Photo of myself in Joshua Tree NP. Photo by Elise Robinette using Nigel the Nikon with a fisheye attachment.
#kidnapped
“I should have been more kind. That is something a person will never regret. You will never say to yourself when you are old, ‘Ah, I wish I was not good to that person.’ You will never think that.”
Glad to see Biggie safe and sound.

Kind of blue » by Colourblind Chris
danyelphoto:

castle stalker by mike138 on Flickr.
Meditation at Lagunitas All the new thinking is about loss. In this it resembles all the old thinking. The idea, for example, that each particular erases the luminous clarity of a general idea. That the clown- faced woodpecker probing the dead sculpted trunk of that black birch is, by his presence, some tragic falling off from a first world of undivided light. Or the other notion that, because there is in this world no one thing to which the bramble of blackberry corresponds, a word is elegy to what it signifies. We talked about it late last night and in the voice of my friend, there was a thin wire of grief, a tone almost querulous. After a while I understood that, talking this way, everything dissolves: justice, pine, hair, woman, you and I. There was a woman I made love to and I remembered how, holding her small shoulders in my hands sometimes, I felt a violent wonder at her presence like a thirst for salt, for my childhood river with its island willows, silly music from the pleasure boat, muddy places where we caught the little orange-silver fish called pumpkinseed. It hardly had to do with her. Longing, we say, because desire is full of endless distances. I must have been the same to her. But I remember so much, the way her hands dismantled bread, the thing her father said that hurt her, what she dreamed. There are moments when the body is as numinous as words, days that are the good flesh continuing. Such tenderness, those afternoons and evenings, saying blackberry, blackberry, blackberry. -Robert Hass, 1979.

Meditation at Lagunitas

All the new thinking is about loss.
In this it resembles all the old thinking.
The idea, for example, that each particular erases
the luminous clarity of a general idea. That the clown-
faced woodpecker probing the dead sculpted trunk
of that black birch is, by his presence,
some tragic falling off from a first world
of undivided light. Or the other notion that,
because there is in this world no one thing
to which the bramble of blackberry corresponds,
a word is elegy to what it signifies.
We talked about it late last night and in the voice
of my friend, there was a thin wire of grief, a tone
almost querulous. After a while I understood that,
talking this way, everything dissolves: justice,
pine, hair, woman, you and I. There was a woman
I made love to and I remembered how, holding
her small shoulders in my hands sometimes,
I felt a violent wonder at her presence
like a thirst for salt, for my childhood river
with its island willows, silly music from the pleasure boat,
muddy places where we caught the little orange-silver fish
called pumpkinseed. It hardly had to do with her.
Longing, we say, because desire is full
of endless distances. I must have been the same to her.
But I remember so much, the way her hands dismantled bread,
the thing her father said that hurt her, what
she dreamed. There are moments when the body is as numinous
as words, days that are the good flesh continuing.
Such tenderness, those afternoons and evenings,
saying blackberry, blackberry, blackberry.
-Robert Hass, 1979.
For K. RoseAnne Friend, I was thinking of you today, and in doing so I remembered a Japanese novel I had read some years ago, wherein a young priest tried in vain to convince a young woman of the existence of god. * He seemed to feel it was the word, god, that was the barrier. So the priest tried a metaphor, as priests do. Call it Onion, he said, because an onion has many layers and you can enjoy it in many different ways. He had forgotten that in general, people are uncomfortable with deifying produce. Of course, this is nothing compared to how uncomfortable people are with the unknown, with the darkness outside the door, the miles of ocean beneath their feet, the unplucked string. Ever since the first candle was lit in order to ward away the gathering dark, it has been our foremost duty to explain the unknown away.   In this way, Thule became Svalbard Island, or the Orkneys. The leviathan was simply a whale. The kraken was, of all things, just a ten foot long squid. It hardly seems worth writing home about. I had problems with all of this explaining. I asked, “How do you explain the way your heart leaps from your chest the moment you see that specific someone? How do you explain the depth to which it crashes when that someone is no longer there? How do you explain the sense of peace you feel when you sit on some lonely promontory and watch the sun drop behind the hills? How do you explain Saint Francis, Gandhi, Mother Theresa? How do you explain any selfless act in this godforsaken world?” I suppose I was crying out to the heavens, and I guess Aquinas was right, because no one answered. In my sorrow, in the midst of my lamentation, I had the wild idea of sending a message to you, as fast as possible, and in that message I would mention the priest and his onion, and you would understand. I had nearly put pen to paper when I froze. It wasn’t right. I saw it clear as day. An onion! Yellow, shedding its skin, leaving in its wake nothing but tears. Sure, it was pungent, and concrete, but it was about as surprising as a Russian nesting doll. I saw then that the unraveling of this onion would be enough to do you in. If I was going to write that note, I think I would say this instead- Don’t call it an onion. Call it a mystery. And call the tension of not knowing- and loving in spite of it all- call that life.  *Endo, “Deep River.”

For K. RoseAnne

Friend,

I was thinking of you today, and in doing so I remembered a Japanese novel I had read some years ago, wherein a young priest tried in vain to convince a young woman of the existence of god. *

He seemed to feel it was the word, god, that was the barrier.

So the priest tried a metaphor, as priests do.

Call it Onion, he said, because an onion has many layers and you can enjoy it in many different ways.

He had forgotten that in general, people are uncomfortable with deifying produce.

Of course, this is nothing compared to how uncomfortable people are with the unknown, with the darkness outside the door, the miles of ocean beneath their feet, the unplucked string.

Ever since the first candle was lit in order to ward away the gathering dark, it has been our foremost duty to explain the unknown away.

 

In this way, Thule became Svalbard Island, or the Orkneys.

The leviathan was simply a whale.

The kraken was, of all things, just a ten foot long squid.

It hardly seems worth writing home about.

I had problems with all of this explaining.

I asked, “How do you explain the way your heart leaps from your chest the moment you see that specific someone? How do you explain the depth to which it crashes when that someone is no longer there? How do you explain the sense of peace you feel when you sit on some lonely promontory and watch the sun drop behind the hills? How do you explain Saint Francis, Gandhi, Mother Theresa? How do you explain any selfless act in this godforsaken world?”

I suppose I was crying out to the heavens, and I guess Aquinas was right, because no one answered.

In my sorrow, in the midst of my lamentation, I had the wild idea of sending a message to you, as fast as possible, and in that message I would mention the priest and his onion, and you would understand. I had nearly put pen to paper when I froze.

It wasn’t right. I saw it clear as day. An onion! Yellow, shedding its skin, leaving in its wake nothing but tears. Sure, it was pungent, and concrete, but it was about as surprising as a Russian nesting doll.

I saw then that the unraveling of this onion would be enough to do you in.

If I was going to write that note, I think I would say this instead-

Don’t call it an onion. Call it a mystery. And call the tension of not knowing- and loving in spite of it all- call that life. 

*Endo, “Deep River.”