Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Memories are lost to all but dreams, as easily recaptured. A familiar raven follows me. It's huge. Its iridescent feathers are intriguing, beautiful like oil on the surface of the sea. It should burn, for leering into my soul with its black eyes. Its calls are so ugly.
I sleepwalk through my lost childhood. My old toys all stand surrounding me, for sale in glass cases, complete with their imagined personalities. The Lone Ranger triggers the now distant past, the days before they took away his mask, immortilized in plastic. Tanto, G.I. Joe, Original Star Wars figures, worse for wear, all intermingle in this surreal display.
There are Transformers too, Masters of the Universe, all the comic book heroes, rare stuff from Planet of the Apes and Dune, Steve McQueen, John Wayne, and Evel Knievel's stunt bike. I met Evel once. He said follow your dreams, even if it breaks every bone in your body. Nearly all his bones had been replaced with nuts and bolts, but he had balls.
There's a charcter from Gunsmoke here, and the toy guns still look real in the grip of cops and robber figures from the days real cops and robbers could tell the difference.
On my way home a police perimeter roadblocks the obscured scene of an officer involved shooting. The homeless mentally ill man I passed on the way to the train station the day before lies motionless in the crosswalk, shot, by a rookie lady cop, for crossing the street too slow, permadosed with Tourette's, and reaching for a gnarly twig at his side from a special tree in his world, in his childlike metaphysics, a magic wand.
The day before, he said, "Hey! You got any change?" I said, "I can't change you, man. Only you can change you." To which he replied, "Bullshit!"
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
The tranquil place I often go to sit and write is, at the moment, a construction zone. And, though I've done my best to distance myself from the work in progress, I find the mystic music of inspiration drowned out by static noise, irritation.
The equipment belches, rumbles, surges forth and clashes violently with the peace of all here trying to ignore it, putting the body at odds with the mind, thereby distressing the soul.
I am discouraged. I am broken down. I am disappointed, caught off guard. I am losing control of the only thing one can completely control, how I feel. I must be satisfied with this condition, it is all I know, but at the moment, my perspective has shifted. I am still empty after I eat, but somewhere within me I know there is still a moment of joy I must move on to find. That's it! I've had enough.
I walk 'til the workday is over. It was the walk that was missing, the moments of joy in every step; quality dark chocolate filled with more chocolate, fine Earl Grey tea, fresh water, all still within my reach when I'm resourceful. I come full circle to my writing spot. The workmen have gone, the equipment sits dormant, and though the hillside is scarred, and the noise will be here tomorrow surely as the Sun will rise, there is peace again. Trees softly rustle while I nap on a bench to a chorus of birds, insects, and far away dogs. Hard earned solitude in the shade.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Inspiration leads her man to nature, with the sanctified fragrance of Chandra, under his protection. They stand fast where water falls, and drink from mountain streams, tasting purity, momentarily clearing the palette, preparing them to subdue the intensity to come downriver. Jasmine Tea, Bergamot Tea, Star Anise with Peppercorn, Grapefruit, Cardamom, Tangerine with Cream, and so forth.
And a blue lotus marks the door to the temple. Admission is granted without knocking. The temple is within. Should one keep this to one's self?
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
To the Greeks! Socrates was a character. It was The Republic that killed him. Aristotle is the true poet. But no, I raise this chalice to Delphi.
I commune with the rejected, cast out, unworthy of heaven, doomed to sing a part in the high holy harmony of its praises.
I practice letting go, the offensiveness of hypocrisy.
I take water because all water is holy; all fire, all air, all Earth. These are the creator of life. Therefore all life is holy. Therefore war, the destroyer of life, shall not be.
The elements converge where my dog dreams me, bringing Buddha's smile to her face, anywhere fortune favors a fool. C'est la vie.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
The conscious mind is one's discourse of inner voices, each one influenced by the subconscious and unconscious minds. The subconscious mind is precognitive emotional experience not yet classed or categorized in language by the conscious. The unconscious mind is composed of the compulsion toward satisfying the body's needs for survival. The collective expression of all of the above is consensus, naturally.
When something becomes damaged it becomes more fragile, does it not? It does for a time at least, certainly. But, when inorganic objects are broken, they can be repaired; often stronger than they were before. And, living things heal, again often stronger than they were before.
