Monday, March 2, 2015

Okay, Doctor, I was talking to my friend...

So let's say, for the sake of argument, that my childhood involved a parent with borderline personality disorder...  something like that.  Mild form.  Fear of abandonment, irrational reactions, 'I'm a bad person...'  No one's fault, just that's how it goes.  The child develops coping mechanisms.  Maybe a kind of patiently letting the episode play itself out, keep a this-is-normal face on.

But the world doesn't simply operate, it won't give you the things you need, if you just cope, passive, everyone get along, I can talk to everybody...  I threw my entire coping mechanism into the thing with the girl back in college, and just coping isn't positive enough, it isn't active enough, it doesn't really do it.  She would be waiting for me to come through and I didn't know how to do it, except in very faint subtle ways that weren't enough for her.

So then you realize everything, like what you should have done, too late.

And that's how you start out in life, by being the great martyr to coping, to everyone getting along, but not very able to stand up for what you want out of life, to go ask for it.  So you end up in sort of open codependent relationships.  Mr. Nice-guy.

That's a painful realization, to come upon, half-way through life.  It's frightening.  You've lived your whole life in such a way...  Now what?  Where do you change?  What do you want out of life, after politely going along with everything, the peacemaker?  How do you stand up for yourself?  Making everyone happy except yourself.

You really don't even want to see it.  The damage.  Don't rationalize it, making it into high Christianity, it's just human cowardly psychologically stuck behavior.

And I guess that girl was the perfect thing for me to run-up against to make it all come out, to show my faults off, making them plainly visible.  A people pleasing escapist dreamer...  Yeah, she called me out on my shit.  That's what smart people do, that's what women do.  Yeah, good luck with that.

I guess that's why I've held onto it for so long.  The difference between feelings, knowing what you want, and what you end up with.  The great mystery of my fucked-up-ed-ness.  All my creativity I've thrown at it, that too just a coping mechanism.  Instead of facing my problems.

Yeah, all the higher consciousness Jesus Buddha stuff...  I mean, good for them, but it doesn't really do it down here on Earth.

My flawed modus operandi, everything's fine, sure...

Saturday, February 28, 2015

But it was easy to forget.  Every day you roused yourself as you could, fumbled in the kitchen, but to write, you had to look past the ego, you had to work through it, around it, over it.  You had to let the inner light of mind speak out through the thick layers always sedimental, some layers hardened, such that the act felt sad and painful.  Often you had to rise over the mood rendered unto you by what you'd gotten into the night before in escape of the loneness.

I am a poor servant, incapable, you would protest at the attempt, unworthy.  But if it's not you, who else?  Okay, I'll try.  But it was hard to get past the ego, which too made its protests, not wanting you to forget that which pained you and how you felt.  Ask the universe for help.  Light some incense.  Sip your tea.  Look at what you'd written down before in the attempt to see and let the light shine out.  Old circumstances fall on you, like broken plaster.  Yes, the time there was peace walking with her, but you didn't nail down the date to see Jungle Book, shame on you.  One thing enough to stop you.

What if I quit my job.  Got away from the wine, away from the ego, away from the circular trap.  Where could I go to more purely serve?  Without this fakery in the very middle of it.  Simple nourishment would do, this is made clear by the loaves and the fishes.  Wine is reserved, it seems, for special occasions.

But was he not a man of sorrow...  The misunderstanding always there, to teach over to those who have eyes and ears.  They don't quite get it, but I will keep at it.  They will backslide, but I will pull them back.  It is hard work, because it makes no sense.  So self-reflexive that either you get the logic or you don't.  Take this cup of suffering away.

But the writer will write.  What else can he do?  He's done a lot of training for it, put in his time, his life, his effort, his sacrifices.  He's led a strange enough life to make it happen, that which he deemed was inside of him, in need of coming out.  A thing he hoped would lead him to understand that great final mystery of just what it meant to commune and keep steady company with a woman, the thing that often made him want to weep, that colored his every day with shrouding darkness, trudging underneath, putting the professional habit on over it.  It wasn't just the sex part, high and tantric, a long communing, but it would extend into him, into his spirit, deep.

That's what he had hidden from, unable to face himself, unable to face the things he really had to say and teach.  And the same thing had probably too made him a bit odd.  His view of marriage was different from the norm.  It did not involve any kind of dominance or smoothness or outer capability, conspicuous skill, nor, of course, any material security of the kind constantly referred to by any mind.  House, stability, job, credential, degree, career...  This hurt his own mind as much as it would have anyone else's.  No wonder he napped so often, keeping the whole thing up in the air.    No wonder he sought an answer.

