she used to be.   sad feelings for her being gone?   I did for quite some while.   go, go touch the place on the back of the couch where she’d like to sleep all the while keeping eye on the hallway for one of us to appear.   Gracie liked her perch.   she savored the scratches to neck and head, pushing with all her might into more, yes please, more.   I always tried to satisfy.   there’s a crease still in the top most pillow where she used to roost.   I go touch sometimes.   close as I can get these days.   at first doing that was sad, but irresistible.   now, a memory I rather have than not.
 
 
leave aside logic here.   thoughts for a time implied my future well-being was a function of my own willingness to endure.   to continue being me.   that was not always a certain response.   too many days, perhaps, thinking it would be easier just to let go, cross over, whatever that meant.   less discomfort, possibly?   then with a friend newly realized, more than I really thought I’d ever be, I thought instead, yes, I’d like to continue a while more.   was that all it took?   I was thinking yea, maybe so.
 
 
now I think myself skipper here.   my boat.   but not really my life.   I go where goes my life.   truth is simple stuff.   still, better that second attitude.   although there’s a certain raw quality I’m unfamiliar with.   besides, can’t live right now as if it were tomorrow’s tomorrow.   Alan Watts used to tell the story of a crab sitting on a rock in San Francisco bay.   someday a gull might land and peck right through that shell – which the crab would certainly hate.   however a simple truth – not yet, not yet.
 
 
thank you Alan.   good story told.   I am trying to live that well.
 
 
so I’ve thought, in this confluence of health issues, what to do, meaning what to say.   is it somehow better or not better to say right out loud how it is being me.   no, not details, no blow by blow.   but yes, how it does feel – being me.   I don’t have that answer.   but something in me says, why stop, why denigh what I am, what changes are changing.   is it not right I should share.   I’ve lived some years thinking I was wanting more intimacy, more trust, more engagement.   how then is – stop – a right part of vocabulary?
 
 
so now I am keeping faith, writing you.
 
 
 
 

me, 14 billion years ago


 
a poet who might be sad, but feels something else instead.
 
 
was I just another twinkle in some universal eye?    implied.
 
 
14 billion years ago, as flies the crow, nobody cared about what I wrote.   of course, no me, not yet, not for a very very very long time.   nobody was disturbed about that.   patient I suppose.   they assuredly could hold their breath.

and I should note, all this was perfectly fine with me too.   silently waiting, well, not waiting actually at all, and was one of my better talents then.   less so now, if you asked.

hadn’t even been to Disneyland yet.

someone just yelled out in the night.   not too far away.   never seems to happen when there’s sunlight around.

nobody is ever that young, not for very long.

The heart is an instrument, once broken, never repairs the same.   (Kevin Kling)   Odd, but I haven’t been thinking that way.   I remember instead how once broken, shattered, pieces can come back together, reassembled, purposed anew as mosaic.   like gravity when I first encountered that notion about broken things.

or maybe that’s just what I want to think?

desperate.   there’s a word I’ve become more familiar with.   am I that little kitten peeking from behind a single grape leaf, so small that one kernel of rice was a mouthful to chew.   grandmother Janet, she lured it out bite by eager bite on her outreached fingertip.   good life, good life, that was her wish.   sincerely turned to action in her hands taking on the softest shape of a kitten, now her new best rescued friend.

a difference of size, but she held me just the same.   unreservedly.

a wild life come to roost?   write more.   show more.   reluctance is not worth the weight.   so more words, close to daily now.   are they more dumb, a lure bobbing on the water’s face.    nibbles?   never was much good at fishing, maybe still.   then again, there’s that prayer answered with a single word – write.   who am I not to respond?   maybe we’ll call that faith.   an act of trust within an untrustworthy life?   maybe I don’t get too many more, although it’s not like I’m gonna use them up.   just me chasing a perfect word in a perfect poem?   good luck with that.   there is no easy simple sum of all the breaths I’ve taken.   time now to give some back?

of course conversation is communion too.   me, I can only do one half.   I am in your hands.   as we all are in each others.   in some circles it is said, the true nature of existence is love.   what’s that mean?   we should say simply, love is the unconditional granting of beingness, one to another.   nothing else.   no fairy tales.   yet, unconditional, isn’t that everything being exactly as it is.   no mean notion at all if you honestly look.

          how often found?    you answer that.

thus said, love is the space in which each atom each molecule each loaf of bread, each all of everything here exists.   not like it belongs to us, not like we can give or withhold.   most we can ever do is attempt to block it from expressing itself.
          as they say, get out of the way!

