To Sons and Daughters

To our sons or daughters, 


You have nothing to be ashamed of, whatever it is that they mock you for, it is also them;
There is nothing that belongs to you that is not also theirs.
The streets are hungry and the alleyways hungrier still, and you will find in your own way that language is only yours and that miles divide us what is right here next to each other.
So don’t be afraid to stand on your own. Don’t be discouraged that they have what you seem unable to possess; if it is possessable at all you too already have it.
Whatever it is you fear that you are, in solitude, alone, know that it was made right here in the interconnectedness of all things, in this world.
Whatever you fear you have made others into, know that you have that capability and choose to make things well;

your pain is their pain, as their pain is yours. 

Sweet Sweet



O! my sweet sweet. Remember when I was your right hand, guiding the rhythm (of course) and you were my left, providing the melody. We played such sweet harmonies. Or was it dissonance, and only the two of us that heard it harmonizing? O my! scattered potting soil on the dining room table, singing such a short refrain.

Lamenting the Practice of Good Habits

It’s hard enough to form good habits, especially in lieu of bad ones. But sometimes it seems virtually impossible to form good habits in a good way.


I find myself lamenting the practice of forming good habits. While doing my morning breathing scattered thoughts race through my mind, I thought what’s the point of going through the motions. I realized that I can go months forming a habit that is good in nature, like taking the time in the morning to Just Breathe. This is good but if I get in the habit of just letting thoughts run away with me then I’m not in the habit of taking time to breathe, I’m in the habit of letting my mind race. Which then furthers the habit of letting my mind race when I’m doing my normal daily meditation. So the original intention is not supported by this deterioration in effort.

And although I lament, its totally worth it. For it’s the practice to notice the deterioration, to see it and start over again and refresh the intention, so that one day the practice may become good. It’s like looking at a chart we see the summit and the steep valleys and we say that is the path of progression, but we forget that each chunk of that path, each micro fragment of data is a moment when we practiced in a good way; even if we have five minutes of mostly poor, mind racing breathing, if just ten seconds are pure fully concentrated breathing, or a moment of understanding and accepting the poor practice, it is a micro fragment which with persistence and understanding will build on itself until the path of progression is on a steep incline.


It’s nothing new here. Just the same thing as told for generations in perhaps a slightly different way. Words are no substitute for experience. But it’s always nice to read a little inspriation!

Out by the Cedar

Sat out by the cedar, lines run along her bark like stretch marks, they seem to be a test of time. She leaned over and said everything’s gonna be just fine, stop trying to live up to good enough, chasing shadows. I know. I know, years ago it was only your burden, now it’s his too. I can’t help it! I said, I’m a child of the eighties, molded by Ray-gun’s greed! Waves of traffic on a distant shore, wrapped in green, shielded by her barrier canopy. Sat in silence, she listened as I tried to repair all those words. Time slowed, until, eventually, it had no meaning. Followed a line of red ants up those stretch marks until we reached a knot, as big as my face, where they seemed to disappear. I felt around the edge, it was warm and soft, like a sea urchin’s belly. So I did what any man would do and leaned my face in. It was dark, but warm, I hadn’t even gotten half way in when I pulled out again. Scared, but craving more, I reached with my hand and tugged on the outer rim, she stretched enough to fit my arm in, then my face and suddenly I was pulling myself inside her, her womb. Was it I that was pulling or she pulling me? perhaps we worked together, until I had no body, or face or any physical characteristics, I was her and she was me and I looked into her heartwood. Kaleidoscopic shades of red filled my vision, a unifying warmth enveloped me and She said: old habits change slowly, with patience, attention and understanding. All you have to do is support him. And when she said him I thought of his face and the pang of despair rippled through my heart, and hers, and we shared the lonely hollowness of fatherhood, knowing that anything we do won’t be good enough, and is bound to make a scar. All the world is conditions, and of conditions there are supporting and unsupporting, choose to be the supporting condition for growth. Then our consciousness expanded; all life is expanding, changing, looking for answers to questions that generate growth. We looked out over the horizon, we were the horizon, and everything we saw was also us, and the warmth radiated over everything. Then I was birthed to the ground in a thump, covered in sap, and bark and red ants. My son stood there, in the dark, cold, wind-swept rain, astonished and he said, da-ad, are you OK? I couldn’t help it, I began to cry. He said something to me and put his hand on my shoulder, and I couldn’t hear him as I looked up her skirt at the knot where I was birthed had disappeared, and I said, not now son, she’s gonna come back to talk to me again. And I cried again. Seeing the repeating, though unable to move, until eventually he went away. Days and nights, months and years have since passed and I still sit at her base, like stone, waiting for her return.