Tough to get by on your smile.  Tough to get by on being beautiful and revelatory.  Hide it.  No, don't hide it.  The thing dogs me.  But the dog is sweet, dedicated, selfless, yes, selfless.

It is no easy task.  So much of the conscious mind is protective, egotistical, reading off a list of what should be done in any day.

Pray.  Behold the man.  Look at him.

All you had was writing.  Beyond that only the mundanity of chores.

Then, having made the hard effort, having tried to break through, even as you went about little chores and ate breakfast, things would improve.

Then to get over the fear, on a daily basis, of people, of needing and wanting things, the basics of life, the additional things like having a friend solder a loose wire on the jack of an old electric guitar.  The fear of being moral, flawed, transparent, the fear of admitting the need for friendship and approval and love from other beings.  Things difficult for a stubborn Capricorn.

Should I go out of the house?  On the road?  What would that entail?

That was it.  The fear, natural to a writer, of his thoughts overrun.  Until he'd written, was ready to go down into the arena.  Thus was it better to write then to not write, because if you did not write, then you would not know when you were ready to face people.  Rising above the shyness all the greats, from inward bent, possess.  Above the fear of his own stupidity and awkwardness toward practical things.  Above the fears that came after deeply inhabiting the inner mind and the emotional parts of himself than having to pull away, for reference.

Friday, February 27, 2015

But one had forgotten, in the account, how the Disciples are quibbling about who is the greatest of them, which one.  Then he stoops to do the dirty necessary job of cleaning feet that have walked through city street, which will be close to the low table of the Passover meal, a task of the lowest servant.

There is something universal about going to the city.  There is rejection, there is torment.  He is not a conventional guy.  Everyone in the city is basically trying to compete.  One-upmanship.  How quickly people change, as if the urban location forced them to show, as much to themselves, 'who I am, look at me.'  I'm a great stock broker;  I can afford to live here and in style.  Farmers aren't so much like that.

How quickly did they forget.  He looks over at them.  They seem to have forgotten the lessons of the road, the fresh vision.  Was it too mind-blowing for them.


Looking back now, you could just say, 'it wasn't meant to be.'  There was too much work to do.  All of it of an unknown nature, the science of it, the discovery taking a mortally long time.  He had to harness the genie of humility, had begun to practice it even then.  The rejection, well, it was just something that happened.  No one meant it to happen, it just did happen.  There was no way to revoke it, somehow, who knows why.  Maybe too much baggage, no way to wipe the slate clean, after all the disappointments back and forth between them, him and her.  She had her perspective, which, yes, was that of the city, and he had his, which, yes, was that of the country side and smaller towns and open spaces.  She had city society as a great teacher, of style and variety and sophistication, and he had his deep scholarly father teaching him the higher meaning of life, the essence of nature.  Her time was measured in appointments, movie times, cultural events, things to do, and his time was of seasons, of slowly but surely dawning revelations that came as they came.  Just one of those things.

Yes, the rejection hurt.  It hurt worse that it was all perfectly his own fault, time after time.  It was included along with the torments he would find when he came to the city himself.  It went along with sitting in a ninth floor office surrounded by shelves with files on them, unhappy people, computers, constantly ringing phones, stale coffee, little to break the monotony, the bus ride to the night shift.  Which he endured, until he moved on, working at night, which was a different kind of torment, particularly as the years marched on, but at least spiritually alive.

A job which allowed him to pursue the stranger aspects of higher consciousness.  Stone that the builders rejected.  No wonder he'd had difficulty in school the last year or two.  He had already begun the strange journey, already heard the biddings of the desert places, the communing with the spiritual world.  That kind of a thing would never have fitted in with contemporary scholarship and its nitpicking and drawing lots.  Yes, you could look like a pretty big idiot when you came back from that (and all its solitary wanderings) into the society of a crowd of young smart confident people who were headed out to take their own city life;  where would you fit in?  How about nowhere.

But the physician must cure himself, and so he needs to make a diagnosis, to understand, at least conjecturally, what the apparent problem is all about.  And so, he consults one of the oldest medical journals known the race, which is, you know, called scripture, or the Torah, or the Old Testament, or the New, or as the Bible, but still it's really a book rich in diagnoses.  Cancer was secondary;  the issues of health were spiritual.  He consults, and looks for a pattern, hmmm, much like we do today on the internet, and maybe finds something speaking to his condition.  There are other journals, and they are good too sometimes.  They all point in the same direction.  How could they not?