Somebody said, Imagine what you would like to see happen, and then don’t do anything to make it impossible.   (Ron Padgett)   there are good hearted people in our world.   never lie about that.

show more.   so my walls my shelves have some objects of others expression I’ve come to appreciate.   but what good less you come to visit me in my room?   none at all.   so included here are many I hold dear for their generosity of expression.   maybe I find a little something to say along with each even if the connection requires a certain willingness to bend the fork.

so express what I can by word or by image.   day by day.

            when I talk to me

when I talk to myself, language adopts a gentle tone, addressing caressing the child of my name.   this living listens.   ears like songs.   or maybe rub my belly, small rounding circles like B. used to say, buddha belly, good fortune to touch.   she was the only one.   appreciation is a better gift.   leave history aside, you already lived those parts.   here child, take my hand.

and then one day, not unexpectedly, I went home.
 
 
 
 

starting with a shed


old rickety fence, more of a swayed-back grape arbor than fence by anything other than kindness.  grape vine about the same age.  not much harvest here, except behind in shadows where spiders called it home.  but familiar all the same and kids fit where big folks don’t.  same face shed but inside, a mystery.

broken except for this one moment now.

what you don’t see here.

back end of the yard, a huge walnut tree.  black walnut trunk for size and strength then grafted on english walnut limbs for better harvest nuts.  come near and we’d give you a bag to take home with you.  very acidic leaves however so nothing much else grew underneath the wide spreading limbs.  oh yea, except for a 50 gallon metal trash can used in those days to burn so much of the trash that would burn.  anything.  every yard had their own.  often that was Sunday morning neighborhood, smelling smoke.

fences were more about being polite than anything else.

east side the mostly shaded yard for the large old style raised farm house, almost Victorian.  originally two stairs to two entry doors, one now removed.  a mud room.  what mud?  to the right the designated parlor for visiting guests.  nobody cared about that formality any more.  straight ahead the actual family living room.  huge heavy wooden sliding doors that could open the two into one.  never used although I thought they were a wondrous thing not like anything else I knew.  high ceilings, cold in the winter all the good heat being another seven feet above our heads.  a large wooden floor footed radio with a lighted green dial.  exotic before there was television.

yea, and for years no one ever locked their front door.  no matter what.  till the day when someone said, there’s strangers in town.

mom and me shared the parlor as bedroom and grandmother Janet and great uncle Louis each had their own rooms.  big kitchen stove and a can of used and reused lard in the refrigerator – for about everything.  old English farm family weren’t so much on cooking except to make sure everything was well dead before eating.  took me years before I could eat liver again.

out back a tool and storage shed for uncle Lou and a small mostly vacant room where my young uncle Robert would stay when in town.  he left one day amid whispers not for childhood ears and never came back.  cancer maybe.  kind of a shameful thing in those days I think.  not something to talk about.

then mother and me moved next door into a smaller house beside that watercolor shed.  the timbers sat right on the dirt.  termites thought that a great welcome mat.  some nights mother possum would scratch at the floor boards under my room.  small room, enough that I could in one step reach the dresser, turn the alarm clock off and back to bed without hardly waking up.  then the Beatles on TV.

no indoor bathroom when our smaller house was built.  added on but insulation, none.  undressed, into the shower and out, five minutes flat in the winter time.

that was home for more years than not.

and why this here?   just because.   good enough?
 
 
 
 
watercolor by my uncle Robert Coates.   maker of paintings, oils and watercolors, carver of wood, figurines and miniatures, ceramics too, modern abstract and conventional.   a man who left this life much too soon.   now just these relics I know him by.
 
 
 
 

look ma, no hands


 

look ma, no hands

 

a wild love for the world

 
 
 

    that title right above is borrowed from another source.   pardon please but it is just the right thing to say.   and in ways as many as I have fingers here, how much far away from this title has my life described itself? wise man once said, want to know your purpose in life?   just look to what your life has most energetically attracted or repelled from yourself.   there’s the easy key to turn.

    thus for me, my purpose is mostly evident by what it has
    held away from the story of myself.   oh no, that’s not me!
     
     
    and yea, two titles because that’s what I want.

