The Distance Between

Once upon a time the distance

Between thoughts is eternity

Time has changed

The distance has narrowed

One thought can almost touch the other thought

Yet we ourselves are getting apart

Much farther then ever before

The noises are ever present 

And everywhere, no places

Where quietness reigns

Humanity is diminishing like insects

Information floods and displaced truth

The mind is restless and occupied

Not a moment stilled for self reflection

We are walking statues

Blind and deaf to directions

Or how far is self destruction?

“Hatefulness is everywhere.”

 

Once, I asked you

If you have a map

You smiled and I smiled

We both knew the answer

And we were silent, our faces blank

We walked away sad

With tears in our eyes.

 

To go far, to do a little

More, we need 

To walk together.

Foray

Foray in the forest to forage
for mushrooms after the rain
I may pass the hermit’s shelter
partially hidden in the circle of trees
Nobody has seen him
he seems to be invisible
The birds know where he lives
in his imperceptible presence.

If I see him I want to ask him
how he listens to silence,
to voice of solitude
Are they silent thoughts?

The hermit laughs
like a mountain brook
lively and clear.
He is bald and has a white beard.
He smiles like your best friend.

Doubt

The rain will come
washing your face
and water the camellias.
The rain will come
washing the face of the hill
and flood the river.

To engage God is personal,
total acceptance without certitude.
But we are persistent with our questioning,
wanting assurances.
The forest will bloom and decay
or be destroyed by our foolishness.

Dear Maginar,

“Poverty is closely linked with silence, the language of the solitary. Poverty may be thought of as a freedom from possessions that includes the freedom from the desire to possess things. This is generally what we have in mind when we speak of poverty: having nothing. But at a deeper level there is an ontological poverty which means being nothing.The poverty that seeks to be free of any attachment to possessions, material or spiritual, is essential to a true solitary. …ontological poverty is the most fundamental of our being, whether we understand it or not…We are totally dependent on God, whether we understand it or not. But what a difference it makes when we do understand!”-William H. Shannon, Thomas Merton’s Paradise Journey

I meditate on poverty continuously on and off for a long time. Still going. I try to practice detachment. It’s very difficult. I try to understand. “But what a difference it makes when we do understand!”

Look at the birds.

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edgar

note: Maginar is my imaginary friend.

What is leisure?

“Leisure,… is a mental and spiritual attitude — it is not simply the result of external factors, it is not the inevitable result of spare time, a holiday, a weekend or a vacation. It is, in the first place, an attitude of mind, a condition of the soul. Leisure implies an attitude of non-activity, of inward calm, of silence; it means not being ‘busy,’ but letting things happen.”

note: excerpts from Leisure, The Basis of Culture by Josef Pieper

things you are trying to remember

immersed in life

between the thumbs

 

the who and what

the fastest, where

 

accomplishing one goal

chasing the next

 

you lost the space

between breaths

 

the liminal space to hold 

the sunset on your palms

 

one day, looking at the morning mist

you rubbed your eyes

 

you could not remember

the colors of roses, of camellias

 

afraid you also forgot

voices of your friends.

 

You have time

but do not wait too long

 

you may get stranded 

by the receding tide

 

and too exhausted 

to be frightened

 

You have time

to return to the roots of your narratives

 

to sip coffee, to listen

to the tribe’s ailments and pains

 

simply to be with friends

to drink and eat with friends

 

to share the hilarity

of oysters on a half-shell 

 

or in silence, gaze together

at the mountain or the sea.

 

To speak and to remain silent

“To speak and to remain silent, each is perfection. The case of each consists in holding to the proper measure of words. Silence is great and speech is great, but the wise man sets a measure upon them both.” 
attributed to Valerian of Cimiez, quoted in Silence, A Christian History
by Diarmaid MacCulloch