Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Existence leans its mouth

"Existence leans its mouth
toward me,

because my love
cares for

~ Meister Eckhart

 "Most minds
do not live in the present
and can stick to a reasonable plan; most minds abruptly turn
and undermine the

~ Rumi

Both of these quotations are from a book titled Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West, trans. by Daniel Ladinsky.

I wanted to feel these words today, think about them, along with this (which is something I have written in my notebooks, on blogs, in books so many times.  It is a lot to take in:

"...each of us is responsible for the entire world."

~ Clarice Lispector

Anyone who knows me knows my love of C.L.  I have two copies of The Stream of Life and when the new one comes out I will likely buy two copies.  I have one upstairs in my room, and one in my study.  Sometimes I take one of these books with me places.  Both of them are dogeared and underlined, but in different ways.

I happen to work a few days a week in a place where people naturally bring you their stories, which is part of the reason I love the public library.  Sometimes the story will be longish, but more often one receives a very small snippet of a story.  And then there is the intuited story, which may very well be invented.  Of course it is invented, it's important really to remember that - the story we intuit is not necessarily exactly real in a larger sense.  It has to do with a shy or quavering voice, the thinness of speech, an awkwardness. A sense of distress or level of comfort that is felt, a measure of the carefree or of happiness.  Or a brashness, mumbling, a rehearsed sound. Many people have difficulty with asking, that act, no matter how small the thing being asked for.  And then there are all the other cues that one takes in, practicing to erase judgement from the observations.  In the winter there are people sparsely dressed, cold, shabby, worn.  There are others wearing new, possibly expensive gear. The troubles or joys of one may be equal, if different, from the other, and opposite to expecation.  This is maybe the most interesting part of reading the intuited stories of those we come across, those we meet.  To take in these possible stories, which can only ever be fragments.  The beauty in that, too. The way we feel reading Sappho's fragments perhaps.  Just that calm, detached feeling in the presence of the poetry that has come down to us - we cannot know, we cannot know.  So we take in what we're given, with awe and surprise and in deference. At times, one is told something that raises skepticism, which is fine too, right.  Maybe these are the most interesting fragments, sometimes the most haunting.  Imagining the impulse, the possible need, that this arises from.  

In short, I am trying to stay present, to hear the humming, as part of a daily practice.  To care for existence, that it may lean toward me.  To be responsible for the entire world.  My entire world, that small sphere, at least.  To let that enter my writing.  To let that inform all my dealings with the world.  And I fail quite miserably very often, in truth.  And find in all honesty, that it's often a more difficult practice with those who are closer to you. The tenderest failings.  

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