Thursday, November 23, 2017

PERHAPS...

Perhaps the World Ends Here
by Joy Harjo
The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live.

 The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. So it has been since creation, and it will go on.


We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe at the corners. They scrape their knees under it.

It is here that children are given instructions on what it means to be human. We make men at it, we make women.

At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts of lovers.

Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms around our children. They laugh with us at our poor falling-down selves and as we put ourselves back together once again at the table.


This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun.

Wars have begun and ended at this table. It is a place to hide in the shadow of terror. A place to celebrate the terrible victory.

We have given birth on this table, and have prepared our parents for burial here.

 At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow. We pray of suffering and remorse. We give thanks.
Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table, while we are laughing and crying, eating of the last sweet bite.

 ~*~

It Snowed All Night
~*~

May all be well with thee and thine dear Friends

Monday, November 20, 2017

CURRENT EVENTS

GENDER POLITICS STILL
The Current Avalanche
"Me Too"
Bright lights suddenly explode into every corner of our relationships in the world. This is nothing new historically speaking as many of you know well. The current pain pouring out from women might be cleansing if it manages to open the door to long term, ongoing in depth cultural analysis. My hope for this moment is that, while we go on naming names, demanding accountability and freeing specific women from decades of silence, we do not get caught in the temporary glee that sudden liberation too often brings. After the rage and grief, we are still the same species and we need each other if we intend to change the rules of the game. A World wide perspective is necessary as well.
 ~*~
 Here's bell hooks in 2016 at The New Museum

RADIO
This past week on NPR
"In the wake of the Weinstein scandal, an ever-widening stream of accusations against powerful men has prompted a considerable amount of soul-searching. On Twitter and elsewhere, one book that has been mentioned is bell hooks’s "The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love," from 2004. The book was somewhat controversial among feminists because, rather than excoriating the worst behavior of men, hooks analyzes masculinity as a kind of regime that oppresses everybody, including men. She sees child abuse, sexual abuse, and shaming as rampant conditions that predispose psychologically damaged boys to violence. hooks tells David Remnick that if we don’t try to understand the male psyche we cannot solve the problem."

LISTEN

RECOMMENDING
"The Will To Change"
 "Everyone needs to love and be loved -- even men. But to know love, men must be able to look at the ways that patriarchal culture keeps them from knowing themselves, from being in touch with their feelings, from loving. In The Will to Change, bell hooks gets to the heart of the matter and shows men how to express the emotions that are a fundamental part of who they are -- whatever their age, marital status, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.  With trademark candor and fierce intelligence, she addresses the most common concerns of men-- fear of intimacy and loss of their patriarchal place in society-- in new and challenging ways. She believes men can find the way to spiritual unity by getting back in touch with the emotionally open part of themselves -- and lay claim to the rich and rewarding inner lives that have historically been the exclusive province of women. A brave and astonishing work, The Will to Change is designed to help men reclaim the best part of themselves."

LINKS
Biography
Then there's our current President who, by example, has demonstrated nothing but contempt.
I have no more to say.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

SICKBED WEEK

Sick since Tuesday I make a short trip uptown for supplies Thursday
(The Empire is Pink)
Hand painting at a local Store
(reminds me of grade school contests long ago)
Exit and Entrance
(Trader Joe 31st Street)
Ganesh
(best incense store "Butalla" little India)
CVS Saturday
(I never get the Flu shot)
Phillips Family Health Clinic
(moving 2 blocks West)
My cross-eyed Moon
(Thanksgiving card from Massachusetts where I usually go but I'm too sick)
 Saturday night was Feverish but No fever
(flu/cold/wounded rib cage)
Looking at Books to Give Away
(Verdis "Masked Ball" performed on a floating Stage at Bregantz Austria 1999)

from
~*~

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

WHAT WRITING MIGHT BE

Sound Track
(Nothing to see and no words so just let it play while you read on)
Julian Bream plays Lute Music from the courts of Europe
(29 minutes)



Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea"
(Sonnet 65)
by William Shakespeare





Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea
But sad mortality o’er-sways their power,
How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,
Whose action is no stronger than a flower?
O, how shall summer’s honey breath hold out
Against the wreckful siege of battering days,
When rocks impregnable are not so stout,
Nor gates of steel so strong, but time decays?
O fearful meditation! where, alack,
Shall time’s best jewel from time’s chest lie hid?
Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back?
Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid?
O, none, unless this miracle have might,
That in black ink my love may still shine bright.
~*~


"Nocturns"
by Kazuo Ishiguro

Just completed listening to the book on audio CDs having had a most engaging and satisfying experience with it for several days.
"Nocturnes" is a series of novellas that pick up on themes of aging, memory and music. Here, in an ABC Fora first, Kazuo Ishiguro is beamed live via satellite to the Sydney Writers' Festival where he chats about his life with Sandra Yates.
(7 minute Interview)
https://youtu.be/kXLC0v0Ah7U