Out by the Cedar

Sat out by the cedar, lines run along her bark like stretch marks, they seem to be a test of time. She leaned over and said everything’s gonna be just fine, stop trying to live up to good enough, chasing shadows. I know. I know, years ago it was only your burden, now it’s his too. I can’t help it! I said, I’m a child of the eighties, molded by Ray-gun’s greed! Waves of traffic on a distant shore, wrapped in green, shielded by her barrier canopy. Sat in silence, she listened as I tried to repair all those words. Time slowed, until, eventually, it had no meaning. Followed a line of red ants up those stretch marks until we reached a knot, as big as my face, where they seemed to disappear. I felt around the edge, it was warm and soft, like a sea urchin’s belly. So I did what any man would do and leaned my face in. It was dark, but warm, I hadn’t even gotten half way in when I pulled out again. Scared, but craving more, I reached with my hand and tugged on the outer rim, she stretched enough to fit my arm in, then my face and suddenly I was pulling myself inside her, her womb. Was it I that was pulling or she pulling me? perhaps we worked together, until I had no body, or face or any physical characteristics, I was her and she was me and I looked into her heartwood. Kaleidoscopic shades of red filled my vision, a unifying warmth enveloped me and She said: old habits change slowly, with patience, attention and understanding. All you have to do is support him. And when she said him I thought of his face and the pang of despair rippled through my heart, and hers, and we shared the lonely hollowness of fatherhood, knowing that anything we do won’t be good enough, and is bound to make a scar.  All the world is conditions, and of conditions there are supporting and unsupporting, choose to be the supporting condition for growth. Then our consciousness expanded; all life is expanding, changing, looking for answers to questions that generate growth. We looked out over the horizon, we were the horizon, and everything we saw was also us, and the warmth radiated over everything. Then I was birthed to the ground in a thump, covered in sap, and bark and red ants. My son stood there, in the dark, cold, wind-swept rain, astonished and he said, da-ad, are you OK? I couldn’t help it, I began to cry. He said something to me and put his hand on my shoulder, and I couldn’t hear him as I looked up her skirt at the knot where I was birthed had disappeared, and I said, not now son, she’s gonna come back to talk to me again. And I cried again. Seeing the repeating, though unable to move, until eventually he went away. Days and nights, months and years have since passed and I still sit at her base, like stone, waiting for her return.

Like the Tree

Be still

Be still like the tree

Who grows and branches effortlessly

Who knows

The most appropriate answer

To the most immediate question

Be still

Be still like the tree

Who is not divided

Who does not second guess

But continues to reach further

Pointing to the sky

Expanding

While time passes us by

Be still

Be still like the tree

Who bends with the wind

So as not to break

Who continues to give

Even in death

Be still

Be still.

Words Can’t Save Our Soul

Well we know it’s not the same now,

As it was before.

It’s been chewed up and spit out.

Left out on the floor.

Left out on the floor.

All we have is words now,

To save our barren souls.

.

When will we

Wake up

to the reality

that’s staring us

straight in the eyes

no we can’t

we can’t stand to be

surprised.

.

Well we’re not really sure how,

But we’d like to think we know.

Like to think we know,

The meaning’s not the same now,

Its changed throughout the years,

To save our barren souls.

.

Wake up

to reality,

Can’t stand

to be surprised.

.

Well we know it’s not the same now,

As it was before.

