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I have to admit the fact.  He is gone.  Forever in this life.  Gone from my touch, my hearing, all my senses.  It is a particular loneliness to face that change.  For when you are intimately connected and married to someone your senses intermingle and all of the ways the body goes about connecting the other become fixed:  routines get established at a very visceral and I am sure cellular and sub-cellular level.  Phermones are just a hint of how lovers hook up their senses to one another.

So I am adrift from all that now, but some part of me is still waiting for the other shoe to drop, for the sameness, the routines, the regularity, the indivisibility of our accumulated oneness to reassert itself and demand that I conform and get back into the routine.

No matter, though, it won’t and can’t work.  I am but a fragment now of what that oneness had become, a solitary interloper on a strange new planet.

I am making a few new connections, feeling my boundaries and oneness now as an individual in ways that surprise me.  I can see that I can go on, even alone, the rest of my days.  My mother did that when she lost my father.  I can feel a deep commonality with her now.  My empathy for her grows as I have assumed a taste of some of the shoes she has walked in. 

I understand now, even more, her fierce independence and irascibility that sometimes threw me for a loop.  I would think we would be doing fine, that she was comfortable with some aspect of her life with me, and then she suddenly would take a right turn just when I was expecting her to go straight ahead.  No wonder.  Muscles need to be stretched, heart muscles and head muscles are no exception.

The truth is, of course, that I would like to find a nice replacement for Lewis.  Someone who loves me much as he did, who has many of his qualities, who is a great companion, and who is a stimulating person with unique strengths to bear in a relationship.  I don’t mind quirkiness, and I don’t expect a saint.  Largeness of heart is my most important criterion. 

Let us hope that I am able to put out the kind of positive energy and attentiveness that will encourage such a relationship to grow. 

If it doesn’t, I won’t be any worse for the wear. 
And I am sure I’ll be OK and find my way no matter the way this goes.

Life is like a box of chocolates.   You never know….

Just ask Forrest. 

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having lived in the Arkansas mountains (in a tar paper dwelling) for a few years of my early childhood…I claim some rights to it…

The Call

COme, my Way, my Truth, my Life:
Such a Way, as gives us breath:
Such a Truth, as ends all strife:
Such a Life, as killeth death.

Come, my Light, my Feast, my Strength:
Such a Light, as shows a feast:
Such a Feast, as mends in length:
Such a Strength, as makes his guest.

Come, my Joy, my Love, my Heart:
Such a Joy, as none can move:
Such a Love, as none can part:
Such a Heart, as joyes in love.

Peace

(Not a part of Vaughn’s mystical songs, but one one Herbert’s most beautiful poems)

Sweet Peace, where dost thou dwell?  I humbly crave,
             Let me once know.
            I sought thee in a secret cave,
             And ask’d, if Peace were there.
A hollow winde did seem to answer, No:
             Go seek elsewhere.
I did; and going did a rainbow note:
             Surely, thought I,
             This is the lace of Peaces coat:
             I will search out the matter.
But while I lookt, the clouds immediately
             Did break and scatter.

Then went I to a garden, and did spy
             A gallant flower,
             The Crown Imperiall: sure, said I,
             Peace at the root must dwell.
But when I digg’d, I saw a worm devoure
             What show’d so well.
At length I met a rev’rend good old man,
            Whom when of Peace
             I did demand, he thus began:
             There was a Prince of old
At Salem dwelt, who liv’d with good increase
             Of flock and fold.

He sweetly liv’d; yet sweetnesse did not save
             His life from foes.
       But after death out of his grave
             There sprang twelve stalks of wheat:
Which many wondring at, got some of those
             To plant and set.
It prosper’d strangely, and did soon disperse
             Through all the earth:
For they that taste it do rehearse,
             That vertue lies therein,
A secret vertue bringing peace and mirth
             By flight of sinne.

Take of this grain, which in my garden grows,
             And grows for you;
        Make bread of it: and that repose
            And peace, which ev’ry where
With so much earnestnesse you do pursue,
             Is onely there.