It would have been the last thing he would have wanted to do, screwing it up with her.  But it seemed to be unpreventable, given who people were, he supposed.  He could only hope that one day, after it all got figured out, that there might be some form of reconciliation or redemption, or agreement, or some sort of communication of lasting earthly friendship.  But who knows?   It's up to God to see if such things are to happen or not.  Truly.

And one can only keep up his practice, as strange and almost psychedelic in its own little spiritual way as it is.  But in the meantime, yes, he had discovered the Cross and its sufferings, the torment at the hands of the authorities, before passed on to the soldier crew for additional roughing up, as if they were trying to dissuade a man from being insane as he cannot help being, an oddball, the one who wanted to turn over all forms of conventional wisdom except that which had been forgotten about.  Belonging as they do, of course they are going to rough up the geeky outsider, as much to show that they themselves still belong as much as anything, which is why they laugh, taking it all as a big joke.

That wouldn't have happened out on the road.  The road allows people to open up, to bring forward their problems and their illnesses, to receive and take in words of wisdom.  The road is not the city, and the city not the road, that's how it is.  Towns are places of learning, each with their own little center, positive, eager to teach and learn, different from the ossified pecking order of the city's temple.

But it was always hard, crossing that Hamlet line of inaction, to take that step.  Here, Ophelia, take my hand, I won't play crazy any more.  So hard to act in this world.  You can only act by being you, who you really are, in the end.  I'm sorry, but this is who I am.  I come to a strange world I know nothing about, dropped in every two thousand years or so, having to figure it out all over again.  This strange thing, consciousness, the light in our heads, what to do with it.  Be gentle.

No one has any confidence here, she told him, that first night, when they walked back to campus, the only time they made out, regrettably, very much so.  Is that it?  That question would turn and be turned in his mind, for years.  What is confidence?  Wasn't quite fair, but you see what she meant, reflecting on an instant or two where you should have just taken charge and put her up against the garage door there.  Oh, you hate me, huh.  But I guess I'm not like that, so much, though, I could well have just as easily, but that means going shoulda woulda coulda in the mind, which is not the best practice.

Confidence...  what would that look like?  Of course, his example.  Whoever he was.  Translate the Cross into doing yoga, inner breath, chakras, having actual humility as a daily practice.  Continue to suffer the mind's creativity.  The strange profession.  The unconventional thoughts of time and space, of self.

It all may have seemed strange, even to him.  What is this hallucination I am living in?

Light a stick of incense, take the socks out of the dryer, take a shower, do some dishes, now that you've written out some of the weird that happens to honest people.


But of course we torment ourselves through the instrument of our minds.  This is why we like to occupy ourselves with work, why we place ourselves around other human beings.  Writers are amongst the few who put themselves through such torments on a daily basis, somehow thinking it's good for them, and it's a good thing that God invented yoga and that society can endorse things like mediation, having read the numbers of how many people actually don't feel so mentally great enough hours of the day to warrant attention.  How sad one can feel sometimes, a mute voice, plea-ing for something, not knowing exactly what, maybe for something just to simply go away.  Get thee behind me, Satan.  Leaveth me alone.

Creativity is overrated.  The night takes over the Son of Man sometimes, holds him in the depths of the earth, and he must rise to the light.  His own light.  No matter how fucked up he feels.  It will pass.

Such a darn fool...  how could I figure out anything anyway?  Let alone Jesus.


Yes, true, but when you've turned a corner you sort of realize it.  Understanding finally the relationship between man and woman, truly a thing with spiritual purposes, a high seance of yoga energies, every meeting provoking the spirit to rise higher.  That's why that woman breaks the bank and brings him spikenard and pours it lovingly over his hair and then tends to his basic lower chakra parts, his feet.  It's going to be worth it, the communion.  It's like everything else, the kaleidoscope of reality leading on to see the spiritual realities in everything, so that you know the ground on which people walk, thus able to clearly see them, their behavior.

Who else would write of Jesus but the son of a botany professor who misses his talks with his old man.  And at fifty, as much of the world has realized, you are not dead, so why not go on with life, find that one particular adept woman you're meant to bound with in the incarnated world.  Continue on with your quiet meditations in the safety of your own apartment.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

There he is, washing the feet of eleven of the Disciples in the ikon, mine from St. Isaac of Syria Skete of Boscobel, Wisconsin.  The faces of the men are obedient, respectful, attentive, and also puzzled, in a tender way, as if caught in the act of learning something.  And there he is, towel in hands, such that you don't see them, holding one of the men's right foot there above the basin.  The look on his face is one of calm and focus, no distracting him, doing what he does, leaning slightly forward to do his work, almost in the way one leads forward to shake a finger at someone, no no, naughty naughty, this is rather the way, I knew you had it in you.  There, good boy.

