Quiet. No words.
Sounds fill the moments enough.
The play of light dark and color
Living each breath.
They don’t like the silence.
I can only wink.
Quiet. No words.
Sounds fill the moments enough.
The play of light dark and color
Living each breath.
They don’t like the silence.
I can only wink.
One must not cut oneself off from the world. No one who lives in the sunlight makes a failure of his life. My whole effort, whatever the situation, misfortune or disillusion, must be to make contact again. But even within this sadness I feel a great leap of joy and a great desire to love simply at the sight of a hill against the evening sky.
What I mean is this: that one can, with no romanticism, feel nostalgic for lost poverty. A certain number of years lived without money are enough to create a whole sensibility.
It is in this life of poverty, among these vain or humble people, that I have most certainly touched what I feel is the true meaning of life. Works of art will never provide this and art is not everything for me. Let it at least be a means.
We do not need to reveal ourselves to others, but only to those we love. For then we are no longer revealing ourselves in order to seem but in order to give. There is much more strength in a man who reveals himself only when it is necessary.
To give up all feeling that the world owes you a living and devote yourself to achieving two kinds of freedom: freedom from money, and freedom from your own vanity and cowardice. To have rules and stick to them. Two years is not too long a time to spend thinking about one single point. You must wipe out all earlier stages, and concentrate all your strength first of all on forgetting nothing and then on waiting patiently.
The temptation shared by all forms of intelligence: cynicism.
The misery and greatness of this world: it offers no truths, but only objects for love. Absurdity is king, but love saves us from it.
One individual’s reaction has no intrinsic importance. It can be of some use, but it can justify nothing. The dilettante’s dream of being free to hover above his time is the most ridiculous form of liberty. This is why I must try to serve. And, if they don’t want me, I must also accept the position of the “despised civilian.” In both cases, I am absolutely free to judge things and to feel as disgusted with them as I like. In both cases, I am in the midst of the war, and have the right to judge it. To judge it, and to act.
Only great thoughts are capable of such contradictory fruitfulness.
Hence the fact that being able to live alone in one room in Paris for a year teaches a man more than a hundred literary salons and forty years’ experience of “Parisian life.” It is a hard, terrible, and sometimes agonizing experience, and always on the verge of madness. But, by being close to such a fate, a man’s quality must either become hardened and tempered—or perish. And if it perishes, then it is because it was not strong enough to live.
Modern intelligence is in utter confusion. Knowledge has become so diffuse that the world and the mind have lost all point of reference. It is a fact that we are suffering from nihilism. But the most amazing things are the admonitions to “turn backward.” Return to the Middle Ages, to primitive mentality, to the soil, to religion, to the arsenal of worn-out solutions. To grant a shadow of efficacy to those panaceas, we should have to act as if our acquired knowledge had ceased to exist, as if we had learned nothing, and pretend in short to erase with is inerasable. We should have to cancel the contribution of several centuries and the controvertible acquisitions of a mind that has finally (in its last step forward) re-created chaos on its own. That is impossible. In order to be cured, we must make our peace with this lucidity, this clairvoyance. We must take into account the glimpses we have suddenly had of our exile. Intelligence is in confusion not because knowledge has changed everything. It is so because it cannot accept that change. It hasn’t “got accustomed to that idea.” When this does happen, the confusion will disappear. Nothing will remain bu the change and the clear knowledge that the mind has of it. There’s a whole civilization to be reconstructed.
A writer must never speak of his doubts regarding his creation. It would be too easy to answer him: “Who is forcing you to create? If it is such a constant anguish, why do you endure it?” Doubts are the most intimate thing about us. Never speak of one’s doubts, whatever they may be.
I don’t refuse a path leading to the Supreme Being, so long as it doesn’t avoid other beings.
The dreadful and consuming selfishness of artists.
My deepest, surest inclination lies in silence and the daily routine. To escape relaxation, the fascination of the mechanical, it took years of perseverance.
I have never seen very clearly into myself in the final analysis. But I have always instinctively followed an invisible stars…. There is in me an anarchy, a frightful disorder. Creating costs me a thousand deaths, for it involves an order and my whole being rebels against order. But without tit I should die scattered.
Not morality but fulfillment. And there is no other fulfillment than that of love, in other words of yielding to oneself and dying to the world. Go all the way. Disappear. Dissolve in love. Then the force of love will create without me. Be swallowed up. Break up. Vanish in fulfillment and the passion of truth
Front legs worrying,
tumbling over and over
as if the subject of his prayers must be gathered up,
lifted as an offering.
A tilt of a triangular mandibula
a slow motion Tai Chi dance
ritually moving through the prayers.
Ritual motion is replaced by
broken only by the falling rain.
The prayers have been answered,
the arachnid moves for shelter under a shimmering leaf.
