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26 October, 2020

Paying Attention

I’m thinking that our lives are like a rich field of individual moments and responses; interactions with persons, things, situations. Whatever way we find to allow these moments to reverberate in our consciousness permits the weaving of them into an intricate tapestry, that gives joy through its beauty and intelligence. Processing our experiences through private journals, or communicating them in social media or in direct conversation may help us in this patient weaving. The question of whether this takes the place of something greater or more unitary may eventually be a false dilemma. Some of the world’s creative geniuses neither wrote nor expressed themselves through any art. Others started out by writing a short poem that organically grew, without prior intention, into a major epic; still others left short haiku or sutras that together assume a similar grandeur. Life, the listening to life, and the sweet or discordant music that we are sometimes able to discover there and express, are not amenable to our egoistic manipulation. Our only responsibility is to pay attention, and not to sleepwalk through this divine comedy. And to love; to love and do what we want, and to leave the rest to the universe, and whether we bloom like a rose or stink like a stinkweed is not in our hands.

Autumn Weather

It's an old dry season
Now the nights are drawing in
The olive trees are ashen
Under a grey mantle of summer dust
The lemon tree is wizened and dry
Its leaves puckered, its fruit sparse
Despite the dripper line

No ants stage commando raids
On the crumbs we leave behind
No little black beetles
Scamper under our door
To litter the stairs with their husks
No moths flutter around the lights
Left on in the entrance

Dusty hamsin winds
Are forecast
Rising up to heat the air
Making everyone feel worse
An unwanted warmth
Come to spoil the cooler days
And parch the morning dew
So needed by birds

But ah, the birds,
Yes there seem to be more of them!
More bird song,
Making every dreamy afternoon
Into a songfest
Are they down from the north,
These birds that brighten our days
In this season when windows are left open
And air conditioners remain unused
Will they pick up and leave
With the coming of the rains
Please linger on
And winter with us
It won't be long or cold.