Tricksy

I feel so tricksy! Sitting on my cluttered but comfortable patio on a blindingly bright and sunny summer day in the American desert southwest, feeling a cool dry breeze pull the moisture from the surface of my skin before it could form sweat, watching the day come to life typing away on my tablet listening to Pink sing We can learn to love again.

Contemplation is doing the time warp, meditation tries to escape this distraction by becoming at one with the here and now. Thinking about imposes a time distortion, the experience is past, where do we go from here. Do we go sailing across uncharted waters?

Materialism would have us see existence as the sum of all we can have and know, that which is measurable and definable, that which we share in common not what we know and experience, which they have managed to convince us is faulty, false even, all we can know is the vision afforded by a deficient processing machine.

You are reading these words so for this moment at least I am communicating with you. You probably think I’m a pretty strange duck. I am, I am a disco duck, join me on the dance floor of life. I accept that I can never see the flow of experience as you do, I will never know if thought is the same experience for you as for me. But we do hold language in common, and the experience of reality.

Other things we share in common, dark and light, want and surfeit. Desire and desperation. I, Don Quixote, man of La Mancha, hear the music of the spheres, the resonance of the celestial harmony that anchors awareness to time and space, the here-ness of now. I remember as a kid wishing to know someone as well as Richard and Karen seemed to know one another when I listened to them singing Close To You. We’ve only just begin never did much for me.

I really don’t envy youth the experience ahead of them, young people just beginning to experience their lives. I did my time, served my sentence being sentient. God made me because he wants me to be me and when this experience I will return to whence I came. I will not just “not be”. If that’s the best science can come up with, I guess the advertising executives are right and people will buy any lie as long as it gets them what they think they want, what they are being told to want.

There is no right or wrong way, there is only the way, the way it happens. We experience, our senses record and our mind assigns value to the accumulated data, determines what deserves our attention, and provokes the chemical changes necessary to provoke us into the proper emotional state to deal with the challenge. That’s life.

Tuesday morning, clear, not quite as bright as yesterday, scattered cloud cover provides respite from periods of direct sunlight. When I was young I thought that there was available a pure and perfect language that would and could speak to anyone anywhere. I became a reader because I was isolated and alone and no one around me seemed even remotely like me, no one wanted to talk about things I found fascinating, no one I knew wanted to be do have. A couple of my mother’s sisters were avid if indiscriminate readers and they gave me access to books that would never have been brought to my attention in the local library. Books brought me in contact with others who were like me, full of questions and concerns but desperate to be do have.

 

Credit Essentials

Listening to Bob Seeger, Night Moves, remembering youthful confusion finding expression in rebellious reflections, simple songs electrified, charged by the searing strings caught in the relentless rock beat, soaring determined to escape these mortal bounds.
The postmodern urge takes advantage of Enlightenment romanticism by applying classical classifications to the application of meaning to any given moment. As far as experiential awareness is concerned, there is only here now, this place this moment, me. You read these words you are not here with me now but there in your when, sometime later some other place. These words I will post to the internet, on my blog, hopefully this post will find a few readers.
I believe in God, the one God. There is no god but God. God is not definable or limited in any way and all names and definitions are merely the human impulse to make sense of that which is beyond us. Everything I do, every word I write, every thought I think, I do all the In the name of the one God. There is no god but God, I affirm, and then I submit with, Your will not mine. So let it be, oh Lord, amen.
Pentecostal holiness. Religious demon. Half-assed atheist, skeptical agnostic, seeker. I chose to follow a life path that would show me the scope and range of modern religious expression. Coming to adulthood in the fourth quarter of the twentieth century I found my choices limited, Stendhal wrote that a young man without connections really only had two choices available to him if he would succeed at life. The red or the black. The church or the military. I cheated and took them both, I joined the military and trained to support the chaplain corps as they ministered to the souls of soldiers.
For a dozen years, three college educations I dedicated myself to serving ministers of every religious group recognized as having representation in the United States military. I set up Roman Catholic mass, assisted in the preparation and participated in a Jewish Passover, maintained a place for Muslims to say their prayers. I took advantage of my position to learn from scholars and holy men, I too advantage of the resources available to me. I circled the world.
I read in my spare time every crank and theory that I thought might help me make sense of all the confusion. So many all claiming to know God, denying that any of the others have a true understanding of God, bitter ideological enemies forced to pretend to be friends. Twelve years I gave the military. Then I turned my attention to philosophy. Foucault and the history of knowledge, the flowering of the Enlightenment seed.

