Tag Archives: meditation

The Calm Place

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I.

Name five things you can see, the app said.

I counted drapes, floors, slippers…

I couldn’t name the truth.

I knew I had it somewhere, but I didn’t want

To slide open the drawers of memory again

(the place was so tidy).

Name four you can hear, it menaced.

I strained but heard nothing, nothing.

The room is dead quiet.

I am alone. The sun is quiet, the floors are quiet, my clothes are quiet.

There are no voices, there is no inner music.

Nor did I smell, or touch, or feel.

There was a vague odor of petrol in my rough woolen sweater, but the place

Was unscented.

 

II.

I went to the river.

Here the air is warm and smells

Of dead things that used to be living.

It wraps around my neck like a shawl.

Here the grass is moist and the leaves

In it dry and rustling.

I rub my palm against thick hedges. They scratch.

The autumn sky lowers it golden gaze like a shy geisha.

Young birches lean with honey-tinged bibs toward the water.

They come alive with black birds.

Like inscrutable lenses, willow leaves swirl through the air

Then alight on an eddy.

You guessed it: there’s a breeze.

 

I went to the river.

It is warm.

It goes places.

It hurtles away, quietly.

An old man dressed all ocher and chestnut sits by it and listens

Then checks his pulse.

It is still there.

The river and me, we walk along in opposite directions.

A bike rolls on by, turning the gravel sunwards.

A handsome young man asks me for the time.

I give him what little time I have on me – and he smiles back, clutching a beer.

I came out here to read some Ezra Pound but the place

Is teeming with poets.

 

III.

Let us make here three tabernacles, said the apostle.

One for thee, and one for Moses and one for Elias.

You’ll never know it, but

I’ve never known happiness until now.

By bringing me here, you brought me into being.

 

 

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Munich, 70 years after Auschwitz…

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Today, 27.01.2015, is the 70th commemoration of the liberation of Auschwitz. Glimpses caught yesterday in the city that witnessed the rise of national socialism all those years ago and which now takes pride in its vivid diversity and its Anti-Bagida movement.

Entertainer in Marienplatz

Entertainer in Marienplatz

Old Munich Townhall

Old Munich City Hall

Entranced - Gipsy and Jewish music in the streets that gave birth to national socialism

In a trance  –  Jewish music in the streets that once gave birth to national socialism

München diverse experimental_2015_3_mic

Gone with the music

The flight of earthbound things

The gentle flight of earthbound things – plus a tinge of pink. Yes, careful, be careful what you step on…

Residenz Gardens

… the world is never black and white.

On my way home, I saw a man meditate in the subway station. He was sitting upright on a bench, immobile and serene, with closed eyelids. His fingers plucking truth from the stuffy underground air, the inside of his palms like tulip bulbs waiting to burst into flower. And rivers of people flowed by him in the form of huge dragon tails: loud, tense, shuffling their feet. And trains came and went. And he didn’t wake up.

I sat next to him for a while, to bathe in his silence, to plunge in his personal pool of quiet. As my train drove away, a symphony still poured from the loudspeakers at Odeonsplatz subway station. And I was still watching, listening, being. And I still couldn’t forget the Auschwitz woman cradling her empty arms where her baby had been, the most wonderful creature, gone, gone, gone forever. And how the very same night, she threw herself into the electric fence.

So I decided to write this blog.

Let’s never forget.