netpositive: (firehand)
A genuine work of art must mean many things.
The truer its art, the more things it will mean.

-George MacDonald
    This afternoon I stood in the yard in the rain.

    There was earth and stone, cool wind and breath,
    water in drops and blasts and broken sheets.

    And small -- so small - sparks of fire, burning
    like navigational stars in a lost universe.

    And there are still flower petals on the car,
    after the deluge, as the storms move on.

    The divine should not be somewhere out there.
    The divine should be in here.

    Come back to me.
    Or let me go.
    Or find me here, and take me there.
"How should I turn back, with no boat,
here on the edge of the world?"
"This the edge of the world? No, that is
farther on. We may yet come to it."

-Ursula K. LeGuin, _The Farthest Shore_
netpositive: (firehand)
1. Go exploring. Explore ideas, places, and opinions.
The inside of the echo chamber is where all the
boring people hang out.

-Jessica Nagy, "How to be More Interesting (in 10 Simple Steps)"
    I hate midwinter.

    Everyone who knows me, knows I hate midwinter.

    Gonna put one foot in front of the other
    until spring.

    Going slowly, maybe.

    But going.
You know, I keep dreaming of other people.
I want to be in my dreams once in a while.

-me, to myself, this morning
    And yet... I'm close to the divine.
    I can feel it. I have seen it. Touched it, even.

    I hear you calling.
    Please let me hear what you are saying.

10. Ignore the scolds. Boring is safe,
and you will be told to behave yourself.
The scolds could have, would have, should have.
But they didn’t.

-Jessica Nagy, again
netpositive: (Default)
He says the best way out is always through.
And I agree to that, or in so far
As that I can see no way out but through --
Leastways for me -- and then they’ll be convinced.

-Robert Frost, "A Servant of Servants"
    I see so many people struggling.
    I hear so many people hurting.
    The strong get torn down;
    the weak get torn up.
    How can I make this world less dark?
    You tell me, and then we'll both know
    how to reach out in a lack of light
    and touch without shocking each other.

    (Unless we both need the electricity.
    Then please, oh please, let the juice run.)

    I've seen the divine. Quite recently in fact.
    But I don't see how to get there from here.
    So far. So far.

    Yet the future keeps right on coming.
I ’spose I’ve got to go the road I’m going:
Other folks have to, and why shouldn’t I?

-Robert Frost
netpositive: (firehand)
Don't know where I am.
Only matters where I've been and
How I'm going on.

-me, on the road this morning
    Have been pondering "communities vs. individuals" a lot.
    Connection vs. disconnection. Can you have both?
    How do you balance the social and the solitary?

    Feel like I'm looking for a practical spirituality
    and not finding it. I believe in immanence... but
    right now I'm not sure it believes in me.

    People are hard. Groups of people are harder.

    Am I crazy? Is it me? Is it you?
The kind of spirituality I value is one
in which you get great joy out of contributing
to life, not just sitting and meditating,
although meditation is certainly valuable.
But from the meditation, from the resulting
consciousness, I would like to see people
in action creating the world that they want
to live in.

-Marshall Rosenberg
netpositive: (Default)
My feet travel five, seven, five.
My hands hold a book, an iPod, cold blood, and keys.
My heart is so very far away.
    Earlier heard birds.
    Now, sere silence of dead grass
    Scratched by vehicles.

    Bobcats squat in mud,
    Yellow screaming against brown,
    Clawed wheels churned deep.

    The sober of cold
    Stays outside blue neon bars
    Not drinking it in.

    Shelves filled with shiny
    things I do not want to buy;
    I do turn around, and leave.

    You level and build
    Metal trees and plastic wood
    Over life's underground.

    You sweep your streets free
    of the broken and feral --
    no place for me, here.

    Beware the beast, then,
    Prowling civilization
    With no affection.

    Later, sun through glass
    redeems one moment -- but a
    window remains closed.
Trying to live in the moment
may be necessary but is not always beautiful.
Sometimes all one has is understanding what is.
netpositive: (frenchy)
A conversation at dinner last night
reminded me to write things down
when I'm thinking of them.
Or of you.

This will go through revisions,
hopefully many.
But for now it's a starting point.


    I see you.

    In every flower that blooms --
    tree that leaves --
    bee that buzzes --
    wasp that stings.

    I see you in the ice on frozen driveways,
    and the water flowing in Winters Run,
    and the steam rising from cow manure
    dropped in a cold Jarrettsville dawn.

    In pine trees, and weeping willows, and crabapples.

    I hear you in the chatter of chickens and
    the chewing of cows, in political discourse
    and private confessions, and in everyone's
    laughter.

