Golden Delicious Qian – Everyone is Living Two Lives
My two lives, my many lives, are simultaneous
Qian is Separated From Her Soul – The Koan Story
Zhangken had a single daughter
Make Me a Pallet on the Floor
As the world heals, each person heals.
How I Became a Ghost & Back Again
Instead of Dante’s fearful inferno, I found the comforting warmth of a hearth.
The True Qian
Something immense is looking for us
Mario & the Fox
Whenever we are reunited with our soul others are involved
To Love Without Shelter
She is always there
The Legend of the Blue Willow – Fairytale Qian
A twin pair of ever in love.
The power of the valley never dies.
The Stone Woman Gives Birth
I have a story to tell, and, like a birth in the middle of the night, there are no words for it.
Dreaming the Invisible
Can we put down for a moment everything but our own naked grief, feel it all the way to the bottom, and find there what it asks of us?
Song of the Seed
seeds are moments of invention on the wind
House of Fire
A letter from somewhere near Paradise, 2018.
Cloudy But Bright Inside
… the starlight, the wind, and the sea pour through us …
it winds and weaves, I am never unbound
Perhaps it is not grief that weakens us, but all we do to avoid it.
It always is / and it is never
Birds Disappearing Among Clouds
Why am I growing old?
Freely I watch the tracks of the flying birds
When we meditate we rest in a universe that we did not construct…
I felt sad, but not sad. It was as if something hidden had been tapped and now the energy was free.
The Bird Path
“You go with no self underfoot.”
from Red Rosa
He brings up the most impossible questions, then hurries to answer them himself.
The Things Women Carry
Just to be in that field fully themselves, ourselves…
Pinhole Image – Curved Light
We let the light in.
Tracking a Wild Road, or Beautiful Speed Bumps
I discovered that the road did not ask for or imply movement.
Cap’n Jimmy’s Eye
“This time I’m the fish, he’s the heron, and you are the person watching.”
Often I Recall
…we too drunk to know the way home
Out for An Evening Walk
“raw, noisy conversations”
The Returned Gaze
The swift and sharp seam a bird draws with its flight can leave my world rippling….
Lush yet weightless.
After a silence, I turn to look…
Wingbeats against a wall.
..a single being roiling and tumbling in the sky
Myths, Legends, Stories of the Path: Joan Sutherland’s “The Myth We’re In”
We need stories that might have doors in them.
The Myth We’re In, Part One – Breaking the Spell
The ancestors invite us to sit for a moment in the old tales of our tradition…
The Myth We’re In, Part Two – Initiation
A time of humbling tests us mightily… It’s a bare field surrounded by leafless trees…
The Myth We’re In, Part Three – Exile, Home
Can you love a broken world?
With Each Stitch, the World Spews Flames
We step from story to story and in each of these little worlds, life has us.
Weaving Together the World
What is the one charm to avert disaster?
Lava is its own lesson.
Praise Song for the Goddess of Ferocity and Mistakes
After Enheduanna, poet and priestess of Inanna.
Lineage can be surprising.
grange road santa rosa california
after fire birds know what to do, weaving / sonorous webs
white hot and insufficient / continue to fly
tend the fire … ignite again
Fire/Water/Flow: Notes on a Creative Reverie
Boats, leaves, alembics, amoebas … Comets, lanterns, stars, seeds
…there an opening, no name… The night horizon.
We too are shaped by the whetstone of his voice.
if it were only one / flower
Avatamsaka—The Garland of Flowers Which We Are In
The universe is alive in all its pieces.
Until Further Notice
Until further notice, I will celebrate everything
Praying with Christopher Smart
Where Does This Dog End?
“Doggy,” a painting.
The Gossip Project
Regarding the art and perils of the human grapevine.
On the triumph of not-getting.
The Way of Way Too Much: An Excerpt from “The Hakawati”
Once there was and once there was not a devout, God-fearing man who lived his entire life according to stoic principles. He died on his fortieth birthday and woke up floating in nothing.
Sometimes the remedy for “too much” is…more?
How Many is All?
Let’s begin with everyone.
“Pink Web,” a photograph.
What’s Not a Copy of Myself
every molecular hand / takes another and never ceases / to explain myself
Which way to turn when beginning and end are both lost?
New Table of Non-Periodic Elements
A new self order.
Counting to One, I
The infinite writ large in Jorge Luis Borges’ Library of Babel.
Tuning the Lambo
On meditation: an interview.
In Response to C.D. Wright’s “Questionnaire in January”
Suppose too much strength is not a good thing.
Counting to One, II
Infinity? Closer than you think.
Meet Ernst Haeckel.
Spiders, Rats, and the Elegance of Strangeness
What if the situation you can’t fix is also on your side?
Taking All Paths
Every path a being takes is fashioned by its interactions with other beings. An interaction between two beings (Chris Gaffney & Corey Hitchcock) leads to the triptych of pieces found here. Each piece speaks to the myriad and foundational nature of interaction in establishing being, whether the being in question be person or electron. Which […]
The Electron and the Cart Maker
The master cart maker makes a cart.
If she removes the axle and wheels,
What is vividly apparent?
A Feynman Diagrammatic Analysis
This is what your brain looks like on koans.
Stars at Noon
Sometimes, like the wizard revealed behind the curtain in Oz, the keenly relational genius of the universe shows itself plain.
What To Do With It When It Comes
Love in the time of data centers, virtual shopping carts, and Louboutins.
Warm Light (Another Lifeform)
Stereo or Quadraphonic Sound Installation for 100 Voices and Laptop
As Above So Below
The art of change.
