Tuesday, March 31, 2015

4-3-2-1

I'm writing this to see if I'll like it.
I don't know if you'll like it,
so why should your feelings
be a consideration?

I'm writing this to find out
if there's a reason to expose myself
to your base adjudications.

I'm writing this because
there's nothing better I can do.

I'm asking you a question.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Relict

It's an odd day,
snow-shaped and sunny,
the quarters are cramped,
the water is foul,
there's a relic, a relict
swimming on the ground,
the leftover,
steaming in place,
a clinger,
and it's all hopeless,
but for the close-minded.
Just smile and grimace
here at the end.


Saturday, March 7, 2015

81

I'm here in my bedroom.
There's a spider next to my head.
I think it's a brown recluse.
I don't know what to do.
On the one hand,
I don't like killing.
On the other hand,
I don't like mass necrosis.
But I kind of like spiders.
But I don't like pain.
And I don't like dying.
I have a lot to think about.
Her name is Dulcelina.


Monday, March 2, 2015

World Religions

I read a book once,
an encyclopedia
of the religions of the world.
It didn't mention my religion;
I must not exist in the world.
So while I'm floating in space
or something,
don't forget me.
I'm around,
looking for a way.
I think I'm alive.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Something Bigger

I should never feel comfortable with where I am.  I should always try for something bigger.  But what does that mean?  I recently spent a Sunday working in my church's nursery.  I sat on the floor.  I played with toys.  The little kids played with me.  I was more or less another toy to them.  At that moment I was happy.  At that moment I felt the closest I have in years to breaking through, to no longer being captive to anxiety.  At that moment I was in the moment.  Was that something bigger?

I see grand things in my future.  I always have, even in the depths of self-loathing, even in my learned helplessness.  The problem is I keep looking for some magic to put together the pieces.  I don't easily make or follow my own rules.  I can't do steps.  I see the pieces, I see the final machine, but I can't make the machine out of those pieces.  The work doesn't scare me; the certainty of failure does, even though I know somewhere in my mind that failures inevitably precede success.

I'm trying to slow down, to train my mind to focus on where it is instead of where it has been or should be or will be.  I'm in the process of moving to my own little apartment on a small farm in a neighboring town.  I will rake leaves and pick apples and plant seedlings.  I will write.  I will be aware of what I'm writing.  I will be aware of what I'm writing here and now.  I will be aware of the raking, the picking, the planting, here and now.  I will be aware of the art, the music, the cranes, the geese, the wind, the water, the horses, the coyotes, the brush, the trees, the mountains, here and now.  I will be aware of sleeping, waking, walking, sitting, breathing, eating, bathing, dressing, cleaning, here and now.  I will be aware of what I read (in the present tense) more than what I'm reading.  I will be aware of what I sense more than what I'm sensing.  I will be aware of myself.  Here and now.  And maybe, just maybe, these little pieces will fit together, will form my something bigger.


Friday, January 16, 2015

Gratitude

"He didn't want to feel grateful--gratitude was like a handcuff which only the captor could release."
-from Monsignor Quixote, by Graham Greene


I've been doing this occasional series of posts I call, with a mix of sincerity and a little sarcasm, "Virtues."  I've only informed you of this fact once, but I think you can fairly easily figure out which of my posts I consider part of this series.  Here's one.

This is a tough one.  How can you feel grateful when you feel more pain than love, when people do a nice thing and, "like a handcuff," won't release you?  What if they think that you should be eternally grateful for some minor thing they've done for you?  What if a sincere "thank you" isn't enough?

Well, thank them anyway.  Feel grateful anyway.  Even if they never thank you for the kindnesses shown them.  Even if they backbite and gossip.  OK, so I'm telling you to do something I have a tough time doing myself.  Let's try anyway, shall we?

I'm not the type who does things to be seen doing them.  I'm not trying to say this makes me great.  It just makes me uncomfortable to direct any attention towards myself when I'm being the non-performing, "real" me.  I like helping people, and most of the time I'd rather not receive credit.  However, I don't take well to people calling me lazy or self-centered, either.  I've had one person tell me that I should point out every single time I do something nice for others, that it makes the other person feel good to know that I, in particular, have shown him or her some little act of kindness.  There might be a little truth there.  I don't know.  And maybe I do good deeds less openly, in part, to prevent others from thinking of me as someone who would help them out at what is, for me, an inconvenient time.  It's more complicated than it might seem to be on the surface, but I can't see myself changing, and I don't know that I need to change.  I think I'll just keep doing what I do, for now.