    I hear you in groups, in tete-a-tetes, and
    in silence.

    You are there every time I darn a sock, or
    change my oil, or go to work, or do my taxes,
    or come home, or listen to music, or read a book.
    Right there -- and generally adding your opinion!
    (We don't always agree, but it always has value.)

    I touch you in flannel and in velvet,
    in rusted steel and the fur of animals,
    in fuzzy sweaters and cotton/polyester,
    in the rocks of the field
    and the bones of my hands.

    I taste you in overcooked roast beef
    and fresh asparagus, in white rice
    and red spices -- cinnamon, paprika,
    and catsup.

    I smell you in fresh-cut wood
    and in turpentine, in new-mown grass
    and in bales of straw, in summer's air
    and autumn's fall.

    (Oh, can't forget lemon-scented Pledge.
    Otherwise, I hate lemon -- just about
    as much as you seem to love it.)

    And best of all, in all my senses,
    I can perceive you in others'
    hearts and minds.

    Whatever you eventually reincarnate as, be it
    Buddha or beetle, I know one thing for sure.

    Your spirit, is gonna cause some mischief.


To poets everywhere, even ones I don't like.
And for the one I love above all others.
netpositive: (Default)
... I guess I'll have to show more skin
in the next one. The public's demandin' it.
Y'know, when they ask for meat
you can't give 'em vegetables.

-Ruby Carter, _It Ain't No Sin_
    If you did something for me?
    Thank you. I appreciate it.

    If I did something for you?
    You're welcome. My pleasure.

    And if we didn't do anything?
    It's okay. Try again tomorrow.

    I feel my connection to the divine.
    I'm grateful for the light and heat.
    But a rainstorm would be lovely too.
Kiss me & don't forget
What you see is what you get

Oysterband, "Blood Wedding"
netpositive: (Default)
3 is not the same as double.
Adjust your expectations.
Make lemon juice tart.

Friday - contra dancing and Antero Alli.
Saturday - classical musicians and Django Reinhardt.
Sunday - bookcases and hellburgers.
Monday - pizza and intravenous fluids.
Tuesday - sinuses and video archiving.
Wednesday - "That's different. I'm trustworthy."
Thursday - "Listen, I'm not kidding. This is my job!"

Need to step it up a bit?
Ten things a day.
Per room.

You, make me a better person.
You, make me a bigger person.
You, make me a thoughtful person.
You, make me think.

Still need that blue sky, though.
netpositive: (Default)
Been feeling a lot more like myself lately.

A lot of me. And then some.

Kinda nice.

Meat and salt, and juice for me.

A pair of roller skates, and a brand new key.
Perhaps I have the universe. Or maybe it has me.
netpositive: (Default)
Switch off the mind and let the heart decide
who you were meant to be
Flick to remote and let the body glide,
there is no enemy
Etch out a future of your own design,
well tailored to your needs
Then fan the flame and keep the dream alive
of a continent, a continent, a continent, a continent...

-Thomas Dolby
    If I were a believer in omens, this morning I
    missed the bus *and* the elevator to work is broken.

    And then, the cursor on my laptop froze in place.

    And I'm thirsty. Still so thirsty.

If you have not yet succeeded on an inward journey,
be gentle with yourself. Give yourself time. Gently let
yourself go deeper. Whatever experience comes to you,
let it take you over. Welcome it. Relish it.

Goursana
netpositive: (bluebells)
So in between the B/W Parkway and West Park Drive,
there's this moment in time and space:


Empty space in your head next day
Memories have come and they have gone
Open your eyes can't get back to sleep
Though it's the earliest crack of dawn
There's a nagging something
You can't quite put your finger on...

-Tracy McDonnell
    Do I feel better because I take the vitamins,
    or do I take the vitamins because I feel better?
    Or maybe the vitamins take me.
    Whatever. Just take the vitamins.

    Easy games can provide a sense of accomplishment.
    It may seem like a "false" sense because the game
    is not "real". But you, and your play, are as real as.

    Try asking for what you want. It's hard to hear nos,
    but at least you're speaking for yourself when you do.

    More honey than vinegar. But vinegar can bring the tart.

    Let's face the music -- and dance.

If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people together
to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather
teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.

-Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Courage (6)

Aug. 1st, 2008 10:10 am
netpositive: (firehand)
So, I attended a ceremony last night.

It was the first event of its kind where
I honestly felt or perceived some sort of
"difference" during the experience.

During the meditation, we were encouraged to
encounter a golden man in a field of grain,
and there to receive a message and a gift.

And then my brain instantly said,
"But it's not a man. It's a deer."