 
 
 

then there’s this

each of us had a beginning as we entered the universe and took our place within that space.   thus spoke the astronomers.

old admonition.   don’t discuss politics or religion with folks you want to keep as friends.   well politics sure, don’t interest me much, so no fuss.   but religion, maybe not the best of words.   too many unfortunate hooks.   but spirit, or even that other honorific – god, well that interests me as much as anything can.   ain’t that what we want to know?   even if we’ve been told to leave it alone, unanswerable.   even if the person saying that has been ourselves.

I haven’t ever let that one go unattended away from me.   that’s not what my bones want to do.    they insist.

trust no one.     no, trust everyone.     yea, both of them.
 
 
 
so mother said to the child me, here, go to church, we’ll pass some time,   see what you like, then keep or let go as you wish for yourself.   kind of kindly progressive suppose you might say.   but kids, yea, they know the truth of adults, what they really think and feel.   as I did then.

other than the observation that everyone there was halfway to dead, all I took was the core notion, god is every thing and god is every where.   simple enough.   formulaic.   I held that as a test of truth.   you find some where some thing where god isn’t – then somethings afoul with how you’re holding all of that.    that always stayed in my pocket.
            always.

so far, nothing hocus-pocus, secular enough in its way, isn’t it?   there’s a lot you can sketch, right from there.   rules applied.   fairhandedly.
 
 
 

so, describe everything

is that a test?   can my inscription ring an honest bell?   well you kind of can and you kind of can’t.   describe everything.   not unless forever is being given you.   you know, the list goes on and on and on and on.

but there is one.   one and only one way to satisfy that task.   given a singularity, if indeed that’s how it began (or maybe even is right now in this moment we’re speaking about).   then that one single point, that’s the everything in one fell swoop.

although there’s a trick.   everything can also be described simply as what is.   yet allowing the rule of inclusiveness, you remember do you not?   what is must also include what isn’t.   else no god at all.   fair to be amused.

nothing.   previously addressed with some short rope if you’re curious.   almost too much even for the secular.   but no forgiveness for cheating here.

so in all our conscious glory we haven’t a language yet able to describe an essence so bare as nothing at all.   again, amusing perspective.
 
 
 

yet simplicity takes it all in stride

then god whispered into the ear of matter, said, here, here’s what I’d like you to do.   and matter replied, yes, nothing would please us more.

admittedly rather anthropomorphic.   but fair game, isn’t it?

so came stars, blazing, hungry, and galaxies, all engaged in dance just as they were asked.   then big rocky things, then water, then creatures with four legs, then creatures with two – us, to be specific.   all because of what one whisper implied when set free to be as it would be.
 
 
so where’s this going?   I don’t know.

maybe here.
 
 
 

a wild love for the world

so here’s my feet, my calves, dangling over the edge of a precipice.   one week, two, months?   seven months, is that possible?   but in one variation or another, yea, this has been my life, this chapter anyway.   hardly believable.

but, here I am.   do I call this living proof.

I’ve thought a lot about that description, that definition, for quite some while.   anticipating the next second, next minute, yea, fill in the blanks.

a serious student of Christian story, some Buddhism too.   thought I understood life, existence, the universe pretty well.   but that edge, yea, it intones with clarity, oh yea, you think you understand?

am I ready to let go with a smile on my lips.   gratitude?
 
 
 
I understand I think I feel, how C. didn’t want to leave when leaving was close.   every tree every bird every stone every face every sky every cloud every poem every book every song.   it’s all so much to not want leaving.
         yea, I know.
 
 
I worry some about transitions.   but not about judgment except my own.

so here’s the garden, here a tree, some apples and one snake.   now just who do you think that snake was?   sort of obvious to see by now, isn’t it?
and demonstrating that god has a sense of humor, if nothing else.
 
 
living may not transition neatly.   some fray around the edges.   expectedly.
 
 
how shall we speak one to the other?    do we call this home?

maybe you have a better ending than me.    go ahead.    you write.
 
 
are your words on these lips?     whisper me.
 
 
 
 
 

there is no dark sky, anywhere

 
 
in praise of the James Webb telescope
 
 
forty days.    counting till next ellipse
when my heart gets a chance to heal
its breathing breath.    thirst addressed.

by the last census of my blood I reckon
each and every day each and every night.

          every moment earned.
 
 
          a deep field point of view
 
 
not a poem.    but it is.

not an essay.    but it holds more
than a thousand books in the blink
of an eye.    stories surrounding us.

time for show & tell.

are we alone in these dimensions
of scribed height depth width?
an interval of time to boot.

only a blind man would ask.

go ahead.    look up that phrase.
mostly what’s discussed is how
become rare it is to have a night sky
uncluttered enough to actually see
our Milky Way overhead, or much
of anything else.    pocket change.
 
