Tag Archives: love

Freedom

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Night was falling in the coppice-wood

Each strand of light threadbare and bluish

Thinned out into mystery

The path darkened, populated by shadows

The clock in the church tower struck

The hour of the owls

Something shrieked in the distance

And a human shape approached on a bike

I clutched my umbrella with sweaty palms

My pulse quickened

Fear

Terror

Excitement

A frightening moment all my own

Seductive, scary

A flirt with danger

An out-of-body experience

A de-individuation

Dilating, not shrinking

Expecting to turn into a leaf or a slug to escape it all

Or to simply sit still and dissolve into a breath or a breeze

But then there you were

My phone lighting up with your number

Asking if I was OK

The man on the bike pedaled on

And I was left alone to settle into the peace

And the exhilaration.

#poetry #creative #writing

I feed on the unspoken

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You call it this, I call it that,

the thingness of a thing is beyond

our babbles

labels come and go

what is truly real is quiet and dark

its depths crushing and warm and full of moisture

like the savage mouth

of an intractable lover.

Like love, the world

may be screamed, sighed,

sucked, suckled, and moaned,

but never

told.

#poetry #creativewriting

Children saying scary things

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My daughter (10), elated that she got into the class she wanted and avoided the all-girls class: ‘All-girls classes suck!’

Me, naively: ‘Why?’

My studious 10-year-old: ‘Because they’d be all prissy and there’d be no boys to fall in love with.’

Ladies and gentlemen, the main purpose of public schooling, right there… in case there was ever any doubt.

(And I say this sarcastically, of course, because when the knowledge content has been thinned out and dumbed down beyond recognition, what else is left but socialization…)

Things you can observe at 7 a.m.

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I watched blackbirds today.

I couldn’t sleep.

Early at dawn I watched a parent

feed her chick.

The older one was dark –

as burdens darken us;

the younger pale,

unknowing, made a fuss.

Peck, peck, they went

as their small beaks touched

From where I sat,

it looked as if they kissed.

And it occurred to me

that this is how you feed

the nerve to fly,

which I so sorely missed.

Wind in the tall grasses

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Today I will write about the wind in the tall grasses.

Lost, immaterial, like our souls,

Just a passage from one place to another.

Just air. Just breath.

Soft stalks undulating. It’s ballet. Beautiful submission.

Soothing choreography under a ruthless sun.

People pass by on their bicycles

Barely noticing.

Barely noticing the road leads nowhere.

Barely noticing they’re cycling in circles,

Like the seasons,

Inevitably ending up the same, just older. Drier.

Have you noticed how heavy our souls have become

And how they weigh on the landscape

Chased by this cruel big sky?

How hard the wind has to blow to still move them?

Two blades of grass standing tall,

Then bent by the gale. The caress of a green tassel.

Two blades touching each other for a second

Softly, until they don’t. Until they cut skin.

Leave your shadows behind

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that hour.

on the long path to spring,

when darkness clears

and the trees drop their skeletal shadows in the snow

like a bad memory,

like baggage one no longer needs

to carry.

when the frost glistens with a gazillion different suns

in a myriad different eyes

and the crows’ croaking falls

silent

silent…

that hour.

like a letter from someone you love,

a letter you never thought

was coming.

when you

leave your shadows behind

and walk into the light.

that hour.

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Falling in Love

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In the dead of night –

In that longest of nights

he came to me,

all aglow.

An illumination of love.

I was ready to let go,

having run out of things to hold on to.

“The world has done violence to your spirit”,

he spoke through my sleeplessness,

and his voice was husky.

“But fear not. I have defeated the world.”

I lay with him on the threshold and –

breath by long, quiet breath –

I bore him children

of peace.

The Pond

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How the landscape changes

With the moving seasons…

No rebirth without dying

Water and cut grass

Shoulder-high saplings

And all the encounters with pain.


The piercing shrieks of white gulls 

Plunging, and us happy to disintegrate

Why is it that in nature

The lost are found, and dying

Is grand and mollifying and fearless

Like an embrace?


Blessed solitude that transcends

Loneliness and need

Feeding, soothing, nursing

The lightness of your being and

The fullness of your light.