Flailing against shadows
Ghosts of transgressions
reached under the ribs
into the heart
Haunting every move
With arsenic history laying shroud of fog
Insecurity, desperation to defend/protect
it begs compassion
for someone unwilling to grow.
Choice defines you.
Choose to internalize a hurt
move through and forward
or fight the same demon
The words, the speech, the rhetoric
weighed against the behavior, the action
its disconnected, antithetical
so lost, so confident in the confusion.
Defend a wound that wont heal?
– be responsible.
Know its a statement of
who and where you are.
Get a map. Find a way.
Fingers seek the soft
responsive to a breath
quivering in sunlight
they graze my skin
raising polka dot flesh
tendrils arc to the rise in temparture
Barefoot along the dusty arroyo
above the deep painted river canyon
the brown robed Jesuits
walk in prayer.
Early morning shadows
move across the red dirt and agave.
A rabbit sits watching
the sun arc over the Sandias.
Morning rays light and warm dry chapped skin
The golden hour stirs. The blood and breath rise
Cliff swallows alarm as the falcon glides
past their home on the canyon wall.
Crackle of far off thunder foreshadows an autumn desert rain.
Hair on the skin rises.
This is where God is. In this moment of hush, light, earth and sky.
Not full by fractions
light blunted by whisp of cloud
she wolf howling
Pieces from my personal art collection
Source: Art Collection
Your laughing eyes draw me down a darkened corridor
the whites of those eyes like candles in the night
leading home where the hush of evening is broken by
the popping of a wine cork, piano riffs
I thought I’d turn in early
yet the tenor of the evening turns
with a joke about woman and slugs
I launch into a rail against demeaning humor
how you can belittle women by such words
I get my dander up, but you cajole me with different jokes
I am giggling, then laughing out loud.
We make popcorn – the old fashion way,
with oil and a covered pot.
I’d forgotten the lovely sound of the sizzling
and slow roil of the popcorn until the first few explode
followed by the rat-a-tat-tat of the kernels as they all reach their
popping point. We eat it with butter, on the roof
under a full moon peeping between low clouds
my legs over yours beneath an old quilt I made
You slide a hand along the inside of my thigh
I melt into you with your breath in my ear
my hand in your hair. I warn you I might faint,
because sometimes I do, it doesn’t deter you. You are not afraid
to take me over the edge into that oblivion.
and I go, to that bright exquisite place where pleasure blinds me.
I am both acutely present and out of my body all at once.
I am brought back by your quieting breath.
We finish the popcorn, still on the roof.
I hear your coming of age tales
I tell my own, keeping a few secrets for myself
this evening is unexpectedly energizing
surprising turns of lust, humor, anger and joy,
of kindness, warmth,and vulnerability.
I might not know you after tonight
after you board that plane to a place I have no intention of ever going
but I thank you
for this perfect night and for the chance to look at you while you sleep
so peaceful, so trusting. I thank you.
In the Colorado high country, summer is about the wind.
Wind blowing hot and dry, chapping the skin
A foot of lingering snow evaporates in less than an hour.
Where one lives remote from the
paved over landscapes of the city,
you live every moment aware.
Aware of the climate, the environment that holds you,
of which you are a feature but have little, if any, control.
No stoplight will halt a coming storm,
No roadblocks can be erected in time for a flash flood
No lighted signs marking an emergency exit
from a fire roaring up the canyon walls.
There is no foundation, no dwelling completely immune to the forces of the Chinook winds.
I move between the city and the Colorado high country every year
and relearn in a moment or two to change my level of awareness.
In the city we are alert to man made dangers,
or dangers presented by being in close proximity to other people
Those dangers fall away here at the edge of the snowline.
I stand with hair whipping my face, skin parched like cracking earth
checking the water level in the well, traveling the acres gathering dry fallen
branches, removing dead trees , cutting back vegetation around the home.
Protecting from fire.
We secure everything outide against the Chinook winds.
Reseal windows and doorways where the winds blow in dust and dirt.
The body is endlessly aching with thirst as is the land.
A resplendent afternoon shower frequently nourishes
the parched air and ground for a moment.
But sometimes, thunder, shaking the trees and the ground is accompanied by lightening that will set the dry grasses ablaze,
the fire roaring up a canyon or pass in minutes.
The Rocky Mountains stand in the path of the warm air currents.
Warm, dry down slope winds known as the Chinook,
named after Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest,where the winds originate.
Weather patterns produce a strong, deep flow of air across the Rockies,
the peaks along the Continental Divide act like rocks in a stream-bed.
Just as a rock in flowing water produces ripples in the surface of the stream, the mountains cause ripples in the atmosphere.
Forced up by the peaks, the air seeks to return to its original level
roaring down the eastern slopes only settling down once they blast onto the plains in the east.