Aha – prose poem

Reading… I almost wrote books but the word doesn’t work. If I use the French term, text, then I’m both being pretentious and inviting debate over jots and tittles. This is for Alain Badiou. I am the subject.

I am a reader. All my life I have enjoyed wallowing in the stream of words that have passed before my eyes, I have danced in the explosions of meaning that awareness uses to trigger symbolic fireworks in a cacophony, a symphony of experience. One can only read one phrase at a time. We start with words but once we pass beyond reading the words to hearing the voice that speaks reaching though time and space to communicate, and we share with other the experience that I am here, this is now and I am not the only one that feels so.

I cannot hear another think. I know that I think, I am in tune with and very much aware that my mind collects, evaluates and interprets the evidence of my senses, processes the data received from my environment, that which is not me. I sit as a center of awareness allowing this body to accept input from the time and space that I occupy. The center of awareness that is me listens to my mind, that constant voice, that continual name-er and define-er and classify-er, but I know myself and I have learned through hard experience that the mind has its own agenda, much as the body, to assert a dominance a superiority over the body which is secure in its own needs and wants.

I am anchored in this body which frees me to allow my mind to sail on imaginary seas exploring the limits of the possible. For over a month now I have been reading on this tablet. I started with a bit of fluff that doesn’t count but since the beginning of June I have read seventeen books. Or rather my eyes have scanned a digital presentation of the flow of words that are somewhere printed out and bound. But that isn’t quite right either, there are some pieces that I think were and are only available digitally.

The man of me craves recognition. Most of the time I feel like a lone voice in the dark. In high school, forty years ago, I studied the cast album of the Broadway musical 1776. Being the romantic poet that I was in my youth, I learned each song and tried to sing it with understanding. Many of the songs were beyond me but one song I knew and understood, the one at the end, when in despair John Adams cries out to the cosmos asking if anyone was there, if anyone could see what he saw.

Blessing, evil flower

I have not been writing. Unconsciously but, I fear, deliberately. My world has turned, has shifted, I was blessed by God with a blessing that I had thought was beyond me. I was enlivened, ignited, excited, enervated… I was alive in a way I had thought no longer available to me because I am no longer young. I have clung to the mythos of Peter Pan, that Joseph Campbell-esque refusal to follow the quest of the hero, that creation of western civilization. I’m not saying there isn’t great truth in Freud and Einstein and Joyce, there is. Freud, Einstein and Joyce allow us to consider complexities and experience marvels that were unimaginable to previous generations, but they do not explain everything.

Try as they might though they could not isolate that which we all know and experience, here now and forever, as the awareness who experiences, the true subject, the soul, the gift of God, the spark of the divine, the one who is, on this edge of things, the one tapping the words into the tablet, praying to communicate, to share with you the connection I feel with God when I open my heart and thank and praise God for allowing me to be.

Of course, if you are reading this, for you the writing of it is past, even though it’s not really, not for me, because the words are even now coming out and I am hoping to spark a riverrun that your ego will be able to consider in a relative fashion and be able to hear this, I hope friendly and knowledgeable voice trying to magnify and glorify God. But don’t trust me, or anyone. Trust only the evidence of your experience and always ask yourself, what do they want? See your brothers and sisters as you know yourself to be.

It is a cruel reality, that olde Donnne-ism, everyman in his or her individual awareness, is an island, alone and separate. I love, I reach out, I dream. Do you love, are you connected? I have dedicated my life to the art of using words to express the magnificent blessing I know as a child of God.

When God breathed the breath of life into the embryo that became the infant that grew into the man who happens to be me, he knew what he was doing and I am supposed to be me. And I am supposed to sing this simple song in a human voice. I am blessed. Thank you, God.

