NOTE: Professor Kevin Williams of Shepherd University made DMN possible with his skill and dedication in co-creating the sound design of Don’t Mean Nothin, in addition to his sound engineering work, already noted below. – JS
The night of the two twisted but lovable blondes – as lived and remembered by Jim Surkamp
At the toll booth at Trenton around nine at night, May, 1982. Dark, a silhouette of a big road warrior hotel about a mile away, the sickly light of the bank of toll booths is over my shoulder. No rides.. Hitching after dark always brings out monsters, they probably think. I’m hitching from New York after hitching all day to there from my sister’s place in Boston.
It’s Friday evening, the blonde guy who drove me there from the foot of the ramp to the New Jersey Turnpike in Hoboken worked in the World Trade Center, about mid-twenties, starched shirt and tie. Mentioned en route here that he had taken some quaaludes and was feeling pretty, ah, you know? I hadn’t learned diplomatic thank you’s yet as a three month old hitch hiker. About three times he reached down to the stick shift in his little car and twice I noticed he let his hand brush infinitesimally on the left upper thigh of my jeans. Years later I thought, “Don’t wear tight jeans when you hitch. Don’t hitch at night.” The long, spirited Mr Chips scarf might have sent the wrong message to motorists sizing me up. I get the horny guy.
As I had gotten out of the car with a kind of studiously detached demeanor, I shown him all my agape love and acted deaf when he said: “Please.” He finally said he wanted to have some sex. Oh. “Thank you, but no thanks. Take care. Bye.”
So I was prepared a little for Chris who pulls up in this big heavy breathing, red horndog American-made monster, sparkling new. Later I figured someone rented it – but not Chris.
I get in, say “Thank you.” Say my name, where I’m going, to defuse things. Chris is about mid-twenties, short blonde hair, in jeans and a short sleeve top. Kinda attractive.
“I’m Chris.” She said, not listening, looking out the back and saying out loud to her self. “The state police are lookin’ for me.”
It seems “Ebony and Ivory” bathed our front seat as we rolled south, for me McLean Virginia, she Aberdeen, Md., where, she explained, she needed to get there to get some heroin, which she injected into her neck. She was really needing. Someone told me later that heroin addicts are pussy cats except when they’re strung out. I decided to be very nice, to help keep her centered, mellow for the trip.
The I Ching says: “Do not woo” – good advice for hitchhikers. Just being there is perfect.
We stopped at either the Walt Whitman, Clara Barton or Kilmer rest stop for gas and we sat at the counter for something to eat. Chris told me she used to be a waitress. Then, she smiled: “But now I sell my body.” Ahh. The car was her last customer’s unsolicited bonus offering, at the big road warrior hotel no doubt, where he’s deciding who to call. (His wife?)
It’s later and later. I just am quiet. After Delaware, Chris sees I’m not a customer. Her talk about wanting me to go to Aberdeen with her to see her buddies wore off long ago. She injected hers in her neck.
We both look ahead as Ebony and Ivory plays once again on the radio. “Living in perfect harmony.” Our theme song.
We commune cadenced by the pulsing yellow line.
She said something about her child who lived with her mother.
Somewhere on this spring, balmy night Chris got off at the Aberdeen exit, told me to start in the morning at the exit right up there to the right down the road to get back on the road.
Pulling my bag out of the back seat, I looked in: “Thanks Chris.” and very softly I added: “Your child needs her momma.” Somehow I think it should be called the night of the twisted but lovable blondes.
In September ’85, I headed up the Jersey turnpike, wearing big horn-rimmed glass, white pants turned up with a drawstring for a belt, and flip flops, designed to attract real trouble.
It was slow going and I’d gone only sixty miles in maybe two hours. I hitched, my thumb out, rocking on my flip flops as cars stonily passed in numbers. Taking my cheerful inviting smile as only proof that I actually liked being insane.
I also wore my striped shirt with the personally sewed-on, bright un-matching buttons, humming my assuring “My Favorite Things.” under my breath and when more tired, “Ohm mani padme hmmmm.”
Hot, very bright light, slight grade up, leading up to me across from the big rest stop in northern Delaware. Plenty of time to look me over. A sign a little too small saying “NYC.”
Then there came the one named John. I got in. “I’ve been there a long time. Thank you very much.”
“It’s the glasses,” John said. He had unkempt blonde hair, heavy physique, tee-shirt and was comfortable within an enclosed area filled with Emerson, Lake and Palmer’s album/tape – “Brain Salad Surgery.”
“People think you’re a weirdo,” he offered, throwing me just a glance, suggesting that he’d seen much worse.
He talked a lot. “Dat-a-dat-a-dat-a-dat-a.” About the first time he tried out a motorcycle, flooring to 100 miles an hour “to get out the carbon.” How dad gave him a $10,000 college loan for his tuition which – he seemed to strut sitting in the driver’s seat – he partied away in two wasted forgotten weeks of sex, drugs and rock and roll.
Almost as good as the time he went in the bar in New Orleans with the New York Giants on the tube
playing the New Orleans Saints and John told everyone that Kenny Stabler was a “faggot.”
“I’d just go up to the biggest, dumbest guy and punch him. It’d be great. We’d break chairs. But when the knives come out,” John said piously.” I leave.”
Good boy John. The huge swaggering bass of ELP’s version of “Peter Gunn” and screaming fans filled the car and sailed out on the breeze as John talked straight ahead, non-stop, his arm resting on the open window.
I noticed I said something or nothing only when John needed air. We stopped for gas at a rest stop with the Big Apple in the twilight distance. I saw John with legs moving around quickly talking up the gas guy, like an old friend.
I was going to Staten Island because he was. It was where he grew up. They’d be glad to see him I’m sure.
John thought a ride on the Staten Island ferry would round out my experience and persona well. I never argued with John. We shook hands gave each other a look meaning the trip was a real thing, worth remembering.
I tipped a wave as he roared out in reverse, in a manly way that wouldn’t disgust him. I wouldn’t know him to see him now, especially the far side of his face and body – especially if his mouth was closed.
Somebody might have to identify him at a morgue someday. I paid the famously cheap fare, hauled my bag over the turnstile and walked ahead to make the readying ferry, bobbing on the roiling ocean water, the warning horn blowing.
It had a calming effect on me. We shove off.
I stood with my upright, bag considerately between my legs, me should-to-shoulder packed tight with people, eyes down, mouths closed, affected a little by gravity – so different than my wild ride with a man almost too alive. Mannequins in storage.
The sun flashed off the great towers of lower Manhattan and the choppy waves and cool hissing mist crossed all our beholding silent faces. We rose and fell as this great dream came closer.
They all just barely noticed the guy with the horned-rims and flip flops with an army bag, involuntarily imagining what the journey was. I had El Dorado at my feet. Tomorrow I would be in Boston.
(In this article I focus, for greater clarity, on just deaths by illness of an older person with blameless medical and personal support. Murders, drunk-driver deaths do have many, many other real issues beyond the death itself).
A death makes us face the frightening Unknown, which surrounds us in life and awaits us in Death.
Repeatedly face your deepest fears and they lose their sting. The most enslaving fears are of the Unknown, a painful death alone, being forgotten, and the horror that life includes. How do we accept life’s horrors with equanimity and grace?
The Dalai Lama, when asked why he could smile so much in a world full of famine and pain, smiled: “What do you suggest?”
The experienced and wise would also reply: “I have felt every fear I once feared. I am free.” They have conquered fear when they say: “Don’t sweat the small stuff and almost everything is the small stuff.” “All that matters in the end is that you have been well-loved and loved well;” and “You have to learn to take the good with the bad.” The Serenity Prayer is the very badge of earned fearlessness.
Ted Hughes, the now deceased poet laureate of England, mirrored my own struggle with the Angel of Darkness. I was young, with my mother dying, my father just back from Vietnam. I inched blindly toward knowledge:
“Water wanted to live. It went to the trees, they burned. It came weeping back. They rotted. It came weeping back. Water wanted to live. It went to flowers. They crumpled. It came weeping back. It wanted to live.
It went to the womb; it met blood. It came weeping back. It went to the womb. It met knife. It came weeping back. It went to the womb. It met maggot and rotteness. It came weeping back. It wanted to die. It went through the stone door. It came weeping back. It went searching through all space for nothingess. It came weeping back. It wanted to die. Till it had no
weeping left. It lay at the bottom of all things. Utterly worn out, utterly
Like Mister Kurtz in Joseph Conrad’s “The Heart of Darkness,” one goes
to the heart of darkness, faces “the horror” and goes beyond it to personal
glory and redemption – fear-free.
And nothing launches us on this journey for truth more surely than the
searing blow of a loved one’s death. “Kindergarten Values” implode.
Editor and Dr. Charles Figley’s masterful two-volume “In the Wake of
Trauma,” explores “the illusion of invulnerability” – the notion ingrained from kindergarten and before that, if we are on time, cheerful, honest and
hard-working, then we are entitled to be happy.
Renown Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hahn scoffs. He says if you seek
happiness on the outside, saying “IF I do this-or-that, THEN I will be happy” – you will not find happiness. “You must get in touch with the ultimate dimension of your being instead,” he says.
The “if/then” crowd are the Inexperienced; a death loss changes that.
Even C.S. Lewis appears to have sought to defang his fear of death by
trying to render it a mere topic for discourse. When his beloved wife died,
he wrote in “A Grief Observed” that he didn’t know grief is so much like fear. Writing about life and death to master and control them didn’t lessen his pain when all-conquering death exploded in his own home.
Ever illusion-less George Orwell, by contrast, wrote for the wise and
experienced: “Being human is being prepared to in the end be defeated
and broken up by life, which is the inevitable price of fastening one’s
love upon other human individuals.”
A conceited outlook based on entitlement deems misfortune as
punishment aimed at the unworthy. The Inexperienced seem to need to assign blame to prove the world is just, rational, and controllable.
An Inexperienced widow or widower concludes their husband or wife died
because someone didn’t do their job: the spouse didn’t do enough, the doctor didn’t do enough, or God didn’t do enough.
Obsessed and alarmed, they ask: “Why me?” Or play the never-ending
“If-Only” game. Parents, especially mothers, of those who die young, easily do “If-Only” because of their many years of habitual fearing for their children’s safety. One woman in my support group blamed heself for her son’s murder in Los Angeles after he tried to stop a gang from stealing a truck. She said: “I knew something bad would happen the day I said goodbye to him at the airport.” It was just her general fear of the Unknown which she later reshaped into a lifetime supply of self-blame.
The Inexperienced can’t accept that like birth, death, in the most
important ways, is as natural as a snowstorm and just as blind.
You have to think you are the center of the Universe to think tragedy
is personally addressed to you.
Typically the Inexperienced soberly concludes: “If God lets this kind
of thing happen, I don’t want that God.” Consider instead Etty Hillesum,
writing her great work “An Interrupted Life,” as the Nazi SS approached her
apartment flat in Amsterdam: “I have found that God is not accountable to us.”
We can drain this swamp of fear by meditating on the painful
simplicity of death, that the only place our decisions have any dominion is the here and now, and that the only sanctuary we have is in our mind. But it
sometimes needs to be fumigated.
We learn from the greatest people among us such as Mother Theresa, the
Dalai Lama, and Thich Nhat Hahn. Each urges us to love and live, here and
now, not sweating the small stuff.
Thich Nhat Hahn had been leading efforts to rebuild bombed villages
during the Vietnam war. A village was leveled for the fourth time. He buried his face in his hands. To a concerned friend, he said “I am breathing on my
anger. I am taking care of it.”
Mother Theresa dismisses “Why’s” and inaction: “People are
unreasonable, illogical and self centered – Love them anyway. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives, do good anyway. If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies – succeed anyway. The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow – do good anyway. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable – be honest and frank anyway.”
The Griever of death focusses on each day as it comes, building a
greater sense of control and dominion, fed by love and hope.
Keeping grief from panicking, running throughout the Universe for
reasons is the first step. If we are willing to go “through the stone door,” time takes all remaining steps for us. And grief from death will relax into
“It went searching through all space for nothingness, till it had no
weeping left. It lay at the bottom of all things. Utterly worn out, utterly
Mastering fear is to accept the horror constructively making the
unknown known, so it doesn’t become a wicked undertow to the sparkling and turbulent flow of life.