Kazuo Ishiguro was born November 8,1954 and is best known for haunting, elegiac novels like Remains of the Day (1989), about an English butler working in a big house in the years before World War II, which won the Booker Prize. Ishiguro was born in Japan but moved to England at the age of five (1960). He didn’t go back for 29 years. Ishiguro says: “I grew up with a very strong image in my head of this other country, a very important other country to which I had a strong emotional tie. In England, I was all the time building up this picture in my head, an imaginary Japan.” As a child in England, he pored over comic books and was obsessed with movies about cowboys and the American West, which influenced his later writing.  He spent a gap year after university hitchhiking through America and working for the Queen Mother as a grouse beater in Balmoral, all the while hauling around his portable typewriter and guitar. He says, “I tried to be a songwriter, but the door never opened.” He decided to write a 30-minute radio play called Potatoes and Lovers, about two young people working in a fish-and-chips joint. They are both cross-eyed, and they fall in love. It was an odd plot, but he used it to apply to graduate school in creative writing, and he got in. His first novel, A Pale View of the Hills (1982), was published to international acclaim. Ishiguro’s novels include An Artist of the Floating World (1986), The Buried Giant (2015), and The Unconsoled (1995), a 500-page book narrated by a pianist — a book that one critic said “invented its own category of badness.” It’s now considered a classic. On his writing, he says: “You can think of me like an early aviator before airplanes were properly invented. I’m building some sort of flying machine in my back garden. I just need it to fly. And you know how odd some of those early flying machines looked? Well, my novels are a bit like that. I put them together out of anything I can think of according to my thinking to make the thing fly.”
~*~
He was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature this year.
~*~
Interview about writing with Charlie Rose
February 2017
(25 Minutes)
https://youtu.be/RohhPLfXWfE


Sunday, November 12, 2017

KIRTAN and KIRTANA

I would explain, but It would involve writing personal history about how I was thrust into the community of yogis and chanters. I simply can't. I just haven't got the energy. It's too long a tale and would require too many words, coherent sentences, time-line details to reconstruct for accuracy and it was too important to me to just toss it off. Suffice it to say, I arrived in psychic despair one day a few decades ago. Now, I just plug back in when they're in town and I can attend. Saturday night, suitably dressed for thirty degree temperatures, I left my apartment and walked uptown, caught this shot of the Empire State  building lit red white and blue for Veterans day...Oh, weary, weary wars we are exhausted...
 ...then walked East to the 'speed-bus' at 26th street on 1st Avenue. Once boarded,  I watched this elder Chinese man read about eight different Chinese newspapers, carefully unfolding and refolding them throughout the whole trip to 86th Street.
Another bus took me across 86th Street and I arrived around 8 O'clock to a full house in various stages of ecstasy at the Church of St. Paul & St. Andrew.
*
*
Kirtan is a Sanskrit word that means "narrating, reciting, telling, describing" of an idea or story. It also refers to a genre of religious performance arts, connoting a musical form of narration or shared recitation. With roots in the Vedic anukirtana tradition, a Kirtana is a call-and-response style song or chant, set to music, wherein multiple singers recite or describe a legend, or express loving devotion to a deity, or discuss spiritual ideas. It may include dancing or direct expression of bhavas (emotive states) by the singer. Many Kirtana performances are structured to engage the audience where they either repeat the chant, or reply to the call of the singer.
 "How good it is when Brother and Sisters
dwell together in harmony"
Sometime around 10 O'clock we broke up, mulled about meeting and greeting while the band packed equipment. It was a loving 'family' gathering, as it is all over the world at like events. Friend Wendy Daly and I left together and made our way, she to a new night shift job and me, back to my apartment where I uploaded the fuzzy and clear photos to my computer, downed some fine soup and fell into bed feeling loved and loving, fortunate and grateful.
 ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
2015 
Live Stream: Heart of Devotion Workshop with Krishna Das
A smaller more intimate venue with more talk and some chanting
(3 hours)

https://youtu.be/ggmnpCK4uXU
~*~

Web Site
https://www.facebook.com/KrishnaDasMusic/

Thursday, November 9, 2017

AFTER TRAGEDY

Noticing
Blue
 Blooming
~*~


Monday night with my writing group downtown,
I wrote these lines in response to a prompt.
I wept when I read them aloud.
(Screen Shot--1st Baptist, Southerland Springs, Texas)
This Child
(for Anabelle Pomeroy)


Motionless now
                under the conflicted sky.
Blood drying
                 tears receding
Along the sharp line
                 where an emerging
Golden sun rising
                 dropped purple shrouds
Falling back into the sea
                 back before we
Swam up on  to land
                 before we took to flight
Before this child,
                  just fourteen, dreamed
She was roller skating
                  right to the edge of somewhere,
Spread her arms, then floating
                  off her mattress
Sailed up through the roof of a country church
                  which dissolved completely.
You know, the way dreams do,
                  she felt the thrill of
Unexpected ascension, so much holier
                  than Holy Mother Mary.
Entirely without shame this child, bursting,
                  sang out loud.
While the choir applauded in unison
                  white light spread
Everywhere, until that's all
                  there was to see--
Till even the brightest stars could
                  not outshine her.

The Story
https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/texas-church-shooting/texas-church-shooting-who-were-victims-sutherland-springs-massacre-n818356
~*~


Tuesday it was off to get an x-ray of my right ribs.
an accident at home: in a stupid moment reaching down over a wooden arm chair to retrieve a fallen pen and -crack-but it took a few days to really exhibit it's effect and I suddenly couldn't breathe.
(reading available while I waited)
 Kids camping out at the subway entrance
"IN NEED__PLEASE HELP"
 Then I crossed through the park to
Dr. Robert Schiller
where the x-ray pictures were read and interpreted:
Not a fracture, just a badly bruised intercostal sheath which will take an estimated three weeks to a month of care, warmth and consciousness to heal. Okay.
Then the rains came, a regular deluge pouring from City skies.
Soaked when I reached my first location...
(Baruch College used to be the Childrens Court)
 ...where they couldn't find me on the books!
Trudged on to the right location a few blocks away to vote a straight Democratic slate.
My valiant struggle through the cold rain to register my vote did manage to push democrats over the fat heads of Republican punishers and was a definite mandate expressing rejection of the current National Administration, not that this Democratic gang are pure or perfect, but it's as good as we can manage for the moment,
a restraining wall at least.
 ~*~


At the Zendo Wednesday night
A loss Commemorated
Beloved 12 year old Cat
Carol and I walked together after the meditation
~*~