 
 
 
rather, what the good folks observing,
their new curved mirrors held in space
what’s meant – is that nowhere they look
is the sky empty of galaxies and stars.
          nowhere.

give that a minute to really soak,
to wet your thoughts.    understanding
like that is, is something new to us.

maybe there isn’t even really – zero.

no nothing at all?

remember how people might have
said how small how insignificant
they felt compared to the vastness
of open space?    remember?

have you ever felt the same?
 
 
I am this much tall.    see the marks
on the door jam here.    mother said.

now, for me, now one wondering
is given way to another wondering.
just in aligning the eighteen mirrors
of the new spectacles, they wanted
to look at really just one bright star.

something standing mostly alone.

they did.    they got all those eyes to
look, to see the same, but then noticed,
say, it isn’t alone.    with no effort at all,
look, with only one minutes gaze, there,
galaxies abound in the space behind.
 
 
thus the phrase with its new meaning
now.    to me it says, my good and beloved
creatures, do not fear, I will keep you
company to the end of everything.

 
 
          I feel embraced.
 
 
 
 

talk to the face


isn’t it odd (a wonderment) how I don’t see what’s (revealed) hidden right in front of my fallow face?   here, lets allow these words, borne into sprouts.
 

tectonic revelation

So seven hundred miles, no, it wasn’t that.   Tuesday perhaps, no.   Things I forgot to bring along.   Things I remembered, and did.   (no, none of those)

            (Sssshh…)

I’ve well past described the sea-change for me, leaving California (shy, reluctant me) and driving North (one trailer in tow) here to Washington (near all unknown) (no me, no them).   It was no plan (changing more than geography) but was genuine (surprise) (like a puppet show?).   This transformation I’d thought was me finding making declaring some new face of me.   As some sources might say, previously solitude was my comfort home, how I energized myself – it was the bones of me. Now was I mirror image, sustained by conscious relationship (fancy words for talk with me, please).   New way to walk on two legs?   I thought so.
            I was wrong.

    a muted kind of slap, then repeat.   blue dress above (after thought).   recognized (said a voice), hello.   past my slower better sight, responding, hello.   she continued down the street.
           I smiled.    nothing much, just like everything.

Not wanting to roll in my history (a scent of otherness), that was mostly left to be left behind.   Short sighted.   Better navigation to look see the bigger arc of experience.   Who was I then?   Who am I now?   Like such numerous mysteries, obvious enough with open eyes.   (open eyes)   (no fear enclosed)

            question was, how come my thirst?

Proportional?   Seeming not.   I remember an earthen Anderson dam to the East of the valley floor.   Dirt on top, you could drive across, boulders at the base.   Massive, sturdy we’d have thought.   But – water wins by being small.   So too my thirst soaking into ground.

Simple answer raises a hand.   What was new was not my desire, my thirst to engage, but rather was my cloaking fear (we say shy) giving way.   Wanted thus (from the beginning of the universe).   See, it was only a bucket of stones, unfettered pain needing shyness (withdrawal), concealing better birthing nature.   The sensation is not-eating.   Belly swells with emptiness (you’ve seen the pictures).

            now, native me on two feet

Even sitting still when you come near, I can lean in to engage with you.   Do you respond?   Do you?   Not mine to say that part.   Like a poem says, I can start the thread but it is your play next to follow or no.   Possibilities.  Stars from drifting clouds of gas.   Who’d have guessed.   But yea, obvious, even certain to be.

            I am.     with a period at the end.
 
 
 

here, some tails to wag

Lesson learned.   My habit, cup of coffee, sit on a public bench just beside the sidewalk path.   Meeting strangers sometimes works like this – walking past my sitting self day after day, some reluctant folks figured, at least he hasn’t bitten me yet.   Maybe risk, hello.   Look ma, no hands!

            @

Read this poem aloud    Write a healing poem was the prompt.   Not “about” but what is, in & of itself.   Consider how you’d answer yourself.   Is it even possible?   Some questions are worth failing if that’s the price.

Makes the question – what is real?   Can words, can a poem make that difference?   I don’t know.   Me, I think the poem falls short.   But two notions came to me of possibility.

