Friday, 18 June 2010

  • I've just been reading Kathleen Norris' The Cloister Walk, sitting in the winter sun in my dressing gown.  She is about all I can stomach at the moment Christianly speaking.  I trust her.  Who could not trust anyone so open about their accedia and their doubts?  Her fight against depression entails exercise and spiritual direction, and so she takes me along on her version of that to places I cannot go, into church buildings on Sunday mornings.  At least through her eyes, I am reminded again and again that the best of Godde is found everywhere, that which brings life and change and courage and healing and hope.  And the rest can go fly.  The sooner the better.

  • In my blogging reading recently (slimmer trevails these days) I came across a comment by someone saying that it is patently obvious that the Bible talks about eternal hell and a holy God who will send people there eternally.  I sometimes forget that people still believe this and my heart goes out to them because that is a small and a thin and a rancid place to be in where your fears congeal like fat on a piece of old meat and the words of Jesus to love your enemies and do not fear become anomalies you cannot reach no matter how hard you try.

    And I thought, it's not at all patently obvious in the Bible that that is the case, but the smearing of centuries of people with overblown egoes makes it appear so.  It is so ingrained in so many people, this evil concept that no one can stand up under.  And it makes the word "God" out to be something evil, something so evil that I cannot bear to read anything Christianish except Kathleen Norris and say anything except Godde.  To remind myself.

  • "Anger is the seed of compassion,"  she said, quoting some old desert monk dudes of centuries past.  I sat with this in the sun this morning and it unravelled out before me like golden silk too expensive for a price tag, and yes, I said, and yes, yes, yes.  All those seeds.  Infinite possibilities.  All it requires is honesty, courage, and walking forward in the dark.
  • Speaking of the dark, I went to the McClelland Sculpture Garden on Monday with my love.  It was a chiaroscuro sort of a beginning to the day - we sat in the car for half an hour beforehand because I was feeling dizzy, the effects of whatever bug it was I'd been (successfully) holding at bay due to the enhanced immune capabilities of Susie version 39.5.  We finally began walking around the lovely gardens, on a chilly but sunny almost-Winter's day.  Is there anything more redolent of childhood than unanticipated gifts?  They are available in adulthood also but we do not fall across them with anything like the frequency that we could unbidden as children (if and/or when we were still so new that the psychic slaps had not reddened our nerve endings).  These sculptures fell across my path and from round bushes and corners like gifts.

    A forever-held gift now, a memory:  a toilet block, it seemed, but no, not a toilet block.  How could it be a toilet block when it has a plaque outside it and a request to wipe your feet?  Anyway, it was stainless steel.  And yet, all the hallmarks of perfunctoriness:  square, squat, windowless, and ugly.  A step upwards into the space.  A walk forwards of several steps.  A sharp turn right and back upon yourself.  Plunged into the dark.  Walk forwards, slowly, edging your feet forwards, reaching out your hands, feeling silly, feeling like a trick might be played on you, feeling silly for feeling like that because this is a sculpture garden, not a third grade playground.  But anyway.  Edge forwards.  Feel the wall to your right start curving its way round to the left.  Walk around another corner ... into a starry night.  Holes punched into the roof and a canopy of tiny lights.  A reminder that there is beauty above our heads, under our feet, in the dark.  Do not fear.  We stood in the middle of the starry night in the middle of the sunny day and kissed.  I have never been in love quite like this before.

  • Hawthorn by 27 points.

Mirror Pond on Mount Taibo in Shanxi


Saturday, 12 June 2010

The water and my mind have both settled down
Into perfect stillness.
Sun and moon shine bright in it.
At night I see in the surface
The enormous face of my old familiar moon.
I don't think you've ever met the source of this reflection.
All shrillness fades into the sound of silence.
But now and then a puff of mist floats across the mirror.
It confuses me a little
But not enough to make me forget to forget my cares.

by Hsu Yun