It's an act that seems to go without saying.  Oh, yes, yup, Jesus did that.  Come to quick terms with it.  'Humility.  Good example, of how to be in the world.'

But it is an ikon of a man doing his work, so much so that it is a quintessential moment, and the rest of his sayings are almost like a commentary one provides along with the essential.  Such that we still are required to step back and ask, but what is he doing...  The simple act.  Mysterious.  Not here raising the dead and curing lepers and the blind, no, not here lecturing from the top of a hill, not here walking on water or calming the waters, but the central track on the album, by which we would not get if we didn't listen to the particular one.

It really is one of the great mysteries, like the legend of Jonah and the Leviathan, the mystery of his plea of guilt, of his taking, of his survival and return, quite a thing to happen to a guy walking down the street, could you duplicate it for an interested television audience?  ('Well, it would probably take a while;  you need a certain amount of preparation...' the spiritually informed might say.)

One way to do it is to, as they say, put on another's shoes and be him for a day or two or three;  what's it like.  It's an act, a mindset, we have to, in our own way, inhabit from within.  We have to go and pick it up in our own hands and in our own habits, to fall into it, to walk in its paths, to mull it over, to phase in and out of it, to leave and return on a daily basis.  Not literal feet washing, a kind of attending.



Along with observation.  What is happening here?  Who now is what?  What does this say about a key figure in humanity who truly represents all of us, who is being completely unselfish in an unselfish way, as if to double down, as if to show us.  And the silent statement rings monumentally, of course:  this is who we are.

And so are the Disciples kind of wide eyed.  Some you can see know that they are presently learning from the master, and there's a kind of 'oh, I get it now, what I had not before, as I did not have as much faith as I should have, but on the good side of it, here I am, getting it now.'  And Jesus is, the only one, wearing his halo aura thing, the cross of his powers vertical and horizontal in red lines on the gold circle around his head as Jesus angles forward, his sandaled feet firmly on the ground, wearing a deep red robe.

How to inhabit the mystery, the Disciples are now asking themselves.  There's a look of starting out, as two look at each other in the bottom corner as they unlace their sandals, preparing their feet as if to look down on them and truly see.

(Twain slyly captures some of this with Huck's white washing the fence, perhaps.  How are we to do that cool fun thing which really is cool?)

Like all his lessons, it's one given freely.  He's doing it because he's being a man and it's the right thing to do.  It has a great purpose, a great power, a transforming power.  It's a radical statement, one with scientific certainty.

How would you do it?  How would you pick up the essential element of the task?  It would be disguised, behind a daily task, perhaps behind a job done steadily, even the one by which you earned your own living.  It might be not clearly seen, obscured behind certain clouds, a mystery cloaked within, below the everyday.  The atom of truth within a daily perhaps slightly frivolous human need.  Each of us a disciple, however we participate, server or served, but perhaps closer when we ourselves are serving.



One might venture:  this is how we see him, in the garden, risen, returned, in the shimmering white of a teaching that we will come to personally and intimately understand; we get the teaching;  and then, yes, he, like us, can be at peace.  "Oh, I get it now!  I wasn't so far off after all, with my vague wish to serve humanity that needed not find any particular professional form."


It is within the nature of any story that we are allowed, and even given, to amplify, to let the full import come out of the simplicity of it.  That is within the roots of any words, a deeper understanding willing to rise up toward us out of its blue.  An effort worth making, perhaps the truest kind of work we ever do...


What is time itself, viewed through such an act...


There I am, tending bar.  "What are you working on these days?  Are you writing another novel?"  I look at them, their friendly gesture.  "Oh, I don't know..."


Perhaps he was someone who was simply smart enough and wise enough to not let anything interfere with his inner humanity.  That's how he can say 'no to Satan' on every level.  Threading the needle, not one way to either side, persevering.  He knew who he was.  Patient.  Not becoming anything in particular, anything that wasn't who he truly and simply was and is.

