Monday, November 7, 2016

The End





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Not every man knows what he shall sing at the end,
Watching the pier as the ship sails away, or what it will seem like
When he's held by the sea's roar, motionless, there at the end,
Or what he shall hope for once it is clear that he'll never go back.

When the time has passed to prune the rose or caress the cat,
When the sunset torching the lawn and the full moon icing it down
No longer appear, not every man knows what he'll discover instead.
When the weight of the past leans against nothing, and the sky

Is no more than remembered light, and the stories of cirrus
And cumulus come to a close, and all the birds are suspended in flight,
Not every man knows what is waiting for him, or what he shall sing
When the ship he is on slips into darkness, there at the end.
 
–Mark Strand
The Continuous Life
in memory of the man who fell to earth





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AJHarrison

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Sunday, November 6, 2016

when I die

 



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When I die, I will see the lining of the world.
The other side, beyond bird, mountain, sunset.
The true meaning, ready to be decoded.
What never added up will add Up,
What was incomprehensible will be comprehended.
- And if there is no lining to the world?
If a thrush on a branch is not a sign,
But just a thrush on the branch? If night and day
Make no sense following each other?
And on this earth there is nothing except this earth?
- Even if that is so, there will remain
A word wakened by lips that perish,
A tireless messenger who runs and runs
Through interstellar fields, through the revolving galaxies,
And calls out, protests, screams.


–Czesław Miłosz



 
 
 
 
 



Wednesday, October 26, 2016

fork in the road





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The experience of the gap between the cessation of one moment and the arising of the next is nothing less than the “moment of truth” that will determine our direction and shape our future experience.

In Tibetan, we say that in each moment we are at a fork in the road.

Whichever fork or direction we take, it is important to realize that all appearances are, ultimately speaking, aspects of the nature of our own mind. They do not exist in a manner that is independent of our minds.


—Dzogchen Ponlop
Mind Beyond Death









Sunday, October 23, 2016

I am involved






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No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
 

Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
 

If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
 

As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
 

Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,

It tolls for thee.



–John Donne



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Robert Mapplethorpe
Waves (Left, Center, Right) 1980

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Saturday, October 22, 2016

It Was Like This: You Were Happy





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It was like this:
you were happy, then you were sad,
then happy again, then not.

It went on.
You were innocent or you were guilty.
Actions were taken, or not.

At times you spoke, at other times you were silent.
Mostly, it seems you were silent—what could you say?

Now it is almost over.
Like a lover, your life bends down and kisses your life.

It does this not in forgiveness—
between you, there is nothing to forgive—
but with the simple nod of a baker at the moment
he sees the bread is finished with transformation.

Eating, too, is a thing now only for others.

It doesn’t matter what they will make of you
or your days: they will be wrong,
they will miss the wrong woman, miss the wrong man,
all the stories they tell will be tales of their own invention.

Your story was this: you were happy, then you were sad,
you slept, you awakened.
Sometimes you ate roasted chestnuts, sometimes persimmons.


–Jane Hirshfield
for J.S.



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Friday, October 21, 2016

words






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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

by the light of the heart





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When the body and mind grow weak, the Self gathers in all the powers of life and descends with them into the heart. As prana leaves the eye, it ceases to see. "He is becoming one," say the wise; "he does not see. He is becoming one; he no longer hears. He is becoming one; he no longer speaks, or tastes, or smells, or thinks, or knows." By the light of the heart the Self leaves the body by one of its gates; and when he leaves, prana follows, and with it all the vital powers of the body. He who is dying merges in consciousness, and thus consciousness accompanies him when he departs, along with the impressions of all that he has done, experienced, and known.

–Brihadaranyaka Upanishad



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