Love Bade Me Welcome

LOve bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back,
            Guiltie of dust and sinne.
But quick-ey’d Love, observing me grow slack
            From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,
            If I lack’d any thing.

A guest, I answer’d, worthy to be here:
            Love said, You shall be he.
I the unkinde, ungratefull?  Ah my deare,
            I cannot look on thee.
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
            Who made the eyes but I?

Truth Lord, but I have marr’d them: let my shame
            Go where it doth deserve.
And know you not, sayes Love, who bore the blame?
            My deare, then I will serve.
You must sit down, sayes Love, and taste my meat:
            So I did sit and eat.

Easter: Rise Heart, Thy Lord is Risen &  I Got Me Flowers

RIse heart; thy Lord is risen. Sing his praise
Without delayes,
Who takes thee by the hand, that thou likewise
With him mayst rise:
That, as his death calcined1 thee to dust,
His life may make thee gold, and much more, just.

Awake, my lute, and struggle for thy part
With all thy art.
The crosse taught all wood to resound his name,
Who bore the same.
His stretched sinews taught all strings, what key
Is best to celebrate this most high day.

Consort both heart and lute, and twist a song
Pleasant and long:
Or, since all musick is but three parts2 vied
And multiplied,
O let thy blessed Spirit bear a part,
And make up our defects with his sweet art.

I got me flowers to strew Thy way,
I got me boughs off many a tree;
But Thou wast up by break of day,
And brought’s Thy sweets along with Thee.
Yet though my flower be lost, they say
A heart can never come too late;
Teach it to sing Thy praise this day,
And then this day my life shall date.

The Sunne arising in the East,
Though he give light, & th’ East perfume;
If they should offer to contest
With thy arising, they presume.
Can there be any day but this,
Though many sunnes to shine endeavour?
We count three hundred, but we misse:
There is but one, and that one ever.

 George Herbert

There are as many paths as there are breaths of the children of Adam, and when we fully make that commitment to plunge into the mystery, we all get glimpses each in our own way of how the consciousness can continue on in time….

Sometimes you sit under the shade of a tree, sometimes you walk in the desert.  Be always a passerby, for this is not home.”

But yet there are other times when life is so beautiful, new creatures whirl into existence with every light beam, dancing on your face, every thought blossoms into a lovely flower. I look at my wife my sister, my pets, the few possessions I have or talk with the few souls really close to mine in this life, the places where I like to eat pizza and maybe I drawn into the silent siren call of illusion, but life seems such a thing of beauty.

I was day dreaming or lost somewhere and I didn’t even know where I was for a bit, but when I came to I saw a baby and his mother and pop just all sharing a laugh.  How beautiful….

Even in the intense sorrow that is the burning away of the self, there is happiness in there.  The burning, the pain the affirmation is the return call from the beloved searing the sign of a promise on the heart. It is so surreal to see ones parents getting older, to see oneself getting older.

Every effort is required to walk along a path that is as narrow as the edge of a sword. Two cannot walk together, for it is the journey of the soul back to the Source, an offering of our own unique self back to the Creator. Within the group the seeker is given immense support, but there comes the time when any external support becomes a limitation, and one must continue alone. Even in the midst of family life and surrounded by loving friends, one finds oneself so deeply alone that it is like being in an empty desert with only the sound of the wind howling. Such inner states totally overshadow external circumstances. It is only when we are totally alone that we find Him in our hearts. It is such an intimate relationship that there is no space for anything else.  Llewelyn Vaughan Lee

To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

…Kahlil Gibran

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Joan of Arc

I know this now. Every man gives his life for what he believes. Every woman gives her life for what she believes. Sometimes people believe in little or nothing yet they give their lives to that little or nothing. One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it. And then it is gone. But to sacrifice what you are and live without belief, that's more terrible than dying.--

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Beannacht

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.

And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.

John O'Donohue, Echoes of Memory

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