Strangely enough it is precisely that people want to become something, that they want to go and solve particular problems that causes such a worldly mess.  If they were not intent on any particular profession they would drift into being a natural person reverent of nature, with good spiritual senses.  But people are ambitious, and want to make something tangible out of their talents, and so they take up professions, thinking that by being, say, private equity fund managers, taking care of their duties in their own small corner of the world, even as important and as practical as that might seem, they are helping solve the world's problems when in fact they are making things worse, letting the whole system, unawakened, march to its catastrophes and taking the rest of humanity and the planet with them.  It seemed like a good investment at the time, and indeed, people made money out of it and I got my percentage of it, and so did the lawyer, and then they went to pray in church and it was all good, so it seemed.  The great fallacy of becoming...

The problem with becoming a lawyer is that you become a lawyer.  One has seen it a million times.  The problem with watching television is that you become a consumer of thought rather than having any on your own.  The problem with shopping is that you become a shopper.

It's as much the person who changes a mindset, who expands the thought patterns of another, who saves the Arctic regions icecaps as the scientist.  Indirect links, Beatles songs...

The professions jump out of the pages of the Gospel.  The fishermen seem the most innocuous, excellent fodder.  Then there are the more ambitious ones, the tax collector, the scribes, the Pharisees, on up.  If you were so bold enough to believe in just keeping things simple and faithful, then you wouldn't have the urge to go make a profitable career out of yourself becoming a thing of man's society.  Then you would stand a better chance of walking the path.

And it occurs to the mind, that the more universal a circumstance from life is taken to be, almost as if it removing from current contexts and putting it into something more eternal, the better the circumstance is understood.  A small town from which one comes from is any small town.  The college on the hill of brick and mortar is any beautiful and spiritual a place of learning, truly a temple.    Any road somewhere can potentially vibrate atomically as the road to Emmaus.  Any good friend and companion can in some way be, very subtly perhaps, be a disciple or a teacher.  All the relationships of life can be boiled down, as it were, or be taken to fit in to a significant sort of a picture.  The problem, or the task, is to let the meaning happen as it does, to not meddle, to not divert from the path.


Imagine, the unseen nature of his hands, covered, both of them, by the towel as he polishes a newly cleaned foot.  His hands are obscure.



Tired and sore, particularly from the last night of the week, I got home, had a glass of wine, cleared the sink of dirty dishes.  Sleep was sore and fitful, a nap was in order in the afternoon after breakfast of a beef patty and rice reheated in a toaster over, and then a bath in epsom salts in the tub, and still feeling weak and bleary.  The soreness had been washed away, the skin felt better, but the tired dullness remained.

A Barman's Guide to the Gospels.


To Jesus, watching television would have been indecipherable.  And distracting.




Wednesday, February 25, 2015

And then after the tedious jazz night alone and the night of the wine tasting, again alone, not looked forward to, working out fine, the mind is working again with ideas, and the stuff of the past is smaller potatoes, some equilibrium restoring itself.  Fretting over an article, not hearing any feedback on it, the creative mind, invested in creativity, grew anxious, at the whim and mercy of the currents.

The outer mind does not always consciously know the secrets of the inner mind.  The left hand doesn't know what the right is doing.  The inner mind is the guide, but the outer mind has to take its logic on faith and accept.  It is the task of the writer, the poet, the philosopher, to make contact with that inner mind.  The Buddhists call it subtle mind.  Indeed, it is very subtle.  Who knows why, immediately, and clearly, we do the things we do, or even the general logic.  And I suppose those of us who have taken up illogical things, like writing, impractical things in the eyes of the logic of the current wisdom of man, are more prone to faith, toward attempts to figure out or listen to the subtle sensitive inner mind which speaks in its own way in its own time with its own sense of what is crucial, more prone to believing in and accepting.  Some of us have simply postulated on good faith the presence of such an inner light of wisdom and somehow grown use to walking and talking in its ways, as much as one can, even given the apparent irrelevance.

The ethnobotanist Terence McKenna presents a theory of a time of earlier humanity fed on the abundance of pre-drought Africa.  The human brain made its incredible growth spurt, increasing in size and capability and range.  People lived cooperatively, sharing, having grown out of the lower primate habits of dominant males and breeding rights.   The human creature was stimulated, imaginative, and had success breeding.

And then came the great drying-up of resources.  Having grown up, now the creature's social structures reverted to those of the primate, and so with violence, fights for male dominance, strife, the seizing of property by the strong, the differentiation of mine from yours, my children from yours.