          Wise sayings heal nothing.
          Saying does.    Speak to me.

          Meaning is in what we pronounce.
          Let us say what we mean to be.

            @

I know a man who sees the truth.   No mistake.   But what to say, hard to render experience into symbolic words, already one step removed.   Being alone with true being.   Very hard to say the truth.   Sorry, I say.

            @

Childless.   Maybe it was kind (yes and no) wanting none.   Not wanting to give a child a father (filled with coal). Children see.   What kind of gift could I be?   Also why I never much spent time with the children of my friends. I never said, but that’s why.

            @

I miss cigarettes.   But considering, no way doing that.   Remember precisely why I began.   In college, painfully shy, cigarettes were my friend.   Actually, they were punctuation for anything and everything.   Don’t miss the chemistry, but the emotional component, yes.   So be it.

            @

I think of you, ardent reader if you’ve plowed yourself this far along.   No small thanks.   Walking down the street, here and there a cat I don’t know but who welcomes a friend.   This too is how I wish we each could be.

            @

Wise man said, wanna know your purpose in life?   Look see what you attract, what you repel.   Same same.   That’s your home.
 
 
 
 

nothing

 
 
 
 
 
 
this could’a been a poem       but it changed its mind
 
 
maybe just random thunder, nothing else?
              we will soon pass
 
 
 
 
 
 
first time I really heard this phrase,

you don’t know, what you don’t know,

I was impressed.   I remain impressed.

as big as a universe, as eloquent as forever.
 
 
 
 
 
look at the spoon the chair the table the person next to you

nothing     is about space.

what does it mean, this space that resides, that embraces, you, me

                    is space a participant?
 
 
space      is the medium through which we   connect   touch   engage
                 can it really be described as inert?
 
 
how many years have I asked how we combine this far respect
from one and another one.            why is aloneness in my roots?
 
 
how do I come to peace with this unknown measure?
 
 
 
 
 
when you sit with it you come to recognize
the word,    nothing    is a lie.   it is contrary to
what it portends.

not its fault.   not ours.   it is
the nature of this beast.

language     symbols     but those define our thoughts
 
 
 
 
 
we have no word.   we have no thought.
we have no feeling.   no remembrance.
describing    nothing    at all.
 
 
 
 
 
the very word itself, guilty of deception.
see how it references    nothing    as no-thing
by including the only beingness we recognize.

go ahead, describe everything.   at least you
get a running start if no end is in sight.   but
describe no-thing and we’re lost already.
there is no thingness to nothing, none.
          speechless

we matter to ourselves.   we are matter.
we are stars and hydrogen transfigured
by greater intent.     nothing,  does not.

at least not by what wedon’tknow
 
 
 
 
 
yet we are also space itself.   they say
most of matter is the empty space in-between
the bits of dear familiar fluff.

we are more nothing than something.
being blunt.
 
 
 
 
 

but really, what does nothing feel like

nothing has a beauty to it when looked at from outside.
 
 
of a recent medical procedure I was completely
anesthetized.   later, in recovery arrived
the clearest sense of nothing I’ve ever known.

might say it was peaceful without being broken.
might say it felt wonderful being that way.
but obvious isn’t it…

none of those, not one.   it was nothing.
no joy, no sadness, no fear, no desire, no
direction, no up, no down.

no past, no future.   no care.      no resisting
 
 
 
 
 
aside, to be honest, I feel no fear of not being
alive.   I worry some about transitions however.
 
 
will the ocean be gentle with me?
 
 
 
 
 
 
it is difficult being me.   no, not just now, although
that’s what I first thought myself.   but difficult
almost always when I breathe inside of me.
 
 
 
 
 
I am.   talking to the ocean, wave after wave.
suppose I thought that great presence would
answer me back.   room for my foolishness.

a performance of sorts.   but how genuine?
 
 
 
 
 
as you see & read, what’s your relationship
with the spaces here?   not even a second glance?
do you wonder what’s over your shoulder,
               something peripheral?

does     nothing     change what I present & you receive?
 
 
 
 
 
this is one part of the early night where
I wander about, bare feet on carpet then hardwood,
colder floor.   gratefully.   dim kitchen lights,
dark toward the front and outdoor balcony.
 
 
I’m drawn to it.   green face of ripe leaves
cloaked, but I smell them, their oxygen.
rich     full     embracing

yet fresh air past blood, into my heart is elusive tonight.

is it jealousy, why I’m uncomfortable with this abundance?
 
