Saturday, December 3, 2011

On Being Ill (a collaboration with Virginia Woolf)

Perhaps the great wars the body wages against us unravel the noble doings of the mind, leaving us slave to the solitude of the bedroom, hardened by our discomfort, imprisoned within the inevitable catastrophe of shiver and headache – our sleepless needs and fears tethered to the echo of every midnight groan.

Or maybe in illness we are finally freed to float as sticks down a sparkling stream, scatter with a gathering of dead leaves across the lawn – or like a self-possessed rose – gently tilt our head to the breeze and deliberately fall, petal by petal, in a swirl of dignity and indifference, all scent and flavor, framed in a festival of golden shafts, blue shadows, and creamy, voluptuous clouds.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

all this, all that

Perhaps all this talk of despair emits the irresistible fragrance of regretting a life looked back on, a framed photograph kept in a room you enter daily – yet like a road closure during the morning commute, it’s only worth remarking on once.

Maybe all that remains to be finished provides you the only hope you need to continue on, for when you pay attention to that miraculous desolation called the everyday you will no doubt detect a sliver of blessed light from the closest star falling cleanly across the arms of the elderly couple in the supermarket hotly debating which brand of canned soup to buy.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Shadow and Light

Perhaps as translucent trees gather the last of a lingering light, a discontinuity floods my eyes, and I wonder, what is it moving down my face? Single, glassy beads of sweat or tear drops?

Maybe feeling sad feels sad yet this little concern of mine, a mere shadow tracing the smooth, black lower framed edge of the kitchen drawer – skips across the counter and escapes the open door, coming to rest on a sweltering leaf sprinkled with hints of green, faithful servant sent to illuminate this resting place for dragonflies.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Sparrow and Robin (as told to Francis of Assisi)

Perhaps a sparrow says, "I am but a bread crumb in his beard, a snippet of his speech, yet enough to nourish the world until its end."

Maybe a robin replies, "I am a spot of wine on his shirt, the cheerful bloom of a tulip in his hand, a burst of laughter at the return of spring."

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Happy Balance

Perhaps we learn best from words in this book made of air, receiving its freshness a little at a time, our thoughts scattering the sand of its phrases through our fingers in a flood of ink and wind.

Or maybe, like the wandering dog that finds a happy balance between the warm spring sun and the longest hair on its tail, wisdom comes from simple attention to the simple, humble attention to humble things, and living attention to all that lives.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Ambivalence vs. Certainty (a collaboration with Emerson)

Perhaps ambivalence, accepting the jangle of contrary tendencies while preferring not to judge, is a bird which alights nowhere but hops perpetually from bough to bough - a power which abides in no man and in no woman, but for a moment speaks from this one, and for another moment from that one.

Maybe human life is a golden impossibility, as there never was any one right course of action anyhow, and certainty will almost certainly end up in the sad state of a splitting headache, much as the wise woman, through the excess of her exceptional wisdom, is made a fool when she crosses the line we all must walk.