Archive for the ‘Explorations’ Category

There is an uncertainty
Silent and careless of your seeking
There is an uncertainty
That beckons you seek
That knows your name

Both are mystery
One is a revelation and a violation
Both are fearful
One has balm

You and I both
  agree that there are
First Principles

They
indeed exist, they form
   the reality around us

I
think we agree that these
   are absolutes – not flimsy or whimsy

You
   have been persuaded
that we (the we of humankind)
hold these in hand today,
   or that we shall by the morrow

I
   have been persuaded
that underlying every principal we will
ever hold in hand,
   is another we have assumed

We
   do hold many more in our hands today
   than Pascal did. Should
we fail to destroy
   ourselves by 2212,
we shall hold many many more

Maybe we shall cure cancer and hatred,
maybe we will learn they are the same thing and take a scalpel in hand
maybe we are already so mad with greed that we will paint our nickels gold, again
maybe a new word will be spoken
maybe an old word will inspire a new tipping point – will reveal a First Principle

Wisdom is practiced when discerning the intent within the onrushing stream… I speak to you … my waters are muddied with love… I think you recognize it… the coursing element is foundational … principal … but still flows from some deeper well which is only hinted at … only sensed at … by a existence we have only guessed at

so in the midst of Black Friday shopping I realized there is a certain art to it. To be in the maddening crowd without going mad is not easy, people are rude and angry and rude and impatient and oblivious and … Did I mention rude?

I was tempted to start swinging elbows and return the same energy I was receiving from so many and it was then the Zen snuck up on me – everyone is a mirror of sorts, and a scowl transmits thru a tired and taxed crowd like a field fire in a hurricane.

My first step was to stop being a mirror myself, to become a window too look through and simply observe. Immediately I began to live independent of the negative, and I stopped being a contagion for it as well. I took it a step further and smiled into the crowd – attempting to infect it. The experience was odd, it reminded me of experimentation, it reminded me of art.

And this is what seems to remain, the concept of art and its potential to describe more… All of it even

The In-Between
Miles of dust and sun
40 needful years of turning on a bitter lathe
Yet only my children will know why
and will their children’s children remember?
will any legacy be left written upon hills of sand?
will there be no wind, no moon, no fear?

No

Well…

Maybe

In a way I am begotten of those stiff-necked nomads
In a way, my feet still burn and suffer the lessons learned

But I have my own desert stretching my toes
But I have seen a promised land filled with giants
and I have sided with the ten
and I have labeled the two – nutbrained

But slow your fear shea… slow your darting eyes and consider…

I live
I don’t have to but I live
I live now
At least for now… but
For what?
Must I live *for* something?
I might live for nothing important
but that is not the same as nothing
and important is a tricky thing while this wind carries pain into your face

But I do not lie down
to let dunes shift over me
For this fact I perceive a reason
A something
More even – a Presence
Concepts in the human mind are like these flowing hills – changing
I have not pushed
this far
for the sake of a concept
I know I have not because -truth- it is not even in my power to do so
you are looking at a turtle on a fencepost
do the math

So return behind the How
Let the weight of the What
and the wonder of the Where
Conclude
with the obvious Why
There is only one
and it is a Who

So tell me while my ears are open
Play Solomon for my blistered and bewildered heart
must I chase wind
or worse… turn heel
flee wind
all the way back to Egypt
Can these ashes in my mouth be
swallowed or spit
while I yet live – yet journey

Even in this slim light it’s silly
to ask “what” shall I live for
To be honest now
I must ask Who not what
and
I must start with Do not Shall

So – Who Do
I live for
?
?
Damn – another silliness
not in the question this time
but in the answer of yesterday

-VisionCast 2011

In light of
How then
Given that

Moments occur – they may compel action – they may stoke conviction

Response – slow or quick or just null
A squint a stare an awe an avoid

Truth and Beauty have many consequences

Truth and Beauty have many consequences
Some lay dormant
A seed awaiting triggers – sun water soil
A letter lost in a pile – awaiting cleaning day

“If you know these things”
a frightening phrase – if you know these things
frightening because I do know some of them, enough of them, shit! too many of them

Responsibility
not just an ability to respond
to respond
and maybe
not even that but a requirement
to respond

To respond even in the absence of ability
in the absence of skill and motivation and confidence
Even in the presence of fear
in the presence of weakness and loneliness and despair

And thus…
Can it be said that sin is simply the forsaken response?
The despised calling?