Everything has changed now,

Gone through the door

All we have is words now,

all we have is words now,

To save our barren souls.

Save our barren souls.

Spring Lake/Lake Desire (Haibun)

I just keep plowing forward

everyday

without knowing where i’m going.

We left the house thinking we were searching for freedom; the american ideal. I wanted to see what Ken Burns was looking for all these years, put a face to the name in a way. We figured freedom meant it was free, so we went to the trails, the mountains and parks. It was mid October, but had yet to be much of an autumn.

On our way into the neighborhood there are no signs for the park. No mention of Spring Lake, or Lake Desire. So I figured perhaps these were man-made lakes for the private enjoyment of the residents. Roads diverge, like capillaries, off the main vein. Houses pock the sides like cancer cells. The 390 acre park is densely forested and in the neighborhood we start to get the feel that we are entering the right area. Broad-leafed Maple limbs hang over the roadway. Redwood cedars contort around houses and their low skirts dance over the tops of cars parked along the side of the street.

This whole area of forested overgrowth surrounds a primeval cinder cone. Here is evidence of the ancient outcroppings of a network of volcanoes that helped to form the region. Prehistoric man would have worshiped these mounds of fire and fury as the womb of The Mother. Perhaps they did as they built their own burial mounds. Now, though, it’s been fossilized and covered by centuries of innovation, evolution and death.

Follow me, I’m the leader! You say again and again. Almost as if to bait an argument. I, in turn, said in my head, no! I’m the leader, but instead smile and shake my head. The forest floor is caked with leaves, the path a patchwork of crimson and bronze, chanterelle and death. Late morning sunlight filters through the treeline, fog and a patchwork of leaves on branches, mostly big leaf maple, clinging to the eventuality of rebirth. The trodden path slick with chewed up leaves, like overnight puke stains on the sidewalk. But off the path, between the trunks and ferns, the fallen leaves make up a bed and blanket for the fruit that fell a few weeks earlier -providing the seeds a chance to spring to life.

Out here there is no leader, only the whispers of wind high and low. Only the stubborn secrets of the elder Doug-firs. Out here we don’t put anyone above or below because we’re capable of seeing the vast network of cooperation, which is the only order we belong to.

Along the way we pass the stump of a felled tree, which you insist on jumping on top of and having your picture snapped. I oblige. If only to inspect the stump afterword to point out the fact that it represents a generation which now provides the ground for new growth; all kinds of species, gender, and cultures, without persecution or discrimination, it welcomes all, and that like the stump, we too will provide sustenance for new generations. So it’s up to us to make sure that what we offer is good enough to sustain not just the next generation, but many more after that too.

There is a meadow surrounded by conifers, like a secret tucked away at the top. It is nearly pristine, you said something like, “whoa!” But the secret was not ours alone, between the evergreens there were houses on either side, vacation homes no doubt, perhaps now year round Airbnb rentals. It serves as just another reminder of how there is not a place that civilization has not traveled. A moment before we were explorers, discoverers, and now we have discovered only what has been claimed by others a few dozen years ago. It is a microcosm of an ever-expanding economy that knows no bounds other than the expansion of its own growth. Still though we sat -as the signs asked- on the path, and simply observed change.

The economy of the earth, of the ancient, is far greater than that of mankind. Why would we expect to outlast nature herself? since after all we too are nature. At the center of everything and just under our feet is the fossilized prehistoric cinder cone. Where once the bowels of the great mother bellowed, is now flush with verdant technological advancements of moss and perennial, of evergreen boles and rocky outcroppings from since the beginnings. Here in the fog and the dim sunlight, the spires sway and give way to the wind. Here even the moss sings, if you listen closely enough. We sit for a while and watch nothing in particular and everything all at the same time. It seems we’ve found peace just for a moment. This is where, for the first time, you discovered grasshoppers; camouflaged by the emerald grass they hop from between your feet and you instinctively try to catch and chase, laughing your genuine childish laughter.

Sitting atop

Ancient cinder cone

Amongst fog burnt daylight,

Evergreen spires –

Ah! What a feeling!