Place of Refuge

Place of Refuge

30 July 2010

Evening Without Angels, by Wallace Stevens



(the Temple of Poseidon,
at Sounion, outside Athens)

the great interests of man: air and light,
the joy of having a body,
the voluptuousness of looking.   (Mario Rossi)

Why seraphim like lutanists arranged
Above the trees?  And why the poet as
Eternal chef d'orchestre?

                              Air is air,
Its vacancy glitters round us everywhere.
Its sounds are not angelic syllables
But our unfashioned spirits realized
More sharply in more furious selves.

                       And light
That fosters seraphim and is to them
Coiffeur of haloes, fecund jeweller--
Was the sun concoct for angels or for men?
Sad men made angels of the sun, and of
The moon they made their own attendant ghosts,
Which led them back to angels, after death.

Let this be clear that we are men of sun
And men of day and never of pointed night,
Men that repeat antiquest sounds of air
In an accord of repetitions. Yet,
If we repeat, it is because the wind
Encircling us, speaks always with our speech.

Light, too, encrusts us making visible
The motions of the mind and giving form
To moodiest nothings, as, desire for day
Accomplished in the immensely flashing East,
Desire for rest, in that descending sea
Of dark, which in its very darkening
Is rest and silence spreading into sleep.

. . . Evening, when the measure skips a beat
And then another, one by one, and all
To a seething minor swiftly modulate.
Bare night is best.  Bare earth is best.   Bare, bare,
Except for our own houses, huddled low
Beneath the arches and their spangled air,
Beneath the rhapsodies of fire and fire,
Where the voice that is in us makes a true response,
Where the voice that is great within us rises up,
As we stand gazing at the rounded moon.




(again, pictures by me)

home again



Hi folks.
Just got back from a trip 
to the land of my birth:
Hellas
(better known in the Western World as 
Greece)

I was delighted to see
representations
of me
everywhere:







This is at Delphi - I'm the headless one;

however, at Eleusis,

I have my head:





and other parts, as well:







          more to come. . . . 




(the pictures, by the way, were taken by me)







11 July 2010

Friend Ship


1.

I've made a few friends
in this lifetime, but not many.
Friendships, especially in the past
100 years or so
have disappointed me,
seared me
with agony
when I realized
the Friend thought
the Ship we had embarked upon
together
was meant to be captained
only by them

I had one friend
in the last 15 years
who I rather liked:
I met her in Ankara, and
early in our relationship
she asked me:
"So what is it that you want
from me?"
a question that startled me at first,
and I know she thought me
quaint
when I replied
"a friend."

I liked her frankness
but our friendship
did not last.  I
think she thought
that since I only needed a friend,
I would just always be waiting there
for her.
I didn't consciously end
the Friend Ship;
it just didn't sail
again, after I
left for other shores.


2.
I like it best
when my lover is my friend -
I find this most
economical.
However,
this can place many demands
on any man
who feels a woman is intended
for one purpose only.
I've learned this,
bitterly,
time and again,
to the point where,
recently,
I'd come to distrust
both
friendship
and 
love.


3.
In the last six months, I met
a new friend.
The temporary nature of our relationship
was apparent from the outset:
when I met her,
she was being treated for
terminal cancer.

She - her name is Linda -
startled me again
and again
with her honesty; hers was the kind
of honesty and faith
that I value and like to reciprocate.
She and I,
I believe,
agreed on what
it meant to be
a friend.
She welcomed me
into her life immediately;
she became a teacher and guide
to me
and I to her.

Little did I know that our friendship
would be cemented
in the act of her death.

She died early on Wednesday,
June 30.  Three weeks earlier
I had gone to a healing service
with her and her husband,
I knowing - perhaps more than they -
that this was most likely
a service to strengthen them
in their final weeks together.

She was very sick.

A week or so after that,
I learned her condition had worsened.
I called her home and learned
she was in hospice.

This is a very nice way Americans have
these days
of saying someone is
close to death.

Her husband told me she would
like to see me, but if,
for any reason,
I felt I couldn't visit
they would understand.

I could not not.
She was the first person I have met in decades
with whom I had felt such a kindred
bond.

On Monday, June 28,
I sat by her side.  I was humbled
by the love
I witnessed between
her, her husband, and her sons.

I wanted to say something
witty,
but all I could muster was
"thank you."
She seemed to want to reply
with wit,
and I saw her eyes scan
her mind for words as she
gasped for air.
And then she smiled,
and said:
"you're welcome."

She said her head was heavy;
her mouth was dry
from breathing.