 
 
 
 
          I’m not just defined by what you see.

          I’m also defined by all the things
          you will never see.

               Derek DelGaudio, In & Of Itself
 
 
 
 
 
night time is the hardest time for me now.
I don’t know why.
 
 
 
 
 
 

garden in the dark

plurals


what I have to say won’t kindle flame.
what you hear, there’s the rub.   then spark.

candles are growing short.   I am, no lasting light.
stars in my eyes.   they see more than me.
 
 
go, they said.   I agreed.   actually
it was the other way around.

sometimes I occupy a lot of space.
move along.   some might say, let go.

says me to life, alright you got my attention.
a broken heart, literal not figurative.
 
 
 

follow these lions home

stalking   chasing   bringing it down
impala   zebra   kudu   wildebeest

which side of the teeth am I?

loved good enough to eat.   a question mark.

feel the food give itself up to you in your mouth.
 
 
            reprise:

      I do not expect you to believe anything you’re seeing or hearing,
      and knowing you won’t believe me, that’s the only reason I’m going
      to tell you the truth.

            Derek DelGaudio, In & Of Itself
 
 

truth

truth is the bubble I occupy.   always.   always.
consider.   whatever you’ve ever experienced or
been told, no matter the source, no matter,
it is always me who chooses what to accept
and what else is named, no not that.

the sky is blue.   I look.   I agree.   me.

same same, everything.   the color of your eyes.
the touch of your skin.   the scent of your lips.

is there Spirit in the universe?   ask the question.
what answer whispers in your ear?   that, that.
 
 
 

heaven

imagine the ether inhabited by burning gas.
because.   because the stars were asked and
they were full and glad to answer, yes.

and from that brilliant miracle, all of us.
gaze where you will, all miraculous.

the table is set before you.   no waiting.
 
 
I have spent one eternity not in this face.
someday I will forever be faceless again.
 
 
 

from my balcony

I see the wind.   how limbs invite it to move.
wind fills my chest, my arms, my thoughts.

green growing fills my eyes.   every nuance
from dark night to brilliant throated green leaf.

rain changes it mind, moves back to
unspotted dry stone.   they wait, no rush.

sky needs no eyes, remembering me.
earth roots say, here, fill this space.

I am more full than I know how to be.
I turn, then go back inside.
 
 
 
Spirit said to me, let them see I love you all.   that’s your job.
      me and the stars, we burn for you
 
 
 
 
so, what is this thing?   click here

writing with a dull pencil

Breathing.

No cleverness here or now. Meaning me.

We’ll let hesitate what I’m doing here. Maybe I’ll even understand myself. Raw. That’s the fence between here and me.

I’m remembering a re-expression of an old John Denver song, “All this Joy”, that came to me. The answer to pain is love.

There’s a duet in process there. But focus of late is elusive. Fewer words are less a choice than necessity. Shorter threads, shorter breath. Disconcerting understates my witness, my participant point of view.

Standing on my night sky balcony I have about a thirty second view of the ferryboats crossing the Sound. Some many lights in motion, or even the day white hull reflecting a blue sky sun. Beautiful. Lips curve into a smile. But most days the cloudy air is cold. Left hand says the colder air is more welcome to my breath, if not body in whole. From my California blood, Winters here are long and shivering.

Times I’ve said, I really have only one rule about writing poems. Tell only the truth about life. You know, don’t lie about the way it is.

I think I’ll need to approach in small bites. These impressions are a school of fish. Obvious in the whole, but none individually linger for either inspection or homesteading very long. Scattering. Elusive. Unbitten.

Alright, what’s happening, what’s the point here, today? I resist saying it seems. A blood disorder, serious, but behaving itself. But now over two months in, sinus pressure that don’t quit and an unruly heart. Standing on two feet but tire easily and simple focus, well, not a frequent companion these days. I feel trivial of a sort in the face of Very Big Life. I tell myself these are secondary issues but that’s not how they feel. I feel as a youngster staring into the unknown. Shortness of breath means more than printed text. Personal. Threatening. Even if not literally true. Emotional attitudes make their own rules about perception.

Chickens and eggs? Emotions and thoughts? Is one closer to who I am, what I am? Are they even really two? I am looking. Emotions have the impact of moving earth. Come to physical maladies, and there’s a test. What’s really true. Assurances that challenges that way bring up emotional response rather ripe. Yet thoughts remain resident too. Life speaks its own language in a variable sense of real. For me, there’s a Christian real and a Buddhist real, each a contribution to understanding.

