Borrowing Inspiration

“And I’ll dance with you in Vienna,
I’ll be wearing a river’s disguise.
The hyacinth wild on my shoulder
my mouth on the dew of your thighs.
And I’ll bury my soul in a scrapbook,
with the photographs there and the moss.
And I’ll yield to the flood of your beauty,
my cheap violin and my cross.”

Leonard Cohen

“In Vienna I will dance with you
in a costume with
a river’s head.
See how the hyacinths line my banks!
I will leave my mouth between your legs,
my soul in photographs and lilies,
and in the dark wake of your footsteps,
my love, my love, I will have to leave
violin and grave, the waltzing ribbons”

Federico Garcia Lorca

****

The words and the music take my breath away, my soul jumps with joy. It doesn’t matter to me the obvious use of Lorca’s poem. I just want to give Lorca a little credit here. As TSEliot famously said: immature poets imitate but mature poets steal.

The Cohen photo & his words to the song were posted by Ravenous Butterflies.

Seeking

I found this as I was getting ready to go get some brownies along with usual supplies of milk and soda. OK, and maybe some ice cream. I know, this is not about food stuffs, or gluttony, or is it? Didn’t we learn that all grasping, all wanting and desiring is what leads to all suffering? But I also seek. I seek in all of the books that I read, in all of the practices I make. I seek. For me, when I get all wound up in trying to figure something out, when I have the grace to become mindful, I let go. I tell myself to let go. And there’s nothing wrong with ice cream.

Ed Crowley

A young monk
asked the Sage:
‘Can you help me quiet
my mind from this
endless stream
of thoughts?’

The Sage replied:
“Bring me this
mind of yours”

The monk responded:
‘When I seek it
I cannot find it.
It seems it can’t
be grasped.’

The Sage stated:
“Graspless and
neither here nor there.
How can you quiet
what is not there?”

Suddenly Realizing
the ‘nothingness’ of
knowing ‘no mind’

The monk released
all clinging and any
grasping of thoughts

The monk “Awoke”
experiencing the
Nameless Essence

Within the
Blissfulness
of Silence

The Unknown Wanderer
simply walked the Way
without another word ~

epc 1956-

(Inspired by ancient
wisdom parables)

