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• 2014-02-11–on wonders of life, how the senses developed over billions of years, how differing perceptions form differing realities, and how our curiosity about reality continues to drive the expansion of our senses.
‘Interbeing’, coined by Thich Naht Hanh (pictured), is achieved with mindfulness trainings, which ‘help us cultivate concentration and insight which free us from fear and the illusion of a separate self.’ He established the Order of Interbeing, a blend of Eastern Buddhism and Western psychology, in 1966 to help alleviate the suffering of the Vietnam War. There are five basic mindfulness trainings.
In 1966, Thich Naht Hanh inspired a young Jon Kabat-Zinn (pictured in 2012). In 1979, Kabat-Zinn started the mindfulness-based mind-body stress reduction (MBSR) program. He is humble and humorous, though he has some serious things to say.
• 2014-02-13–hi. reading some poetry by mary oliver. i’m gonna shift, i think, at least until easter, from politics to poetry. after all, my degree’s in literature, but i’m concerned that in the last fifteen, twenty years that my thinking has become more propositional (fact-based) and less implicational. unbalanced. nudge nudge nudge. maybe i should redress that imbalance. kabat-zinn, for example, quotes poems. i’ll start with this one. meanwhile, the roads to revolution in the art of russia started centuries ago.
Friday (Valentine’s Day)
• 2014-02-14–reading phyllis loves kelly–love poems by phyllis gotlieb, published posthumously. sue provided a very yummy dinner of salad, sprouts, and spicy squash followed by sweet chocolate i scream–all things ‘s’–as well as dark chocolate from tcho made with fair trade ingredients–mm-mm-mm!
some short poems of love (because ♥valentines♥ still lingers) by phyllis gotlieb:
LOVE is part of rEVOLution
LOVE’s the one that turns the sun
LOVE’s no problem or solution
LOVE makes one and one be one
LOVE and LOVE make two be one
turning in the burning sun
• 2014-02-15–sno to t-o; writing poetry is a gift from your heart, a gift you could never buy, a gift you can rarely put off, for the poem you write today will differ from the poem you write tomorrow (and as we know, tomorrow never comes). also, i find creating poetry clarifying, even therapeutic–way better than pharmaceuticals. and after you die your poems may live on… from the serendipity-and-curiosity-were-made-for-each-other department: who are archy and mehitabel? more poetry: ‘THEY ARE THE MOST UNLIKELY OF FRIENDS: Archy is a cockroach with the soul of a poet, and Mehitabel is an alley cat with a celebrated past…. Together, cockroach and cat are the foundation of one of the most engaging collections of light poetry to come out of the twentieth century.’ like me, archy has difficulty with the shift key and eschews caps, though he has a much harder time of it, so who am i to complain?
This just in: ‘One of the best resources is the feeling that we are growing and making progress. We can get discouraged if we think we are at a standstill. But we also have to be patient when we feel we are not growing. In winter, it seems that the trees aren’t growing; they are waiting for the sun; they have to be pruned. So we need reminding too of the value of waiting.’–Jean Vanier, Community and Growth, p. 182
• 2014-02-16–sometimes words, like notes, are difficult, especially in modern poetry and post-fifties jazz. is it my rust, or them being too obscure, too elite? why can’t things be plain instead of fancy? need we phds? or need we things dumb-downed? maybe understanding happens piecemeal: ‘It’s like a schoolhouse/of little words,/thousands of words./First you figure out what each one means by itself,/… Then you begin, slowly, to read the whole story.’–from ‘breakage‘ by mary oliver. as she says, things happen ‘slowly’ (like spring), which is hard on my impetuous self. i sometimes recall the short story title from grade ten, which i try to take as advice: ‘read it over slowly, twice’. oliver writes (in ‘the moths’), ‘If you notice anything,/it leads you to notice/more/and more.’ in some ways whether i die of old age or in some apocalypse, it doesn’t change the outcome, and i will become what i have been–and so will you, and so will our kids–and in a way, what i am now: stardust. but right now, if i notice things, and people especially, it might make a difference later. it certainly makes a difference now.
i’m reading about biblical miracles–jesus healing the sick or walking on water, that sort of thing. my concern is that we expect extraordinary miracles but we don’t see everyday things–the dog, the cat, each other–as miraculous. don’t like the word ‘miracle’? how about ‘energy rate density‘ or ‘complexity theory‘–same thing.
bg and pf brought me a coffee in the morning; usj came by as evening began.
• 2014-02-17–bb came by in the morning and we talked of mindfulness and of exotic music. sno back safe and sound. remember the castle in chitty chitty bang bang? it was one of several that king ludwig ii of bavaria created. they ‘were described at the time as “so ridiculous they are beyond all taste”. Yet today, these stunning palaces are among Germany’s biggest tourist attractions. This handsome boy-king was loved by his people, betrayed by his cabinet and found dead in tragic and mysterious circumstances.’ back to the current, real world: the agenda featured five guests with english accents, originally from lebanon, albania, india, ghana, and south korea, as it asked, even in a very multicultural city like toronto, ‘Is having an accent an obstacle or a benefit in day to day life?’
Remember Bruce Cockburn? Here‘s a whole live recording, shortly after he released Life Short Call Now, one of my favourites.
How about a little prog rock? Emerson Lake and Palmer’s 40th anniversary concert.
Alex Hudson writes that ‘Toronto-based sci-fi naturalist Bryan Sutherland released his debut single as Zoo Owl [here too] towards the end of last year, and now the OPOPO/Saturns member has treated the track, “Twin Mirror,” to its very own music video.’
Denzal Sinclaire sings Tofu And Greens.