Sarah and the Puzzlemaker by Jim Surkamp
WATCH THIS ON SFARI AND OR FIREFOX. THE CHROME BROWSER MESSES UP THE VIDEOS. SORRY AND THANKS – JS
Once upon a time in the land of Landever, there was a man who traveled from village and town saying things that were – well, puzzling. And because people didn’t know what to make of this nonsensical, contra-sensible man, he became know throughout every village and town as – The Puzzlemaker. One day in the village square of Landever City, he announced: “Since you people do not know what to make of me, I’m making myself your king! And since the people really did not know what to make of him, they said: “Okay.”
2 The very day he put the crown of Landever on his head, The Puzzlemaker began to make rules – lots and lots of rules – that were, well, puzzling. He put a tax on laughter. Daydreaming was outlawed. He decreed that when people needed something – anything – they had to wait in a long, long line. They had to. The Puzzlemaker said: It’s the law. Puzzling laws, and a puzzling king, too. The people felt a darkness descend upon their villages and fields. It was a darkness they didn’t understand, a darkness they had never seen before. A few children saw him for what he was. They sensed the Puzzlemaker was playing a game, a terrible game to darken and confuse the very souls of the good people of Landever. One child, namely Sarah – felt The Puzzlemaker did not know great truths. One day at dinner with her father and mother, Sarah finally burst out: “The Puzzlemaker is wrong!!!” She paused and said it again: “The Puzzlemaker is wrong!!”
3 “What is right?” her father asked. That night in bed before sleeping Sarah pondered her innermost secrets, those of Eternal Light, the proof of her innocent trust and love of Truth. She thought: “I must see through the Puzzle. The Truth is always, always as simple and clear as day. Truth is never a riddle, never a Puzzle.” That night she dreamed, among so many things of a wondrous shape. it was more beautiful than any earth words could express: a fine, crystalline network of streaming light traced with violet, red, rich green and pale blue. It was a Living Ancient Fire. To behold its shape made her free and at peace. She felt at one with her true self. It was as if she were facing the sky and saw the thunderclouds flee, revealing a starry heaven, endless and deep. The next morning Sarah jumped out of bed.
4. “Now,” she thought, “I really have something to paint.” Picking up her finest brushes 4 she dipped them into her paint pots and began to paint the Spirit of Eternal Light around and within her. When it was done she ran into the kitchen. “Mama!!! Look!!! Papa!!! Look!!!” They were stunned at first. Then they became overjoyed at the sight of the beautiful, noble and crystalline form that Sarah had painted so very, very well. Gazing upon her painting, Sarah’s father said: “I feel like the river in spring when the ice breaks up and floats out to the sea. He shook his head: “I’ve been frozen so long, Sarah.” He was becoming himself again, thought Sarah, like before The Puzzlemaker puzzled him. “The Truth is always so simple and always clear as day,” she sang. Full of joy, her father and mother put Sarah’s painting on top of a pole. Proudly waving their vision-flag, they all went dancing and singing to the very center of Landever City where Landeverites were gathering for market. While startled faces peered out from every window, Sarah tore down the banner
5 bearing the grey-colored Royal Puzzle from the flagpole in the market square. They raised in its place the wonderful sight of Sarah’s Living Ancient Fire Crystal. People could see it from their windows and even distant fields. The faces of Sarah’s friends lit up with amazement, then joy. More and more children joined, then their mothers, then their fathers, then their uncles and aunts, grandparents, and neighbors. It was really noisy and happy. They were dancing, laughing, hugging and truth-telling, a sight unthinkable just the day before. Now, puzzles don’t stand up too well to Joy. Never. Not far away, the Puzzlemaker could not help but hear the singing. He sagged in his throne, depressed. “Not everything is puzzling, Sire,” whispered a gentle guard. Yes, the Puzzlemaker was depressed but now he was depressed because of how bad he had been to all the Landeverites outside. 6 Being Supreme Puzzlemaker had, yes, become very very puzzling, even to the Puzzlemaker himself. He went out to his balcony overlooking the gaiety. “At last,” he said, “I see how unpuzzling life really is.” He said to Sarah meekly: “Can I join you?” “Sure” said the thousands all at once. And so he did. Sarah loved how much noise and fun she had created with her dream and vision flag. The sun shone glorious. The Puzzlemaker changed his name back to the name his mother had given him: “Joe.” And for centuries thereafter all the people under the same big sun had the power to never, ever become puzzled again. copyright, James T. Surkamp
EXCUSE ME? I WASN’T LOOKING AT YOU. I WAS LOOKING AT YOUR ICE CREAM CONE.
YOU MAKE ME LAUGH. I FALL THRU A CRACK IN HEAVEN.
I LOVE THE WAY YOU LISTEN. I BLOSSOM WHEN YOU LISTEN. YOU BECOME MY ROOT, WHILE I SOAR.
I NO LONGER LISTEN TO THE KING. HE’S AFRAID TO GET HIS ROOTS DIRTY. POOR KING.
HE WONT KNOW WHAT LIFE IS TILL IT’S TOO LATE, SOMEWHERE BEYOND THE JEWELS AND FOOLS.
LIFE IS A CONSTELLATION OF GOALS AND HEAVENS CHANGE, THAT WE MAY KNOW, THERE IS A HIGHER HEAVEN AND A HIGHER CONSTELLATION OF HIGHER GOALS BEHIND THESE HEAVENS, AND BEHIND THE HIGHER HEAVEN YET A HIGHER, HIGHER HEAVEN AND YET A HIGHER CONSTELLATION OF HIGHER GOALS!
INNOCENT BELIEVING IS JUST THAT – EVERYTHING. A PEBBLE FALLS FROM ON HIGH AND MAKES THE GREATEST RINGS. MY SIGNATURE NAME AND GIFT FOR YOU.
MY HEART REMEMBERS JUST WHAT I NEED.
NOW GET THIS:
I AM NOT THE WASHERWOMAN IN THE THEATER ANYMORE. THE EMPTY STAGE BEGS FOR ME. SO I SING AN ARIA! AAAAHHHHHHH. . .I THREW AWAY MY BUCKET AND MOP TOO!
LOVE ME, AND DESTROY MY GREED, SO I WILL SOAR AGAIN AND ENCIRCLE THE SUN.
LOVE IS THE FIRST AND LAST. LOVE IS BORN NOT MADE. LOVE IS ALL AROUND AND THERE FOR THE GIVING. LOVE YOU BE, LOVE YOU DO, DO-BE-DO-BE-DO-BE-DO.
IT’S SO SIMPLE NO WORDS CAN HOLD IT CAPTIVE!
WHEN I SURRENDER, I AM HEALED. FANCY THAT!
I HAVE TEARS OF MORAL PRAISE WHEN I FIND A DROP OF WATER STILL IN A DESERT OF INDIFFERENCE.
YOU AND I ARE TO TELL THE TRUTH THE YOUNG FEEL BUT CANNOT NAME.
ITS SO SIMPLE NO WORDS CAN HOLD IT CAPTIVE RIGHT.
I DON’T LIKE BIG, BIG DON’T SEE THE BEGINNINGS. BIG DON’T SEE THE TINY SEEDS BIG DON’T SEE LOVE IN THE WIND.
WANDERING MYSTERY, WANDERING POEM, FRUIT ON TREES, FALLING RAIN FEEDS FEEDS, WANDERING MYSTERY, WANDERING POEM.
(PAUSE IN MUSIC AND VOICE) MY SILVER THREADS ARE BROKEN. I AM GUIDED BY SUGGESTION I DONT ARGUE. WORDS – WORDS, SHMERDS
HEY! YOU JUST SMUDGED MY ARMOR! THAT HURT!
I GUESS I GROWL SOMETIMES, BUT I MEAN TO HUM. HMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
LIFE IS MOMENTS. HENCE SHARP TURNS. LIfE IS MOMENTUM, ALLLLL A-BOARD!!
A CHILD IN AN ENDLESS SUMMER; THERE I’LL ALWAYS BE.
I BLEND WITH THE SLOW, QUIET HUMBLE FLOW OF HUMANITY.
MY EX-FRIEND THE KING IS STARVING ON THE MOUNTAIN. OH WELL.
BEYOND THE RAINDROPS ON THE WINDOW PANE YOU CAN SEE A GREEN FOREST ON BLUE. . . FOR YOU.
SPINNING, SPINNING, SPINNING. . . MULTIPLYING FOREVER IN JOY. . . JOY IS TRUELY THE GREATEST THOUGHT, NAKED OF EXPLANATION. JOY – OH BOY!
JAKE, THE KING’S KID, BOUGHT STUFF WITH HIS BREAD, BUILT A BARRICADE AND WAITED FOR DEATH TO COME. . .TICK, TOCK, TICK, TOCK
DULLSVILLE, MELVILLE, . .DEADSVILLE.
SPONTANEITY IS THE OPEN GATE TO GOD’S PLACE.
MY HEART IS WHERE GOD DROPS A LOG ON THE FIRE.
MY WINDY THOUGHTS ARE SHAPING A CASTLE ON A BEACH SOMEWHERE.
NATURE BUILDS AND LEVELS EMPIRES ALL THE TIME, YOU KNOW.
YOUR CAGE OF THORNS MAKES ME REAL NERVOUS. I TAKE A DEEP BREATH. . . AHHHHH!
YOU ARE A SEA, AND WITH A PEN, A BRUSH, A SONG, A PRAYER, A LAUGH, OR A DANCE, YOU WILL FLOW ALL DAY AS SURE AS YOU ARE LIVING.
I AM A PERFECT, STARRY HEAVEN, WATCHING ARMADAS OF MOOD, COME AND GO. . .MY LITTLE SHOW.
GIVE ME THE CLARITY OF YOUR BEING. LISTEN TO ME, RESPOND, LIVE WITH ME INSIDE THE BOUNDS OF CONVERSATION. . . BE BORN WITH ME. . .FORESEE MY EMERGING DOUBT. COMPLIMENT ME.
SPEAK TO MY HIGHER SELF, AND I’LL BRING YOUR UNKNOWN INTO THE LIGHT BEOFRE I LEAVE.
LOVE IS VAGUE, HUH?. . .NO. I SAID LOVE. . .YEH, LIFE IS VAGUE, TOO.
LIFE IS THE DANCER DISCOVERING HER FEET, THE PAINTER DISCOVERING THERE’S FRUIT AT THE END OF THE LIMB.
I’LL BRING YOUR UNKNOWN INTO THE LIGHT, BEFORE I LEAVE. I BRING YOUR UNKNOWN INTO THE LIGHT, THAT IT MAY BE KNOWN AND YOUR FEARS DIE.
YOUR GRIEF SHALL RELAX INTO WISDOM IN MY HOUSE, FRIEND; I HAVE SET A ROOM FOR YOU WHERE YOUR GRIEF CAN RELAX INTO WISDOM.
GOOD NIGHT, SWEET PRINCE. SLEEP WELL, SWEET PRINCESS.
NIGHT COMES. I AM YOUR STARRY CANOPY FOREVER, AND FOREVER, AND FOREVER.
FEAR NOT. LOVE ALWAYS.
ALL I KNOW, ALL I AM – JUNE 22, 1980 HOBOKEN, NJ
LOVE IS THE FIRST AND LAST.
Truth is born, not made, and constantly won anew. The pursuit of truth will set you free. Love is born not made, and constantly won anew. The Love of all is there just for the having, And it will set you free. People before things, but in a chord; heart before mind, but in a chord.
Character is shown in actions, but character is the motives behind the actions. Sometimes motives are poorly translated into action. Love you be, Love you do, DO-BE-DO-BE-DO-BE-DO. You are the actions and motives of your life. You are the object and subject of your attention. You seek an object and ultimately become your object, your own goal. On the way, you are the subject of your life’s sentence.
The key to life is the point between being asleep and being awake, the point between night and day; the point between breaths; the point between ‘yes’ and ‘no;’ the point between action and understanding, All famous artists and inventors – Mozart and Goethe for two – received the whole Universe in the elusive images of half- dreaming and half-waking. The Universe is born to you, and them, not made. This is the brief accident of time called the moment of perfect balance, of Nowhere-To-Go-Because-I’m- Everywhere, where the outer person of conscious action meets the inner person of understanding and intuition. This is the hub of the Tai Chi . . . Enough.
Life: Risk it. Get in situations where you need God or Divine Will.
Life: It’s all risk, anyway. If you fall asleep, you risk not waking up again. Life: you can’t give it away, but you can possess it away. Life: how to do it. Don’t ask. Just go and find out. Life: attachments always and all ways lead to frustration and destruction, but attachments are opposed to conscious commitment.