One can imagine the interesting qualities of the period of coinciding with the incredible flourishing of the human mind.  Light on ego, humanity discovered the usefulness of plants, realized the riches of nature.  There were instances, habits of mind expansion.   And some form of peace reigned, one can think, optimistically.  A time of wonder, a time of development for the rich expanding human brain and the consciousness reaching out of the growing skull and improving senses, an awareness of having a mind.  Language.  Thoughts shared.  And in this communal community, there was sexual activity, new levels of pleasure, stimulation, and skill, and the affair was cooperative, not dictated by the big thug alpha male, as the female really was the creature that had to be pleased.

Vestiges of such a thing remain, at least in our minds, which yes, can harbor fairy tales but also a good and decent sense of self-awareness and even right and wrong.

And when we are allowed to see beyond the present situation, one in which aggression is the rule, selfish exploitation of the common resources of the planet, profit, power, hegemony, exploitation of resources, we can see the presence and the beauty of the earlier mindset.

I suppose there could be some mild general statement added to The Commandments and to their treatment, which would be to do what you do professionally, and everything else you do, for spiritual reasons, indeed treating the entire world and all objects animate and seemingly inanimate as neighbors, respecting God the Father, whatever you want to call it, that is in everything down the molecule, which, after all do what they do with no one telling them.

Then I am able to resolve my matters of conscience.  I'm behaving as spiritually appropriate as I can. I never bought into the whole dominant property-owning male thing.  My brain, expanding, never has worked that way, but rather an observer, wishing to be more sensitive (and often failing at it) rather than less, which does speak of the process by which we receive education.

Am I the one impractical, living a fairy tale, given how one must protect the self and the stuff the self has accumulated?  Maybe.    Or perhaps has the inner mind told me to be patient, and respectful, to do what women tell you to do (in their own way), to respect the offerings and phenomenon of the planet as best, and perhaps as passively and peacefully, as one can.


Perhaps what the reaction the back and forth between the inner and the outer, in subtle and the evident, represents is an attempt to come to terms.  As a sometimes sensitive male you have an understanding toward that beautiful legacy period of humanity of creativity, communal matriarchal accepting society.  By instinct you approached a woman's wishes passively, and really, in all things, you were just trying to please her, to make her happy, to jump through whatever hoop she told you to.  You hoped not to be rejected, but such a thing wasn't in your own hands.   You were trying to obey her girlfriends' strictures.   And to realize such was an epiphany in itself, the solving of a haunting mystery, the final high understanding of a man's deep spiritual need to be passive and humble before a woman.  Which might say something about a woman's ultimate spiritual need, to discover the man is on her side, doing her bidding, helping her with her greatest endeavors, and wearing a dignified disguise which she alone can see through.

But in life, people are human and mistakes are made;  confusions happen.   In bowing to her, you failed, because you took one moment of rejection a little too seriously.   You can't blame her for acting so, as she too has to contend with a world ruled by aggression, by imposed might, by dominant males who intend to amass wealth for the sake of wealth and comfort, easily able to justify themselves in the dog eat dog world they perpetuate to the misery of all.

That is the sad thing, perhaps.  You were just trying to be honest.  Naturally, as the being has been fruitfully doing for a long time, to good results, you embraced the good passivity, the kind of thing spoken of in The Sermon on the Mount.  You approached the female of the species with great sensitivity, though it went largely unseen, and unfortunately it's those few times that being young and jittery you weren't gentle enough, clouded by feelings and hormones coursing through the blood and brain.  What little you could do, well, you tried.  Your timing was quite often an absolute disaster, but as you treat woman you treat the world, open to the possibilities, to the richness of its plants, its nature, its offerings, its teachings of wisdom and all its healthy resources, at one with nature as best as you can be.  And to be so is to open the eyes, which is why we have to take such things so seriously.  To really see, to not hide your light under a basket...

That's the wild thing, that you continue, despite it all, to purify that within you, to pursue and execute it, and in the gentlest way possible, the deepest way possible.  The words of the Sermon on the Mount are those of the greatest lover.

Unfortunately, you were forgotten about.  That's how it goes.  And knowing the good in yourself in amidst the evil of the world, you move on, best you can.

Sensitivity, I would imagine, is the source of many failures, many instances of prolonging adolescence, many prolonged periods at learning and taking the lumps of life.  And in the end, it's not only the source of great strength, and wisdom, but ultimately some success when all is said and done.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The day after talking with the therapist and ending the day covering a few bases with a neighbor, writing is strange again.  The talk drained out, something one wanted to keep, the logic of the world getting in the way of contact.