I'm still deciphering the full message but
it involves paths and validation. There's
a lot of difference between the following:

"You are on the right path now."
"You are on the right path."
"You are on the path."
and
"You are the path."

My gift, though, was clear and three-fold.

When the deer fell over, shot through
with a silver arrow for the renewal, first
there was a hide, laid out flat, minus head.

The hide then disappeared, to reveal a
still-beating heart, garish red and blue in
its animation, invisibly connected in mid-air.

Before I could pick it up, the heart also
disappeared, and there beneath it rested a
fragment of antler, which was mine to keep.

The antler?
Grows, branches, falls off, and regenerates.
Changes composition during annual cycle.
Differs even between base and tip.
Is used as part of fighting by males, but
caribou and reindeer females also have them.
Represents the essence of deer in our minds.


Thank you for all my gifts, seen and unseen.
netpositive: (firehand)
You reach a point where you can either
do something or be somebody.

-Major John Boyd
    How do you free yourself, even momentarily,
    from being somebody in order to do something
    instead (or as well)?

    Looking to do something with a meaningful
    connection, not as defined by anyone else
    save this silly goose trying to dissolve
    her bottle.
Sometimes when we are generous in small,
barely detectable ways it can change
someone else's life forever.

Margaret Cho
    Working on recycling or disposing of more.
    Trying to take less in.
    Been Freecycling a few things.
    (Even some books.)

    Back to studying language CDs in the car.
    Revised a year-old short story.
    Trying to eat less.
    (Or at least less junk.)

    Reading around the occult world a bit, more
    as an interested tourist than a participant
    (for the time being).

    Need sleep.
    And dreams.
I got into a friendly argument with a colleague about
“appropriate” uses for churches. It started with an
observation he made about how St. Bart’s in Midtown
over-advertises its cafe - and why does a church have
a cafe anyway? He advocates separation of uses, and
deplored as an example, the proposal to turn a church
into a nightclub. I believe instead that churches are
gathering places - in a whole host of different ways,
whether they are cafes, nursery schools, night clubs,
or anything else....

Much of our disagreement was wrapped up in our conception
of these places and activity that is or is not perceived as
illicit. I don’t thinking [sic] drinking and dancing or
listening to music late at night, say at a night club, is
such an illicit activity that needs physical separation from
the observance of spirituality.

_This Place Is..._
    Not sure if there is any combination
    of community and spirituality out there
    which would apply to me.

    Dancing comes closest at the moment, but
    I'm not sure anyone else finds in it
    what I do.

    Many of my friends have found some community,
    but I'm not too sure that I belong.
    (If I even should.)

    I guess. I guess I'm just not sure. If I were...

    Soul ISO: immanence, rather than transcendence.
Time is the dominant parameter. The pilot who
goes through the [Observe Orient Decide Act] cycle
in the shortest time prevails because his opponent
responds to actions that have already changed.

-Harry Hillaker
netpositive: (firehand)
Adjust your circumstances to suit your nature.
-Cary Tennis
    Over the weekend, I had a moment of connection with
    the divine.

    What, you think that makes you special?

    I have had them, though they've been too rare recently, and
    generally been achieved with effort rather than spontaneous.

    Shouldn't it just happen? If you're trying, maybe you're trying too hard.
    Or maybe you're just imagining things.


    This one, though, felt a little different than the others.

    Granted, I was in a position where it was possible to happen.
    But that is often the case, as I seek out things that nourish
    me when I struggle. So: I was outdoors, with music and a book,
    in a crowd but separated enough. Still, I wasn't trying at all.

    Instead, I felt the universe *trying* *around me*. I felt it
    nudge here, shift there, and click into place for a moment.

    How incredibly ego-centric of you.

    I'm just saying that instead of random or forced, it was...
    "Welcome back. Visit more often. I'm here waiting for you."

    Come on. The universe is blind.

    How can it be blind, when it sees through so many eyes?

    If spirituality is one's personal, private experience
    of the divine, is religion that same experience shared
    across a community? Does the communal always change (or
    destroy) the personal, or can it actually enhance it?

    Since then, cheerfulness, competency, learning, usefulness
    mixed up with tired, grumpy, boredom and lack of ambition.
    Typical material existence ups and downs.

    No, not that special. You wouldn't know me if you saw me;
    I look just like everybody else.

    But value any glimpse of a world outside -- world ahead.


    Thanks for the half-nightmare, Tir'na na Nogth.
    So: if the T-shirts are labels, and I had
    trouble getting them on and off, and I never
    found the one I wanted in time for the start of
    my Masquerade entry... how can I change my script?