Life: how to do it: Be a Sun. Turn your flashes of illumination to an eternal day. Radiate! Bloom! How unimaginable to pull your green covering back around you. You feel for a purpose. Shine equally in all directions. You are not natural in choosing to where you shine. Teaching: It’s as simple as all the pure sunlight guidance of the Sun in its daily labors. Be an example, not a prod.
Leadership: A great leader first serves. A leader first serves, but impartially. A leader receives trust for his or her service because his or her motives are the sum motive of all their subjects.
Purity of motive is the treasure in Heaven. Life: most of us live lives in preparation for a moment, day, or year in which events are made for us and our prepared statement. We are then gathered into lightning.
Who are you anyway? Besides being a lot of sunshine, you’re a stream, a current, a flow. When each flow or person meets all and each other, they become the One-flow, which means, “Universe ” Get it?. . . Simplicity reveals all the Universe to the Receptive and Vulnerably Open and conceals it from the Closed and Unreceptive. . .
What are you protecting yourself from? Life! Everyone I’ve known who does not accept death, cannot not fully accept life. God bless all my friends who are waiting for a Big Break; God bless all my friends who don’t realize they are their Big Break. God bless all my friends who have married a person with whom they are not of one flesh, who married before they had the self-cohesion they needed to correct a later condition, that of being trapped in a closed life with a person who does not see them. Following my heart saved my life and soul at least once, along with long-distance running, playing the guitar, and a love of enthusiastic movement.
God: Who is This? Enthusiastic movement in people. Smiling souls. Light-Souls. That’s God-Through-You. Received gratefully by you.
Gratitude: giving is well known, but gratitude stands so high. All gifts become gifts in the moment of heartfelt gratitude, not before. All ways and always tell friends and strangers: “Thank you, I appreciate many of your qualities. ” Love: you sometimes have to wrestle it out of people. Forgive the image. Love is the purest motive. So it is sometimes poorly translated. Love seeks and meets with purest gratitude. No wonder open love is frightening to some. Love – mental and emotional – transforms every and any soul. Just keep at it. You’ll see, especially when they see Love is pure motive.
Loving irrationally, giving irrationally – are not only beyond reason, but more above reason. Living is giving is living is giving is living is giving is living. If you feel you are empty, relax. Giving will always find some joy in you to share. You’re bottomless, kid. If you’re depressed a lot, admit it. you want to be. Enjoy yourself and don’t bother me. If you feel true need, I’m praying for you and helping if this is your unsaid hope.
Lonely: the privilege of the phony. Nothing keeps loving souls apart as simply and effectively as superficial labels and roles (Mommy, Daddy, punk-rocker, Wall-Streeter). . .
Ignorance is but role-playing, playing a role that doesn’t express your full capacity for love and growth.
Evil is nothing more than ignorance manifested as hunger. Evil is all that is will-weakening. With some big exceptions, there are almost always damaged people, not bad people. Bad people are damaged people. It makes no sense to judge a damaged person. You accept them as a form of damage. Try to help and don’t let them share some of their damage with you. A damaged soul often wants to damage others to have some peers and a group identity to hide in.
How to help? You can give all the water from your well, but you can’t and never shall give away the bricks that made the well Some damaging type folks will go for the bricks. Take just one brick you can spare and throw it at them. The brick well is nothing less than God’s well called sacred Free Will.
Free will: Without it, there is absolutely no conscience. Without conscience, there is precious little conscience-ousness – consciousness. (P.S. Did you ever notice that “Con-science” seems to mean a coming together of all science?). . .
You are nothing more than your Free Will guided by conscience.
(This is the hand and heart working together).
You owe no one sacrifice of your free will to do good.
Free will is necessary first and before a soul can set straight and even out past bad deeds.
That’s what’s wrong today. Institutions. The big ones. To work in a big institution preempts the exercise of free will. A person will simply be a tool in a larger intelligence called the corporation, the university, the government, the PTA.
Schools: Schools teach souls that they are simply a function, a training. This is, of course, lying.
The two real obstacles to this here culture: Materialism in thought that silences heart guidance or makes it near-mute and Institutions, our heartless overseers in all their self perpetuity.
The most important stuff I know is to follow your heart, don’t care what naysayers say.
We must proceed, but with the great barge called society strapped to us. We tow the barge into greater light.
Knowledge: Knowledge doesn’t accumulate if it’s true. If it is true knowledge, it comes alive and is absorbed.
Love: Do justly love. No real love includes deception.
Language: All language gets down to just yes’ and `no.’ The force of the new age is inspiration. The force of the old age was money. The form of language of the new age is the image, speaking. The form of the language of the old age was word, bound mostly to describing physical places or networks of terms.
Knowledge is born, not made. ‘Think picture, feel thoughts.’
Never try to create or be born when you’re tired.
When you’re in someone’s immediate sphere, at least give them a little cheer.
Be as wise is the untaught child. But have the grasp of a man or woman’s mind
Who are we? One more time – We are all interconnections. No place for this ego. No flower goes against blooming in spring.
A pebble falls from the heights and makes the greatest rings. You are once from on High and you leave the rings as your signature and gift and name.
Beauty is: Beauty is symmetry. Look, again. Symmetry is beauty. Language is symmetrical.
True Power is All-Dispersal.
We speak concepts and words like a Planter of seeds which the listener experiences and cultivates with all the elements of his or her being. Often we are long gone when the seed manifests as a flower. We only remain to plant.
Thought: All thought is basically Likes to Likes – in many different levels of subtlety. This is what we call getting to the Point on the Spiral or Pyramid. Art: Art is the living word, as we dream it. Self is the living word as we become it.
Experience: Experience is God’s only chosen classroom, the realm of teaching.
Experience: There’s lots to go around. The more you experience life’s lessons, the more unbelievable life becomes, the more believable becomes the world of spirit.
The more you live, the more you follow your heart – the heart somehow remembers everything that is helpful to your soul. It becomes all those experiences that are helpful to your soul. If you’re afraid of experience, you’re afraid of life. You must think, God is Santa Claus or an employee at Macy’s. You’re also afraid of death. Don’t worry. You’ll get over it. Life will kick you in the ass sooner or later and get you on your feet.
Life: It’s deciding. You are not neutral about anything. The greatest faults of this here culture: Thinking you can be neutral and not decide about the byways on your life path and thinking that you can analyze away negative emotions. Focus on just the negative and all the moroseness in your soul and it puts on its tuxedo and comes out dancing. Turn your attention to activity. Turn your attention to positive activity. Move enthusiastically! Bloom! Radiate! Love every laughing man or woman before every dryly intellectual man and woman. They’re trying to figure out how “one ” laughs. Bless them, and laugh.
Life: It’s deciding, all right. But it’s deciding on paths which as we walk come to us. We don’t decide where the road leads or “What is a road?” We don’t decide the number of byways ahead. We accept the road as conditions constantly presented in a beautiful unfolding tapestry and drama who-dunnit. Don’t try to shape all the facets of your life, especially the immediate future.
Just learn to be ready, man.
Life: It’s exchanging our likes and dislikes with others in the form of love, thought, and action until there is no difference remaining between those exchanging – which is all of us. We are then together as always and all ways on High.
Friends: They listen to you well. They become you for a while. They become you when you’re imagining loneliness or if reinforcements seem like a good idea in a private contest. Friends want your soul to fly. Friends eagerly want to see your higher self shine. Friends eagerly want to hold your highest goals and images of your self high and steadily before you as you pursue your goal. Friends love to tell you the details and life in the wonderful vision of yourself and your life. A husband and wife especially see their spouse as their very best friend above all else, as someone never to be possessed, but someone to whom they have wonderfully privileged access.
To a good friend, you can give interpretations to experience, you can give certain shared anticipation of experience. But like the man pointing the way to the fair, you can only point the way and speculate on what is in the immediate offing.
So many wonderful souls have accepted the job of the washer woman in the theater of their life. The empty stage begs their stardom. If you’re their friend, usher them to the stage. They know every line of Hamlet, every note of every aria. But no one ever asked for them. Ask `em for only their best. Throw away the bucket and mop, too.
Giving? Why give? Giving creates space in our soul for more light, more ideas, and above all for some of that wonderful gratitude.
Giving is the destruction of our own possessiveness, a victory, a momentary ability to soar again.
Living means to be vulnerable enough to die often, this dying is the absorbing, transmuting and rising above experience that comes.
Words are seeds and bones. Seeds for another soul’s flower.
Words are bones that survive the immediate aliveness and experience.
Have faith that you already know all this. Have faith. Have faith…
And above all, Truth is Beauty is Divine Power.
That is all. Thank you. And God bless you.
More . .
Be lowly like the earth, but supportive of all, nurturing without justice.
Your living is your pouring.
We must realize that we have spiritual necessities as well.
You give your beauty, then you allow silence to give its beauty.
To blend with the slow, quiet, humble flow of humanity, how many kings starve on the mountaintops.
Kings are like roses, afraid to get their roots dirty.
Broad useless theory has a neurotic piety. Thought that leads to action grows in its execution.
Great egotism is needed to say: “My problems are the greatest.”
A sunburst of joy blanks the image of egotism.
There is no art beyond living and no complete art that is not life.
An open mind is a take-off point to our stars within.
Spontaneity’s quick regard does not grasp long enough to hold, but quickly enough to set free.
I don’t care why I am born, I am just glad that I am born.
Petrified compliments cannot be penetrated.
To see the world as black and white is to be divided within yourself.
Some wear medals while others struggle for fullness.
Some display their brooms while others sweep.
“Hey! Let’s Talk!”
“I am the living word.” Wherever there are two or three of you, there will I be in thy midst. Word is seed . . .
Truth comes between friends and stays, making them true friends. When a soul speaks to you, they blossom while you root into nourishment, grounding their flight.
When you understand me, I am manifested. My blossom joins your root.
Wherever there are two or three of you, there will I be in your midst.
“I am the living word. ” I am the root and the blossom. The seed.
Getting the Cosmic Idea . . .
There may come a point in a person’s life when you become whole and ever more free and ever more encompassed in a constellation of maturing goals. You may live one life and imagine another. Often the life lived exacts unrelenting physical toil amid a degree of pragmatic blindness. The other world is a hope chest of ideals, created in word, thought, and imagination seemingly without physical objects. Your ideal future self is entertained here. A crisis or collapse of the daily life may expand one of the periodic visits to the world of ideal self into a momentous breakthrough and union with a long-awaited ideal self whose moment has finally come as rescuer. The real need for help ends the era of self-delusion in which mundane pursuits are primary and the name of the ideal self is taken in vain.
This scintillating palace crystallizes itself in the gradually aware purity of its inborn intelligence and owner. Each decision is made, and each expression of one’s true self is fashioned objectively and each and every successful expression of one’s true self and with each heartfelt expression of one’s perception of the world, as lived, the mundane life and spiritual life come to terms.
You speak your true self and live in your true word and so become free and un-shadowed in the crystallizing palace of your spoken words. With each truth spoken, you speak less, you speak clearly. You speak from eternity though you speak of a circumstance.
With every true expression of self, there is revelation. Self- revelation is rebirth seeded by the light of another’s comprehension of your self-revelation.
Life is a constellation of goals and heavens change that we may know there is a higher heaven and a higher constellation of higher goals behind these heavens, and behind the higher heaven, yet a higher heaven and yet a higher constellation of higher goals.
What goes into the knapsack of life . . .
You are three seeds – heart, mind, and body – all drawing at once on the benevolence of nature as complements to create in different yet salutary ways.
Own up to your words, own up to your deeds.
June 22, 1983, Shepherdstown, WV
A Fancy (Maybe Dubious) Thought . . .
Any condition on the physical plane that can be broken down into a living sequence of do-able stages has an element of logic in its creation . . . just as a boy putting on a shoe with shoelaces will surely turn to tying the shoelaces after the stage of putting on the shoe. An inborn sprout, birthing an inborn leaf, birthing an inborn calyx, birthing an inborn flower, birthing inborn reproductive organs, waiting pollination, and birthing fruit as the expression of spiritual union between inner inborn life and external complementary life, in the form of the bee.
Money is a belief system. Money brings a common value and common ground in the exchange of items and services, as a bridge between equal and unique sources. Money, when over- emphacized, replaces the important and beautiful.
Imagination gives will something to seek to be inspired by.
With none above another, not indifferent to any, is not to give to just many, is giving to all.
Joy and sorrow are as the same because joy leads to sorrow and sorrow leads to joy.
Life is loving joy and sorrow as the same weather in different seasons.