What of a soul damaged by tragedy, a broken spirit, a mind troubled by forgotten dreams? It is more strongly defensive, in time more wisely cautious, but is it not more fragile at its core?
Perhaps this is why we refer to compassionate empathy as tenderness, and our ability to endure suffering as strength.
The fortune telling fish indicates I'm in love. I laugh with delight.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
piece by piece, until nothing remained but the steel skeleton of the booth...
i long to remember the dreams I had
before i learned to speak,
before i knew the names of things.
this is a dangerous language.
think closely on this.
sends your brothers and sisters
to the chair.
orders the dropping of bombs
on those who live the night while you live the day.
this language says, "I am right,
and you are wrong."
this language turned Christ into a white man
into what you believe yourself to be
just the same.
i fear the use of these words.
when all is said and done, we will begin again
and make up new words to make up for the old ones.
consider this a record.
consider this the wreckage.
Today I find my home within me under the Jacaranda. Its fragrance... rain, and roses. Today is one of good fortune. My chart and cards, consistent guidance before I step out the door. Interesting.
The good fortune of today is expressed to me in found objects. Isn't it always..? I am given this small book of Buddha's wisdom in my left shirt pocket. I walk, and in a shop, I find the ancient symbol of my order embossed upon an antique piece of movable type, and buy it for the same. An eye of providence for an eye of providence. It rests in the small right pocket of my Levi's, the place my late brother intended as the place where working men carry their light, the divine fire being in their hearts. I'm looking for work, so I find it. I tell a red cross volunteer that I only have my time to donate, so we agree to help alleviate this second great depression. In hoc signo vinces. The lottery is at 53mil. I buy a ticket.
Now I sit on a bench, writing, remembering the time a teacher whose name I forget due to a traumatic experience of his negative example roared above our seminar that I was not a valuable contributor to his class. It was Philosophy in Literature. I dared assert that forgetfulness is sometimes an active quality, and one does not accomplish positive results via negative action. I was therefore confronted with the realization that I am low born; then provoked to leave as above. My consolation, that this man believes I am worth nothing... so that is precisely what I owe him for this lesson.
While I listen to my stream of consciousness, waiting for the next train of thought, my lady arrives for our walk through the rose garden. She is Freyja. A child notices a butterfly has lost its wing. My lady loves the smell of roses almost to a fault. Disappointment is to experience these with no fragrance. Lucky to taste Jasmine brings her joy.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
And we got to talking about all manner of things. And one of those things was writing, and that we both should do more of it.
"I'll write," I said. "Will you?" I asked.
During that same conversation, Michael suggested that we may have stumbled into a Kurt Vonnegut novel during our discussion. (He also said the same about Ayn Rand, but I respectfully opted out of whatever text that might be.). Michael also indicated that we might be members of the same karass, and I didn't disagree.
We finished lunch. Michael and his girlfriend went their way, and I went mine. And I thought about what to do about this commitment we had made to each other that we would write. And I decided on this blog.
The naming took some thinking, but if it were not for Adlai E. Stevenson College, at our shared alma mater of UC Santa Cruz, we would not have been sitting there in Ozumo in Oakland eating Kurosawa bento boxes together, dreaming up some way to challenge each other to write and recognizing that there might be some cosmic thread that wove its way between our lives. Or maybe we would have been there anyhow, whether or not Stevenson College had first introduced us to one another. And that might prove this is a karass and not a wampeter after all.
So, when I tentatively settled on Karass of Adlai, I thought I might want to reacquaint myself with some of our patron saint's history. And I was astonished to discover this in his Wikipedia entry:
His most famous moment came on October 25, 1962, during the Cuban missile crisis, when he gave a presentation at an emergency session of the Security Council. He forcefully asked the Soviet representative, Valerian Zorin, if his country was installing missiles in Cuba, punctuated with the famous demand "Don't wait for the translation, answer 'yes' or 'no'!" Following Zorin's refusal to answer the abrupt question, Stevenson retorted, "I am prepared to wait for my answer until Hell freezes over."
An ice-nine allusion? In Adlai Stevenson's Wikipedia entry? Dear God, it was too good to be true. And so it was settled. And so here we are.