#4737 - Monday, October 22, 2012 - Editor: Gloria Lee
- "Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower."
~ Albert CamusBeing awake is not a feeling.
Being awake is not a thought.
Being awake is not a memory or desire.
Being awake is the burning away
of past and future,
this scattering of apples in October rain.
Perish into the Mother.~ Fred LaMotteThe Great Creator, in the variety of creations,
blesses the low and the high.
In this one act have I resolved all philosophy.
I walk oceans and they do not hold me back.
I ride into the dark heart of all being
and dwell in the vast halls of the ant.
No need to look outside the door for wisdom.
Must we see all the mountains and the seas to love them?
I have written what my heart has learned.~ Isonokami no Yakatsuguby Alan LarusSojourns in the Parallel World
We live our lives of human passions,
cruelties, dreams, concepts,
crimes and the exercise of virtue
in and beside a world devoid
of our preoccupations, free
from apprehensionthough affected,
certainly, by our actions. A world
parallel to our own though overlapping.
We call it 'Nature: only reluctantly
admitting ourselves to be 'Nature' too.
Whenever we lose track of our own obsessions,
our self-concerns, because we drift for a minute,
an hour even, of pure (almost pure)
response to that insouciant life:
cloud, bird, fox, the flow of light, the dancing
pilgrimage of water, vast stillness
of spellbound ephemerae on a lit windowpane,
animal voices, mineral hum, wind
conversing with rain, ocean with rock, stuttering
of fire to coalthen something tethered
in us, hobbled like a donkey on its patch
of gnawed grass and thistles, breaks free.
No one discovers
just where we've been, when we're caught up again
into our own sphere (where we must
return, indeed, to evolve our destinies)
but we have changed, a little.by Denise Levertov from Sands of the Well.
© New Directions Books, 1994
via Writer's Almanacphoto by Alan LarusLake and MapleI want to give myself
as this maple
that burned and burned
for three days without stinting
and then in two more
dropped off every leaf;
as this lake that,
no matter what comes
to its green-blue depths,
both takes and returns it.
In the still heart that refuses nothing,
the world is twice-born --
two earths wheeling,
two egrets reaching
down into subtraction;
even the fish
for an instant doubled,
before it is gone.
I want the fish.
I want the losing it all
when it rains and I want
the returning transparence.
I want the place
by the edge-flowers where
the shallow sand is deceptive,
steps in must plunge,
and I want that plunging.
I want the ones
who come in secret to drink
only in early darkness,
and I want the ones
who are swallowed.
I want the way
the water sees without eyes,
hears without ears,
shivers without will or fear
at the gentlest touch.
I want the way it
accepts the cold moonlight
and lets it pass,
the way it lets
all of of it pass
without judgment or comment.
There is a lake.
Lalla Ded sang, no larger
than one seed of mustard,
that all things return to.
O heart, if you
will not, cannot, give me the lake,
then give me the song.Jane Hirshfieldphoto by Alan Larus