Do I shy away from the obligation to feel grateful, though?  Do I avoid people in part because I don't want to feel the cuffs of gratitude?  I know I'm uncomfortable when kindness is shown towards me.  I know I don't quite know how to react beyond saying, "Thank you."  But I like to feel loved.  I like for my birthday to be remembered.  I like to feel that there are other people whose lives would be affected, on a regular basis, by whether I'm alive or dead.  That may sound a bit harsh, or it may seem that I have a woe-is-me attitude, but I think most everyone likes to feel that they have that level of value to at least one person.

Gratitude is good, to simplify it.  However, the doer of the good deed gets more out of the act than the receiver.  We should feel grateful for the opportunity to give a little bit of ourselves to friends or strangers.


Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Year 2014

Yet another year of stuff happening.  None of it was particularly interesting, but I'm going to talk about it anyway.

World Stuff
  • The San Antonio Spurs win the NBA Finals!  It's been too long, but here's #5.
  • Stuff goes down in Crimea.
  • Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II are made saints.  Good for them.
  • The UN declares 2014 the "International Year of Crystallography."  International crystallographers are thrilled.
  • The FIFA World Cup is won by, I want to say, Swaziland?
  • The Winter Olympics takes place, briefly reminding the world that there's something called "short track speed skating."
  • Олександр Турчинов becomes acting President of Ukraine, after Віктор Янукович is removed from office.  Так.
  • Philae detaches from Rosetta and lands on 67P.  This is actually fairly important.
  • Americans become aware of the horrific actions of ISIS/ISIL, which now controls much of Iraq and Syria.  ISIL derives from a group affiliated with al Qaeda.  Al Qaeda derives from the Mujaheddin.  The Mujaheddin were formed to fight the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan.  They could afford to wage war against the Soviet Union because they were funded by the United States.  The US tends to create its own problems.  Fortunately, history always shows that we learn from our mistakes.

People Stuff
  • George Wortley, George Guerieri, George Bornemissza, Georgy Adelson-Velsky, Jorge Zavala, George Hilton, George Downton, Jorge Arvizu, George Kohut, George McDonald, George Scott, Jorge Jottar, George Hansen, George Digby, Georges Delahaie, George Radwanski, Hans-Georg Bohle, George Sluizer, George Savage, George Herbert Swift, Jr., Sir George Christie, George Coates, George Dement, Giorgio Stracquadanio, George Bookasta, George Dureau, George Burton, Jorge Romo, George Kline, George Francis, Georgi Milanov, Georgette Rejewski, George Munroe, George Little, George Zuverink, George Spencer, George Hamilton IV, Georgy Ragozin, George Heilmeier, Louis George, Georgi Slavkov, George Roberts, George Shuba, Jorge Polaco, George Shuffler, George Goodman, George Nicholaw,  Giorgio Gaslini, George McCague, George Freese, Georgina Henry, Georges Hamel, Georg Stollenwerk, George Anastaplo, Jorge Obeid, George Lenne, Georgy Martyniuk, George Modelski, George Lerchen, George Armelagos, George Decker, Georges Lamia, George Ho, Jurij Gustinčič, George Morrison, Giorgio Faletti, George Moore, Jorge Jacobson, George Lyle Ashe, György Lázár, George Linton, Giorgio Rebuffi, Jorge María Mejía, George Ardisson, Georges Lagrange, George Fisher, George Miller, George Fitch, and Angalifu die.
  • George Washington Carver, George Washington, George Frideric Handel, George Halas, Georg Ohm, George Wallace, George I, George III, Giorgio Basta, George II, Georg Cantor, George IV, George V, Saint George, George Carlin, George C. Scott, George Eliot, Georges Sand, Jorge Luis Borges, George VI, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, George Gershwin, Georgia O'Keefe, George Jones, George Bernard Shaw, George Berkeley, George Patton, George Harrison, Georges Bizet, David Lloyd George, Georges Clemenceau, George Burns, George Pullman, George Dewey, George Fox, and George McLellan are also dead.
  • Giorgio Armani, George Michael, Boy George, George Foreman, George Foreman, Jr., George Foreman III, George Foreman IV, George Foreman V, George Foreman VI, Georgetta Foreman, George Clooney, George Mitchell, George Karl, George Papandreou, George Lucas, George Pataki, George Takei, George Gervin, Paul George, Eddie George, George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, George Clinton, and Jorge Bergoglio are not dead.

Me Stuff
  • I write some.
  • I read some.
  • I make some changes.
  • I lose a lot of weight.
  • I move to Albuquerque.
  • Albuquerque's in New Mexico.
  • New Mexico's in America.
  • I learn some.
  • I forget some.
  • I love some.
  • I get angry some.
  • I find out that I'm actually not that bad a person.
  • Who knew?

All Remaining Stuff
  • The earth makes one more trip around the sun.