She wanted water.

Her husband hurried to her
side, but she refused
him; she wanted me
to help.

I lifted her head, heavy
to her but light to me;
I held the glass; her fingers
leveled the straw.

She drank.

She was very thirsty.

Her husband fussed; she
waved his worry away.

I was there to help;
for that short drink
I was the friend she wanted
and needed most.

I rested her head back
on the pillow.
She wanted her head higher, and let
her husband help her then.

I watched them communicate
with silent gazes and whispers;
it felt so intimate,
but she insisted I come closer.

I sat with her for awhile,
just holding her hand and listening
to each 

inhale
exhale

inhale
exhale

inhale

exhale

with her husband too
who wept and listened,

hoping,

fearing

what would follow

inhale

exhale


I left her that way, and two
days later learned
of her death.

4.
She was a minister
in the Sufi Order.
Her memorial service celebrated
her many acts
of selflessness.

I sat and listened,
remembering
her head in my hand,

her gratitude

to me,

and mine

to her.

She is my latest great friend.


5.
My Lovely Linda
She taught me
to have faith
in love again.





05 July 2010

God's Cycle



Once upon a time,
there was a god named,
well -- this god didn't have a name, since this God was 
Everything
and therefore didn't need a name,
but for purposes of my story I'll call this god
God.

Well, this God was a single God, 
thought I can't say It was
 solitary
because He was all there was;
She was Everything.
And when You're Everything,
you can't be Lonely.
But the thing is, 
since that God was Everything
He included the Desire
to have a partner
because part of Everything
is that particular Desire.




The thing with this God 
                          worth mentioning
is
That since He cannot have
all desires at
the same time,
She experiences emtions in cycles,
like a woman
or like anyone
who is tied in with the planets
and the moon. 
                            (women have stronger
                         radio impulses; it's
                   all part of being
                               maternal, and is directly
              linked to that 
             Love thing.)
But back to God, who can't
experience everything at once,
since Experience itself is just
one part of God --
kind of like an iPhone application --
and the other sub-experiences, like:
love                                  paying taxes
birth                        murder
death                  pain
happiness
trust
joy
have to get run through that 
Experience Application,
in order for God,
who is Everything
to experience Experiences
and, heck,
that takes time.

In fact, time itself was developed
by this particular aspect of
God, to help explain the 
experience of passing Experience through
what might, 
for lack of a better word,
be called the godPhone


Luckily,
God doesn't have to use
that application all the time;
for instance, when there's
no time.

You see, it all comes at the same point
of Her cycle:
Experience Application and the
Need to Use It, and then the
Emotions & Actions & Events ---

all part of a great 
cycle
in the Womb of God.



The name of that point in God's Cycle
is Being, but God thinks that's 
funny
to call it anything, because God
needs no words
                            (words exist mostly
                                 to communicate about
                            what we don't have)
because He's Everything.

~ ~ ~ ~ 

So Once Upon A Time, our God entered that point
in her Cycle called
Being, which is preceded by
Becoming;

and she spat forth

Life, the Universe & Everything

and
Life, the Universe & Everything
was, well,
the Other Part of God
that comes into Being
because She 
was going through
that part of her Cycle.


( uslhc )

Inevitably, though, when one tiny part of 
Life, the Universe & Everything
is Man & Woman
(hereafter: Human)
you can be sure that something
is going to go wrong, because
the Human is
God imperfect.


That's right.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

So God spat out
Being, and,
being God, but also the father
and mother both
of this young entity, 
said to Herself:
Well, Hell, I'm God, and I'm 
Everything, and therefore have
experienced Everything, so
I know how tough it can get.
I'm going to make some rules, 
to be kind to them -otherwise,
they'll have to learn Everything 
by their Imperfect Selves, and that's hell,
Hell,
and will take a hell of a
long time.
And I don't want to
stay in this part of my cycle forever
(it's painful, after all, because
it is that part of the Cycle.)

So God gave Humans
a simple rule about
a particular fruit, knowing
full well that His rule 
had Nothing to do with the 
fruit, but had Everything 
to do with the Rule. God knew,
because She's Everything,
that if the Being - we'll call it Creation --
could just follow that one rule, 
Hell, it would be
Paradise!  (In other words, that part
of the cycle would go by painlessly.)

And Hell, which is by the way another part of Everything,
spoke up through 
Another Application Called Satan
and said:
"What's that you say?"

And Hell knew that if He
coud convince 
that little part of the Creation
that is closest to God
(aka: Humans)
to break a rule, then
Hell would be around
for a little while longer.



