Total Pageviews

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Hawk Moon





"If there is no question then there is no answer."
Gertrude Stein's last words.







Friday, November 28, 2014

Backyard Barred Owl














...the proud ones are
but for a moment,
like an evening dream
in springtime.

Heike Monogatari (14th Century)







Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Cattle Egrets, Field and Sheep











"My life came like dew,
disappears like dew."

Toyotomi Hideyoshi
(1536 - 1598)








Saturday, November 8, 2014

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Merlin (Falco columbarius)


















"I know not what life is
nor death.
Year in year out -
all but a dream."

Uesugi Kenshin
(1530 - 1578)







Sunday, October 19, 2014

Golden Leaves In Autumn





“As the moon lingers a moment over
The Bitterroots…

Before its descent into the invisible,
My mind is filled with song.

I find myself humming softly.

Not to music…
But something else.

Someplace else,
A place remembered.

A field of grass,
Where no one seemed to have been
Except the deer.

Norman Maclean -  From his novel “A River Runs Through It.”









Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Prince and the Magician






Once upon a time there was a young prince who believed in all things but three. He did not believe in princesses, he did not believe in islands, and he did not believe in God. His father, the king, told him that such things did not exist. As there were no princesses or islands in his father's domains, and no sign of God, the prince believed his father.
But then, one day, the prince ran away from his palace and came to the next land. There, to his astonishment, from every coast he saw islands, and on these islands, strange and troubling creatures whom he dared not name. As he was searching for a boat, a man in full evening dress approached him along the shore.
"Are those real islands?" asked the young prince.
"Of course they are real islands," said the man in evening dress.
"And those strange and troubling creatures?"
"They are all genuine and authentic princesses."
"Then God must also exist!" cried the young prince.
"I am God," replied the man in evening dress, with a bow.
The young prince returned home as quickly as he could.
"So, you are back," said his father, the king.
"I have seen islands, I have seen princesses, I have seen God," said the prince reproachfully.
The king was unmoved.
"Neither real islands, real princesses nor a real God exist."
"I saw them!"
"Tell me how God was dressed."
"God was in full evening dress."
"Were the sleves of his coat rolled back?"
The prince remembered that they had been. The king smiled.
"That is the uniform of a magician. You have been deceived."
At this, the prince returned to the next land and went to the same shore, where once again he came upon the man in full evening dress.
"My father, the king, has told me who you are," said the prince indignantly. "You deceived me last time, but not again. Now I know that those are not real islands and real princesses, because you are a magician."
The man on the shore smiled.
"It is you who are deceived, my boy. In your father's kingdom, there are many islands and many princesses. But you are under your father's spell, so you cannot see them."
The prince pensively returned home. When he saw his father, he looked him in the eye.
"Father, is it true that you are not a real king, but only a magician?"
The king smiled and rolled back his sleeves.
"Yes, my son, I'm only a magician."
"Then the man on the other shore was God."
"The man on the other shore was another magician."
"I must know the truth, the truth beyond magic."
"There is no truth beyond magic," said the king.
The prince was full of sadness. He said "I will kill myself."
The king by magic caused Death to appear. Death stood in the door and beckoned to the prince. The prince shuddered. He remembered the beautiful but unreal islands and the unreal but beautiful princesses.
"Very well," he said, "I can bear it".
"You see, my son," said the king, "you, too, now begin to be a magician."
From "The Magus" by John Fowles.
















Saturday, October 11, 2014

Toothpaste and its Roots










"You have set the powers of the four quarters to cross each other. The good road and the road of difficulties you have made to cross; and where they cross, the place is holy."   Black Elk








Monday, September 22, 2014

Bedtime Stories

'Henrik's Pillar of Fire' from John Fowles' Novel "The Magus"

‘Beyond them there ran out a beach. Some thirty or forty yards of shingle. The river narrowed a little and the point took the force of what current there was. Even on a night as calm as that there was a murmur over the shallow stones. Henrik was standing at the very tip of the shingle spit, in about a foot of water. He was facing out to the north-east, where the river widened. The moonlight covered it in a grey satin sheen. Out in midstream there were long low banks of mist. As we watched, he called. “Hører du mig?” With great force. As if to someone several miles away, on the invisible far bank. A long pause. Then, “Jeg er her.” I trained my glasses on him. He was standing, legs astride, his staff in his hand, biblically. There was silence. A black silhouette in the glittering current.

   ‘Then we heard Henrik say one word. Much more quietly. It was “Takk.” The Norwegian for “thanks”. I watched him. He stepped back a pace or two out of the water, and knelt on the shingle. We heard the sound of the stones as he moved. He still faced the same way. His hands by his side. It was not an attitude of prayer, but a watching on his knees. Something was very close to him. As visible to him as Gustav’s dark head, the trees, the moonlight on the leaves around us, was to me. I would have given ten years of my life to have been able to look out there to the north, from inside his mind. I did not know what he was seeing, but I knew it was something of such power, such mystery, that it explained all. And of course Henrik’s secret dawned on me, almost like some reflection of the illumination that shone over him. He was not waiting to meet God. He was meeting God; and had been meeting him probably for many years. He was not waiting for some certainty. He lived in it.






   ‘Up to this point in my life you will have realized that my whole approach was scientific, medical, classifying. I was conditioned by a kind of ornithological approach to man. I thought in terms of species, behaviours, observations. Here for the first time in my life, I was unsure of my standards, my beliefs, my prejudices. I knew the man out there on the point was having an experience beyond the scope of all my science and all my reason, and I knew that my science and reason would always be defective until they could comprehend what was happening in Henrik’s mind. I knew that Henrik was seeing a pillar of fire out there over the water, I knew that there was no pillar of fire there, that it could be demonstrated that the only pillar of fire was in Henrik’s mind.

   ‘But in a flash, as of lighting, all our explanations, all our classifications and derivations, our aetiologies, suddenly appeared to me like a thin net. That great passive monster, reality, was no longer dead, easy to handle. It was full of a mysterious vigour, new forms, new possibilities. The net was nothing, reality burst through it. Perhaps something telepathic passed between Henrik and myself. I do not know.

   ‘That simple phrase, I do not know, was my own pillar of fire. For me, too, it brought a new humility akin to fierceness. For me too a profound mystery. For me too a sense of the vanity of so many things our age considers important. I do not say I should not have arrived at such an insight one day. But in that night I bridged a dozen years. Whatever else, I know that.

   ‘In a short time we saw Henrik walk back into the trees. I could not see his face. But I think the fierceness it wore in daylight was the fierceness that came from his contact with the pillar of fire. Perhaps for him the pillar of fire was no longer enough, and in that sense he was still waiting to meet God. Living is an eternal wanting more, in the coarsest grocer and in the sublimest mystic. But of one thing I am certain. If he still lacked God, he had the Holy Spirit.

   ‘The next day I left. I said goodbye to Ragna. There was no lessening of her hostility. I think that unlike Gustav she had divined her husband’s secret, that any attempt to cure him would kill him. Gustav and his nephew rowed me the twenty miles north to the next farm. We shook hands, we promised to write. I could offer no consolation and I do not think he wanted any. There are situations in which consolation only threatens the equilibrium that time has instituted. And so I returned to France.’