Monday, November 29, 2010

Next to last day of November, 2010, 2nd day of Advent

The sunrise is busy painting the horizon with a wide flame of orange.
I've just had a dream of trying to find my way to an eye-glass store -- dependent on travelling with other teachers to get back to school -- but so much interferes -- new clothes for dancing, an AA meeting, cooking dinner for two daughters of new friends, but the ex-boyfriend of one arrives and spoils the party, and then the parents come as well, and there isn't enough food and Nick is less than happy with the organization, and meanwhile, I stumble into corporate offices, various stores, a garden and cannot find the oculist, and desperately roam streets, until coming to a fish market. There the phone book is out of date, and the occulist name is my dentist's name, who I no longer see anyway...

So it is peaceful, to imagine a new day.

A poem -- "You can't just sit There" -- by Joanna Goodman
feels like such a dream.

Between fits and starts, no bequest from sea or desert
phones-in angelic blueprints, muscles me through
each flowering, heavenly blow. "Just be patient"
says everyone and their dogs and fishes, the horses
with their milky eyes, the genteel wind.
Whoever can find me behind these lives oaks,
beneath the annunciation, in between three nervous systems,
arrive. The trees are quiet as lunch eaten alone
inside a house surrounded by trees. "You sound urgent"
says everyone and their baboons and finches. No, I say.
"Frustrated," they say. No, I say. "You can't pretend." No.
"Can't act like the innocent one here,
like the scales are balanced. How long are you going to bask
in the afterglow of your escapades, feet crossed
on the ottoman?" Oh, doctor. Where are thou
when I crave you most. Give me a juice ruin
to wade through. A range to rub myself in. A sea
without end, a bright shore to wash up on,
grateful, grateful, all the same.

(APR -- from Mar/Apr)

So many poems about gratitude. Merwin's "Thanks"...

with the night falling we are saying thank you

back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you

we are saying thank you faster and faster
without nobody listening we are saying thank you
we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is


In my dream, faster and faster, I was NOT saying thank you.
I was saying "help me, help me" which makes a sarcastic reading of a poem
but when I got to the fish lady, it was indeed -- thank you, thank you.

To be so Buddhist that you convince yourself that life at any price is to be praised. The poem allows instances of thank you--
the automatic thank you's, the relief thank you's, the thank you to the natural world,
as if "thank you" is part of the birth and dying of this world.

A poem which responds to "Thank You" by saying, No.

this Zen poem, Dwain sent me responds in a gentler way.
The Use of Crying

Drink your tears;
If they are sweet, know impermanence
If they are bitter, know suffering
If they are sour, know remorse
If they are salt,
Know the earth that supports you in Great Emptiness.


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