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Sunday, June 22, 2014


"To progress in life you must give up the things you do not like. Give up doing the things that you do not like to do. You must find the things that you do like. The things that are acceptable to your mind." - Agnes Martin


She Considers the Dimensions of Her Soul            Young Smith
(Mrs. Morninghouse, after a Sermon Entitled,
"What the Spirit Teaches Us through Grief")

The shape of her soul is a square.
She knows this to be the case
because she sometimes feels its corners
pressing sharp against the bone
just under her shoulder blades
and across the wings of her hips.
At one time, when she was younger,
she had hoped that it might be a cube,
but the years have worked to dispel
this illusion of space. So that now
she understands: it is a simple plane:
a shape with surface, but no volume—
a window without a building, an eye
without a mind.
                         Of course, this square
does not appear on x-rays, and often,
weeks may pass when she forgets
that it exists. When she does think
to consider its purpose in her life,
she can say only that it aches with
a single mystery for whose answer
she has long ago given up the search—
since that question is a name which can
never quite be asked. This yearning,
she has concluded, is the only function
of the square, repeated again and again
in each of its four matching angles,
until, with time, she is persuaded anew
to accept that what it frames has no
interest in ever making her happy.


“We accept the love we think we deserve.”
Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower


To Be Continued: A Parable                Samuel Hazo

It's like a play.
                     Or rather
   the revival of a play in which
   you're still the main character.
The set, the lighting and the stage
   are what they were, but not
   the cast.
                Different actors
   have the roles that other actors
   acted when the play first
         You make comparisons
   but then accept the differences
   as given.
                 Somehow you only feel
   secure in character but alien
   to all the others on the stage.
Their names will keep on changing
   as the run resumes with younger
   people in older roles.
                                 The script
   will stay the same.
                              You know
   your lines by heart but try
   to say them in a different voice
   each night.
                  The other actors
   say your character and you
   are one.
               Sometimes this seems
   a sentence, sometimes a challenge.
Either way you keep on playing
   your part.
                 You have no choice.
Choice of attention—to pay attention to this and ignore that—is to the inner life what choice of action is to the outer. In both cases, a man is responsible for his choice and must accept the consequences, whatever they may be.  W. H. Auden
Legato                                                                       Mary Cornish
(Italian: bound)
As when a crow flies up from a field, the sky
accepts the weight of birds.
The crow's shadow falls to earth, and earth
accepts the shadow as if it were a house or tree.
Roots go down, blind as moles
and as eager. And in the house, each day
light moves across the bed.
Even with you gone, light moves on the bed
and I wake up. There's an arc
between the living and the dead, as when
a crow rises from a field, sun on its back.
Below, the shadow moving.

Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue to exist, a wonderful living side by side can grow up, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole against the sky.  Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters: 1910 – 1926

We deduce that accepting an initiatory task is more important than succeeding or failing at it. Robert Bly, in Iron John: A Book About Men, p. 54

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