No Road Is the Road
“Water and thirst are good”: from the proverbs of Antonio Machado.
Waking up in Old Fangak, La Gonave, and Mwanza
I am an internal medicine doctor. In that capacity, I go to distant places, meet interesting people, and eat weird food. In these journeys, I’ve noticed how technology connects us, often awkwardly, with each other.
Footsteps in the Hallway
When the heart opens to longing, it opens a little bit to everything.
A letter from the Director of Social Services at Broad Street Ministry, Philadelphia.
One shows, one tells: two encounters with appetite.
No End to It
An introduction to Santoka’s way.
The gift of less–a composition for solo clarinet.
Tonight, the Rain
Drenched in seeing.
In a dream I heard: “Underground, all waters touch.”
Montale at Monterosso
You were so near the origins / you had taken off your face.
Holding vows as koans–and opening to your own life.
Taking Care of the Name
Finding a ripe and secret sweetness down at the bottom of this river.
Are You Afraid Of This Happiness?
On holding loss–and more loss.
Sometime in the 1940s when my mother was growing up, my grandfather had a spontaneous transformation. It happened between lunch and his arrival at the Biltmore Health Club, I think.
Visualize getting it.
Instructions for post-enlightenment.
Real life is choosing your socks.
Uncertainty as Companion
Take a step from the top of the 100-foot pole. – Zen koan
I want to write a poem about / lizard society.
Ten years ago, koans began to form themselves into images inside me. From this time forward all of my paintings have been the lived visual record of my encounter with a koan, each piece an impression left after its passing, like a print in the earth beside a spring.
The Possibility of Being Creative
These days, when I sit down to write, I’m afraid. That sentence, the one I just wrote, has taken me most of a week to produce. Lately I’ve attempted dozens, a hundred other sentences, all about what making a creative move feels like. This one is actually true.
Something brought that pair together into the house. Together. Not apart. Together. Together, they came into the house and only one left. What brought them to such circumstances?
Hollow Bodies in a Dyson Sphere
Loud, and in the dark.
A sharp intake of breath — my whole body electrified, my hair stood on end — the salmon hovered just below the surface, tail flashing gold, and we stared at each other.
Bang! There Goes That Theory
Steve wants to know whether our most recent cosmology points to a dark and lonely future. Chris, the physics guy with the union card (Ph.D.), lends a helping hand.
Through a gate shaped like a bird, I enter a landscape of light.
Before The Law
John Tarrant introduces a celebrated predicament.
Meditation on Grasping and Clinging
“…you are right to tremble… / for all things are void of self-nature and / your alkaline diet will not save you.”
Karmic Apple / Firewood
Introducing Deh Chun, as strange a stranger as a stranger can get.
The Apple Dream
It’s that whoa-whoa-whoa when the roller coaster, chain-hauled to its highest point, crests at last and suddenly, horribly, you’re facing vast space and a great plunge, inescapable.
Aubade for Self-Righteousness
It prefers the glare of mid-afternoon or the razor tooth / madness of bad dreams, because it’s a sharp thing.
An excerpt on falling, helping, and Layman Pang from Jesse’s blog, “It’s Alive.”
“Every snowflake falls in the right place” – Zen koan
Parapraxis: A slip of the tongue or pen, forgetfulness, misplacement of objects, or other error thought to reveal unconscious wishes or attitudes.
The Misstep is a most subtle step, as it’s on the inside, not the outside.
My daughter / pressed some / daffodils—
I can’t find one. / This seems alright.
Through the trees I saw Downtown L.A. at sunset with its rose blanket of smog.
In Praise of Folly
This is a story about trying to feel my way into a story, the pieces of which were never lost, but which was assumed to hold too many mistakes. It is a story about passing into and out of adolescence, into and out of mortification, into and out of something like foolishness, something like light.
after we slept i felt sarah’s / lips on my arms and legs;
An old Zen teacher prompted, “Show me your face before your parents were born.” Modern biology also calls us to consider our true countenance. Which side is our best side may surprise us.
Reading Neruda While Waiting For An Ultrasound
When I love you less than perfectly, it is the same.
The Leaf That Is Not A Leaf
“Suddenly you discover that you’ll spend your entire life in disorder. It’s all that you have;
you must learn to live with it.”
Now, what shall I plant in this overturned soil?
Everything I do and everything I invest in my life give back just enough to keep going. Barely.
In winter of 2004, at dusk one evening, my cross country skis slipped out from under me on the lumpy grey ice. I broke my tailbone and it really, really hurt and I lay on the ground wondering what possible good a meditation practice was in such a situation. Then, amused, I wrote this haiku.
Uncertainty was the most disturbing thing.
One afternoon I got to witness, from a not-so-safe distance, a dance of physics, reminding me that sometimes we get the chance to feel immortal.
Being Vassily Vasilyvich
Seattle theater On the Boards interviews Kristen Kosmas regarding her play There There, about “being the completely wrong person in the totally wrong place at the exact wrong time saying and doing all the most wrong things”. Trace Farrell relates.
A meditation on doing it wrong.
If You Want To Dance Butoh
“If you want to dance Butoh, the first thing you must do is kill the self.”
By the time Coyote arrived the sides had already been chosen, the battle lines formed, and the smell of hate and future bloodshed permeated the very air.
I step out onto a tidal river rock to meditate in the shade of the overhead bridge. As usual, I fail. I’m texting a friend a panorama of the river when a bird shits on my neck.