(sometimes withershins, widershins or widderschynnes) means to take a course opposite that of the sun, going counterclock-wise, lefthandwise, or to circle an object, by always keeping it on the left. It also means "in a direction opposite to the usual," which is how I choose to take it in using it as the title of this blog. We're all in the same world finding our own way.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
the word that plants the seed of an idea.
And, like a weed,
I flourish in the spaces in-between.
If kiss is kill,
then kiss me deep,
but don't you dare kill me.
The inflection, Pontypool,
screams at me to tell you to shut up.
I'm in the thick and in the thin,
waiting inside the outside.
My roots are strong.
They are tendrils and strings that,
cross the divide.
This fabric a blanket forms,
and I wrap you in my love.
Hypothermia seeps into your bones,
Under heat disease
Take the pressure off and go to sleep
If any of you have read this blog in the last few months, you know how much I go on about silence. It's the ninja aesthetic that draws me there. Move in silence, strike with deadly precision. I'm no ninja, but I like the imagery.
I'm drawn to silence I think because I live a noisy life. I'm always busy running around, involved in something. I'm always thinking about something I care about. Silence is a retreat for me, it's where I want to come from.
I don't think silence is as bad a thing as we credit it in society. To be by yourself, to be present does not require speaking or noise or sound. I view silence the same way I view the concept of nothingness. It is a container and an inverse that we cannot exist without.
But at times it feels like a fool's errand because to seek silence is to make noise. It's like Enlightenment, to truly be enlightened, one must not strive for Enlightenment, right? So I'm at a loss because I'm not sure what to do with all this sound.
Perhaps I should make a:
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Popular accounts give the origins of this aphorism with Sufi writers, a variation of which I've provided with below.
A Story from Attar:
A powerful king, ruler of many domains, was in a position of such magnificence that wise men were his mere employees. And yet one day he felt himself confused and called the sages to him.
He said: 'I do not know the cause, but something impels me to seek a certain ring, one that will enable me to stabilize my state.
'I must have such a ring. And this ring must be one which, when I am unhappy, will make me joyful. At the same time, if I am happy and look upon it, I must be made sad.'
The wise men consulted one another, and threw themselves into deep contemplation, and finally they came to a decision as to the character of this ring which would suit their king.
The ring which they devised was one upon which was inscribed the legend:
THIS, TOO, WILL PASS
This is more a fable than a fairy tale and it very clearly serves as a reminder of the impermanence of all conditions, so I wanted to take a moment and relate this to my personal experience.
The other day I was asked what I was afraid of. I couldn't really give an answer, which isn't to say I’m not afraid of things or that I don't experience fear, but I try very hard not to let one bad experience prevent me from attempting the same action again. You learn from your mistakes and your victories, but I do not believe learning should ever stop you.
Learning is adjustment to the actions, it is changing your perceptions and your approach, which does not necessarily change the goals. A bee stings you once or a spider bites you, so you learn to treat these creatures with respect, but fear, or at least rational fear, is temporary. It is grounded in the immediate world that faces us, a situational comedy of uptight clowns if you will.
Temporary shares the same root origins as tempo. We keep time to this pulsing beat, the up and down wave-forms of life. This is why nothing captures my attention; it is the perfect combination of the is and the is not.
Nothing, as an idea, carries its own weight because it is constantly negating and creating simultaneously. It may be a simple matter of wordplay and inflections, but nothing could be simpler. Nothing but nothing captures the immediacy of the temporary and translates it into a broader state of being.
The vacuum, the emptiness that nothing embodies is temporary. It gets filled, but ultimately what fills it is nothing, or at least inconsequential things. I'm not afraid of the temporary because I know this, too, will pass. They come, they go and everything returns somewhere else. You can rely on this, it is the nature of change.
There's a word for this in the body: homeostasis. Even if we disrupt the system, if we cause the heartbeat to palpitate, it finds a new equilibrium. The norms adjust. Societally, perhaps this is scary.
God is supposed to have a plan for us, right? That's part of the basis of so many faiths, trusting in the divine plan and it's hard to maintain that kind of faith sometimes when you can't see the big picture. I don't see the big picture, but I trust that it's there and that as a total it makes sense in the grand equation. All these cardiogram blips are insignificant compared to the line we begin with and the line we end with.
Life. This, too, will pass. Enjoy it while it's here for both its good and its bad.