Art, an evil flower

Art is a subjective apprehension of experience. Who we are… where and when and why we are… the how of how we are who we are… and maybe even why we are… our assumed expectations… all these color every thought we have with shades of meaning as our awareness bends light so allow our processor to evaluate the ever incoming data stream.
We experience, a complex play of content and context begin their battle to express that most elusive of values, truth. Osiris and Set… Apollo and Pan/Dionysus… Maleficent and Sleeping Beauty… opposing consideration of that eternal question: Who am I and why am I me?
A difficulty presents itself when we try to determine an all-encompassing readily acceptable definition of art because there is not and cannot be a definition of art that is acceptable by the all. Read an algebra book and consider the variety of existential apprehension, proportion statistics and probability theory, open yourself to the random nature of life, experience the nature of being.
Art stops you, make you go, Aha! The beauty of art is our shared understanding that there is the true, there is the right, the correct, yin and yang, the Tao. The the we are a part of. That which we experience as being…. The from which and to which.
Metaphors are useful as long as we realize they are but imperfect human mathematics trying to record our trying to take a measure of the unmeasurable, our theory on why we choose to define the undefinable as we do ever, refining our references, expressing the inexpressible…
We experience each and every one of us. We share that in common, you and I both are individuated expressions of being…. We are the experience of being, the actual expression of being perpetually manifesting (at least for the time being). Body feels, mind calculates, soul evaluates and being, experiential existential expression of experience manifests continuously consciously as us.
We can get close to others intellectually but we are solitaire in our being. We are, in our awareness, separate from everyone else. We are, and part of the process for some of us is that we have chosen to share the experience (of being alive, of being human), receiving confirmation that while our individual apprehension is isolated, wrapped up in the me, the experience is not a solitary one but one that we all share each of us accept and understand as part of the glorious experience of being alive, the isolation of our individual expressions of existential experience.
Listen to the voice, hear the words being said, consider the trust-worthiness of the one presenting. Descartes: I think therefore I am. TS Eliot and James Joyce were conduits through which I found a way to express my appreciation for the experience of being. I saw art as a means by which other beings shared with me their way of expressing a greater joy, this is me here now, same as you, let’s enjoy all this together.
The very words I use are fraught with danger. There are many ways this could go terribly wrong. You may not understand the definition that I use to construct the phrases by which I try to express verbally. You probably haven’t experienced life in a way to have learned what I mean when I use a word in the way I do. You may not understand the rhythm, the pacing of my phrases, the subtle play of meaning that comes with verbal association.
In my apprehension (the knowing that comes when many sides have been considered and I formed my own opinion) Rimbaud was enjoying the quieter part of the experience of understanding himself as a passenger on a drunken boat when his mind opened up, his awareness perceived. He apprehended himself as self, perhaps, if I can drop enough clues to properly express the shade of meaning I consciously willful intend for you to perceive. He allowed himself to be open to receiving by being open to a greater apprehension, it was because of his hope and faith in a sensible cosmos that Rimbaud saw the colors of the vowels.
According to optics, light diffuses into wavelengths when it encounters the presence of other conditions in the experiential real-scape. Color is not a thing but a means of differentiation. This is the scientific explanation for why we see color. Our eyes receive light broken by experience, fractured through a prism, thank you Katy Perry, into this into that, work it girl, work that metaphor, appearing one moment as a really bad party clown then transforming into a lecherous old woman then again metamorphosing into a sleazy uncle, a rush of juxtaposed images with intended similarity of context to assume the content of the images, fracturing light, defining the colors of the vowels, the core of the cry of awareness to eternity.
I have no problem accepting physics and mechanics, these are the yin and yang of this particular of here and now. The mechanics that keeps the clockwork universe ticking. Because I am so confident in the security they provide, so confident that they are indeed a good way to evaluate the evidence of here and now, I use them to extend beyond. To push beyond the known boundaries of human expression, to find a way to express to my fellow travelers my humble desire that they will work with me, pass out of this steam of words and allow me to color my vowels, my words, my existential manifestation. I am and can only be the me that I am and this is the song that I sing, listen as I allow the flow of characters to make meaningful sounds, you understanding allows my words to transform into phrases, communication. I am an expressive voice who chooses to carefully express the right shades of meaning to communicate the purpose-filled expression of my understanding and my hope of creating a work of art capable of attracting another willing to come along sometimes.
Step out of that world of conformity, forever preoccupied with the practical application, trying to determine an angle, a handle you can get on it, a lever by which you might move the world. Just figure out the best way of dealing with world. Aren’t you tired of forever enduring the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.
I know, we have to do what we have to do. It’s what we do, it’s who we are most of the time. We conform to the expectations that colossus social contract that tries to convince us these are times for diminished expectations. It isn’t as good as it should be but not as bad as it could be. Sometimes we all like to brag, we did better, we overcame, we understood, we achieved. Sometimes we find our way to the banks of a mighty river and we find a dock in a quiet bend that offers a ride on the drunken boat.
Can you acknowledge part of you that knows, that understands, that feels. The existential here and now, I write these words in the hope that you will read them, choose to see that I am using acceptable conventions to express my appreciation for being able to so play with words that I call you my friend. For even though we are worlds apart existentially, as long as the words flow and the river stays gentle, a pleasant ride on a drunken boat on a warm summer day is a beautiful thing indeed.
And, if you have gotten this far I thank you for coming into my garden. I am flattered that you enjoyed your ride on my aural-verbal roller-coaster presenting my understanding at this stage of life. Because you have, I know that you know what I mean, you understand and by some conventions of defining the word I can reasonably assume a vernacular expression of affectionate physical definition to call you brother or sister, alphabetical order intended. Thanks for coming along with me.

