Conversation Conclusion

What would you say if you knew someone was going to pour over your words? If you knew someone was going to sift through your words, looking for bits and pieces to frame and treasure, what would you say?

It would have to be completely spontaneous. Anything rehearsed would be clunky and trite.

You were a fountain of insight and naturally flowing poetry when you came down from the mountain. Like seeing a reflection of the world in a water droplet, your words dripped with meaning, and shimmered as they fell.

I tried to put them in a jar.

I may have thought I was doing it for you. I did want to make a gift of your own insight–something to frame and give to you when you needed to remember the experience.

But the beauty of your enlightenment is in its flow. To capture is to kill.

Fortunately, at least some of what you said, the things I was moved by, is still viable in my every day life.

I hear the world in a new way; I am listening with more curiosity as to what I am also, not hearing.

I am making sense of ordinary life by engaging sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch as I make coffee, carry out the trash and wash the clothes.

But maybe the most important take away is that I am not going to stress over what to save and what to let go of.

I am doing what you would do, laugh and let go of it all. Moving on. Gate, gate, paragate, parasumgate, bodhi soha.

https://youtu.be/a8GF2Yz-O6E

Evolution of Conversation, Days Later

I spent all that time

Making poetry about how I was going to be a better listener,

then, I didn’t hear you say you had to be somewhere at 6:00, so if

I wanted to get together to sing or chant, it would have to be early.

Thinking I had all the time in the world,

I finished my work and gave my dog a hair cut.

I went to R. and J.’s thinking you would be there soon.

When you didn’t show up, I was worried.

So, today, I was still thinking about what you said

when you came down from the mountain .

I was still mining it for all its gold

When I saw the thing about 6:00.

The irony struck me

Evolution of Conversation

I want to save the conversation we began when you came back from your trip to the mountains. I want to print it and put it on a water color sky and keep it in a journal.

Everything you said was poetry.

You had been to the mountains and your spirit had been restored.

I say that like it’s past tense. That isn’t right. Your renewal is ongoing.

Something is different.

Remember the story about the man seeking enlightenment. He goes to the mountain where he meets a sage who puts him to work chopping wood and carrying water. He gets frustrated with these mundane chores and wonders when the real work of attaining wisdom will begin.
Then, Oh! happy day! He awakens to the truth that what he was seeking is right there in his ordinary chores.

He realizes he must return to where he came from; He comes down from the mountain and back into the marketplace.

I always thought the story ended there, but it doesn’t, does it?

I am wondering if that man did not bring the whole magical experience with him when he came home and if his light did not have an effect on the people around him.

It does seem like there is something fresh and new in the atmosphere, now that you are back and you’ve shared some of your marvelous light.

You received a blessing when your hands went into the creek and you poured water over your head. Your baptism brings grace to all of us.

I want to go back to what you actually said and how you said it.

I was too much like a hungry dog, lapping up all the story in gulps without tasting anything.

I’m sorry I didn’t listen better the first time. I am listening now.

Songs That Can’t Be Sung To Anyone

King David, there are songs

in my own heart that need to be sung


and I can’t sing them to anyone.


Strains the tree trunks make

when it’s quiet enough to hear,


and Cottonwood leaves and branches that abandon their music


to the changing forces of time and weather-


these are my teachers as much as you.


Dogs barking on either side of my house, somewhere in the distance,

communicating all the goings on of their people, or who knows what dogs talk about!


Birds calling out what they will each bring to supper.


Wind chimes in the window, fairly constant. subtle ting-ting-ting.


Traffic humming like a rolling ocean,


and I’m the one holding the shore. 


These waves of

wordless language

assure me

that what I thought I needed to sing

already resounds,

and only needs my quiet

and appreciative listening.

Not Hungry For Dog

I’ve decided that after my little adventure into the dog eat dog world of writing to get published, I’d rather not eat dog.

I just finished a writing class that I thought was geared to teach me how to become a published writer. I expected to learn how to write query letters, where to look for prospective publishers, how to tell a good deal from a scam, and how to prepare our work to submit to different publishers.

Now Don’t get me wrong, I’m still absolutely glad I took the class. I just learned something I didn’t expect to learn.

The class was great fun for two weeks. We met every day and had time for free writing, and different exercises each day to foster the flow of creative ideas. We even did yoga one day.

We spent one day going over lists in handouts about publishing. It was all a blur to a novice like me. I thought we would go over it again in more detail later on. But that never happened.

At the end of two weeks the class went online.

The fist week was dead silence.

The week after, minimal communications.

Final results, the instructor was pleased with my work and said I should submit it somewhere for publication. She didn’t offer suggestions as to where. She just left me with that vague feedback.

When I voiced my disappointment with the lack of focus on publishing, the professor accused me of thinking I was too advanced for the class and several other odd criticisms that basically hinted that I should grow up and stop being a cry baby.

“Grow a thicker skin.” I was told.

“Don’t be so sensitive.”

“Writing is hard work.”

Hey! I am willing to work hard. I just don’t know the business. That is why I took the class: to learn.

So to the world where dog eats dog and people hate one another for trying to learn something, I say, ” No thank you, I’ll not be having dog, today.”

If it means losing sensitivity to compete in the writers market, I don’t need to sell my work.

I will keep writing for people I love and sharing it here. If you are meant to read it, the right writing will find you.

I’ll take magic over mean competition anytime.