How imprecise we are in loving, less exact and less caring.
Anytime, an inspiration is two inches above your eye and wide. A sight to embrace and expand into.
A Major Flight of Fancy That Tries to Say Something
THE FISHING YEAR
(A hasty reflection on Christ’s word-become-flesh, the star sign natures, the cycle of the year, learning from experience, the digestion of food and fishing – as one process. – fall, 1981 thru April, 1982, New York City, starting on a subway)
Aries spring, arousing sun / Your turning net has just begun / To spread beyond the cry of cold / Turning silver into gold.
Your net cast far and wide on sea / The rhythmic life for you and me.
Melting in matter . . . Mingling in mind.
All is a-dance in light / All is a-bob in wave / August brings back in to save / A fish in form of flowing / In honor to the sun / Taken in for knowing / Taken in for Fisher-one.
Living fish and living word / Reflecting all expiring / Fishman brings world as wife / Before the autumn’s firing.
‘Membered out, inspired / Remembering, expired / A summer’s sounding lyre / Turns to autumn fire.
‘Member before the knowledge tree / When nets all melt into the sea / When nets all melt into the sea.
Fishman eats the fish, the Living Word.
A Scorpio death and born again / The fish word in the threshold’s ken. / Dissolving . . . resolving.
Then, white fire of Michael’s reign / Brings forth purest fruit again / From word beheld and taken in / Now becoming future men.
Through waters’ spheres, in Jonah’s hand / Inward, most High Fish-wo-man / In Capricorn, year’s midnight, / The fish shone all summer’s light.
Autumn’s meal and winter’s sleep / Brought most inward, down and deep / Twelve Holy Nights to all again / Fishword leaves its body food / To dance in universal blood’s refrain /
All at once with ego’s blood / Members of Fish-woman, / Head, leg, and either hand / Giving up with all its might / Flowing back, to Aries lamb / The Fish, the Word the new “I Am.”
Pollen: August 7,1983 – (Taken from spontaneous notes over time and elsewhere)
Empty to begin, creating, move on to empty
To not dignify that where the only suffering is from a choice not to see.
Go to where the sun shines on mountains, ever elsewhere.
The path of the butterfly is the path of discovery.
In children’s tales is the foundation of all thought,
And joy is the greatest thought. Joy disperses what is held together by force.
Living is turning the exuberance of living ever more inward, bringing lessons to heart and reflecting back higher goals upon the world.
What is the future but a proving field for goals?
I see you as a portrait of made decisions, fundamental decisions, some of which you have made, some not. Our decisions reflect our two-sided nature. Decisions: this way and that, are the hand that rocks the cradle of your soul.
Language of the soul refers to no thing in particular but falls like stardust into your flowing blood.
Language of soul is inexhaustible, known only over time as a person, faceless, known in its movement, as a warm breeze whose only name is loving touch.
Time is energy calling from a direction. Time is personal, individual when you see it in your own sweet way.
Conversing in others, less conversing with others.
True thinking is flexible, living and an ever inter-related web of ideas orbiting through the greatest ordered expanse and is buoyed throughout by the liberating experience of common sense.
Be a blessed valley, lowly, open, sustaining all life, heavenward and receiving the flow of life.
Words are for making the blueprint to change your mind. Word is the eternal in your being, brought to consciousness.
Only what you see in me in the long run matters.
A goal is an order that is imagined and becomes inspiring.
Satisfaction is poured in the cup – all filled, all poured, none spilled and joyously drunk as lessons.
What is known is added to and what is known is ever recombined. Living gives you addition to what is known. You give living and humanity new combinations of what is known.
Accepting another’s cultural ways begets their acceptance of yours, especially if your cultural way is born of love. The greatest tribute is to enter sincerely into another’s world to learn and possibly change.
People are drawn to souls who give without expectation.
Live so that a suggestion of dishonesty by you is unreal and nonexistent to souls who encounter you often.
Nature understood in its outset what modern man is beginning to understand. Nature understands that to live in the flow of time is the way of life.
Hope is personal freedom and innocent believing.
Two people talking: you face another soul you give the clarity of your being. you listen and respond. you live within the bounds of this conversation of being, being born. You are factual and considerate. you relieve stress. You surround another soul in an aura of security and simple well-being. Bring the unknown into light before leaving, as the conversation so requires. You live in the time. Foresee emerging doubts and questions in another as circumstances change and speak to them. Compliment what is true and worthy of compliment. Speak to another’s higher self.
A person harming others soon find themselves alone with only themselves to harm, so realization comes in feeling the full force of the self-neglect.
An action that adversely affects your life flow requires an explanation from the affected as a form of human sympathy and as a seedbed for reconciliation. We are all responsible for maintaining the integrity of the fabric of personal society.
Act generously that the receiver treats the next person with your lesson in mind.
Live in a way here and now that is appreciated and understood in any century, in any culture, in any place.
To live a universally appreciated way is to live simply, giving more than is sought.
Like every being you are to bring out the best in the present.
Living is seeing decisions and making them, knowing the effect of these decisions is your evolving, perfecting name.
The only thing you have control over is your response.
Brushstrokes of spontaneity / flow into ordered harmony / All seen in Love and from afar / Soul gazing upon its wishing star/
Living mind loves present time / Loving all Living there / Giving all as Living Air.
True knowledge rises and falls on waves and comes and goes in time. In its moment, it is known and gone.
Each day is lived with humble additions to a life goal, infinite adjustment of the small upon which a life goal stands and with harmonious applications of a recurring theme.
Less important: exert ahead. More important: go back, and find what is ahead in what used to be ahead.
Help a blessed soul to get their heart untied.
Go ever to souls in foreign dress, go humbly and suggest your common home by ignoring foreign dress.
Creating is surfing, careful positioning and waiting to be carried home on a wave.
Courtesy, modesty, enthusiasm are the pillars around a loving fire.
The sun should be seen in the water of our thoughts, not in the drying of the land.
Leave apart the soul who bombs your bridge with lying. In lying there is no way to be seen or to see. In lying there is no way to decide your destiny.
Love they neighbor now!
Seek those inwardly like you and you find more of your self.
The trials of experience teach us the relief of having wisdom.
All is coming to grow and die and grow again.
After the joy of the sensitivities, we must stay sober enough to remember the reasons. We must stay sober enough to pour the new wines into the casks and cups of friends.
There is only the expression of the soul containing both heaven and earth.
It’s true that we live in the past, present, and future. But only in the present do we manifest.
Live in a far-sighted consciousness, provided you keep your shoe-laces tied.
All is drawing lessons from life and organizing them into blessed enlightened Heartiness.
Love and respect the centrality of your being, the impassable eternity of your being.
To descend into matter from spirit must naturally draw heart and mind apart to be reunited, refined, re-ascended.
Hear, feel, and love your thoughts, and soon your thoughts will be only those that can receive love.
Dreams are thoughts after the movie house lights turn down.
All relating with another is an experiment in truth.
Words are mountains, as firm as they are sound.
A great sight is the sight of a truly free and truly happy human being.
A dogma must have an enemy.
Life is a game of conscience.
Sense timing in events and sense your timing within the Universe. To know when an act is ripe is to know the seasons of the Universe.
Words are trumpets that we ensoul. Words bring down what is in heaven, while life brings up what is earth. Words speak of life in light of heaven. Life soon reflects a word’s light.
Heart and mind unite only in innocence.
Innocence teaches only by example.
Human nature far exceeds any written wisdom. Thought is being.
Joy is the greatest thought.
No true wisdom divides being. No true wisdom accumulates weight.
Christ spoke the word, so it carried on the wind, which represents the spirit.
We are separate bodies no more than red is separate from orange in the spectrum. The crystal converting light to spectrum is the threshold from the material world to the spiritual world, from the timely (outward time) to the intimely (inward time), from the fact of knowledge to the experience of knowledge. Remember your original pristine state of being unified light. Remember your colors through the crystal eye to the timeless source of your spectrum. White light is soul refracted out into the world and scattered into the colors of personality.
A puppet is our earth body. Its head, hands, feet, though, are five points on a star with connections to higher intelligences that animate. One once said that to not pray is to not have limbs.
Focus on the world of movement and every object will flow into focus.
CAUTION: BIG FANCY IDEA!!! AHEAD
We evolve by ‘membering ourselves out into the universe of life and remembering our changed selves back in.
We member ourselves out by projecting vulnerable openness into the daily tumult of life among other beings and objects of devotion and revulsion. Like a net we cast this net of our personal possibilities out into the sea of unseen beings and remember back in a net filled with possibilities, some taken in to become part of our being, ingested and taken in through the mouth, our gate of understanding and consecration.
This romanticizing our ambiguous realms into the world, rough and tumble, to be defined and discovered in the process is a search for disguised likenesses in the world around.
Casting and ‘membering our self out into life’s sea becomes an experience of rhythmic self-differentiation using outer things and being as agents. It is hard and divine to do so. We choose to be agents for others who cast their nets around us. We are fish in the sea of every individual we encounter. They are fish in the sea of our individuality. Life is an evolution of becoming more inwardly organized and sensitized through this process of ‘membering out and remembering back in new lessons and experience.
Miraculous is the realization that because of original unity of all that lives every individuality in creation has the capacity of becoming every other individuality.
This suggests that we do not exist for the environment’s arbitrary end. We are not a hollow form shaped from outside.
To the contrary, offered love and vulnerability make the world go around on the internal combustion of our ‘membering out and remembering in.
Differentiation is a celebration for the deity of change. Only change obscures the unity of being.
Know there is darkness, but don’t love it.
Allow only beauty and love to become habit.
What comes through you becomes you.
Habits good and bad are like a stream cutting a new riverbed. The riverbed soon holds the stream.
Live behind apparent insignificance.
Uncover a truth before acting upon it.
Express what you will to live.
You get out of a whirlpool in a roundabout way.
The abstractionist sees the raindrops on the bus window, but not the trees beyond.
It’s not how much you know. It’s how you live what you know.
Don’t be particular on a sleepy person.
Our ice cube selves are, too, of the one water, reunited by warmth.
Genius is an all-inclusive sea without a drop of preference.
Genius is a state of the greatest unity of thought expressed with the greatest possible diversity.
In a world of mirrors, one becomes self-regarding.
You wound yourself with personal criticism, regardless of the recipient.
Live simply, regularly, seekingly, and yearningly.
A turning point is a grow-or-die situation, hopefully only equal to all your potential to endure.
What value is compassion to a martyr?
Practice truth-telling. It doesn’t come overnight.
There are challenges that build up and no-challenges that wear you down.
What we called evil is simply a hunger for darkness. Evil is simply aggressive ignorance. It is felt as chaos. Its presence is a sense of will-weakening, a densification and lack of movement. Love and movement arise in its midst ever.
People know their weaknesses much more than their strengths. Help them find their strengths.
To be central and yielding is to sit on the floor of the main room. To recall feelings, to love regularity, to be un-reacting, to support all living, to rest and eat necessarily, to be spontaneous, and innocent.
Love is ambiguous, yet we let it teach us faith.
Life is the dancer discovering her feet, the painter discovering there’s fruit at the end of the limb.
When you understand me, I am manifested. My blossom joins your root. This is the heart of life. You are watched by your own expectations waiting for you to fall, fed by your own hopes, asking you to climb.
Lead a life, don’t follow a life.
Live life at one consistent speed, with one consistent mind.
Don’t be a mask-carver. Move as a world dancer.
There is spirit generation in sacrifice. Sacrifice is first to know your gift.
Strength from exclusion finds itself excluded from strength.
Life does not create on broad fronts, but in fine streams.
Some days, stay home and let destiny work for you.
Freedom is rough and rewarding.
Disease is the unresolved, showing its face.
All trials for the common good are movement upward.
In high seas, don’t demand a dry deck; don’t drill a hole in your boat for a glass of water.
You are not in a position to praise yourself. You are where you go in crisis.
Speak when actions do not explain.
A blade of grass is so low to receive the deepest bow of all.
Time forgets itself in the face of a joyous spirit.
Find the true uniqueness in any life and you have found the basic denomination of all being.
Giving without justice introduces us to vulnerability, as the earth makes us as vulnerable as mother earth. There is no gate to growth, except the gate of vulnerability.
We grow only because we are vulnerable to changes from without.
True nature expressed is so simple that no one language can hold it captive. The simplicity simply expressed is seen clearly through the latticework of all languages.
Every experience you give another is a potentiality in their soul.
