THIS INSTRUMENT OF DUST

O FRIEND!  this body is His lyre;

He tightens its strings, and draws from it the melody of Brahma.  

If the strings snap and the keys slacken, then to dust must this instrument of dust return:  

Kabir says:  “None but Brahma can evoke its melodies.”

Kabir

(translated by Rabindranath Tagore)

A CLEARER VIEW OF DONNA REED

Donna_Reed1

FROM THE 2013 BOOK OF QUESTIONS #26

Another question from Gregory Stock’s book is this:

Have you ever disliked someone for being luckier or more successful than you?

Of course I have.  Who hasn’t?

WEAVING THE GARLAND OF DAY AND NIGHT

The woman who is parted from her lover spins at the spinning wheel.  

The city of the body arises in its beauty; and within it the palace of the mind has been built.  

The wheel of love revolves in the sky, and the seat is made of the jewels of knowledge:  

What subtle threads the woman weaves, and makes them fine with love and reverence!  

Kabir says:  “I am weaving the garland of day and night.  When my Lover comes and touches me with His feet, I shall offer Him my tears.”

Kabir

(translated by Rabindranath Tagore)

FROM THE 2013 BOOK OF QUESTIONS #25

Another question from Gregory Stock’s book is this:

Would you rather have success and everything material you want, but few friends; or little success or material well-being, but lots of friends?

Bearing in mind that success doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with wealth–and that the more friends one has, the more impersonal his friendships are–I would definitely rather have success and everything material I wanted, but few friends.

FROM A MAN AT THE END TO A WOMAN BEYOND

Polly W.

Oh you, you’re so hard to get to.  

Oh you, you don’t wanna play.  

You were no better before.  

I sent a dream to you last night

From the end of the world.  

 

Oh you, you keep me hangin’ ’round and ’round

And ’round.  

Oh you, look at the trouble I’ve found.  

You were no better before

I sent a letter before

I sent a dream to you last night

From the end of the world.  

 

I saw you last night but you couldn’t answer.  

You were a lonely little sidewalk dancer.  

When I woke up I could not stand it  

You were gone but I got to hand it to you.  

 

Oh please if this is a game I wish someone would win  

Oh please just let it fly to be upon the wind  

You were no better before, I sent a letter before

I sent a dream to you baby last night

From the end of the world

Polly W.

The dark rose of thy mouth

Draw nigher, draw nigher!  

Thy breath is the wind of the south,

A wind of fire!  

The wind and the rose and darkness

O Rose of my Desire!  

 

Deep silence of the night

Hush’t like a breathless lyre,

Save the sea’s thunderous might,

Dim, menacing, dire;

Silence and wind and sea,

They are thee,

O Rose of my Desire!  

 

As a wind eddying flame

Leaping higher and higher

Thy soul, Thy secret name

Leaps thro’ Death’s blazing pyre!  

Kiss me, Imperishable Fire,

Dark Rose,

O Rose of my Desire!

Polly W.

GIVE ME ENOUGH WINE OR LEAVE ME ALONE

Who is luckiest in this whole orchestra?  The reed.  

Its mouth touches your lips to learn music.  

All reeds, sugarcane especially, think only

of this chance.  They sway in the canebrakes,

free in the many ways they dance.

 

Without you the instruments would die.  

One sits close beside you.  Another takes a long kiss.  

The tambourine begs, “Touch my skin so I can be myself.”  

Let me feel you enter each limb bone by bone,

that what died last night can be whole today.

 

Why live some soberer way and feel you ebbing out?  

I won’t do it.  

Either give me enough wine or leave me alone,

now that I know how it is

to be with you in a constant conversation.

 

Rumi

(translated by Coleman Barks, et alia)

NOW THAT THE MIDTERM ELECTION IS OVER . . .

IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT WE DECIDE TO ELECT AN INDEPENDENT PRESIDENT IN 2016.

I voted Republican for my district of the U.S. House of Representatives this time.  And I’m glad the Republicans  have a majority in the Senate and House of Representatives now.  President Obama has turned out to be even more of a monster than George W. Bush was.  Every midterm election, we have to do damage control.  In 2006, we had to vote Democrats into both houses of Congress because the Republican Party was dangerously out of control.  Now we’ve just had to vote Republicans into both houses of Congress because the Democratic Party was dangerously out of control.