In light of truth – this truth – set before you
In light of beauty – this beauty – sought within you

Live

It is peeking into my box
but I distract myself with the floor
It is whispering into my ear
but I hum some dirge or mirth
It is plinking pebbles off my window
but I draw the shade and shift
uncomfortably
stubbornly

“Piss Off!” I say
Enough-Already-Enough and I meant

nothing

Don’t you think I know nothing
but nothing is hard to say
hard to feel
hard to create out of
and I just don’t have enough nothing to justify myself from here

So go ahead…
Peek whisper & plink
I will refuse
I will rant
I will fuck reality sideways
until until it
until it sees things
my way

I was compelled to this page
but once it was no longer empty
Something was lost
It was Something
Something of an altar
A presence of what will be yet is not
A shadow
A teasing
A moment of wonder
A calling for life to arrive

Fashion it of Acacia
A cubit high
Two cubits square
Let it serve your mind
Let it warm your heart

Your greatest work is before you
Behold and worship
Behold and adore
Behold and become

All the proof I will ever need
      proof for or proof against
will be found where I look for it

See I see with eyes forged with desire
      and the colors they will allow
      and the colors they will emit
are under rigid censorship

But how else would passion breathe in this atmosphere
how else could my dry bones come alive
and my skin drink in the joy the wonder the fear

Find within my frame stardust
      yes it is there and it is here
      and yes the stars are still in labor
      giving life even as they die
      and yes the stars are not orphans, nor vagrant vaginas
they too are children loved and servants faithful

I spit or salve but I do so always with anothers  moisture
      I take first I take and take and
by what name do I call these droplets of life in my possession 
            – mine… Really?

This dust is a well-polished accuser against me
If I lived in the wind I might have less to show but more of a story to tell
like a carved mountain, that which creates my scars should be powerful and real – I wish it were real – but I fear it is but weak shadowy sketches

What I need is a hat that tells the mirror something different today
Or perhaps some shoes that will refuse to repeat the blind-mans path
Or maybe all I really need is the next line of the blurred poem that is in my guts and growling

What I want is an instinct, an inborn pull, an unquestionable drive
What I want is like howling sex between two coyotes that paints color and passion and life
around the walls of the burrow that keeps

The edges fray as I grunt under the weight of professional expectations
To play among the moments seems a far-off illusion – “a thing committed to the childish”
But it’s the years that are calling me to question – the years that beckon me to unsuppress some song within

The day has arrived
ink time
The Red-tailed Hawk
Here is a symbolizing of identity
The name Shea – Irish-Gaelic for “Hawk-like”
The Hawk – The Truth Seeker
-this is what I am on better days
and what I desire to be on worse
The Hawk – Teacher of Perception
-this is also part of who I am and who I desire to be
The Hawk – The Protector – Watcher
-this I would also strive to be

These all speak to my values and therefore my identity
perhaps not necessarily fully realized or accomplished
Let this day signify a curtain closing on yesterday
opening to the next act
The stage has a different lighting
the actor bears a new mark
a guiding mark
The Journey have a new force
and the villains have lost strength

Yes – I know ink will not create this change
a decision will
and I am merely choosing to poor my intent into a symbol
A permanent symbol
–well at least as permanent as a right arm can be

Let this tattoo serve me
Let whatever pain results
burn into me
change me
My body will be different after today
Let it be also with my soul

I am contemporarily incompetent.

I am not in control and I cannot fix this blasted thing.

I am surprised that the theory of evolution hasn’t wiped me from the face of this planet because I am not the fittest.

I suffer from a serious lack of bling – not to mention having zero glitter and less than zero gloss.

I’m not larger than your average and I don’t last all night – and I like it when my spam lies to me.

I believe the gym is for toddlers to bounce around and play with toys and so I haven’t been to one since I was very young.

I am lonely and I get very depressed when my dog doesn’t rush to meet me at the door – even he must not like me anymore…

I’ve got problems that I suspect a sharper mind could figure out and resolve, but I can’t seem to find one anywhere.