Critters, short-legged, short-lived

Going about their business

Without 

Bitterness.

(Post)modern obsessions

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Have you noticed how the following themes keep popping up, almost obsessively, in contemporary discourse – in the media, in the public sphere and increasingly in ourselves?

This obsession with sex – and complete devaluation of love and tenderness and commitment.

This obsession with doing – and complete devaluation of being.

This obsession with the intensity of fragmented experience – and complete devaluation of profoundness and resilience and eternity.

This obsession with work and maximization – and complete devaluation of contemplation and spirituality. Of the time it takes to realize that you have a soul, that you are a human being capable of transcendence, not a machine plugged in to churn out as many objects as possible per unit of time.

We treat ourselves and each other as equipment, as products. We apply to beings the logic of machines. We have transferred the maximum efficiency mantra of the technological sector to human life. We have internalized the algebraic depersonalisation, the callous disregard, the flattening subjugation of being to efficiency and utility present in our discourses. We find it OK to behave and to be treated increasingly like predictable robots or like working animals. Like mammals, all dapper and happy to be allowed to act out their basest instincts.

This obsession with Darwinism, with us as little more than physical organisms in biological evolution, this bench-marking against apes, not against angels or saints. This devaluation of angels and saints as melodrama and cheap esoteric – or, even, as oppression. This talk of our “natural instincts”. Nature, our nature, as a new goddess. But should we always make way for our natural instincts? Will that improve us? What will build more character and more goodness and a deeper path to the absolute we secretly yearn for?

(Is something good or legitimate simply because we were born with it? Because we acquired it? Because it is fun? Because it brings pleasure or monetary value? Are we not supposed to transcend ourselves?)

This frenzy of devaluation… No religion, but brand religion. The branding iron.

What is slavery for theoretically free individuals? According to Simone Weil, the disconnect between one’s efforts and their life’s work. (We work, but we no longer have a life’s work, an opus, an oeuvre. We expect our work to be the foundation of our identity, but in fact, so many of us no longer feel like creators. We no longer develop our being in the process of our work. Work all too often feels like odd life-draining tasks under excruciating time pressure, away from the ones we love. It no longer feels like purpose. Just endless busyness. Our work has control over us, but we no longer have much control over it.)

What else is slavery? In Gravity and Grace, S. Weil goes on to say it is the coercion to accept that “reading” of yourself, that interpretation of yourself, which others stamp on you. Having no choice or having only wrong choices. Allowing yourself to be devoured by exhausting activities, and making all this daily effort simply to stay in your current condition – no horizon, no finality, mere survival. Day to day to day. The arbitrariness of how you are treated. The dependency. The addiction.

Any illusion begins to feel real when enough people accept it and internalize it as “the thing to do”. Repeated, it reproduces, it propagates.

This destruction of the human soul…

We no longer recognize the sacredness of our own and each other’s being.

Will the human spirit ever rise against this flattening iron?…

 

 

The Remains of The Day

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timid spring.

the careless beauty of my children romping in the woods today,

sharp, colorful, against the greening gray backdrop,

gathering twigs for a “bonfire” but first washing them in the tumbles of water or

stacking them one upon another and into bridges

alongside the brook where they were leaping, looking for frogs;

huge stones splashing in that murky fluid, one foot deep, and up bursting fountains of light,

their voices rippling across the clearings,

their giggles, their eyes flickering – light, love

shooting out of them like glittering spearheads through the trees, shouting, climbing, jumping!

what sweet, suffocating melancholy; soft warm fluff settling heavy on my soul,

my soul – itself by now the peaceful glowing aftermath of a fire,

dilated and silent, with only the crackling of cooling cinder

and water trickling on nearby, my soul

suffused with nothing but

clarity

yes, the quiet serenity of the desire to embrace life, the world,

the sizzling beauty of raw earth sprouting, of budding leaves and yellow and pink flowers,

of young lives so thick with promise, of souls so nimble, of days so limpid!

my children. my gift. my promise – to them:

a love so full, so simple, so complete.

a love absolute.

don’t hold me. you’ll lull me back into nothingness.

don’t hold me…