Gene Poole wrote:
What can we say... about how we see
as though difference is
On the long trip... perhaps seen later as
there is a constant...
To see now,
It is a road trip and the game is a variation of Slug Bug. Instead
whacking the travel companion every time a Volkswagon is spotted,
may whack the Volkswagons as they come and go.
The trip is long.
One may grow weary of the game of Volkswagon whacking
and wonder what is
beyond Volkswagons. Maybe then it becomes a game of
whacking songs on the
crackly car radio, then radio stations as they
fade in and out, each
subsequent radio broadcaster giving away
difference through dialect.
Landscapes that fly by, the sun and moon
moving across the sky, days and
nights. The bugs splatting on the
windshield, the bugs washed away, less and
less convincingly, by sprays
of thinly bubbling washer fluid. Conversation
and no conversation with
the traveling companion. Gas stations. Dirty
restrooms. Bad snacks.
Yawns and unintentional lane swerves. Hip shiftings in
a bucket seat,
futile attempts to still sciatica. Still
Whacking based on what is different from before and what will
that's what makes the game. Now it is not here, now it is here,
now it isn't.
The road goes on and on,
...but it must end, too.
behind me, I am trailed by a scattering of bad snack
wrappers as I peer out
over the cliff at the ocean. Now what? I am
physically blocked from moving
forward. What now?
I send out my imagination, over wave upon wave, each
whack. Dive down amongst the fishes, whacking, oxygen
whacking, depth, whacking, ocean floor, whacking. Up again, out
the whacking could go on forseeminglyever.
I'm back on the
cliff, whacking the imagination, the outward
Inward, where I might as well be back in that
Whereto, when inward fails?
This exchange is between a young man (Cohen) and a rabbi. They are
a trip by car (in the 1920's), and the young man is
They were halfway there when young Cohen, intrigued by the soft
sound from the old man, asked him what he was saying.
"I am not saying. I am praying. It may surprise you since I am
eighty years old,
but I have a peculiar desire to live."
"Oh, we'll make it all right, rabbi. This is a good car when it
what can happen with a rabbi in the car?"
"That's what I wonder."
from "The Immigrants", a novel by Howard Fast
The Sonnets To Orpheus: Book 2: XXIII
Call me to the one among your moments
against you, ineluctably:
intimate as a dog's imploring glance
again, forever, turned away
when you think you've captured it at
What seems so far from you is most your own.
We are already free,
and were dismissed
where we thought we soon would be at
Anxious, we keep longing for a foothold-
we, at times too
young for what is old
and too old for what has never been;
justice only where we praise,
because we are the branch, the iron
and sweet danger, ripening from within.
In this issue of the Yoga International
The Man Called Ramana By Arthur Osborne
(selected excepts, see link for entire article.)
It was the most majestic film I have ever seen, the most
awe-inspiring and yet
without incident. There is a view of Arunachala
hill from the ashram drive,
and then a tall, frail, light-complexioned
man with short, white hair descends
the slope of the hill with the aid
of a staff. Then he comes out of the ashram
hall, stops to smile at a
baby, walks across the grounds-just simple, everyday
actions, and yet
the beauty of them was breathtaking. The simplicity was so
the smile so spontaneous, the majesty so inherent.
Bhagavan Sri Ramana was meticulously exact, closely observant,
and humorous. His daily life was conducted with punctiliousness
today would have to call purely Western. Everything had to be
orderly. The ashram hall was swept out several times daily. The
always in their places, and the cloths covering the couch were
clean and beautifully folded. The loincloth, which was all he
gleaming white. The two clocks in the hall were adjusted daily to
and the calendar was never allowed to fall behind the current
routine of life flowed in a regular pattern.
Bhagavan was affable and courteous to all visitors. He expressed no
solemnity in his exposition. On the contrary, his speech, whether
affairs or on doctrine, was vivacious and full of laughter. So
infectious was his
laughter that even those who did not know Tamil would
spontaneously join in.
Right up to the end he joked, and yet his jokes also bore
instruction. When the
doctors were alarmed to see a new tumor pushing up
during his final sickness,
he said, laughing, "Why do you worry? Its nature
is to come up." When a
woman beat her head against a post outside his room
in grief, despite his
insistence that the body's death was no cause for
grief, he listened for a
moment and then said, "Oh, I thought somebody was
trying to break a
coconut." A devotee asked why his prayers were not
Bhagavan replied, laughing, "If they were, you might stop
His face was like the face of water, always changing and yet always
He would be laughing and talking, then he would turn graciously to
child or hand a nut to a squirrel that hopped onto his couch from
or his radiant, wide-open eyes would shine with love upon some
who had just arrived or was taking leave. Then, in silence a moment
face would be rock-like, eternal in its grandeur.
The consideration that Bhagavan showed to people and animals
even to inanimate objects. Every action had to be performed
nothing was wasted. I have seen the meticulous care
with which a book was
bound and cuttings pasted, and have heard an
attendant reproved for wanting
to cut into a new sheet of paper when
one already started would suffice. Our
exploitation of nature is
ruthless today; it is more a rape than a harvesting.
Therefore it was
a chastening sight to see the divine embodiment so careful in
of things. He especially never wasted food. He might distribute a gift
of fruit to children who were present or to monkeys who tried to steal
he never wasted anything. We mistakenly think that economy
frugality and generosity with extravagance, yet very often
the frugal are
wasteful and the generous are careful. When Bhagavan
had finished a meal,
the banana leaf on which he had eaten was as
clean as though it had been
washed. Not a grain of rice was wasted. In
former years, when his body was
more robust, he used to help in the
kitchen, preparing meals, and he insisted
that even the parings of the
vegetables should be used as cattle feed and not
Although all wished to obey him, Bhagavan's life was,
lesson in submission. Owing to his refusal to
express any wish or desire, the
ashram authorities built up their own
structure of regulations, and Bhagavan
obeyed them without hesitation.
If devotees found them irksome, they had
before their eyes the example
of Bhagavan's own submission. If Bhagavan
ever resisted it was likely
to be in the interests of the devotees. Even so, he
acted usually in
silence and often in a manner dictated by his shrewd sense of
An attendant once rebuked a European woman for sitting with her
stretched out. Bhagavan at once sat up cross-legged and continued so,
despite the pain caused by the rheumatism in his knees. When the
protested, he replied that the attendant's orders were for
when the lesson had been driven home did he consent to
From For Those with Little Dust, by Arthur Osborne. Copyright
2001 by Sri
Ramanasramam. Reprinted by arrangement with Inner Directions
PO Box 130070, Carlsbad, California 92013. www.InnerDirections.org
We didn't taste a
drop from her ruby lip and she left.
We didn't gaze long enough at her beauty
and she left.
Perhaps she had tired of our company.
She packed her
things, we couldn't overtake her, and she left
We recited holy suras and
blew prayers after her, and she left.
Her sultry glance rooted us in the
alley of devotion.
In the end, you saw how deeply we bought that glance, and
She strolled in the field of grace and beauty but
go to meet her in the garden of union and she left.
We wailed and wept
all night, just like Hafiz,
for alas, we were too late to say goodbye and she
Elizabeth T. Gray, Jr. - 'The
Green Sea of Heaven'
Pub. White Cloud Press