Books I am reading right now:
_Memoirs of a Spiritual Outsider_ by Suzanne Clores
_Border Reminiscences_ by Randolph Marcy
_The World of Shamanism_ by Robert Walsh
_This Business of Concert Promotion and Touring_ by Waddell, Barnet, Berry
netpositive: (Default)
New opportunities to use my special skills
now open up for me.

A "Vital Affirmations" Card
    So. Another place that I interviewed called, just
    two business days after I accepted the first (good) offer.
    I cut him off gently and told him about it
    before he got to the reason for his call,
    so I don't actually know whether
    they were going to offer or not.
    I suppose I could have let them go ahead,
    if they were so inclined.
    On Friday, or even Monday, I would have done so.
    I was prepared to, then. I was ready for things.
    And, I certainly could have used more ego boost.
    (For that matter, I still could use it.)

    But now it's Tuesday, and I'm struggling here.
    I am hoping I've gotten one positive thing set up
    for the near future, but nothing feels certain yet.
    And I'm really discontented with what is currently,
    and I'm not handling it very well. Other things are
    continuing wrong, and I don't know how to fix them.

    And I didn't need to feel like I was second-choice
    or second-rate, any more than I already do. *sigh*

    No, this isn't the life I dreamed of, or even wanted
    a few years ago. It's just the life I have right now.
    But there ought to be more than just being grateful
    everyone woke up alive this morning. Isn't there?

    So I guess maybe I just wanted to say to someone today
    that hey, someone else wanted me in some fashion.
    Wanted me as I am now, apparently.
    Talked to me and listened to me and liked me.
    Even asked what I wanted, and actually gave it to me.

    Why is that so hard?

    Please renew my connection with life. Please. Please.
    I want to see the sun.
    I want to be warm.
    I want to be.

Don't give up too easily.
Give it your best and feel tested.

-Morgan Green
netpositive: (firehand)
Dearly beloved,
We are gathered here today
2 get through this thing called life...

-Prince
    Know what you can stand.
    Work on what you have trouble standing.
    Avoid what you can't stand.
    If you can.

    Write it out. Write it down.

If u don't like the world you're living in
Take a look around u
At least u got friends--

    Some things to be grateful for today:
  • Sunshine
  • Blue sky
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Radishes
  • Tea
  • Vitamins and minerals
  • Sleeping kitties
  • Petting sleeping kitties
  • Helping someone out virtually
  • Clouds
  • Rain
  • A bright yellow rain slicker
  • Backpack with everything in it
  • A body that (mostly) works
  • Quiet local coffee shop (w/electricity, w/out Internet)
  • Iced chai
  • Some work to do
  • An iPod with bright orange skin
  • Some work getting done
  • Sleeping kitties waking up
  • Waking kitties being petted
  • Things to look forward to

Are we gonna let de-elevator
Bring us down?
Oh, no, let's go--!

    Thank you, Chris Benoit.

    No, not so much for the past few days,
    though I have learned much about you,
    myself, and others during them. ::(
    But thank you for those many years that
    you *were* a good person to other people.

    What happened this past weekend should not
    take those good times away from anyone else.
    It just will make us all the sadder that they,
    and you, are gone for good, and so horribly.

    I don't know what happened to you, Wild Pegasus.
    Maybe no one ever really will know "the truth".
    But I can guess, I can imagine, and I even suspect
    I would understand at least some of it. Not condone;
    but there but for the grace of something, could go I.

We're all excited
But we don't know why
Maybe it's cuz
We're all gonna die

And when we do (When we do)
What's it all 4 (What's it all 4)
U better live now
Before the grim reaper come knocking on your door

Tell me, are we gonna let de-elevator bring us down?
Oh, no, let's go--!
netpositive: (frenchy)
That's me in the corner,
That's me in the spotlight, I'm
Losing my religion

-R.E.M.
    I already knew, but it was also the very first thing
    I heard on the radio as I got into the car.

    Driving home tonight was about as creepy a trip
    as I've ever taken. Lights were all too bright,
    cars were far too close. I had to turn the radio
    down twice, and then completely off.

    It seemed like people were driving worse than usual.
    Then I noticed the 14th Street Bridge goes over water.
    I'm so used to going over it, it seldom registers now,
    but it did tonight. And the disabled cars, with people
    standing so close to traffic doing 50+ mph. And planes
    flying low overhead. And... and...

    And my chest is hurting because I'm still breathing,
    but barely, head and heart both arguing with lungs
    and intestines. Long pauses between short breaths, and
    a painful pit in the bottom of my stomach, telling me:
    "And someday, you know, that will be you. Someday."

    No, it's not me. Not yet. I'm still alive, for now.
    But you never know, do you. Who, what, where, when.