There are those who dress an inability to be vulnerable as a withholding of something great.
As we learn the value of difficulty, we choose the more instructive difficulties.
Poetry is like a wind – it has no name, but is a felt presence.
Life is a cup all filled, all poured, none spilled.
If you’re faking it, your destination is fake.
Poems from various times and roads
Words are children shining forth / South and west and east and north / Dewdrops silver, green and blue / Dancing forth from me to you / Dancing as the sun comes up / Growing as the moon comes up / Knowing as all heart is sound / Calling children all around.
First poem Fall, 1969, Poughkeepsie, NY.
The midnight coach with mandala wheels rides / Breaking earth and page’s wind / It takes me to a Coachmen’s Inn.
Second poem 1973, Spring Valley, NY.
The king remained to ponder / The ruins of this time / A Stonehenge lay the fallen gods / Asleep along the borderlines / “If all are gone, I must be king.” / So he gathered up the knights and queens / He shot them booby-trapped like dice / Control upon his dreams.
Poem 1981, New Lebanon, Mass.
Dance according to the shape of space / As dance is light and full of grace / As love is full and all around / And language all without a sound.
Poem December, 1981, NYC.
Eagle flying to the sun / Gathered children one-by-one / Three eights times two dispersed the gate / And glory shines upon her fate / America.
You have to mean every step of travelin’, when you ain’t got no home.
I know you, you know me. There is a branching – One upward, One over / In your tree, I branch over giving Beauty / In my tree, you branch over giving Beauty / One upward, One over / Weaving.
Notes June, 1983, Shepherdstown, WV.
What is a greater belief than the evolving unity of all humanity? And what better time is there to begin but right now? And what better indication of your sincerity in this quest is there than the sacrifice of your gifts?
If you give beyond your imagined limits, your limits of giving disappear like a negative habit, as long as giving remains balanced between you and others.
Give beyond your real capacity and your real capacity to give expands.
How is hope given but by another ‘s love for your potential?
In the supporting arms of hope a goal is born which, as it is pursued and realized, becomes a cup for holding even greater hopes, which are toasted to the sun and drunk, ceremoniously, and become the drive to the next plateau of self.
The striving to a goal is hope in its fluid, changing form.
Live to say that I am one person who counts.
Have no belief, but belief in all humanity. Have no belief, but self-knowing, helping fairly, doing fairly.
Praise and criticism are one judgement; accept neither.
All living is to simply and beautifully rejoice in its wholeness. It is not organized enough to be sown. Accept life and live it right here.
A riddle is the unaccepted.
Common sense unites living and is not an option.
Moments of loneliness find each other and lose themselves in joy.
Asking another to change without accepting change in self is to create an illusion of distance between you and another.
There are tears of moral praise in finding there is still a drop of water alive in a desert of indifference.
A seeker of praise is the flash that binds.
The more people involved in a process, the more potential can be awakened, the greater motivation toward a goal.
Give what you can give best. Give for those to be born.
Conform only when conventional standards are an inspiration.
In free time, you take in what is creating out of free time. You take in what time creates and you order it with a loving comprehension of the whole and you are at peace.
You are to tell the truth that the next generation feels, but cannot yet name.
Build up your worthiness to house dignity. Only one institution embodies freedom – you.
You cannot preserve love; you live love.
You cannot preserve freedom; you can only live freedom.
All is to live with less, to let go of pride freely, rather than to have pride taken away.
To accept that you will probably die alone and unsung with only the satisfaction of a life well-given bestows everything.
The acceptance of the worst with the gift of love and insight liberates forever.
To dwell in bigness is to overlook beginnings. To dwell in bigness is to overlook seeds of life. To dwell in bigness is to overlook love.
Learning comes to you who are open. Learning comes less to great effort that is closed. Learning comes in the moment of informed openness. Informed openness is a call for the answer.
A framework is a reflection of the past that observes the present and future.
Ideas relate to institutions like running water on a stone.
Wandering mystery, wandering poem / Fruit on trees / Falling rain feeds /Wandering mystery, wandering poem.
A poem is crucified by expert testimony.
Moments of loneliness find each other and lose themselves in joy.
Souls sharing breath, weave and speak, together – in silence.
Self-renewal is remembering yesterday in light of today.
The root is experience; the blossom is vision.
Faith in change allows darkness to become light. Light takes darkness to heart and into light.
Life can be a fine net that blesses and takes nothing, extended as a comforting hand that leaves in respect for freedom.
Love creates seeds of experience that grow in time.
A church is a gathering of history’s dust that grows into a whirlwind. Living knowledge is a nourishing bread. A church is stone until it crumbles itself as dust. A whirlwind carries the sands aloft in spirit.
You speak half and your listener completes the blessed Presence.
Silence is birth. Birth is in silence.
Self is not a flag, but green, grass all around. Self is a passive embrace of living nature, tree presence, sun presence, sky presence, air presence, water presence, speech presence, life presence, you presence, me presence.
“I will settle on being half of me. ” To settle down is to leave faith undiscovered. To settle down is to not have faith in inner kingdoms come.
The greatest depth and darkness is the seedbed of purest light.
Nurture heat into light, nurture consuming flame into the warm gaze of benevolence.
Most souls want to be accepted in general, respected by some, loved by one, have a degree of personal freedom, a degree of material security, a routine, involvement in activity, and to be immortal so remembered for all time in the form of creations or of creations of descendants.
Dis-cover, ignorance is cover, lift off ignorance.
Feelings born of the seasons, being trees, oversee the reasons, stronger than seasons.
You give and move on so that the gift may be in its full beauty.
One event is chance, two events alike are Pattern. So began Number. So began orderly change. Number is expressed as orderly repeating of assertion and orderly repetition of not asserting, or passive space. Counted assertions and non- assertions, assertions move, non-assertions don’t move. So number bridges time and space. Consciousness first saw itself reflected in a repetition.
To not force self ahead, wait to learn and be guided ahead in time.
Life treats the patient gently.
Please step back, so I see you among all that lives.
Notes 1981-2, Hoboken, NJ. and Spring Valley, NY.
To huddle together so tightly says you do not accept our inner unity. Spirit is drawn out of thin air, but not by chance.
Do not accept me with half-closed eyes.
Do not live stealing moments of joy. Joy has become the last taboo.
Work beats worry.
I care for you as much as you do, or just a little more.
What is not known can easily be overlooked.
A tree branches out knowing the goal is everywhere.
So often, embarking on a journey is really casting yourself into a flowing river.
Genius is seeing a facet of the unity of life.
In every moment there is your underground stream. In any moment you can see and grow in the wisdom of this current stream of your soul life. You cannot take a cup of its water without falling entirely in. Gauge its themes and know your own deep regularity and peace. A problem? Give it to your stream. Humming quietly, you let the stream resolve it. Give your problems and questions to your stream.
Conflicts are one’s clumsy imitation of nature’s differences.
Nature must first be obeyed to be commanded.
A loud curse shows the emptiness of the world with an echo. A sincere, loving cry fills the emptiness with a sea of compassion.
One reads complexity into a simple world.
You have the Universe within, making loneliness unreal.
One, given a seed might not plant it, but try to fashion a mosaic of seeds, depicting a flower.
You seek the common truth with another.
The heart rediscovers every deed until every heartless deed is awakened.
From boredom, comes disenchantment, comes birth, comes excitement, comes self.
To some, life consists of a false start that lasts for years.
Being humble is far from being pathetic.
It takes a significant explosion to overcome a decade of negative habit.
To love a personality is trying to love a pair of expressing hands. To love a soul is loving an open heart.
To argue is to believe words can express the absolute.
Personality is a style, personality is a manner that has worn a comfortable path through your being.
Life is a game of conscience. If you play according to conscience, every experience teaches.
In college, you discover you’re somebody, so you try to impress everybody. You discover your tongue and all its uses.
My silver threads are broken. I am guided by suggestion through faith.
I create my own movements out of my own free will using a recollection from above.
Thoughts remembered are tastes.
Realization is in your cup.
Living is partaking of the active element in time.
Spirit inheres to matter, mind inheres to heart, heart inheres again to matter.
Ego is the ultimate placement of self outside ourselves for investment.
Give and leave. Allow another to be in a position to enjoy the response to the generosity.
Trying to name spirit is like trying to keep a penny on a balloon.
Vanity is wounded most by a finger smudge on the shining armor.
Potential is the name for the future that is within us.
The pain of commitment to a higher ideal is a higher ecstasy laboring to be born.
Taking outer credit for contribution is no faith in inner credit come.
You are the stream that hears the ocean, the seed that feels the sun. Integrity is unity.
Vengeance is hunger’s way of laughing. Vengeance puts hunger out upon the world
Waiting for the logically perfect moment is the kindest portrayal of cowardice.
Don`t fight the leash, but the attitude guiding it.
So much of seeing is limited by preconception. The more preconceptions we have, the less we are in the present.
There are people who want to be loved and cannot give love, and they will never be the ones to tell you.
Pure thought process is the kind of knot in which the doing is the undoing.
Pure thought is stronger than the support of a thousand toothpicks of semantical law.
One’s mind is a light touching on all wisdom, which is grasped in a moment of approval.
In a society that is a roomful of crutches, somebody will eventually effect a limp.
Adapt too much and there is no progress.
Self is not something you hold in your hand and wield like a dumb object.
Reel in a soul’s longing.
Foolishness still applies to the soul who says there is only one hole in the ocean.
We pour ourselves into vessels called endeavors.
To be yourself is to be original – the origin of your life.
Integrity is obviously a state of being integrated – of having it all together.
Motive gains continuity from concept. Concept continues motive.
Wisdom is covered, never lost.
Beauty is a child in an endless summer. Beauty is greatness in its youth.
Life is momentum divided into moments.
To be known as you are knowing, to be found as you are finding – so the duality of life yields to unity.
Birth is the pouring of timeless soul into petty circumstance.
We speak to the world through an idea and touch another soul through personality.
Finer threads hold people together with listening.
We are all the same thing poured into all these different bodies.
Dance is not a movement from here-to-there, but sequential expanding into all directions.
Remembering is nourishment.
You feed another’s virtue by seeing it.
Opportunity is a candle in a dark, room.
Perfection is where clarity and purity meet.
Walking fluxes thoughts.
A question is the mark of receptivity.
Human rewards crown you and weigh you down in golden chains.
Higher intelligence brings out the light within matter in the form of colors.
We are here, because we are not perfect, and because we are perfect-able. We perfect each other with concern.
Just outside the range of pain is just outside the range of love.
Love is like having honey going toward your face. Some gets into your mouth. Some gets on to your face.
Do not be hammered on another ‘s anvil.
Our American culture shows more than it really knows. Our culture is one of spirited attempts.
You can love giving another an impulse, but do not try to dictate its outcome.
Life is to leave the body fully-expressed, fully-progressed, un-regressed or having no regrets in your pockets still.
Discover your individuality in and through others, but don’t get stuck midway inside them. If you live as the impulse to another’s manifestation, someday, your trumpet’s gonna walk away from you.
Joys last just about as briefly as sorrow. Success lasts just about as briefly as failure.
Your greatest gift is to awaken a higher appreciation in perfection.
Spinning, spinning, spinning, multiplying forever in joy.
The night sky is the blessed river in the treetops.
I am only what I give away.
The soul dance reaches to experience life.
Graceful outside is grateful inside.
Criticize another soul and you’re like an oak tree, criticizing the acorn for its size.
Discord is created when the note doesn’t hear any note but its own. Evil is often the ignorance of thinking a part is more than the grand scheme.
Notes continued March, 1981, Hoboken & NYC.
Rhythm is a weeding out of the inappropriate.
A soul in transition learns from contrasts. Contrasts teach a love of choice. Choices are the stair to freedom.
Greater freedom is a taking in of more of what is outside.
First become what is true, then decide what is right. Choice brings us impressions – good and bad – that make us true. True is the order of nature that confirms all our parts.
A memory is a frozen movement, waiting to be warmed by loving recollection.
God wants us as family.
Make a castle in the desert with the patient wind of influence. Create now for all time. Allow a sand castle to be born of spirit wind.
Pretending keeps you from living.
Words are long on twisting.
Simplicity is the height and has the erasing power of the sun.
Upon the colors of interpretativity, our soul becomes wisely simple with an enlightened ignorance.
A seed, shoot, leaf, and the fruit of change . . . within a plant’s dreaming.
The more you change, the more you discover the seasons of the spirit. The more we change, the more regular is our change.
