Dog Poet Transmitting.......
May your noses always be cold and wet.
When we used to be listed at well trafficked sites, sometimes I would look at the counter on the page and watch all the countries scroll by. Over time I saw visitors from every country in the world and on occasion, countries I had never heard of before. It always made me think about the new virtual world that we lived in, surrounded by vast distances but right there too, in a way.
I seem to live in that virtual world now. The last two days I had this period of being filled with life and feeling like a lot of different things happened and then... it occurred to me that I hadn't spoken to another person in all that time. Of course, I'd had conversations but it would have been difficult for another to have seen who they were with. In some ways I miss the sweet intimacies that I am able to experience with another person, such as I had for many years recently. It was often of such a level that the usual messy physicality didn't intrude upon the serenity of the exchange. I'm not in opposition to human contact, as it has expressed itself in the usual ways of which we are all familiar. I can't say that life has shortchanged me in any way in that category. It's often the case with poets. They may miss out on a lot of the more terrestrial features of existence but they don't usually miss out on love.
I'm talking more about the silent exchanges that pass between people, watching a movie; body working their feet to take away the stress of the days footsteps, walking with the dogs through the green and yellow kingdoms of Lady Nature. It's often so much more than anything that gets said. It's more about the beautiful ambiance of a hidden resonance but... it doesn't matter how clean and serene life might be between people, life has its own agenda and exercises it as it wishes, without our wishes being taken into consideration. Sometimes we just have to go our way and no one knows why that is. It just happens. I was told, several years before it became apparent, that my life was going to change because other things were expected of me and I was expected to be somewhere else and evolve into someone else for some purpose of demonstration that would be hidden from me until such time as it was to become known.
I said goodbye outside the train station on my way to Frankfurt airport. There were tears but none of them were mine. I tried to explain to Poncho but he didn't get it. He always knew when I was leaving the house and his disappointment was great on those occasions when he couldn't go. The car was a big deal to Poncho. You see, he came from Italy. I went to get him in a small town a hundred miles from where I lived. From the start he had a fixation on being in the car and I couldn't understand why. A short time later I heard about the Italians and their summer vacation thing with dogs and I understood what had happened to Poncho.
In Italy, the families will get a puppy for their children to play with during the summer. In the fall, they pack up and somewhere on their route, they push the dog out of the car in some town or rest spot and then drive away, leaving him there. This is what happened to Poncho. It happens hundreds, maybe thousands of times every year. It is an abomination. It is heartbreaking. I used to see these dogs wherever I went. I carried food and water in my car. Some of them would limp because they had been hit by cars. Some others didn't make it. I felt as helpless as I ever have in my life. I couldn't take them all home. To this day, Poncho fixates on the car. In his mind he is afraid he will be left behind again and in a way he was. Some part of him remembers me and I know he wonders, inasmuch as dogs do, about where I might be now. We were too close for me not to cross his mind now and again. I'd been with him most all of his life but I just walked away and I will probably not see him in this life again but I will see him again. I know there is an incomprehensible beauty and mysterious magic to life that guarantees we will see those whom we truly loved again... somewhere... some day. No separation where love was involved is permanent.
So... I walked away at the train station from what had been my life and I let it fall away from me like a suit of clothes. I could have been sad and unhappy but what would be the point of that? I didn't stop loving anyone. I loved them all the more. What tears us apart is the parting, the separation, the idea that we somehow failed, even though life and it's long agenda is greater than us and has a purpose to it. We cannot see this purpose because of the pandemic disposition to short term awareness and that is why the timeless aspect is so important to cultivate.
Nothing tears at us so much as comfortable familiarity. We rely on dependable patterns of interplay. They tell us that all was well at some point. Wittingly or unwittingly we yearn for these states. We remember with great poignancy and regret those times and places when all seemed well. These are dreams, sillk screened into life from the subliminal to the manifest.
Shakespeare presented an interesting and generally inescapable travelogue on existence called "The Seven Ages of Man";
"All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances.
And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages.