I am acutely aware of the changing conciousness
as I leave the high country,
Driving down the passes,
my attention turns to the gradual thickening of traffic,
reception comes back to the radio and there is the sound of the Lemonheads that replaces the sound of the wind.
I reach the airport among throngs of people each with their individual dramas.
But part of me is thinking of the drama of the build up of the afternoon clouds and the blowing wind up on Copperwood Pass as I board the airplane.
As we fly through the sky out of Colorado we fly over my land,
I check on more time the weather below,
read the clouds for moisture content, velocity of wind,thunder and lightening.
I land back in the city, move through the lines of people to collect bags and scuffle to get a cab, fighting traffic and accidents back into the city.
step over excrement on the sidewalk to unlock my door, secure the locks when I get in, answer the phone messages, prepare for urban job travails for the week.
The transition is almost complete.
But when I lay my head on my pillow, I am still listening for the Chinook wind.
Road trips stave off the wanderlust
for awhile. Until the coffers belch
and I take to the air, where
the language bends my ear; the landscape awakens my eyes;
the foods and fragrances stir up the blood.
Now, in my car, music takes me far away
heading towards the salt air where the heart opens to the expanse of the sea
your company, my newest landscape,
a new rhythm. We are off the paved roads
where the dirt trail and adventure begin
and for a moment I feel comfortable enough to sit silent.
Not awkward. Not a void. Its a beckoning. A communication
of comfort and intimacy as we slow the pace,
as the trail narrows into the grass
next to a brook, crossing a stream into the woods.
One appreciates the fine gestures, the generosity and attention
until it unceremoniously is taken away.
All that you enjoyed
you now see as a ruse.
All that was felt as unique is nothing but a pattern
with a single changing element which is you.
Items, given to you, are given away
to someone new with a thoughtlessness
amounting to cruelty.
All that was private is now shared with someone not of your choosing.
The new focus of attention
revels in feeling special, sees the fine gestures, the generosity
and attention as unique to only them…reveling how
this blessing is permanent, not to diminish…
until it all comes round again.
When the music, the poets, the art
that you thought were uniquely experienced together
are re-experienced as new to yet another.
You become the lonley depreciated object
cast aside like a scrap piece of paper lying on the ground
Midnight sun illumines,
salmon dancing in baskets
set out for market
brightly painted boats expel
seamen icing down the catch,
setting up for sales along the pier.
Rain thundering down
does not change the pace or activity.
Houses, painted the color of the boats,
overlook the early bustle.
I meander down the moss covered
past ivy covered walls, along tree lined streets
into the hustle.
I am offered writhing catch,
fresh shucked oysters.
I slide a few oysters down
into a breakfast hungry stomach.
I am reminded of Kodiak Alaska,
but this city offers more than –
the industry of fish.
My bones respond to this place,
where ancestors lived
worked and drew their last breath.
It is an unfamiliar home.
An internal GPS leads me to places and people connected
to my blood, heart.
In a library
an unknown chance relative
shows me pictures of places
of my people,
shares names, dates,
relative to the tree of which I am the smallest branch.
I ride a tram to overlook the city and harbor.
I stand in this
Green Meadow Among the Mountains
the City of Seven Mountains
as a resident of the distant
City of 14 Hills.
Everything I am, have been, is echoed before me.
I only met this woman twice though her reputation as a art collector, art enthusiast and owner of Smith and Anderson Gallery /print studio in Palo Alto was well known to me for some time. She charmed me. It was a brief and meaningful connection. I hope we cross paths in another place and time. RIP. Please read more about her at http://www.smithandersen.com/
Following you, the breeze lifted the bottom of your curls, suspending the hair in a dance around your head. Wind playing the tendrils like my fingers did hours ago against the soft cushion of pillows cradling you.
The wind rises up with the scent of the sea, wild honeysuckle, eucalyptus, the green of spring. Memories,stored in brain cells related to senses, secure this meditative ambling as a moment of aromas – hoping it is with you still, inside this damaged head, in this still body.
Sea grass quivers, quakes. Trees creak in warming wind. A red-tail hawk cries hunting the bluffs in slow circles. Movement everywhere enabled by the strength of the wind. I imagine your limbs rising, your body swaying, eyes lifting to watch where the hawk flies.
The sand, warm on the surface, cool as our footsteps churn the wetter layer beneath. The sunlight brings out my freckles. The wind cools the burn on the skin. Promises inscribed in driftwood set out to sea, carrying our intentions to the whole world touched by water.
All the senses are singing, blood quickens, breath draws deep into the lungs. The body is whole, invigorated by all that is today; all that is seen, all that is felt, all that is heard, all that is sense, all that is air. I am with you. I am here. I am memory.
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