Field Notes

  • She (the kid) and I are now talking about moving to Portugal. We were looking at a variety of countries—in theory—but the kid locked down and onto Portugal. I wanted snow as in any of the Scandinavian countries that would meet our agreed-upon criteria, but she’s mentally packed and ready to go. Portugal. Huh.
  • I was at the orthopod’s today to look at a knee replacement for the left knee. Turns out I’ll need to wait as insurance won’t pay for it given the current situation. Too in shape. Too functional, too whatever. “Come back in 3 months.” Guess I need to answer the questions differently. That’s what 3-times a week swimming and aqua therapy will get you. Though the X-rays show bone-on-bone, on one side. *sigh*
  • Cut my hair to the tune of 2 beers, 1 wine, and 1 martini. Guess it was the martini that pushed things over the top. *Shite*
  • Readings: The Plot, The Butterfly Lampshade. The Plot, Jean Hanff Korelitz, gets a D. The only reason it doesn’t get an F is that the craft of writing itself is well done, if you don’t consider plot & repetitions as part of it. I should have known better. I had to have & read it as there was supposedly a new plot, a new twist. B.S. It’s not news for a parent to kill their own child. Kids have been chopped up and fed to one parent by another since Medea. And you can’t copyright an idea so why our protagonist was upset in the first place is the only true mystery contained in the book. The woman he marries is clearly the survivor of the family who will come after him; again, there is no mystery. And the first portion of the novel is full of repetitions. And repetitions. And repetitions. Did I say repetitions? The novel within the novel? Piffle. Nothing of interest, only disappointment. Probably another HBO special with Nicole Kidman as the wife.
  • Aimee Bender’s The Butterfly Lampshade? A lovely little book. It gets a B+ or an A-, only because it feels as if there is something missing, though I’m at a loss to describe what it is.* It is well laid out and the plot is solid. The story is believable and engrossing. Francie is a child and our protagonist who works her way through her life trying to understand her mother’s mental illness and what that means to her, as in her own mental stability. Is she also crazy? Can she, will she make her way through to the other side? This is the theme of the book though it is never stated. (Thank you for treating the readers as adults.) The writing is fine, filled with brilliant descriptions of common occurrences that have never been depicted so well. “The snag of an unfinished thought.” “The scrim of meaning had floated off of everything.” Oh! And a lovely picture of the ordinary: “The air smelled of loamy soil, and worms flipped and rolled on the sidewalk.” Indeed. Of course there are more, those are only examples. The book is well worth the read. *Maybe what is missing or too much is the complete composure of the child at 8 years old. It is believable due to the writing, yet is it possible? And when Francie leaves us there is a sense of something missing, of wanting to know more. Or maybe that’s just because we’ve come to value the time we get to spend with her.
  • What else? So many books are on the TBR shelves I’m embarrassed to name them. Still, I’m looking at Writers by Volodine. I know, 2010, now ancient. This reminds me of when I told a kid from Africa that I had been there, climbed Kilimanjaro, and he asked when. I said in the middle to late 1990s, and he said “Wow!” I asked what that meant and he said “Oh just that that’s so long ago!” Was it; is it? I didn’t know that until he told me. Now I feel really out of touch. Also have started Glimpses From Beyond The EgoDreams, Zen & Nature, by William R. Stimson. Still plugging away at The Tibetan Book Of Living and Dying. I’m almost half-way through now, and I believe I’ll actually complete it this time ’round.
  • I have found that Buddhism, as seen through the eyes of the Tibetan practitioners, is as horrific as Catholicism when it comes to death and suicide. Maybe even more so. As the kid says, being Catholic, “We can’t commit suicide. It’s not allowed.” I still have a problem with this. What is suicide? When is it? My son quit taking his medicine and died as a result. Was that suicide? He did know he would die. That was his stated intention. And I know—by now—that INTENTION is huge. Not just an act itself, but what is intended by it. Something little noted in Catholic Doctrine, as far as I am aware. At least it was not brought to the fore in my recall of instructional material. Still, what did he know? Is stopping the human attempts to prolong life the same as committing a deliberate act to bring about death from the removal of medications?
  • I don’t know. I used to think that I did know the answer to that but now I’m not sure. I guess it would depend upon intent, and we can’t know what is in someone else’s mind. No matter how much we think we know.
Christian Krohg – Madeleine, 1883 Posted by Ravenous Butterfliew


Magic

Yet another post from our pal: Psyche’s Call with Donna May

“Our psyche can function as though space did not exist. The psyche can thus be independent of space, of time, and of causality. This explains the possibility of magic.” – C.G. Jung.

And the photo is so beautiful and contains that wondrous invitation of a gate. Of course the symbolism is so clear with there being no fence or wall next to the gate. Have we all not seen a gate or a door or an opening somewhere that we know we are to go through? Have we not also known, from time to time, that our body is just a container, a something that our spirit or soul or consciousness is to inhabit as we spend time in this body, this earth, this time.

Paraprosdokians—Wow

Winston Churchill loved paraprosdokians, figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected.

  1. Where there’s a will, I want to be in it.
  2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you, but it’s still on my list.
  3. Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
  4. If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.
  5. War does not determine who is right – only who is left.
  6. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting
    it in a fruit salad.
  7. They begin the evening news with ‘Good Evening,’ then proceed to tell you why it isn’t.
  8. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.
  9. I thought I wanted a career. Turns out, I just wanted pay checks.
  10. In filling out an application, where it says, ‘In case of emergency, notify:’ I put “DOCTOR.”
  11. I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
  12. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street…with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.
  13. Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.
  14. A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory.
  15. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
  16. Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.
  17. There’s a fine line between cuddling and…holding someone down so they can’t get away.
  18. I used to be indecisive. Now I’m not so sure.
  19. You’re never too old to learn something stupid.
  20. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
  21. Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.
  22. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
  23. Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
  24. I’m supposed to respect my elders, but now it’s getting harder and harder for me to find one.

Wow. That’s a new word for a fun literary turn. These are usually found in something witty from a play, a true Theatre Play, as in Noel Coward. Or Oscar Wilde, or in the earlier centuries, such as the 17th and 18th. *Sigh* It used to be an experience going to the theatre, yes? In any case, these excursions into wit are rarely found these days, at the least not in conversation.

Which by-the-way reminds me, whatever happened to Salons? Didn’t I harp on that sometime in the past?