And so you can just guess what that guy
from Hell did.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Well, God was -- no, not pissed,
but disappointed.  God
understood how strong
Satan and Hell could be since
that was a part of God: indeed
a Half of God.
So God was easy on the Creation
to start, and wanted to see
if they could correct
themselves, so God
transferred the Pain of the Being Cycle
to the Woman,
who already had to bear
the Burden of Guilt,

and God said: do it right now.
And God gave Adam a 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I'm not going to tell the
whole story that follows,
because
it's in the Bible;
in the Torah;
in the Koran: you
can read it there, and
when you do 
please note the number
of times
that God had to give
Another Rule.

Again and again, He gave new Rules,
hoping, each time, it would
be the last, and the Creation
would get back to being 
nigh perfect, and God could 
get on with Being Everything
and not fretting with this 
One Creation.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Well, it just so happens
that when this particular Creation
was produced, the Experience Application
was aligned to randomly run
the sub-ap of Stubbornness,
and nearly every entity in this
Cycle had a Strong Streak
of it 
which meant they kept refusing to follow the rules.




Now, it's not that God
got mad, because God is Everything
and madness or anger are just
isolated parts of everything; it's just that
God - being Everything -
had a lot more to do than
to hang out and help Her Creation.

So she got back to her Cycling.

But the thing with this God
of Our Story,
is that She continues to
go through the Being 
part of His Cycle.  And
whenever God goes through that part
of the God Cycle, God produces
Something, and Sometimes
that Something remains Perfect,
so it remains part of God.
And occasionally, the 
Something produced aka: the Creation 
is like Us,
and breaks the Rule
whiche means
the Creation lingers and gets older,
and - hopefully - wiser,
that that the next time God come through
this part of the Cycle again, the Creation
is Perfect, or pretty damned 
close to it, so when God says

What did you do wrong?

the Creation tells the Truth,
and God says:
Well, that's not so bad, after all.

If the Creation lies -
as it did in the Garden -
well, then it's damned to 
Hell and whatever the hell
Hell decides to do with them.



But to help us out,
every now and then, 
generally when this God reaches
this point of Her cycle,
God sends out incarnations
of Bits of Herself, whose Sole Task
is to tell the rest of the Creation that
a) they're fucking up
and
b) give some gentle ideas
on how to stop
fucking up

in a nutshell.
But this particular
Creation was terrifically Stubborn
and kept ignoring the Rules,
in no matter what way, shape or form
She sent them.
God kept sending the Rules
in different forms and languages to the
different parts of His creation,
but they all just basically
say the same thing:

Be kind to each other
Don't take something that is not yours,
including someone else's life.
Don't lie.


The one thing that bugged our
Once-Upon-A-Time-God the most about
this Creation was that
this Creation was so 
strongwilled, it actually thought
that it was Everyting,
which, in fact,
couldn't be 
Any Farther From The Truth.

So after sending a few prophets to no avail,
God would come around to that part of Her Cycle,
look at what was going on with this Creation, and think:
Criminny!
This has to be one of the
most stubborn Creations
I've ever produced 
with my Experience Application!

And I have to admit,
She was secretly a little
Proud, because this was
and is a very strong Creation
indeed - nearly close to God in
Strength - and if this Creation
could get stronger, She might
get a chance, at her next most pwerful
return to her Being Cycle,
She might actually witness
something almost as Beautiful
and Powerful
and Truthful
as Herself.
                   You see,
                            an essential
                                          componenet of being 
                              Everything is 
                              Being Honest,
                                          because Lying means
                                              you're hiding something
                                                         and if you're hiding Somthing,
                                                  then Everything can not be
                    Present.



Well, anyway, this God's 
Belligerent Being has 
continued to be Stubborn
to the poin that every
particle in its composition
appears to be
at war.

And our Once-Upon-A-Time-
God is approaching
that part of her cycle,
and She's gone through every
emotion He could possibly
go through with her Creation -
so much so 
that part of God is thinking:

OK, so you think you're
Everything.  I'll show you
what it's like to be 
Nothing.  And you can 
stay 
Nothing
because there's plenty of room
for Nothing in Everything, 
but there's not much room
for a nothing that thinks
it's everything
in Everything.

But the Creation somehow thinks
that its mother would never do that
to it.  She loves the Creation, doesn't she?
After all, she created it, right?



Well, the Creation needs to realize
that somewhere in the multitude
of thoughts that occupy Everything
are these thoughts:

Don't Push Your Luck

also 
Make My Day

also
Two All Beef Patties Special Sauce Lettuce Cheese Pickles Onions on a Sesame Seed Bun.