The more in nature we are, the more ourselves we are. In common sense is the security of eternal life. Eternal life is always your very own.
People are so quick to put every other goal before faith; but, still, faith must be learned through the mirror of life.
Spirit like the wind seeks; in stillness it is just space.
All relationships are self-revelation, an uncovering of one’s truth, through and in another.
There are souls who drink expensive wines and bemoan their fate.
Life is an uncovering of self in the process of meeting the world. The uncovering of self is an exposure which is also called self-expression.
Always run to, never run away from. Always act, less react.
Life in perfection is a continuous, conscious, self-generating spontaneous thought-sea.
Word as our temple and chalice is built only to be lived in. Build only words you can live in.
I’m not interested in building empires. Nature builds and crumbles empires all the time.
Bring action and word into one. Neither action or word is thus in vain.
Be a king with a kingdom at hand.
Money cannot create. Money cannot honor. Money can remove obstacles to creation. Money can mold the creation after. Money can be commanded to teach us the value of exchange. Money, after all, obeys every command to express its master.
Modesty must precede truth-telling.
In suffering, we embrace all our wisdom. Experience to remember wisdom’s ultimate value.
Kindred-hood is the path to the whole truth.
Courage comes from within. Honesty only comes from within.
Humanity is the only poetry.
Nervousness is a cage of thorns.
Kindred-kind is people standing and stepping about a rocking boat, so we learn rhythm and harmony through cooperation.
The more you know your emotional in-streams the more greatly they carry you into your soul country.
Innocence is accepting the unexpected. Remember according to now.
When love is separated – when love is divided – it becomes two kinds of something else.
My “I am” must be manifested beyond me as flowers that bloom and take their existence in the appreciation that is showered upon them.
Some use words as an ax on stone, others shine through their words as a flower raised high.
Time is a moment to the eyes, momentum to the heart.
We conduct life force, we have good conduct.
Quality of an action is in its When and Where.
Your heart is a well you draw up from.
A secret threatens the dependent.
Our language is truth and love without code, without cover, without fixed form.
The presence of spirit is known without having to touch its surface.
Modesty and enthusiasm are companions of spirit’s wind. Those who claim to own love, only own a form of love.
Because money does not bring the invisibility of the spirit wind, it does not bring freedom. A rich person is never invisible to their inheritors.
You are a sea and with a pen and brush, a song, a prayer, a laugh or a dance step, you will flow all day as sure as you are living.
Once you have eyes, see not upon your face, see into your heart. See into your heart and care. Enter into courtship with your orphaned self – shyly, clumsily, fondly. Forget the hurts and the heart will play music for you.
Get undone and get going! To not a claim a high goal is to justify un-seeking.
You wait until time stops teaching and the lesson-fruit will fall into your lap.
To love uniqueness is to bypass comparisons. Comparisons place one atop another. Uniqueness places one beside another, all equally different.
Spirit is not displayed without being dis-spirited. Spirit is not transported from one moment to the next, but lives behind the illusion of time, making the earth roll, making our cheeks blanche.
In this age, we simplify what unites us and carry it on the four winds. You are the farthest wind.
The literacy of the world boils down to love.
Your will power grows with fewer, unrelated goals.
Curiosity eventually finds modesty. Spontaneity grows and extends into enthusiasm. Spontaneity is the burst of life.
I remember, as a young person, looking ahead to talking with souls of attainment, with quiet respect for their caring.
Don’t give satisfaction to anger.
Place the center of your existence within. You can tire of surroundings, but never of your loving.
Notes continued, Hoboken, NJ – August, 1980
Bigness cannot be applied.
Words are the seed, seeking the flower of action.
We humiliate the word inasmuch as we are humiliated. We exalt our words inasmuch as we are exalted. To understand ourselves better is to know words better.
Our nature is reflected in words. Words in flow reflect our growing. The word is our servant put to tasks that give its being temporary definitions that are a cumulative experience.
The servant word is put to tasks in the world. The tasks are to be a home that nourishes the servant.
The sun blazes off the dross of consuming egotism.
You must involve before you evolve out.
Common sense only leads us to our common nature.
You are a perfect, starry heaven, watching worlds of moods come and go.
Happiness is widest gate to understanding.
Like a star, you don’t lower yourself too far.
Spontaneity is the open gate to God’s place.
Material wealth is a maudlin form of beauty.
Doubters watch the journeys of the believers.
The media is like the railroad track that thinks it produced the train.
The size of our institutions indicates the magnitude of the error.
We are in the first age where common sense is considered just another alternative hypothesis.
Do you take your wall with you everywhere?
Constipation is from a feeling that something important isn’t done.
His mind is a light touching on all wisdom, which is grasped in a moment of approval.
Go deeper into your center for a better view.
All personality is subsumed back into white. Wear joy and sorrow casually, as a white garment.
Do what you want until you find out what you really want. Do what you really want until you find out what you should. Be careful.
Love is ambiguous. When you fall into love, you learn faith.
Give peace to a soul so a thought can differentiate out and blossom.
The forces of creation and decay are so within they are not seen by words. They are acted out and thus known.
Life is the truth for the most part before you speak the truth for the whole part.
True love doesn’t play games.
If you set up tests to see who loves you most, the loving withdraw in reverence for the name of love.
Put the individual above society and the only existing society is the individual.
The word of spirit manifests as song. The moment you think you’ve got it, you don’t because the moment of supreme outer manifestation is also the moment of supreme inner exhaustion.
If you subordinate your better judgement to another, you lift their baggage.
Don’t withhold love. Graduate love.
True wisdom is so unmistakable, no ego wants to claim credit for it.
Ego makes up complexity and difficulty. Spirit can only be traced to the wind. Be organized spontaneity.
Faith moves a mountain. Cleverness only moves a suggestion of the mountain. The choice today is the path of cleverness and or the other path of faith. Cleverness must be strengthened by conscience.
Write your own expression of the Bible, using your lifeblood.
Don’t give endlessly to a soul that doesn’t know what giving is.
We’re united above, so why fight below? So much is fighting for position in a limited world.
Art is a ladder standing a few feet above the ground, so only those reaching can climb.
Integrate giving and survival to evolve giving.
Always suspect there is more.
Our soul raises our standards as we rise – this is the same of being in a new place over and over.
To walk upon the waters is to walk upon life, but not within it.
To speak words and not live them weakens you. To speak words and live words always teaches, but words are given by our heart and applied by consciousness and conscientiousness.
Each of us represents and is an important role of the truth. We seek each other to know the whole truth. Out of our togetherness comes the whole truth.
What is right is asserted, what is true, just is. We are to bring forth what is true and right as one, loving impulse.
You must learn to obey your higher nature in order to command your higher nature.
A flower is wind and water dancing into form for the world.
We periodically have an urge to go back over our life reflecting the upward spiral of our being.
What glows in you is loving in maturity. Joy carries us in youth. Wisdom carries us in maturity.
A foetus shields its love.
An idea is a great balloon you gently play with.
Caring for details ends grandiosity.
We live to reveal and bring forth our soul on earth so others can see our soul. Then after life, we can unite in remembrance.
Small fullness leads me away from empty bigness.
When spirit leaves the affairs of people, their lives are less a true drama that embraces the heart, but a game that uses the intellect.
Meditation keeps our love nature soft and dewy.
To enter into the rhythm of your blood is to experience inward ego.
Death is often a soul’s inability to move completely through a barrier.
Some people know wisdom. Some people know rules.
The root seeks water not for itself, but for its flower in heaven.
There is no apartness anywhere. There is no spirit above as it is the seed word within the world – all is here, now, growing.
As we take in more impurity than can be digested and purified, it hardens in the body as egotism as a defending hardness. Then as an offending hardness. This offense is egotism trying to eliminate egotism, ever activating its self-sense.
The offspring of credit – fame, power, and money – are too big for our true need and obtain only more of their own kind.
Spirit is small.
In the tower of Babel, men and women took the word and made it serve chaos. They made word chaos rather than a reflection of our inner growth. Each man and woman turned the word to his or her own selfish interest. Word lost its order and its ability to reflect order in the world. Word lost its meaning as a fabric.
The flower to the gardener: “Look what you did!” The gardener to the flower: “Rejoice in what you are!” We are gardeners and midwives to creation.
Leave life to mother nature and she restores the intimacy of mother-to-child.
The past is only a sense of debts created and credits created. Egotism is made of what is held but not known.
The being that does not accept being physically alone knows the sinking feeling of the one holding onto the unknown.
Creation is a moving experience.
Colonization, expansion, and seeking out the corners of the world is all the quest for the sleeping conscience of the world sleeping in the darker recesses of the earth’s people, land, and the mind. Wars and subjugation are from fear of the sleeping conscience of the world.
Conscience is the seed of consciousness. What is uncovered was once called the unknown.
Another’s life lessons are never exactly for you.
To accept all the advice of another is to accept soup with sand.
Believing inspires the dream of perfection.
You are a ship crossing the great water. The rolling oceans – colliding, resolving, guiding, cause your ship to dance on the planet.
Do deeds that are appreciated in eternity, well after the immediate disarray.
In the long run, life is a marathon.
Nudge circumstance to hasten decisions of selfhood to encourage the fence-sitting to either side of the fence.
You are living, spreading out into and over the land of the living.
Commitment is always born in the world of silence. Words announce commitment into the world of sound.
Self-realization: to walk softly, running fingers down the stem of the weed to bring this fault up by the root, putting fresh earth in the wound, and blessing there with a new seed and life.
To overturn a heavy rock in the field, exposing the dark and decay beneath to the penetrating warmth, as the blades of grass slowly stand tall.
To not know Alone is to not hear the Universe within you.
Life is a spell. Life is a spelling. Love is a spell, love is a spelling. The true self-knowledge knows the alphabet of the spelling. True self knowledge corrected by conscience sees the right order of letters that make the words.
Self-knowledge is the authority to be yourself.
To balance life is to know where you begin and where the world around you begins.
Fighting age is like using an oar to beat back the tide.
Lean upon the future to make it real.
Silence is of purely individual.
To help, you must feel the need for help.
To give without reward is to give inwardly, without.
Life turns the rock of pride into sand. A word can open all roads. The right word to a soul levels mountains.
Gratitude: to receive is not to see the gift, but to see how the giver enjoys.
Living is true, giving is right, giving what is true is right living.
Duty is half; joy is half.
We see how creation is for all time, how creation by people is for a time.
Impurity sinks in the momentum of life.
Only a true life is a foundation for speaking true words.
Every act of will is addition.
To feel given out is to know you have given.
To articulate is to free.
What is called attention to every detail is really a fine appreciation of the mightiness in every living being.
All is faith, self-knowledge, and self-discipline. Your beauty is all your loving moments.
With others, be interested in others. Be interested in the person before you help identify their higher self. Don’t be technical with another unless necessary.
Criticize when it is believed as true. Criticize an action, not a person. Compliment when it will be believed as true. Compliment not an action, but the person. Be fair, be yourself, no double standards.
Mind poured into nature, becomes more of nature, becomes more of its own nature.
Courage grows with met challenge.
Flowing inward with challenge, flowing outward with no challenge.
Life and death are polarized ego.
Sometimes a perceived staff is really a stone in the road.
All of people’s doing is the attempt to create one’s own flower.
True thought is not a hammer; but an open sea expressing itself by its readiness to be filled.
Word grows and gambols in the daylight of your eye and in the fresh air of your speech.
Planets are the swirling seas beneath your ship.
You must be self-dependent to be innocent.
Thought is a fine melody and love is surrounding rhythm.
In spirit being, you become more porous, more interweaving.
Words are not first for speech. Words are places in which to live, abodes of sound, living thought.
The living word is the high peak in the realm of the call.
Do it yourself.
There is patience in first steps.
In all first steps, there is so much resounding.
Accept what comes, and mold.
You don’t carry Life. Life carries you. You do not carry Wisdom. Wisdom carries you. You do not carry Caring. Caring carries you. You do not carry Daring. Daring carries you,
Go with the flow. Relax in its gentle hand.
Ego is an apple, grown to eat, to be thrown, or left alone.
We pour reading-ness into world experience.
So many people treat the world as a game board for the intellect. Intellect cannot recognize suffering.
Learn to pour this one drop of gold well, fully, and in full measure and in time for the complete and chemical awakening.
All consciousness is awakenings. We are ever awakening to the beat of our heart and to the flow of our blood.
Greed is based on a survival mentality.
A source person needs a lot of room. A source soul is seen less in the eye than in the heart.
