On desires

Your desires are not random. They are the map your feet should follow. ~ Andrea Balt

Anji, Zhejiang province, China. Wikimedia Commons.

‘Sweet Darkness’

A most amazing poem by David Whyte.

David Whyte

From Wikipedia.

Words for the Year

When your eyes are tired
the world is tired also.

When your vision has gone
no part of the world can find you.

Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.

There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.

The dark will be your womb
tonight.

The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.

You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in

Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.

Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn

anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive

is too small for you.

– “Sweet Darkness” byDavid Whyte,House of Belonging

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I dig

Photo: Microgen/Shutterstock

I dig

I am an archeologist excavating

Brushing away what isn’t

To expose what is

Discovery:

Metaphorical bricks and mortar

The foundation laid by

My mother and father

Their mothers and fathers

And so on

White middle class siding, black

Rooftop shingles above

Contain what is below

A water table of war, famine, alcohol

When trauma rains

The waters rise

Flood the tidy basement red

Shag carpet, tasteful wood paneling

Pretty gas fireplace

Just enough to mildew

There’s mold in the air

The house is boxed tight

Windows closed against

Outsiders looking in

It takes my breath away.

‘Children need art and stories and poems and music as much as they need love and food and fresh air and play’

Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

Pullman Philip 2

Wise words from Philip Pullman, who received the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2005:

Children need art and stories and poems and music as much as they need love and food and fresh air and play. If you don’t give a child food, the damage quickly becomes visible. If you don’t let a child have fresh air and play, the damage is also visible, but not so quickly. If you don’t give a child love, the damage might not be seen for some years, but it’s permanent.

But if you don’t give a child art and stories and poems and music, the damage is not so easy to see. It’s there, though. Their bodies are healthy enough; they can run and jump and swim and eat hungrily and make lots of noise, as children have always done, but something is missing.

It’s true that some people grow up never encountering…

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There in the asylum, he forgot

For my dad.

Chipping Sparrow

There, in the asylum of dementia, he forgot.

The meaning of suffering.

The toll his life had taken on him.

And on everyone he once professed

To love.

And hate.

He lived for this moment.

Only.

Not by choice.

By chance.

That’s all he had left.

The disease had swept clean the cupboard.

Of minutes, hours he had saved and savored.

Over months, years.

Now there was only this one beautiful second.

This whiff of lilac; gone.

This light spreading golden across the Oriental rug; lost.

This chirping sparrow’s trill; fluttered away.

What came before and after; extinct.

‘Joy and woe’

My friend, Shona Moonbeam, over at www.knomochoicius.com, shared a piece of a William Blake poem with me tonight.

We were talking about a book I’m reading called “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” by Mark Manson.

I’ll write more about the book later, but for now it’s enough to say … wow. Seventy-eight pages in and I’m blown away.

From the front flap:

In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger shows us that the key to being happier is to stop trying to be “positive” all the time and instead to become better at handling adversity.

“Fuck positivity,” Mark Manson says. “Let’s be honest; sometimes things are fucked up and we have to live with it.”

Silly me. For most of my life I’ve been under the mistaken impression that we can reach a state of satisfaction and happiness without suffering. Mark says this is impossible, because the human condition includes both joy and pain … or “joy and woe” as William Blake said.

Oh.