At first the infant, Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms;
And then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel And shining morning face, creeping like snail Unwillingly to school.
And then the lover, Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad Made to his mistress’ eyebrow.
Then a soldier, Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation Even in the cannon’s mouth.
And then the justice, In fair round belly with good capon lined, With eyes severe and beard of formal cut, Full of wise saws and modern instances; And so he plays his part.
The sixth age shifts Into the lean and slippered pantaloon, With spectacles on nose and pouch on side; His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes And whistles in his sound.
Last scene of all, That ends this strange eventful history, Is second childishness and mere oblivion, Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything."
One thing of power has come to me through all the disappointments and setbacks. You can hold on to nothing except that which holds on to you; that seeks to live its life in your own. If you can break the sequences of mortality, then the temporary personalities will be banished and the one enduring self will remain. All of life's turnabouts and tragedies are brought into play to accomplish this end, yet we rail against our misfortunes and cannot comprehend that they are all set into place to free us. We wrap our arms in the bars of our prisons and struggle against the efforts of our liberator to bring us out of the darkness and into the light. Fundamentally... we do not trust. We know better. We want that wide screen TV. We want our security and shelter. We want to be loved and important; loved for what we are not and important according to a being fabricated to that end and who has no more permanence than the green leaves that fall and turn brown. Soon they are once more a part of the Earth. Cycles within cycles, like the gears of a watch, turning through the twelve hourly increments of time, only to repear again and again and again.
If our love is timeless, there is no sorrow, there is no loss, there is no real separation. Before we met, we were unknown to one another. Then it was so familiar. First there is the magic of profound recognition in one another. For a time we set one another free. Then, in an effort to control it, we kill the magic and confer bondage on the one we love, out of the fear of loss. Then we accomplish the very thing we were at such pains to avoid. It's gone on from time before time and it goes on today, all over the world;
"I used her, she used me
But neither one cared
We were gettin' our share
Workin' on our night moves
Tryin' to lose the awkward teenage blues
Workin' on our night moves
And it was summertime"
Capulets and Montagues all... misunderstandings and tragic results. The only way to save our love is to set it free, as deep in our hearts we know it seeks to be. Love cannot own, it can only release. The one thing true love never does is think of itself and if we are not loved as we might wish to be, what does that have to do with our loving despite this? Imagine the love and understanding of the great souled ones who have come and gone and yet are always here; who love and understand us far more than we do and who love us so very much more than we love ourselves or any other. Love is remarkable, once it passes out of the realm of self interest, it is remarkable and it is all service. We do not define Love. Love defines us. We are the sum total of what we allow ourselves to be shaped by.
“The deeper that sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?”
"The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
“The minute I heard my first love story, I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don't finally meet somewhere. They're in each other all along.”
“Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.”
“Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious.”
“Knock, And He'll open the door. Vanish, And He'll make you shine like the sun. Fall, And He'll raise you to the heavens. Become nothing, And He'll turn you into everything.”
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”
“In your light I learn how to love. In your beauty, how to make poems. You dance inside my chest where no-one sees you, but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art.”
“Words are a pretext. It is the inner bond that draws one person to another, not words.”
“Be like the sun for grace and mercy. Be like the night to cover others' faults. Be like running water for generosity. Be like death for rage and anger. Be like the Earth for modesty. Appear as you are. Be as you appear.”
If you would like more Rumi, there is plenty here pages and pages. He's always saying the same thing, isn't he?
I am unconcerned about what I have lost because what I have lost would have consumed me had I not lost it and I can love from afar because there is no afar. There is only where 'we are'. Love as deeply as you can. Whenever the thought of the beloved comes to the surface of the mind... love, love, love. If you have been misunderstood, or if circumstances turned against you... simply continue to love. If your love is real it will make you real. If your love is deep and strong it will make you deep and strong. Let love shape you and you will become perfection itself.
♫ The Love ♫
'The Love' is track no. 2 of 11 on Visible's 2001 album
'God in Country'
About this song (pops up)
Spiritual Survival in a Temporal World
- 'An Exploration Toward the Ineffable'
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