Let your heartbeat rock you to sleep.
Love shows each of us our worth to each other.
An attitude is a direction you’re going in.
The goal and the sense of movement to it are the inner and outer of the same. The same is aspiration.
Look up and see your heart. There is a balancing when two people are attracted.
Truth comes always between friends and truth stays making them true friends.
Personal criticism robs your air.
You must feel completely alone in the universe to see that the visible universe reflects the universe that is you.
Schooling takes away a sense of immediacy.
Society is forces that have gathered momentum.
Change is the countercurrent that arises as waves from behind and from within.
Manifest. Manifest. Manifest.
Trust yourself enough to manifest your being. Trust yourself enough to be spontaneous. Expand to your full realm and include all within your view.
You need an open mind to see the full horizon.
Your personality is the carpet as your soul walks upon the world.
You have to live deeper than your surroundings and stand under.
Have an artistic impulse to care for gives you a perfect recipient. Have an artistic impulse to care for gives you a perfect sense of caring. Have an artistic impulse to nourish gives you a perfect sense of nourishing. The world in turn receives your perfect sense of caring and nourishing.
The ageless man sits beside the dark coin.
The moon wafted like a candle in a smoky room. The candle shown like a moon in a misty night and modestly harbored its warmth, cringing, flinching at the darkness. The candle found food and corroded paper so its flame grew.
There are manicured beings and there are experienced beings.
There are people growing everywhere. They are the un-scrapped soul of a new world we are making. We speak again and again of a real world that isn’t built like a ladder. We are the animator of the new world.
The misuse of spirit. There are those who take their religion best in abstractions, because it interferes least with their affairs in that form. If the sermon is abstract, they can make it smaller without ill-conscience and be rid of it without self-admission.
A problem that many encounter is that we are infinite human beings, ever aware in our hearts of our infinity, yet ever confronted around by a finite world with only a finite number of answers.
Sometimes we build monuments to feelings when we lose contact with that feeling.
Like a prolonged blink, we reflexively close our eyes on self, in self-defense and not see, to not decide on life.
A growing crowd of people clutch their hearts, stare into a hole in the road – emptying houses – to share their hole – everyone’s hole. “A Hole in the Community.”
Armored knights in the rain who are gesturing until the rain locks their limbs with rust – the facade, our veneer of stainless armor – becomes our cage.
Our thoughts dart and reach for the stars while the body straggles, like the cart-driver whose mind is ahead already in the marketplace.
Notes 1981, Hoboken, NJ.
Get on your little lotus, child, and go to sleep.
To alight upon life with eyes all so happy to see.
Don’t be a thread that doesn’t believe in the weave.
Accept the subtlety of another, rather than forcing them to accept your impatience.
Build energy behind your imaginings.
And each day ask: “Which is first?”
Society is a language. Do you speak your society well?
Notes July, 1982, Pembroke, ME.
Reversing, conversing, inversing.
A star is pivot point in space where forces converse.
Everyone has the right and capacity to be a fool from time to time.
What is spilled from the cup is given to fantasy.
Stormy seas are proof of the journey.
We are all to become cooperators.
Tying to the outside is the same as tying to the past or the future.
To speak of another without them is speaking out of turn.
All is born in the purifying kindness of your eyes.
Time tells all in the loom of time; so speak ever to the moment.
I stand here. You stand there. Our understanding will be different. Our positions are different until love looks down from our higher selves.
Words spoken are for enlightening a day of living.
Be a friend in the eyes of others, not a hero in your eyes.
Repetition is movement building up form.
Being is being a framed space as a gateway to all creation.
Man gives seed to woman and she fills with response.
Being is the seed that falls asleep in the ground. Then, every seed born of light hears the sun.
What is simple motivates. Generosity needs no explanation.
Live and learn, forgive and leave within.
Hello and goodbye are an illusion, seeing only the surface.
Thought completes, separating with its walls, then dissolves mercifully into a humor.
To accept in grace, but not to woo.
The only obstacle between you and your cup is hard ego. Soften ego with gentleness.
The birth point of living is where the lip and the cup meet.
Personality leads to union, but personality obscures union. We are all related as a stream.
All living is in between forms. All living is in meeting.
Knowledge grows into wisdom in love of wisdom. Understanding discovers in loving.
A tree aspires to be a great tree, not a great fire.
Wisdom beholds knowledge as child. Knowledge grows into wisdom.
A long view sees beyond image.
Rain is an answer of gathering angels.
“How” is where you may withdraw to give, not withhold to avoid.
Give your child a bountiful world after your world.
This is the age of no king.
I’ve learned to close doors in faith of future opening – doors closed, not locked.
Living is less the stacking castles of matchsticks. Living is bring to life an oak tree.
Live on the road, in the wind, with the necessary and growing the fruits of living out of hopeful anticipation of the unknown.
Live in hopeful anticipation of the unknown.
A cold winter’s night can pierce a heart with enormity.
To hear mockery is to hear less the stars, sun and moon.
To depend in degree on chance . . .
You do not fall through the cracks of physical existence, but you rise up through the cracks of physical existence.
Facing the unknown on the terms of the unknown creates a pang that births as light born in the instant of completed darkness.
Sincerity misapplied graces your threshold so that the misapplication is cleansed in the space you give.
Love awakens ignorance into less ignorance.
Words are the hinge of responsibility.
Speak what you are willing to divide.
You are a joyous garden of encountered selves.
Freedom is freedom to climb. Freedom is where there is growing.
See a person giving and do not build a grandstand around them and charge admission.
You birth new feeling to give to all a new note of music and an invitation to a new realm of harmonies.
Create new feeling as all feeling is immeasurable.
Only experience brings new feeling.
What is important is wonderfully important.
What is grabbed at blindly is missed. What is awaited and seen is never missed.
Discovery is of the moment, as a sprout breaking through the top land.
Discovery is a moment born after a long sleep.
Understanding turns discovery into a ground in which more discovery sleeps.
It is a period of separating out and of very individual destinies.
It is a time when much is loved in the moment and passed by for encounter with another moment, of loving interspersed with moments of resting, purging, awe, learning, being a field of experiences, while lying on your back in the darkness under the stars in Texas, Oregon, California, Alabama, Vermont, Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky and loving every moment and loving where you are, always and in all ways.
Deliberate in joy, deliberate in speech, deliberate in sorrow . . .
Beliefs are not a flower worn in the lapel.
Faiths live where they are found and passers-by live in the memory of the find.
Undergo the unknown in faith, and you can name the unknown only in retrospect.
Life is a space that needs a mime to tell of it.
Will to live your words and fewer, clearer words. Will to live your words and words becomes deeds.
What is truth? All people know what warm, dry wood feels like and its explanations.
Truth has more to do with sincerity than specific deeds and gains.
The beheld word is the end of inward impression – as fruit is end of growth. In the end of inward impression is fruit with eternal seed. Word expressed before the end of inward impression – before the time – is a leaf that falls within time, without transcending time.
Feel like a tree reaching out and up and for sky – with fingers lengthening and trailing off into space.
A tree flows up and out into space seeking its nature in its limits – flowing down and inward into its heart seeking in nature its lasting-ness.
Heartbreak gives way to greater heart. Spirit is a private fluid, less a social cement.
Like wind, living has no object but that which is born in a moment and becomes of a tapestry of born and lived moments. Discovery is a glimpse of the timeless in moment.
Divinity is inward flowing ‘Yes’ and `No’ un-manifest.
Mother nature gives you her soul to see eternity through your loving eyes.
Spoken, feeling love fills the time and place.
Growth is from taking darkness from another because you can see the darkness in another that another only feels.
This is November, 1983 When I Tried to Say Some of the Hardest Things About the Word and Started Running Out of Spiritual Gas
Silence becomes no-distraction and no-attachment, even to a living body, so silence is labor.
Silence is labor for birth of the blessed inflowing word. Silence is labor of an immaculate conception born of the inflowing word. Immaculate conception is born out of no-distraction. Immaculate conception is living before the greatness of all eternity, and all life without seeking refuge in any imagined part.
Immaculate conception is self-impregnating self. Immaculate conception stands alone and receives loving immensity as one without seeking refuge – living in stillness and waiting for the all-inclusive word to arrive from where all stillness is born.
See blessed land and see immensity. / Hear blessed land and hear thunder in immensity. / Behold blessed land and immensity and thunder / With all your heart and be broken in the right place. / Become a river in blessed land. / Become one with the Soul of Souls.
In stillness you wait for the whisper of all time. Love living ever the unfamiliar. Loving living is loving what is unfamiliar is loving what comes. Living is to ever expand and go forth in time into the unknown, as a messenger in the river working toward the ocean of infinity.
Familiarity is the frost upon the young seedling of understanding.
Spirit draws a circle of soul out of Soul by undergoing soul, standing under soul, coming over soul and passing over soul, that she fills with color and bounty and becomes the blessed wheel of life.
Soul is mother-earth and substance-giver from whom spirit learns wisdom in her recurring, self-renewing form.
Communication is born of courtesy. Love is born excepting no one part of the whole.
You see that clear thinking invariably is seeking an all encompassing understanding, a macro-concept of living.
Thinking is a moral fluid, seeking common good.
“Is there a creative source?” is like saying “Is there air we breathe?”
Notes August, 1983 , Shepherdstown, WV.
The only spaces in the universe are pockets of unbelief.
Be a reflection in reality and a vision of the future.
If secrets shape your life, step out of the mold.
The way to be is to let your mind be.
Egotism out upon the world obscures the world you are out upon.
Words are given so the mind changes.
A simple answer plants itself in a being’s heart to shame their dress of confusion.
Word is inexhaustible as being. Word is faceless as being.
Joy is a shield for fear of mortality. Freedom is the control over one’s life to receive joy and encounter the unknown. To be open to another is the only way to grow.
Imagination creates what inspires will.
Time unfolds what the mind seeks to unfold.
Imagination recombines what exists that it inspires again. Dreams are the linguistic tongue of feelings, speaking with feelings.
Spirit is faceless and chronic, a breeze upon breeze, detached to see all.
You think forwards, you think backwards.
Release the dregs of past resentment and balance them with a vision of self-redemption.
Self-renewal is through openness.
Nature is a valid, all-interrelating, all-encompassing test and measure to validate tools claimed inside a laboratory.
Blessings are for those people for their trying and trying and trying again.
Summer is insubstantial and joyous. All relating is voluntary and personal.
Integrity is eternal self when called upon.
The more self-centered, the more peripheral we become.
Nature is a statement of constancy, stated constantly, taken up in silence.
Become the essence of your self and become akin to the essence of every soul.
Good relations unfold slowly.
Weave immediate days as one experience.
In time, you will know everything. In time, you are every and all. In time, you rise and fall and rise and fall – and rise. In time you close your eyes. In time you close your eyes and rise.
Speak in time with the ripple of living.
Keep waking up. Persuade yourself to be you. Having a goal is salvation by degree.
Relationships turn invisible corners. Sorrows and journeys turn invisible corners.
Climbing a mountain step-by-step, stone-by-stone and not knowing why. You climb to get out of there.
Your life force is to simply be interested. Be interested in what is going on in the present and the past, and the future will be interesting.
The past will be easy to recall, the future will be easy to envision.
Contracting, going within in sleep is to create the seed of the next day out of the felt essence of the immediate past.
True criticism does not question or doubt a person’s inherent value. You love only a person’s inherent value and their potential to express their inherent value.
Experience is the essence of life that you have been willing to taste.
A crisis is a collection of postponed knots.
Letter to author of books on money, September 22, 1982
I scarcely know much about economics, but your writing brought some ideas to mind I’d like to share with you.
The less money, the more carefully it is spent. The more money, the less carefully it is spent. More money means less rational decisions of investment. The more money there is to spend, more money and more and more money is seen as a solution in any case. Money can replace rational problem-solving as a supposed answer in the everyday mind. Money is distance, born of distance (i.e. trade). Money is estrangement in a human sense of experience. Money is estrangement, a codifying of relating that is estrangement or distance. Economies with inflation collapse when price is the only indicator of quality of a good. High price means high quality in the everyday business mind.
You buy the price tag because it is large. Inflation runs away. Irrationality of money is heightened by its tendency to finance unseen subjects or objects faraway, removed from close and regular examination.