But I have still have my sins to explore.  The guilt of having put to death a distant ancestor, a little mouse, on a glue board underneath the cooler, the small parcel of horror of having made an irretrievable mistake.  What possessed me at the end of that night to build a Maginot Line as the silliness of a glass of wine added to hunger, there at the end of a week, took hold?  Killing a creature is no joke.  One I'd caught earlier I brought outside and poured hand soap over it, to unstick itself and escape.  The boss would be happy, but in the end it's just a mouse, cleaning up the bread crumbs from below the low tables.  They get in, what can you do...  Viewed one way, they are company after all have left.

I wake and think of a college reunion weekend when my father came to visit.  Unbeknownst to me, the young woman I was mad over put a James Dean poster at my door, that parent's weekend, but hurt from her hanging up on me I didn't pick up on it in time, the golden opportunity.  What was I thinking?  Bothered by a tit for tat, almost thirty years later, you fool.  How could you have been so blind?  You had a lobster doll from the previous weekend's trip to Maine with your Dad, but the stubborn goat came out, while the Red Sox lost the World Series.  There should have been a meeting of parents, but I'd messed that up, distracted by a meeting with a thesis advisor.  What was it?  Why such feelings then, the bravado of self-medication...

The wine betrays us the next day.  We were creative in the night, finishing an article, hopefully, for a wine column, but the fancy now has its wear off time, aided by green tea.


They come in loudly, while I'm waiting on two ladies, taking their order, talking about wines.  The trio is playing quietly in the corner, but here at the bar is the reunion.  Business guys.  Double volume.  Bald show of establishing primate dominance.  A coat is thrown over one of the seven bar stools.  Ape-like greetings.  I return to the bar.  "Good to see you, too," the leader says sarcastically, staring at me directly, as I cannot hide a portion of my irritation at the current generation.


Comfortable now, the male, feeling he has established his dominancy, then makes show of some benevolence.  I've seen it once, and a million times.  The jokes are endured, one after another, the excitement one diffuses, the wine is ordered, the praise made of it, and some kind of peace comes again.  Entrepreneurs, shaping the world...  Intense, manners in need of wrangling... calming.


A woman comes in, wanting a Viognier, late, the night over, the band packing it in after their supper.  I pour her what we have by the glass, but no she wants a bottle.  Open it for her.  Boss, after greeting her, smiles and departs.  "I had one bottle at home already," she admits, then, "oh, did I say that?"  There are two gentleman who've come to the last sip of digestif, ready to go, paid up, but she commands me to bring forth two glasses to share.  They demure, but she insists.

Only at the very end of the night, as I try to reassess the Argentine Malbec, do I get into the wine, alone, listening to movie themes on Pandora, after removing the poor mouse that befouled itself as it succumbed.  I read through the piece I've submitted.

And then today, before work, I ponder my sins against my father, his hard work, his status, his greatness, not sharing him, his beauty, his garden of wisdom, with the beauty of another, another family, who'd also come, by miracle, to Amherst.  Like watching permutations of a Shakespeare play, playing out again and again, what was I thinking, why did I waste everyone's time, taint past, present, future, great disappointment....

This is what you bear while waking up, starting the day out, over green tea, the shower awaits, last night's dishes washed, sausages cooked, but not eaten yet, before yoga.

Creativity is not so great.  You disappointed the lady of your life, the Princess, being a schmuck for time eternal.

Creativity swings back and forth.

My lady therapist, before I go off exploring the heights of adept consciousness wonders about my base.   "It could all fall down like a house of cards."  Ouch.  But I feel based.  I know it takes the root chakra's energy to raise the consciousness...

I should not drink wine alone, maybe what it comes down to, even in this world of ill-mannered guests who demand too much, don't know how to behave in public.  Ah, but it is work, obviously, and it is good to have work to do in the world.  And I suppose at the end of the night, the worker needs a little medicine himself.

Drunken downer lady pours out the last of her wine.  I help the bass player load his equipment, down the stairs, out into the cold.  I return, attend to the last paperwork of the night.  I hear her talk.  How long have we known each other...  Oh, those margaritas you used to make...  They were strong.  That's the only DWI I've gotten, but I won't tell you...   She stands in the bar mouth with her coat on.  Give me a kiss.   Time to go home, I say.

I restock, bringing bottles up for tonight's wine tasting, the restaurant empty.  Replenish tonic and soda water.  A few hand towels for bar rags, a few lemons and limes.  Roll my bike from the basement up to the front door, gather helmet, mask, hat, coats.

I read through the piece I've written, a wine column growing, the subject how to pick wines for a wedding.  Feeling I'll never be going to one that is mine own.

