UPWARDS!

We flew up.
Before the blue face
of the animated sky
we laughed cycles.

In classical terms: we danced the light away.

No sense, then, that now
to crush the spark
(de rigeur in some quarters)
was the coin of exchange.
The imperative of a guided economy of creativity.

We flew up.
This movement spread,
wings were opened,
times became events.
An imperative to shine.
Upwards!

There was a penalty here,
a goal-crossed price to pay,
and we were willing partners
to that crime.
Upwards!

Animated, we held heads high
lifting arms and twirling
for the rest.
Freedom was ours,
we would take it
or suffer by not.
Failure be damned.
Upwards!

YOUR SANITY

Your sanity is the greatest threat to the status quo.

Because your sanity retains humanity and dignity, is not afraid all the time, and creates new spaces for growth.
Your sanity sees clearly, without the news. Your sanity holds people close.
Your sanity is compassionate and empathetic.
Your sanity is not misanthropic nor betting on voting as the way forward.
Your sanity knows new ways must be tried.
Your sanity realizes we are all we got and therefore reaches out to others, particularly the poor, the marginalized, the fearful, the immigrant, the refugee, and the broken.
Your sanity knows we can do better, but only when we say “we”.
Your sanity is a brilliant little light in the darkness we all face and strong winds can affect it but,
Your sanity will light the fire again and again because
Your sanity is all you have.
All we´ve got

Hold onto your sanity.
And hold onto each other.
This will pass.

THE INCOMING NINE

THE INCOMING NINE

Someone listening to jazz sounded the alarm:
The day was not to be.
We were all to leave as soon as possible.
Guidelines would be drafted to protect the wilds,
Then modified for the rest:
Matching outfits would suffice.
It would be a long journey to where no one would return.
Marching orders were quickly given and
The suits managed to (as always)
Watch from afar.

Standing between the broke and the broken,
On behalf of the majority, I stood, shakily
Asking why instead of how.
The suits became distressed,
Reporting me to higher-up suits.
A proposal was made to splay me out into as
Many pieces as possible,
So that from afar, I´d look like some crazy design with many arms.
An enneagram of flesh.
I waited quietly while they called numbers.
Mine was coming soon.

THE GATHERING

THE GATHERING

Walking to the horizon, our dreams seemingly faded further back,
Pulling away from us, still we continued.
We carefully plodded onward, game for the task: a mission, another dream
Was what we struggled for.

The discussions were long, and the moon
Greeted the night, and the stars blended to mornings
Among the clods of reason we used to convince others we were right.
There was no censorship: religion even, was on the table
And gladly we watched as the little ones gathered to hear it all laid out so bare,
So lucidly transparent, which they sensed was so unlike our past.
They were right.

We faced the new with determination and tears:
A restored creation was to be had
And in the morning we´d report on our progress. Step by step,
Unassailable progress was made, but we wanted more.

We wanted to dance.

To watch as the crops grew fat and our grandmothers
Sang stories over warm fires on chilly nights, remembering the past
And calling the better future.

Perhaps we persuaded no one,
Each day though, as the horizon retreated away from us,
The gathering got larger, and the steps, more certain.

The (Re)Discovery of the Present

It was not particularly special but again, something was very different. The light in the room  made the peripheral things glow with a trembling brightness that felt different. The weight of my body in the chair was different. The waves of sound and the eyes´ glittering movements of focus and unfocus too seemed different.

It was different.

Every breath was followed, in and out, with the usual attentiveness I give to this, my daily practice, but today a bond was revealed. There existed a quiet merging of the me that was breathing, and the objects around me which were neither overly focused upon nor ignored. As is the practice, they were allowed to be–arise, sustain, and fall, as all conditioned things behave, but now, the me that was following the breath had entered a newer space. A space of quiet and focus, for sure, but also a space of profound unity. The sounds still rang in my ears: the sliding slam of the van door in the parking lot behind me, the people walking and talking about their new classes, the occasional car in the distance, and the crinkly sound of feet on wet pavement, some hurrying, others more plodding all came in and went of their own accord. The thoughts? They too were there, as always, popping up in their constant, often irritating way, but I have long learned to allow them their roaming space and they will eventually, if all goes well, go on their merry way while I bring my attention to the ever flowing breath. In and out, in and out. I ride the breaths with focused but relaxed attention, feeling the in breath as it automatically charges its way into my belly, then subtly slowing down the exhale, ever-so-slightly, I stay carefully “on” the out breath, “riding” it to its end at the bottom of my belly and watch the magical transition from out-breath to in-breath occur, bringing oxygen-infused new blood throughout my body in a process repeated thousands of times daily which I otherwise never notice. But which keeps me alive.

But now my attention was luminous. The act of focusing and the focused object (the breaths) were woven together. It all became effortess. The light in the room and my bodily sensations were indistinguishable. Time was forgotten and instead I was bound to the moment in its ever-changing movement from “this” moment to “that” moment, fully focused, awake, hearing the same things, being the same man I was earlier and yet, it was complete in a way I have felt only a few times in my life. My absorption rested on no premise nor theoretical presumption and it allowed itself to be experienced without any contrivance of mine.

I had discovered, or, better still, rediscovered the Present. It was full and complete, it was even and undisturbed, it was present and filled with Presence and yet it was completely ordinary and apparently accessible to me all the time. But this time, I “caught” it. I caught it in the act of being there, in its ubiquitous nature, like a snapshot – this is why I say it was “luminous”, it was as if an interior light was suddenly turned on to reveal an Eternality in the moment, and I remained still and  concentrated, but now I was filled with a joy. A joy without a self to enjoy it. This was “bliss” for sure. It was neither tied to this or that, nor to me or the objects of my attention but experienced on its own terms. It was nothing special and it was extraordinary. And it was appreciated.