"To me, every hour of the light and dark is a miracle." — Walt Whitman
WORDS LIKE LIGHT
August 17, 2021
I’m sure we all sometimes wonder: where does it all begin? Where is the origin of this experience called ‘life’? Right now, I’m sitting at my desk at 4:43 a.m. on Wednesday, August 18, 2021, and where did this situation begin? Where did these typed words on the computer screen begin? Where did the rising and falling of my lungs just now originally begin? What’s so amazing to me is that I realize, more and more clearly, that finding the origin – the precise starting place – of anything is like trying to find the starting place of a circle. It simply doesn’t exist. A circle does not begin – or end – and neither does anything else. All of us – all people, things, and situations – are beginningless and endless, as infinite as a flawless circle. We like to pretend that everything has a beginning and an end, but that’s as silly as saying a circle starts right here and ends right there. Me sitting at my desk right now, at 4:54 a.m. on Wednesday, August 18, 2021, didn’t begin anywhere, just like a circle doesn’t begin anywhere. Situations don’t start or end; they just flow, like any circle wonderfully flows.
Lucky for me, I won’t be starting or finishing anything today. I’ll just humbly be part of the beginningless and endless flow of the infinite, beautiful circle called ‘life’.
SOME PEOPLE SITTING IN A CIRCLE
IN THE PARK ON SUNDAY MORNING
They said they were worshiping
what was –
the trees turning in the winds,
a few old flowers
working comfortably to show off,
a discarded spoon
being restful in the grass,
the thoughts that were given to them
as gifts from the silvery moments.
just adoring dear life
that was letting its light
flow over and through them
on this effortlessly
WORDS LIKE LIGHT
Thursday, August 12, 2021
I have spent most of my life gathering and hoarding, and now, at 79, it’s time to start emptying. I don’t mean this in a negative way, as if I want to start sadly giving things away because I’m getting closer to death. No, I’m thinking of emptying as a creative and liberating process, an opening-out to the boundless realms of the universe. Instead of always grabbing, I want to start giving, the way rivers give themselves to the seas. I want to unload my longings and cravings, and feel the freedom of flowing instead of the captivity of clasping. I want to be a breeze that joyfully empties all of itself, moment by moment, into the infinite wind.
a certain man was ready to give gifts.
First, he gave the fountain of his love
to a lonely-looking person
shopping among melons at a market.
Next, he gave some thoughts
that sounded like a song
to a little part of the sky
that seemed to shine in a thorough and thoughtful way,
the way he liked to live,
though his life often fell off cliffs of mindlessness,
which is mostly why
he decided to do some giving on this day,
just donating what he always has,
which is endless and bountiful,
as gifts to be found by the universe
as it floats and falls and rises,
with him, forever.
WORDS LIKE LIGHT
Tuesday, August 10, 2021
The word ‘discover’ literally means ‘to remove the cover’, and, as the years have passed, I feel like a seemingly solid cover has slowly been removed from my life. Now, at the age of 79, I sometimes feel like I’m standing on a high mountain peak and staring at a boundless and beautiful land I’ve never seen before – as if a cover of clouds and mist has been withdrawn and a stunning scene has come into view. I don’t mean that life has become perfectly pain-free and beautiful for me. I still face fears and sorrows and setbacks each day, and the daily news continues to present a world full of malice and mayhem, but I’m more able now to see that, right in the midst of the seeming disorder of daily life, there’s a peace that has no boundaries and can never be defeated. I think I’ve finally realized that all of the so-called problems I’ve struggled with for so many years are no more substantial or dangerous than the softest mist that sometimes covers vast valleys. I’m now able, at least sometimes, to see through the mist of troubles and tribulations, and discover, again, the boundless, indescribable beauty that life is truly made of. It’s like discovering a brand-new world at least a few times each day. Perhaps, at 79, I’ve finally reached ‘the age of discovery’.
WORDS LIKE LIGHT
July 9, 2021
In the gospel of John, after some friends of Jesus have spent an entire night fishing from one side of their boat and catching nothing, Jesus simply tells them to throw their net on the ‘right’ side, and when they do it, they catch an overwhelming number of fish, so many that they can’t pull the net into the boat. Today, I can also make a similar easy choice. Moment after moment, I can consciously choose to cast the ‘net’ of my awareness on the ‘right’ side – the side where the inestimable, measureless gifts of the present moment are always waiting to be ‘caught’. It’s really as simple as that. I only have to turn away from the side of the boat where nothing but empty materialistic hopes and illusory fears seem to be thrashing around, and turn toward the side where the boundless power of patience and kindness and peace is always ready to be welcomed aboard. I hope to be a wise, observant fisherman today.