Thursday, November 10, 2011

counting to a googol

oh, Zuma! trace those words again on my skin. secret words. you only mouthed in my direction on a whim. I slipped my toes into them. and ran a race to win. miles away now at the Getty. coloring butterflies with crayons in the gallery. my friend, can you also be caught and counted? like pennies in our fountain or stars out over the terrace. are you my Polaris? a north star to point the way for tired Capricornus? or just a fickle wind.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Matthew 5:44

I've been thinking lately on forgiveness and the prescription of loving our enemies. I don't have many enemies to love, but there are those whose actions in one way or another have caused me to feel unfairly treated. This ranges from the absurd (that asshole who cut me off in traffic) to repeated acts of insensitivity or hurtfulness. I have been lucky. There is not much in my personal history which cannot or has not been forgiven. But I've found it helps if I am able to understand, even a little bit, the underlying cause of the action or miscommunication. Why did so and so do x, y & z? How have I interpreted it (because it is an interpretation, not fact) and why? There is often some sort of ailment at the root of it. Mine or someone else's previous hurt working itself out in the present. This is ok. Even when it's not ok. I have more trouble coming to terms with what I fail to understand, especially after exerting some mental and emotional effort at working the problem out. 

I am, however, at least as frequently incomprehensible to myself as others are to me. Today in class I noticed a willful interference with my own experience of physical freedom. I can honestly say I didn't want to feel better. I wanted to pull down on my lousy body. Perhaps I wanted to punish it. This flies in the face of some assumptions. Love your enemies, heh? As though our enemies seek our demise while we, on the other hand, are perfect purveyors of our own health and good intentions. Perhaps there is some personal dimension to this biblical saying. This afternoon I was my own adversity, my own antagonist. Maybe the practice of loving our enemies can work directly in our favor - not in some mysteriously altruistic way - but because we are often our own worst enemies. Should we not then love ourselves? I can see how, practically speaking, adherence to this golden rule might give a person (me) more patience and flexibility dealing with their own frustratingly complicated and unhelpful selves.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

With this cigarette I absolve thee.
Penance will be self-love
And a felt-tipped cowboy hat.

lesser things

How many fears and insecurities we bump up against in just a day. Am I able to bear myself up? Will I meet the demands placed on me physically, mentally, emotionally? How afraid I am that I cannot!

Last night these melted away. I sat outside on the bricks, smoked a cigarette (I know it's unhealthy), and took myself in. I am not so bad - even though I am not transformed into some higher or brighter thing. This waist, these legs, my critical mind and nagging desire to get closer to others. I am not always gentle, but I am mostly good-willed.

I am reminded that it is ok to begin again, to always begin again from where I am at. I sometimes find myself crawling back to my center, pride in hand, after having been distracted by some lesser thing. But as long as my return is sincere, I have yet to be turned away from that source of self-acceptance and benevolent comfort.