Economies have a cycle from complete, other-reliant conditions (reflected in urbanizing – cities are centers for trade or other-reliance ) and self-reliant conditions (when in wartime, economies of cities break down and are controlled from without). Our economy – any economy – reaches the extreme of other-reliance when a pattern of behavior appears – namely the acceptance of prices as the only believable, agreed-to indication of quality in exchanged goods and services. There’s too much money around to spend rationally and knowledgeably, if all rational avenues for spending all the circulating money were developed and so inter-related that the structure in and of itself would be complex to a degree that – as a whole, it would have to be broken out and decentralized to have goals that are more specific, attainable and therefore motivating and, in a sense – rational. I guess this suggests that it’s a good time to put your money in things you need that are easy to monitor and in front of you, like a house, or garden, or a cow – the most elegant and rational economic situation.
There is estrangement, stupidity, distance, and irrational masses of money so that none of those investing the sums has any idea what magnitude of the resource they are wasting or throwing around. Yes small is beautiful. Sincerely – me.
On living and facing the end of living:
Perhaps the best preparation for death is to live life like there is no tomorrow. The best resource to one lying at death’s door is a rucksack full of sea-shell like memories. But death can be made hollow by the person more wonderful than death is terrible. A life that is given away generously over the years cannot be snatched away in the end. The generous person’s body crumbles to dust. But the person lives on as a parable that is told, and retold, and retold.
THE END FOR NOW
Jim Surkamp Dad’s Funeral
The word love is never overused
I am happy. My tears are sweet.
Later I’ll miss him. But I need only to
Thank you in the Orange County Hunt for being Art’s chieftain tribe.
Thank you Cammie for being at the good man’s elbow in the saddle and the
I thank God for a sunny Wednesday morning when the thundering hunt passed
then my Dad passed with a Death so fine and perfect it could only come from
Giving him respite from years of worrying love and unfaltering care to Barbara
Thank you Barbara for your years of humble support to Dad’s passion.
Our thoughts, love, peace and prayers rush to you from here.
Art has rejoined and is now riding for hot leather with Mosby, Stuart and
Dolly Richards and is riding over endless terrain on an eternally sunny day.
Farewell my beloved knight and father
Justin and I are friends, and I’m glad he accepts me. He’s a Gemini. I’m a Cancer. He talks a lot; I listen. He wears diapers; I don’t, He’s 18-months old; I’m 33. He’s two-feet tall; I’m 6.
As we walked our late afternoon journey upon the streets of Shepherdstown on weekdays. Justin leads – I follow. He knows what he wants I don’t. I enjoy his company because he imparts to me a remembrance of the joy and wisdom of being a bright young age, I slow down a busy, preoccupied mind and let myself be drawn into his bubbly, innocent, hide-and-seek, pregnant, profound, un-intellectualized, all-seeing, vast and personal world of NOW.
Sometimes we both squat down to make waves, you could say, in a small puddle. I began to feel Justin’s concentration. We feel and think together as I listen as I listen to his labored breath and see as his cookie-sized hand retrieves one pebble, seemingly very special, which had fallen from his hand. I admire his being conscientious, of correcting a small error before proceeding with the fun. He learns through a meeting of circumstances and a wish.
He learns little by little to accept some unseen law of self that is a mystery at this point in his life. He learns to make up his own mind, to create his own world of responsibility. Walking to the post office, there are smiles and hellos from those we meet. I pick Justin up and, like any first exposure to a task, he labors at putting two big envelopes properly through the slot marked “out of town.”
It’s similar to the times at home when those trained fingers push up on the wall light switch for the first time – with such exciting and gratifying results.
I was reading a book recently by the German thinker and educator, Rudolf Steiner, in which he states that repeating an activity makes it part of a person’s very being or consciousness.
So as Justin and I find things to do around the house of Ed Zahniser (Daddy) and Chris Duewel (who is Mommy), favorite areas of interest tend to be part of a daily agenda.
Blowing soap bubbles is so regularly repeated that Justin calls me “Jim Bubbles.” There are also the regular visits from the vigils for two neighborhood cats, playing with Daddy’s guitar, washing the dishes, touching certain prickly bushes outside, and looking at the turning insides of two electric meters on a neighbor’s house.
These activities are remembered and later asked for, expanded upon, empowered, and refined by Justin. Above all, we take our regular visit to Specialty Books to see Pat who runs the store and to give another kind of “pat” to the life-sized stuffed bear named Paddington.
It’s easy to forget how enormous life is when you’re a child. It’s just as easy to remember again.
Do You. . .
Miss someone who has died? Do you miss their talking and listening, their presence, their hugs, their understanding of you, their touching, their quirks, your shared history with them?
Do you cope with this hole in your life and the sudden waves of grief that come out of nowhere by keeping busy and taking it one day at a time?
Are evenings hard because you have fewer distractions from your thoughts of grief then? Do you hate coming home to an empty house? Do you feel like a third wheel in the company of married couples?
Do you see some friends let you down and new friends surprise you with their caring and understanding? Is it hard to concentrate? Just when you think you’re doing better, you are knocked on your duff by hearbreak? Can’t you sleep because you’re afraid of what feeling might come up once you drop your guard and doze off? Do doctors put you on all kinds of medications instead of just listening to your pain? Do these medications make your feel drowsy and more out of touch? Do people come up and say “I know how you feel?” or “It’s God’s will” and cheat you of your right to grieve the one you loved by minimzing it and stigmatizing it?
I do know how you feel. I’ve been there.
And when someone impatiently says to you “When are you going to get over this grief”
Say to them: “I do not intend to get over the memory of my husband, wife, or sibling because I’ll always cherish those great memories to give me strength to face today. I do not intend to get over anything. I intend to get perspective on those years to honor myself and my loved one by living twice as well.”
Grief is from wanting something I cannot have or someone I cannot have . Absolute grief is from wanting it – or them – absolutely.
Grief can be as deep and dense as mahogany, as slow as molasses. My mind says its over while my working heart says grieving has barely just begun. My mind like wind flits ahead over all grief, while my heart, like water, carefully fills in every corner of the land of grief before flowing on. Only when my mind joins with my heart to face the grief together and honestly does acceptance and healing truely begin.
Grief is an unleashed psychic power with no home that can beat me or carry me to a mountaintop.
It is a dryness in the throat – a stabbing pain in the heart at the sight of a sunset that cannot be shared. It is bigger than I am which is the biggest learning lesson of all.
Grief is first ringed with fear. In time, it becomes just a hole, a hole in one’s life, always met with a sigh.
The hole in my life caused by my loved one’s death can be filled like a garbage can or cared for like a garden. It can be filled for a while with “why’s” and “if-only’s.”
It can be filled with anger without bounds or guilt without measure, which make it bigger until it becomes the eye of a lifelong hurricane that casts out self-respect and character and is driven by a fixation on a single event.
I grow from grief when I feel anger, guilt, shame, childishness, escape, hope, despair – only when I take care of these feelings like children in my home, patient, unreacting, breathing deep breaths.
Act from love, not so much from fear . . .
(By Jim Surkamp, Synthecizer by Seth Austen, Performed by Ardyth Gilbertson)
We learn to act from love not so much from fear. This is the key to grieving well. “Am I doing this out of love or out of fear?”
Filling the hole with forces that keep love alive becalms the hole, until it naturally becomes a small scar of a sad place within the soul. The hole heals and it is put into perspective by being filled like a rucksack with seashell like memories, of intimations of immortality, many little charmed moments, giving tears that remember a moment, instances of nature’s beauty, little puppies or kittens, children, music, courage and an awareness that suffering, as Dostoyevsky wrote, is the root of all consciousness.
I keep the vision in my heart that life is what happens when I am planning something else. I know that making my hopes for the future realistic is healing to me.
Life is moments, seconds and inches that change the course of my hopes and dreams. This is life. I am learning to dance with life in time to its beat, not my own. A death does not accept my terms. I am humbled by accepting the frailty death lays before my petty arrogance and vanity.
If more than one death occurs, I know that there is more than one grief. But one death also has more than one grief, each understood in its turn.
I grieve the lack of hugs, the lack of being understood deeply, of having lost a beloved witness to my life and history, a chronicler and appreciator of my own personal mythology.
I grieve being left alone with double the challenges. I grieve having to start over with a clean sheet of paper just when I feel too old to change.
I grieve that I am not blessed and spared after all. I am not invulnerable and have not earned by dint of great virtues of hard work, reason, and good manners a life free of any serious loss.
I grieve at the truth of knowing that shit happens, even to me. Kings die of cancer. Kings with continents become incontinent.
I stub my toe on reminders, made up of lonely moments that would have been shared – dinner, bedtime, family gatherings, the holidays, and trips to the grocery store when I realize I don’t need to look for that can or package of food our dead loved one savored so much.
Each reminder triggers an involuntary stream of consciousness review of the past in light of this profound new fact of the death. I see new sides to my missed loved one that took this death to discover. I am overwhelmed with the thought that I took our time together for granted or at least didn’t make the absolute most of every moment.
I grieve with a renewed appreciation of what more could have been. I dream of laughter at the beach from my new place alone on the desert.
All of this comes to be a belief that I must live and cherish every single moment – the moment as it is happening – with a real reverence for life, especially for each new day, with just enough good health to terrorize the neighborhood, delighting that the sun is shining on the back of my neck making it feel warm and good.
I know in the moment as-it-happens that a bottle of cold gatorade,iced tea, or water after a a hard workout in the hot sun has divine qualities. That the face of a little baby speaks volumes about being alive.
I learn this as I realize how much I took for granted the time I had with my now gone loved one. I cannot give them this belated love and joy but I must give this love for my own sake to someone or something.
If I can’t experience a kind of eternity being with the one I love I can experience my love by identifying with all of humanity.
I must give this love to myself and to those who still live, with hearty support in spirit from my new angel-guide. Many believe this. You can if you want.
Grief teaches me courage in spite of myself, and gives me a compassion for anyone who is suffering whether I want to admit it or not.
I shed my cool pettiness and cold aloofness to make way for this renewed living. I warm hunched shoulders with the rest of humanity not by myself in my once privileged, lucky little corner of the world.
By keeping the love alive I can remain open to newness and keep in check the fear that tells me to close up and dishonor the one who died by dying with them.
Grief is like paddling endlessly in the middle of a storm-tossed Atlantic Ocean, amid black thundering clouds, with waves of grief crashing over the sides of my canoe. I find that just by maintaining my ritual of paddling, I live to see improvement. The black clouds turn pale. Thunder subsides. A seagull one day is heard. And, in the distance, I see the tops of palm trees. After weeks and months, sometimes years, of holding faithfully on to my little paddle and canoe, I can at last hold onto the sandy beach of an island. To grieve and feel, I first need safety.
Because grief has diminished my expectations down to nothing and I still live, I take heart. I realize I have survived much of the worst.
The storms become fewer and further between, milder. I never forget who died, but the memories get sweeter. I have survived. I have no fear. I am a fresh garden planted with peace of mind.
Do not try to seek happiness, do not strive for external markers of inner peace of mind. As I come to know and love myself and humanity, peace of mind comes and finds me. It is a seed that cannot be forced, only cared for, just as I take care of all my emotions.
While I paddled furiously and aimlessly, the hands of great unseen tides carried me gently and surely to safety. The hands of a higher power.
We each choose to be either Ahab or Ishmael from the book, Moby Dick. Ahab lost his leg to the whale, the master of the imponderable deep.
Ahab became an emotional hostage to that event, tempted into becoming a slave to his rage. Inappropriate ego, often the source of our self-destruction, kept him from accepting the lessons of loss on terms that were not his own.
Ahab pursued the whale, bringing on his mad quest not only his skills and poisoned plan, but a boatload of innocent sailors, in callous disregard for all. “My grief is the greatest in all humanity!” was Ahab’s proud oath.
Ahab’s prescription for grief resulted in his being swallowed up by it.
Ishmael, on the other hand, was humble enough to accept his place in the scheme of life, birth, death, and humanity. He is found afloat and rescued after all others have perished at Ahab’s mad hand. Ishmael is clinging for life to a wooden coffin made personally for him by a sailor. He embraces his mortality as whole-heartedly as he embraced his birth, realizing that life and death are two sides to the same thing. Free of anguish and no longer avoiding that truth, his heart and mind become one, a thing clear and unafraid of what will come tomorrow. Ishmael floats humbly into a new life, his grief a small sad scar, into an eternity of his own.
Jim Surkamp on the History of Jefferson County, WV Pt. 1 (captioning)
Jim Surkamp on the History of Jefferson County, WV Pt. 2 (captioning)
Jim Surkamp on the History of Jefferson County, WV Pt. 3 (captioning)