Quick, do some yoga.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

In some ways it is unfortunate that the writer cannot share an ongoing creative thought process in ways other than writing.  One cannot go to his neighbor and divulge or explain much about the constant halfway point he is in.  He is a journalist covering his own writing process.  What comes out of it will be posted as it is reported, in the story that ends when it ends.

Of course the writer views the process as intimate.  A source confiding in him.  A one on one relationship that cannot be opened to third parties.  The context is best worked out within the privacy of secretive exchange of question and answer, posit and record.

The writer must decide what is private, what can be shared with the outside world, how to share that, realizing that the best way is, like making good wine, to let the process speak naturally, unfiltered, old school.

This is, I suppose, why writers can enjoy the company of cats.  The cat speaks a language of its own, with which it may even engage you, in a way that never interferes.

Tantric Buddha Jesus does a shoulder stand and then a plow and feels the energy coursing from highest to the lowest chakra, clear pineal fluid in evidence, preparing for the intimate bodily almost erotic quality of his symbol, his powers, rising on the cross, then risen.  The practice was not something that made the Gospels.  The man always had a private vision of himself as a prophet, as a saint, able to find little nuggets of wisdom in just about everything.  The metaphor redolent in common every day things, like tea.  The deep gentle understanding, the peace arising out of everything as it is into the world, touching us as we touch it, reminding us of the dusty atomic structure that something akin to our own minds has wrought into being with perfect wisdom down to, yes, the finest structure of the feather of a bird's wing, which the bird of course carries around with appropriate pride and appreciation for its usefulness it does not ever question.

He would have cleaned his own house first, scrupulously, don't you think, balancing his chakras, realizing his foundations...  Did he require much of a social life outside of teaching?

Were the authorities subliminally jealous of Jesus for his skills of knowing immediately the appropriateness of everything?   Powers they wish they had, wanting the secret.  Were they bad people, or just cranky and ignorant and misinformed, provincial as certain stripes of incoherent politics are praised over the good and the logical out in the hinterlands, which then the urban powers must defer to.  Jesus versus Boehner and his Tea Party base, Jesus in some way too gentle to, even he, understand the foolishness of expecting society to function without taxes to build roads and hospitals and schools and places for the sick, that is things for us, things we need ourselves to function.  Maybe he expected better out of the Pharisees, for kowtowing to such an ignorant constituency rather than educating and ruling, for being little more than proud obstructionists.   Render unto the Tea Party the things of the Tea Party, a joke you could make...  Render unto the Koch Brothers...

Would minds not be in some way jealous of a writer firing on all of his cylinders, be they one or two or four or eight, as befits him?  Or rather try to learn something, absorb a lesson, whatever it is, realizing that a writer does carry with him many lessons indeed, a teacher, a person not hiding his light, generous to all, even the landowner regarded by some as simply wicked and a hard man to deal with, thus burying the talent rather than investing it, for God is within all things, if that's the way to interpret this mystifying proverb on the nature of the kingdom come.

Should any writer than fear the light of day, of what will be made of him and his work, and rather prefer to keep private, trusting those who trust in the same terms he does...

Thus did the whale fascinate Melville, a brother of the deep oceans, rising to breath and frolic, largely silent but for his words sounded into the depths for other whales to return.  What Melville was working on was appropriately long, to match the deeper wavelength, resonant, resounding, coming back at you with pleasant echoes for the rest of your life at sea.

Shakespeare puts a little of Jesus in everyone, and thus the small moment can expand into a lesson on humanity, even if it's the clown or the gravedigger, for they too have a voice.  This he learned through following his own process, going beyond the wooden cut-out sketch, each inhabited by their own light, their own way to salvation whether they follow it or not.  No snob was he.  He loved the poor and the people in his pit.   "Pity that (noble folks) should (come to bad ends) more than their even-Christian."  He pitied the rich and powerful, and they made great subject matter for him.  All in good humor, lest it get to real to swallow, 'oh, shit, that's me, isn't it.'  People in the pit would have shouted out, 'yeah!'  He got it.  Noble bard.

Having gathered, whoever he was, his powers in the beheading storm of the new faith versus the old, he honored writing, and he saw the redemptive quality in all his characters.  Which is largely, his theme.  Perhaps, too, he would have known what deals with the devil consisted of.

What is writing, my friend?  I don't know, writing is writing.  It comes.

Who are you?  Who do they say I am, what do they say I am?

Writing is like yoga.  The more you, the better you get, the farther your reach, the more you enjoy it.