    So often, I don't know how you other people do it.
    How do you live daily with the terror that someday,
    you'll die? Feeling that there is no one standing
    between you and eternity? Worrying there is never
    enough time, and seeing what you've already wasted?
    Knowing that whenever life stops -- then you lose?

    I hate being so afraid of death, what feels like
    all the time. Sometimes I feel like it goes away.
    I go days, weeks, months without dwelling on it.

    And then something happens, to bring it all back.

    Or worse. And yes, this is about me, but it's also
    me thinking about death and anger and grief and loss
    and how you handle it. And me mourning the tragedy of
    someone I met in person for a brief moment years ago,
    but whose work I have admired for over two decades.

    No, I don't want to be just waiting here for death.
    Yes, I do want to live. And I don't want to die.
    But sometimes, I find myself losing the way.
    And so often, I'm so scared.


R.I.P.
Daniel Benoit, 2000-2007
Nancy Daus Benoit, 1964-2007
Chris Benoit, 1967-2007
netpositive: (firehand)
Heretics of the world, take heart.
There is a place set aside for you
at the table of religion after all.
... for you, O heretics, faith and belief
alone are like painted cakes that cannot
satisfy the hunger and yearning you feel
in your belly and your heart and your soul.

Will Johnson's introduction to
_The Forbidden Poems of Rumi_

    Crescent moon,
    prod me in the back with your tines,
    push me firmly into the daytime,
    then welcome me into your curve
    when I'm done.

    Full moon,
    pour forth all your hoarded silver,
    let me drink your light to bursting
    and beam moonfaced to rival even
    the sun's gold.

    Crescent moon,
    hang me on your hook,
    high -- high -- high above earth, to where
    I can't tell the cities from stars.
    Remove me.

    New moon,
    hide me in your shadow,
    let me weep into your empty seas
    until you take all my tarnished tears.
    Return me.
Composed in tribute to
JoCo's "I'm Your Moon",
JJ's "Fugue 2/Song of Daedalus"
and the upcoming lunar eclipse.
But mostly because Artemis,
when rising from her pool,
longs for her wide wild world full of joy.


Sometimes, the music is all you get.
Try not to hate it for not being dancing...
or go figure out what the right dance would be, already.

-me
netpositive: (firehand)
I understand very well being scared of the future.
Fighter jets and fire engines don't make me feel safer.
Just more scared. But that Rumi, he never said life was safe.
    It's actually very easy to be miserable,
    because nothing is ever going to be perfect
    in an less than perfect world. Be different.
    Do the difficult. Don't add to the misery.

    Be glad when times are good.
    When times are not so good,
    be glad you were so lucky, and
    try to make your own luck again.

    "And smale foweles maken melodye"

    Good memories are doubly precious
    - once in the creating,
    and again in the remembering.
    I wish I had a better memory.

    Life can sure be like an oyster. Hard shell;
    lots of squishy bits whose edibility is much
    a matter of personal taste; irritations; rarely,
    a pearl. So, how do I get this thing open again?

    "That slepen al the nyght with open ye"

    Of course, there's always something profound
    from the Beatles. In this case: "The love you make
    is equal to the love you take."

    "(So priketh hem nature in hir corages)"

    Don't wanna run with the big boys, buy bigger toys.
    Babies or marriage, they ain't the issue here.
    I'm not against either. I just want my own future.
    To write, to dance, to breathe, to float, to fly.
    To be strong, to be comforted, to be, to see. I.

    "Thanne longen folk to go on pilgrimages"

    Because a pilgrim has
    a clear path,
    a destination, and
    a plan to return to grace.
Deadlines and dollar signs
A cup of kindness and I'll be fine
Gonna patch up all those holes and tears you see
Don't worry 'bout me

-Patty Larkin
netpositive: (firehand)
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
-Shelley
    Lives are changing all around me. Marriages,
    births, big moves, and the occasional death, too.

    My life changes so quietly. I'm too close to see.
    I don't celebrate things in a big way. I can be
    often grateful for the tiniest things in my life,
    but I have no grand memories. The hazard of living
    kaizen, or of practicing wu-wei -- no markers, no
    monuments, no pedestal of Ozymandius. Only a path
    receding back dimly, and moving off forward, into
    a hazy distance.

    Happy with where I am? Yes, it's better than it was,
    I am scared or angry less often, enjoying more.

    Happy with what I am? Yes, the more I see of other people,
    the more gifted and lucky I realize I am.

    Happy with who I am? Yes, but I still want to be more.

    A long time ago, a friend read a long list of
    "I want"
    and mentioned that I was missing the word
    "hope".

    One question I'm having: What should I hope for?
But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!

-Coleridge

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