DD – poem

I wish to thank you once again my friend
for all the life you shared with me. For all
the joy we shared together, for all the love
you allowed me to express, openly honestly
I was allowed to share my very soul with you.

It’s over now, you have moved on, I am alone
again and it’s hard and it hurts. But know
that I don’t regret the time we spent together.
I just wish it could have been longer, but you
have to embrace the life ahead of you. Salute!

Evil Flowers

Thank you, God. Another day is mine to enjoy. Age is not easy. I have not gracefully grown old. I have had difficulty accepting the reality of passing into the third of life. Rough cuts, thirds aren’t quite an accurate division. Roughly a quarter, a half, and then if you are lucky a quarter again. Although when you are young the preparation stage lasts forever, it seems to take forever to get through to get out into real life. In truth it is the shortest and too soon gone. The third stage, the letting go so that those who come after can have their turns, getting comfortable with that has been a real difficult reality for me to accept.

His appearance on Facebook is a puzzlement. He pulled away, nearly a month now. Pulled away hell, he ran. And he hasn’t stopped running yet. It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. Same old stuff, sometimes you whine too much. You are not ready for a real relationship. I want to see his reappearance as a sign, his way of subconsciously reaching out to me, hoping to provoke from me an action that will allow him to react and it won’t be his responsibility.

We reach out, we cannot help ourselves, we know ourselves in conjunction with. I try to sing every day, the prayers you have taught me. The ”bismilla” in the name of God, the merciful the beneficent. The “calyx”: yours is the kingdom the power and the glory forever. And the “our father” who art. Sometimes I sing a “credo” and there are times when I feel the need for “confession”. But most of the time I just talk to God. I don’t have to hold anything back.

I miss him a lot, but not so much him as the life that he shared with me, the joyful apprehension, the delicious anticipation. Take out the poems. Look at them, see them, arrange them into a bouquet, show them to the world. I read things into that are not there, would impose intention where there is no will.

Oh Lord, do I dare confess the depths of my depravity. I excuse myself with the excuse of being human. Excuse, not reason, my vanity, my pride, has driven me to hide behind these dark damask curtains

Hand embroidered by years of dutiful devotion to a craft that hides in dusky shadows until a perky pesky dog sinks his teeth into the cloth and the walls come tumbling down. Where is my horn? Without that sounding beacon the Calvary will not know where to come and all will be lost.

Avoidance should be my middle name. I lust, oh God. Is that enough? I didn’t think so. My hand clenches even as my soul forces my mind (the beast resists, he feels endangered, irrationally threatened). You know what I like, what I need, what feeds ne and makes me feel alive. And allows me to feel close to you. You made me who I am.

My sin runs deep. I don’t know if you really promised it, Lord, but I would like to believe that you won’t give us more than we can handle. Me, you won’t give me more than I can process.

You gave me a truly great goodness and I need to remember and accept that part of it. And remember the wild rush of reality that tempered the ease with which I accepted your gift. Evil flowers bloom wildly, exuberantly, heady fragrances choke my sinuses and fill my mind with mad illusions, delusions. I still would have things go as I want them even though the time when I could have had any effect is long past. I ache oh Lord because I want to cry but I cannot. I’m not supposed to care that much.

The work. The poems and stories, the dance of life, that is the plot, the impetus, the reason d’etre. The poems run the gamut, joyful adoration to abject destitution. The commentary, the intellectual dalliance of a self-educated man in the first quarter of the twenty-first century.

Barefooted I sit on my steps, the spring evening is a little cool. The birds are noisy. I will enjoy them while I can. Soon it will be hot, too hot, and they will sing for someone else. Quite a significant break, disjunction, dislocation, distortion. Dis is not the time for that. (Now, that’s funny.) The things I miss don’t outweigh the things I don’t miss. I ache but I am relieved and while I would willingly willfully throw myself back into it I hope and pray that God will not force me to have to deal with it.

Dis is the goddess of chaos, in case you didn’t know. Look it up, I didn’t invent it. I met Dis when I read The Illuminati Trilogy. Dis demands her due. Another day, relentless, time could be alive, a ravenous monster whose very survival depends on our impatience, our demand that we be allowed to do the very thing we were forbidden to do, to dare to want the very thing we were told we could not have, knowing that the only reason we were told was because God knew that would make us want it.