Of course, these particular
thought data bits that now linger
and flit about in the deepest 
recesses of the 
Mind of Everything 
were produced by Us,
the black sheep of the family.
Us, the conjoined bits of all the disparate
elements of Creation, was
given a chance to work together, to overcome
and overlook difference and find 
something we could agree on,
and what did we produce?



A Big Mac.

Need I say more?


Another way to look at
the God of my story is this:
it's kind of like the cycling psyche of God
is just a giant
crap game, and if 
we're lucky, when
the application She uses
to Experience Being
comes into alighment
with God's creative center
again, we'd better just hope that


doesn't fall into alignment
somewhere deeper in God's psyche
at the same exact time, because
if that's what's there, well,
that's what she'll decide to do.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Some elements of the Creation 
began to realize
that this was the problem,
and that they had kind of created
their own fate,
by putting such crazy ideas
into God's head, so they sought
to decide if they had the power 
to change how God might react
when she looked at her 
Stubbornest of Creations:
As a result of reading
some complex heiroglyphs
left by ancient civilizations,
and partaking in an elaborate
shamanistic ritual,
and well as some complex
mathematical problems,
they determined that the solution lay in 
action:
They should show God,
that they had finally paid
attention to Her Law
and learned from their Mistakes.

Their hope was to 
Make Her Day
so God will look upon her Creation 
and say:

Ah yes, it's part of me after all;
it's pefect!
And everyone would live
happily ever after.



03 July 2010

Just a Cakepan




Each personality has
two sides:

a good side and a bad side
or
a bad side and a good side
(everything's relative, eh?)

This is what happened:

When God created man
and woman
in his own image,
each was given the miserable task
of containing both
sides of God,
while also
being both sides of God.

 The good side is                    The bad side is
the side that                                           the side of inadequacies
has done goodness                       and insufficiencies.
it is the side of                   Of Guilt and
completeness               jealousy


But you see, both of these sides
are the two sides of The God;
for - don't forget - God had
to divide itself
in order to be able to
see itself.
It had to produce
its negative.


Think of it: it's like a 
cakepan; I saw one today;
it was shaped like a football
stadium - but as you know,
for a cake pan to produce 
a cake that looks like
a football stadium, it
has to be the inverse,
so too the creation:
what
God made was the inverse
of God -- God's opposite,
and that's what the universe
is.

Like a cake pan.


The thing is --
the problem with being human,
is we are created
in God's image,
which means
we have the unfortunate
task of containing two
sides, both good & bad
- the outverse & the inverse -
in our own psyches.

Each one of us has a good;
each one of us has a bad.


The thing that keeps us from
going crazy
over the fact
we have both a good and a bad
is a thing called
conscience.

Conscience,
of course,
is an abstraction;
it pushes us 
into the realm of that
which is not
physical.

We contain it in our
avatars.

It is
the location where
the energy from the brain
and 
the energy from the heart
meet;
if we must give it a location:

it's in the heart.


~ ~ ~

You see, we're just giant
multiband
radio beacons:
we negotiate frequencies
on different sites 
of our bodies.

If everything
is working,
we produce harmony --
better known as

love.




People who have brain
damage
cannot do this,
because
the brain is the seat
of the master cylinder,
so to speak,
the apparatus
that helps us
maintain this balance
of frequences
and likewise produces
love.

Inversely,
some people 
have an excess of that capacity;
and on this earthly plain,
those people 
have their exact opposite
among those
who are depleted.

There is an extraordinary
uncanny
link
between two entities that are
absolute opposites.
They feel they are supposed to be
together,
because
they are like God together,
and there is a point
in their psyches
where they meet
precisely.

)(

Ideally, two exact opposites should meet
in order to find
absolute happinesss

)(


But don't despair;
if you have not found your exact opposite:
we are all linked;
we are linked
by something stronger
if we let that something stronger
be.



Forgiving
Compassionate
Unselfish

If we could use that capacity,
which we are all 
capable of doing,
we could adhere
our oppositions
and be
the perfection
God wants us to be.


3.




You see,
when they ate that old
tomato,
Adam and Eve
came to realize
they were two
and this was complicated
by tthe two-ness they both
contained within
and both their bad sides
felt guilty,
but didn't know how to tell
each other.


That
was the nature 
of the fall  --

it's been our tasks
ever since
to rectify it.


4.

Cakepans:

we have to recognize
that opposition
is integral to
our 
identity.


and forgive
and forget
and to never
do
again.



a journey through the universe