One medical issue, a shortness of breath gets the lions share of attention these many days. Fragile. Fragile. A matter of scale. Temporary (we mostly think otherwise, don’t we… really). Dying is simply going home. My breath is already in the air. Years worth. I am the Sun and the Light and the wind and rain, the trees and leaves, (and paper too), everything that eats and moves and sees the sky. Leaving is not what it seems. Sleep. And sleep neither is what it seems. Things are astir. And I don’t want to leave this living Life. Honest. Knowing you means my life to me. Seeing you is my joy. Didn’t live most of my time within that blessed point of view. I do now.

Forgive my stubbornness. I mean to be more kind than I have.

By this writing venue I want to say deepening thanks to all who’ve contributed and supported my expressions here. You who’ve read and gifted back your attention. Your good care is appreciated.

I don’t know tomorrows face. Writing has mostly of late required more focus than seems my companion here. But you are in mind and I’ll do what I can to continue. Even not knowing what. Or maybe how.

I want to be visible, more visible. I want to say my appreciations. My gratitude. Anything else would be a lie. May we receive what is given us.

I pray healing for you for whatever wants healing in your life. May these words be healing by unspoken nature. As it is, so be it.

Sing your Songs. We listen.

A sigh is still a breath, I suppose. (Thank you Ren) Love, Neil

unexpectedly

 
an essay disguised as journal, more prose than poem,
         but you decide.   and are thus forewarned.

 
 
sunlight this morning was nearly tumbling.   nearly startling.

waves splashing on shoreline rocks.   wild.   like that.

as a child I recall how there, close up beside those rocks,
the waves would crash and climb, climb up closer to me.
how that frightened me into wanting feather wings.

some words now frighten me.   no, not words, it’s the
thoughts beneath.   the more I look, thoughts and feelings
begin being the same.   look for brightness.   resolved.
         I try.

yet, new life within every change.   made new again.
         unexpectedly.
 
 
one rule:   wear clean socks.   or no socks at all.
 
 
nothing and everything, that’s how this story begins.

is nothing just what we don’t yet have the sense to know?

there is more nothing than the stuff we recognize.   nothing
is what stuff moves through.   redressing our relationships.
         no nothing, no movement otherwise.
 
 
be the sailor who knows the sea within which we float.
         is it float, or is it swim?   I don’t know.
 
 
and it’s more than language at fault.
the only way we have to describe nothing is by what it is not.

even that name itself, we say “no thing”, thus described using
our own “some thing” way of sensing anything.   what it isn’t.
         nothing might be anything possible that isn’t
         now, isn’t here.   possible.
 
 
         @

randomly, in either hand.   is reason a mask?

so who first?   who to trust?   you know.   chicken or egg?

thus feeling or thought?   which is parent?   which is child?
yet why need there be a first?

is our universe not big enough to be simultaneous?
 
 
         @

where does passion linger for you?

I love the pen, my fingers doing scrimshaw ink on paper.
I love the labor to keep scribbles on the page, inside their
lines, not taking flight into a greater arc of wilding hand.

I love the crossings out, the new words added in.   the lines
and arrows directing language about the page.

         I love the listening,   where it begins.

and you?   where does your compass lean?
describe your living map.   use hands.   draw.
 
 
         @

lately I’ve told myself I’m thinking too much about death.
about not being here any more.   but no.   wrong.
         I’m thinking about living.
         better eyes, better ears, better feet.   better heart.

an obsession?   possibly.   but isn’t that a right devotion
to embrace?
 
 
         @

are we afraid of being nothing?   am I?

we are matter.   we always will be.   maybe energy, but
that’s matter too.   Einstein says.   still something, you see.
         we remain.

yet who we are does include nothing, the not-matter me,
laid out between each molecule, each atom.   more space
than matter itself we are.
         we are relationship.

existence is only because nothing and matter are married.
         neither is, without the other.
 
 
         @

there is beauty in this bonding of palms.   no confusion here.

         an autumn tree, first snow on mountain tops.
         someone you recognize walks by.   smile.
         a difference of only timely scale.
 
 
 
so, what does this all mean to me?
see the threads cast about.   a fish in water.   then two.

when we touch it feels like Spring to me.