How many more midterm elections are going to be this way–how many more times are we going to have to vote members of the opposing party to the President into both houses of Congress because his party is dangerously out of control?  This is damage control–how many more times are we going to have to do this?

If the President were independent (not affiliated with any political party), we wouldn’t have to do this at all.

We had an opportunity to elect an independent president in 1992.  His name was Ross Perot, and I voted for him (my first presidential vote)–not because I disliked Bush or Clinton, but because I felt that the President should not be affiliated with any political party.

If you voted for George H.W. Bush in 1992, you made a big mistake.

If you voted for Bill Clinton in 1992, you made a big mistake.

Don’t make the same mistake in 2016.

As aforementioned, both the Republican and Democratic Parties have taken our government away from us.

And the only way we can begin to take it back is to elect an independent president in 2016.

Honestly, if I had the money for a campaign, I’d be ethically obligated to run for president myself, as an independent.  But I don’t.

Ross Perot did.  Let’s hope to God another independent candidate does.

I’m not talking about a third party–I’m talking about no party affiliation at all.

There is room for different political parties in Congress, but not in the Presidency.  Because the President is just one person.  That makes all the difference in the world.  The President of the United States is only one person–yet he has as much power as both houses of the United States Congress.  This is why it is imperative that the President not be affiliated with any political party.  Even an independent president may be somewhat biased toward one party or another–but not nearly as much as a Republican or Democratic president.

George Washington was the only independent president the United States has ever had–and this is just one reason he was the best president the United States has ever had.

There were no political parties when George Washington was elected as our first president.  And toward the end of his second term, he was dismayed to see the government he had helped to establish already unraveling into political parties.

Our government was never meant to be fractured into political parties–this is something our country’s founders never anticipated.  And I am certain that they would be appalled, not only that the United States Government has fractured into political parties, but that these parties are now so polarized–not to mention extremist, corrupt, and dangerously powerful.

Both the Republican and Democratic Parties have taken our government away from us.  And the only way we can begin to take it back is to elect an independent president in 2016.

THE STRONGER PULL OF WHAT YOU REALLY LOVE

You miss the garden,

because you want a small fig from a random tree.  

You don’t meet the beautiful woman.  

You’re joking with an old crone.  

It makes me want to cry how she detains you,

stinking mouthed, with a hundred talons,

putting her head over the roof edge to call down,

tasteless fig, fold over fold, empty

as dry-rotten garlic.  

 

She has you tight by the belt,

even though there’s no flower and no milk

inside her body.  

Death will open your eyes

to what her face is:  leather spine

of a black lizard.  No more advice.  

 

Let yourself be silently drawn

by the stronger pull of what you really love.

 

Rumi

(translated by Coleman Barks, et alia)

NOT TOO LITTLE, BUT DEFINITELY TOO LATE

It’s just something I realized today, for the first time in my life:

As a child and as an adolescent, I was incapable of feeling rage.

I was capable of feeling hatred and anger–but incapable of feeling rage.

I didn’t become capable of feeling rage until my twenties.

Yet then it was too late.

How well rage would have served me in my childhood–it would have protected me from my dad’s physical abuse, and my mom’s support, even encouragement of it.

How well rage would have served me in my adolescence–it would have protected me from the verbal bullying of white boys and the physical bullying of black boys.

And all day I’ve wished my mind could travel to my thirteen-year-old body in 1979, and possess it–so that my forty-eight-year-old rage could rise in defiance of my abusive parents and my bullying peers.

Yet my mind is still here, of course.

And it is filled with rage–but rage against far more powerful forces than abusive parents or bullying teenagers.

Rage against things over which I have no power at all.

Rage against my mental illness, and my deteriorating life.

But even moreso:

Rage against this, the worst era in human history–rage against digital-age technology, rage against exponentially increasing overpopulation, rage against climate change, and rage against every other evil that is the beginning of the end of the world.

Rage–not too little, but definitely too late.


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