spirituality


Don’t tell me I’ll go to heaven when I die; if I lead a righteous life. I’m already there. We all are.

What? Yes, that’s right, you heard me.

I am a human ‘being’, not a human ‘doing’.

Sometimes I am a human ‘doing’.

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But really.

What could be more heavenly than being defined at birth as a human – being… With nothing more required than that, if you choose… Just, ‘being’…

And don’t say, “An angel!” I would say, “A bird of some sort!”

P.S. Ever been annoyed at crows loudly scolding each other? Feed ’em! They’re hungry! Cat food works.

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To be defined as a human ‘being’….

Nice. Life is good.

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Pretty funny stuff. It sums up the fundamentalist viewpoint pretty well. It illustrates, for me, how endemic this kind of thinking is in our country – in our world, even? It’s kind of the mandate for institutionalized religion & spirituality, don’t you think? – to limit critical thinking, self-expression, etc.

Or substitute with the dogma of your choice.

Genesis 11:7  Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.

Russel’s Teapot.com

Wiki’s explanation of the term Russel’s teapot

Is There A God? by Bertrand Russel (from which the phrase came)

a summer night magical moment

1994 – weighed down by the depressive effects of interferon/chemotherapy and the stress of having a malady about which not much was known at the time. Further, trying to bear it stoically, without seeking the support and encouragement of friends. Finally I had to break down and share it with friends. I must have been reaching the point of tears and/or being a jerk. I’ve learned a lot about trust, openness and honesty since then.

It’s an impressionistic memory, a sort of tone poem, in the style of Jack Kerouac’s “sketching” writing style; which I learned about recently in the book, “Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters” – a great, illuminating new book filled with the humility of the authors’ search for meaning and enlightenment – and Kerouac’s long suffering plea for the cause of tenderness.

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Summer – still, quiet, dark warm gentle soft morning air humming, 3am out for a drive, to get some air, the magical stillness of the hour – windows open – listening to the sensual music of Quicksilver Messenger Service

in the bliss of the music,  going along the side of a steep hill, the road winding, curving around, a wooded glade, gentle down grade –

suddenly, there they were: four foxes, going one by one, single file. They looked like a family – a pack of foxes?  …beautiful, wraith-like creatures, trotting along beside me for a few brief moments…

it was as a communique’ from another world, a communing… A release, an unconsciously inhaled breath of life; transcendent essence of something that moves me – wilderness; perfect animal nature, like the otherworldly screech of bald eagles wheeling overhead, metallic scrapings of heaven; creation

With a special thanks to Maia, a poet-teacher friend – a muse, even. She suggested that I edit out some harsher self-judgmental words – and leave in some of the ones I was squeamish about. It was a lesson in itself.

I tagged and categorized this under “muse” because it’s a good example of how I sometimes work out my grief/depression/confusion through prose or poetry. It often serves to clarify issues, codify ideas and concepts. Writing gives us time to reflect. We find ways to say things that we might otherwise be unable to express.

I have strong opinions about the romantic notion that art can only be produced  through great suffering.  From my own perspective as a survivor and Buddhist believer in the holiness of life, I came to the conclusion/rule-of-thumb that the art is never more important than the artist.

Which is quite different from saying one who suffers can’t or shouldn’t attempt art – there should be more art in our lives, not less. My love of classic reggae has taught me about that connection. One’s problems are often a great muse, a spark, a great starting point; as long as one doesn’t wallow in it; as long as it doesn’t become the object itself.

I question the wisdom of seeking the derangement of the senses as a muse (a la the popular conception about Rimbaud.) I’ve managed to do quite enough of that, without actually making a point of it. I suggest taking healthy risks as an alternative – like risking an unpopular opinion, or being thought foolish…

I seek for my muse to come from a higher life-condition, from more positive things – kindness and the sanctity of life. Art for me is a spiritual thing – or a function of spirituality.

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Memorial Day

Driving home in my truck
on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, 2006
after a job
risking my neck for something that seems so silly –
Well… money’s not silly!

But for clean windows?

I caught myself, mourning the passing of the oil age
No one’s troubling with the design of new cars, as much…
What’s the point, for an object so soon to be obsolete?
But then, I thought – oh! A return, for us, to god’s green earth
– a chance at regeneration for our much-maligned planet
and thus, humankind’s inadvertent partial redemption

Then, shortly after that, the blues tried to sneak back in on me
oh! They’re so insistent!
What is it this time!?

On my way home – to what?
Loneliness? An awful aloneness, so unconscious of itself…
Another transition in the structure of my day…
Is this what my freedom – being self-employed – gets me?
– Because it will force me to look
– at where in life – my actions have led me…
Yes, alone with my own thoughts – how bleak is that?!

Now, making a detour of one or two blocks
so that I can see the horizon
and have a guess at tomorrow’s weather
I’m lucky to be able to see the western horizon,
so close to home…
There’s so precious few places that one can do that…
A treat for this grizzled old sea-bitch
How long before something so soulful as the horizon is gone?
Replaced by higher buildings – apartments and progress…

Oh, god! Remembering another Memorial Day,
so many years ago, when I was 19
a huge, tacky Iron Cross around my neck
I think it said 1914 on it
painted pink on one side from fingernail polish
catching a bus, downtown
accusing stares, that made me remember what day it was
of which I had been so oblivious…
Ah! I had much to learn!
You pay a price for such youthful folly!…
Oh! The awful uncomfortableness of myself!
The shame I felt, to be in my skin!
And oh! The awful ignorance of that cross, worn in the name of hipness.

Did those German hordes not yearn for glory, too?
Were they so unlike us, today?

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footnote: one sign of my spiritual/personal growth/recovery was the day that the loneliness I felt when returning home alone changed into a pleasant realization that my home had actually welcomed me into its warm embrace…