"Things to do today:
exhale, inhale, exhale.
~ Buddha (Buddha's Little Instruction Book)
Coffee, chocolate and beautiful chanting. I am taking today for myself.
I have several paintings I should be working on, much writing and organizing to do, a photo essay on Mexican Immigration to get started on, ground work and business plans for that organic restaurant which seems to be back on track again, loans to apply for, business plans to write, immigration lawyers, doctor appointments to arrange, and enough house work that would make a Merry Maid weep. Sigh.
Today I am spending with myself. Doing simple things. Putting my hands in the earth, nuturing my garden, talking to clouds, and birds, and bugs. Perhaps they will even answer if I am quiet long enough . .
"Feel the consciousness of each person
as your own consciousness.
So, leaving aside concern for self, become each being."
~ Ancient Sanskrit Manuscript
My life, my mind, has become too full - I can't hear my own voice anymore. I am more and more distracted by what is unimportant, and becoming caught up in myself. I have returned to my old friends this morning, Rumi, Thich Nhat Hanh, Mary Oliver, Franz Wright, and Pablo Neruda - always Neruda.
Sunlight and silence stood at a bend in the path suddenly;
wind moved, once, over the dark water
and I was back.
Far from the world of appearances,
the world of "gain and mirth."
there will be nobody
here going on
about death and pain and change. No one here!
Spoking hallways of pines where the owls, eyes wide open, dreams --
there is a power that wants me to live, I don't know why.
Then I saw again
like a massive haunted head
lumbering after the egg laying toward
the water and vanishing
into the water, slowly
in that element half underworld, half sky.
There is a power that wants me to love.
~ Franz Wright (Walking to Martha's Vineyard)
I was interviewed the other day by a friend who is doing her thesis on the arts as an agent of transformation. I have always drawn and done photography, but the writing has only come about in the last two years as a way to express things I couldn't with my art and couldn't keep bottled up anymore. It has become somewhat of an obsession now - but may eventually pay a small bit (no such thing as a rich poet, or even a moderately being able to pay the bills one - well there ARE, but I'm not one of them), but I am getting published. A book of my own, a children's book I am illustrating (I am still deciding what kind of toaster oven to get with the profits) - and perhaps this photo essay project on immigration (photo and written essays) - but that's in the future. Part of the interview is to make a collage that represents myself. My interviewer brought in two cases of supplies to pick items from (I took 5 of everything), and have been ruminating how to represent myself as a collage ever since. Maybe that's what today is for, right brain work. Of course I looked at the size of paper I was to use and went out and got one 5x bigger, and am in the process of cutting up my old Picasso Peace & Joy calendar and my Gustav Klimt postcards (Neil's Website is amazing for inspiration, but I think I will skip the sexy women, and the baby Jesus figures).
Tomorrow, maybe, I will be ready to start that. Start painting again, and start taking the photos and writing stories that are going to hurt my heart.
late shift, by men propped up with cigarettes.
Smoke ribbons unfurl in the harsh fluorescent
light and disappear in a twinkling blizzard of
metal and choking bugs that hides the ceiling.
The younger men calculate how much more
money they'll make for not sleeping this week. The
older men roll cigarettes. One man consoles
the other by staying awake, covering for him when
he naps on the toilet, away from the foreman's
blue eye. There are coffee pot holes, and the
gravelly work floor sparkles with scratchy rag-
lung spit spots pumped out by black-blooded heart
muscle. At dawn they let the showers run until
the water is good and warm, so as not to startle
themselves when they step in to wash the dust from
~ Viggo Mortensen (Coincidence of Memory)
and I cannot end this one without my favourite sonetos de amor (love sonnet) by Neruda
No te amo como si fueras rosa de sal, topacio
o flecha de claveles que propagan el fuego:
te amo como se aman ciertas cosas oscuras,
secretamente, entre la sombra y el alma.
Te amo como la planta que no florece y lleva
dentro de sí, escondida, la luz de aquellas flores,
y gracias a tu amor vive oscuro en mi cuerpo
el apretado aroma que ascendió de la tierra.
Te amo sin saber cómo, ni cuándo, ni de dónde,
te amo directamente sin problemas ni orgullo:
así te amo porque no sé amar de otra manera,
sino así de este modo en que no soy ni eres,
tan cerca que tu mano sobre mi pecho es mía,
tan cerca que se cierran tus ojos con mi sueño.