I’m a flake and I rarely follow through with what I say I’m going to do – I’m certain people have nicknamed me blah-blah-blah.

I sin. I try to hide the fact. My confession amounts to brushing my teeth and combing my hair and dumping some talc in my shorts.

God, in Christ Jesus, loves me with an eternal love and calls me his own – go figure!

The question of evil…For centuries we have been perplexed by it.
If God created everything, did God create evil?
Does evil thwart God’s plans, or even co-exist with Him in an opposing category?

Evil is more than a propositional truth… more than a philosophical difficulty…

it is my name.

I am the heckler at the wake
the stench in the culture club closet
I am the screaming arm of the junkie
the spread legs of the whore
the silent dagger in the victims back
I crave after the slightest pleasure
I delight at the sight of the pain of others
I eat garbage I spit blood
I am the sunken artery in the heart of religion
Deceiver slanderer murderer adulturer
I am the bad guy who gets it in the worst way at the end of the movie
while the audience cheers over my spillt guts
I am the representative of every horror ever inflicted by mankind on mankind.

Now ask me what it is that I will

I was created by a holy and glorious God
but my name is now “Ichabod”
I was designed for intimacy with the Father Almighty
but now I am called “Outcast”
My existential purpose was to praise the Most High
but now I am garbed with the name “Unclean”
The smallest green leaf directs and demands my worship
but now I go by “Idolator”
Every ray of sunlight
every drop of rain
every molecule of oxygen take the witness stand against me
and call my name “Scoffer”

Now call upon me to exercise any power for good – to love, obey, abide
Do you not mock me?
…further condemn me?

But give me a new name
and by that name call me
ahh sweet love
ahh blessed hope

Graveside
I practiced the moment there.
I closed my eyes and traced my fathers name with my finger tips
I took a handful of the fresh dirt there and rubbed it into my palms.
I felt my origin – my destination in my hands
Begotten by my father in his twenty-fourth year
I pulled the small stones from the dirt – grains – of time, of life
Counting 61 I lined the marker with these stones – the years of my father in symbol
Counting 14 more – setting them off by themselves
I wondered – those unspent years – what might they have been consumed with
He feared, desperately feared- I think – nothing more than the last 14+ were consumed by
I wrote the moment

75 little grains
Consumed by… Burning down
Consumed by searching
for happiness, for meaning, for relief
to be wanted – loved
Searching
for significance – in work, in marriage, in fatherhood
to be important to someone – needed – loved
Years consumed with a dream – a longing
unspoken – perhaps unidentified
Lost
Time consumed by time itself

I realized – I myself – I have been searching
What for?
This is nonsense – damned nonsense as one once said
I already have everything I would ever need to search for
I am loved
I have meaning – purpose – significance
I know the answers now – being and existence are no longer utter mystery
I have life with an uppercase ‘el’ – not merely a lower case one
So why the searching?
An addictive behaviour I suspect. Damaging behaviour – I now recognize.
I will not pretend I am lost any longer – I am not
I will not wander lost in a fog of my own making

I gather the 75 little stones in my hand
These are my years now
Covered in mud I see them vaguely
They balance with my soul in some strange way
I wash them with water – as my years have been redeemed
My spent years cleansed – my unspent set aside – sanctified
What Christ wouldn’t give to hold in His hands
My seventy-five little grains

 

James

Date of Birth: April 1942

Date of Death: May 2004

Lived: 22660 days

He stands a great man
A dead man perhaps
Greatness achieved by the past
Not future for he has none

A bullet or two for the sake of destiny
Or fate for the moment
All we see, speak and think
Took thousands of years of learning, recording, understanding
We are still fools
Children with a loaded gun and no comprehension of death

Pain is universal, our own pain is small and meak
But when we feel, touch, taste others pain we too become great men
Thousands of years of progress and only a few who we consider
Deserving to be called Great men in our history books

Where were the rest of us?
Too busy with our own small and meager pains to even consider greatness
To stop and think about the pain we cause or could fix in a moment

A great man doesn’t understand why he is great, for it is enough to know he is truly a man.

4/1991