Friday, May 28, 2010

What about the inchoate parts, the parts that haven't gelled yet? What about the parts that don't know yet what they are part of?

They don't know how to ask to be given time.
We could sit around and watch the light make things visible.
I see you dancing down the street.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I take down my umbrella because the sun starts shining through it.

But there's still some rain of tiny drops in the sunshine. That means there's a rainbow around.

You're not that far away. I hope you can feel it.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

San. San. Santa.

Holy. Holy. Holy.

Living everyday lives inside cities called holy. Noticing how the place I'm inis holy. Helping the holiness along. Letting the holiness help me along.

This place, this time, no other, holy in many ways, maybe some of which I can be with.

Not letting routineness, irritability, stories in my head about myself keep me from noticing san, santa, holy.
I can herd knowledge as it comes my way into a corral of what people like me are used to.

Or I can let knowledge roam free as it passes me--listen, watch, and smell as it goes where it goes.
Connections you're allowed to notice.




Connections that it's wrong to notice





Monday, May 24, 2010

The music of the Beach Boys and of the Carpenters has in common a smooth surface.

Also common to these musics is that you can hear the depression of one of the creators of it, not in the words, but right below the slick, skilled surface of the sound.

There's a hidden good-girl song somewhere called "I'm Suppose to be on Top of the World."
Cleverness is good at manipulating bits of shared reality to get a result I personally want.

I don't usually want big enough or little enough to make deep change.

Much bigger than cleverness and closer to the ground, is letting the whole blessed thing find a way to be that is good, generous, and, by shared reality standards, unexpected.

Following intuition and feelings like "plant stuff here" and "believe sleep" can make anyone part of this big good surprise process.

When you let yourself be part of that, you're as surprised as anyone at the outcome.

You don't get to have the "Just as I expected, just as I planned" reaction of cleverness. You get to be around something new and good, and you get to get busy learning to live in a different world.
Distrust words, and work to get them back. Distrust words as they often are used now, and work to get them back. Not to get them back for our own little selves, but for accuracy and depth.
What gives, I wonder? What receives?
He could be charming in person. He also could have epic temper tantrums in person, but he didn't have them with outsiders present. Many outsiders were charmed by him.

Being charming is an other-oriented edit, a tool to get a reaction.

Make the other person feel good and cause them to believe the feeling good came from your personal wonderfulness, and you can get away with a lot, later and elsewhere.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

She wants the information from as-is. She doesn't want me to dress up or engage in what I would call improvement.

Friday, May 21, 2010

**[In fourth paragraph, corrected the date Musee d'Orsay was built and added the date San Francisco City Hall was built.]

Today's free Examiner had a color art history insert. Start the day with beauty is not often the newspaper deal, but it was today.

Pictures by Impressionists and by the people they would have been looking at before they were Impressionists, for the birth of Impressionism show, soon to open.

I think they were partly doing this to make sure we the public get that this whole show isn't Impressionists, that it is muchly about where they were coming from.

Beautiful pictures, but I liked as much as anything the photograph of the Musee d'Orsay, the museum they are on loan from, which was built as a railroad station in 1900--gorgeous. A sort of cousin of San Francisco's lovably elaborate City Hall, built in 1916.

Somehow, the Musee d'Orsay and all the beauty in mid- newspaper led me to seeing the chipped paint on the side of a bus shelter as gorgeous. Dark paint on top, light paint underneath, here comes the light, here comes beauty.
Breathe into you. Breathe into the youest you you know. Breathe out to give you space. And again. Then thinking might be worth something.
What do you know that you can't say?
We could start a new place in a place where people already live. We could call it Sorrows.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

"Actually, it's fascinating work, in theory."

--Sidewalk voice, man to another man, flat voice.
"Actually, I just want to volley, get some exercise."

--Sidewalk voice, man nearing tennis courts

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

[The words after the first three words are new.]

Heal into wisdom.

The scar tissue becomes what one end of the bridge rests on. Scar tissue is tough and knows a lot.

The other end of the bridge rests on what scar tissue doesn't know.

Walking on the bridge is springy. It knows how to give and how to return.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The narrow hole through which we go to become larger.
The planet--I don't usually love the whole thing. I love parts of it, then I remember there is a whole thing.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Women tend to tend to things. They tend to keep things going.

Possible problems with tending to keep things going:

1. Maybe what you're tending to isn't supposed to keep going. Maybe it is actually bad, on balance, and should cease to exist. Or, maybe it was okay or good, but it's been around enough already. It needs to leave to leavespace for something else, not be life-supported by you.

2.You need to be doing something else with your time, helping something new find its place.

New things can be started by the big plan. New things can also be started by listening as you step through today and do little things your intuition suggests.

Maybe you learn a year or two later what the little moves from intuition were about--making way for something new and amazingly entertaining that you couldn't have imagined even as you helped start it.

Don't prop up what is going to fall down anyway.
Wrong question, wrong answer. It's time to listen to the moon.
The splashes of yellow paint on the grey sidewalk next to the newly painted storefront remind me of the space between, which is like a flower that is beautiful in its presence and healing in its presence. Inside myself, I feel more room, less pain. Sprouts may sprout, reach up and out, and not go "ouch." It's spring, and the ground can shine, too.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

What is all this? I wonder, I wonder, I wonder. Is any of it food? I wonder.

Will it nourish and help me to keep going? Or will it distract me as I fade?
In "Lady Audley's Secret" by Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Lady Audley actually has several secrets. She keeps generating new secrets to cover up the old. Ain't that the way.

Friday, May 07, 2010

"How to Be Fake" or maybe "How to Try to Be Fake" could be a name for either "Confessions of a Mask" by Yukio Mishima and "Stuck Rubber Baby" by Howard Cruse.

They are about men who are very attracted to men sexually, and who really don't want the hassle of being that, in the 1940's in Japan in the 1960's in the United States.

The main character of "Confessions of a Mask" is extremely aware quite young that men charge him up--he has a strong memory of guys in tight pants who cleaned up the neighborhood and how looking at them made him feel when he was really young.

And as he grows older, he keeps getting charged up by looking at men, thinking about. He also gets that this is not OK.

So he tries to carefully observe he friends who are boys and try to construct himself as normal by learning to act as if he feels like they feel.

It's work, because he keeps forgetting how they feel. Like that for the other boys, the very thought of a picture of a naked woman is really exciting.

The young boy constructing the mask doesn't feel that way at all. He simultaneouly gets exciting looking at pictures of naked men, works on constructing his fake identity as normal, and imagines that if he kisses a girl, he will really have the normal reaction and become normal in truth.

He's under a lot of pressure.

He's in Japan during World War II and keeps imagining that he will die. Die by being bombed, or die by getting old enough to be in combat and getting killed in combat.

When he's old enough he passes a physical that says he's fit to be called for service, but when he is actually called up, he flunks the physical, for being frail, having weak lungs.

The back and forth on the physical is somehow reminiscent of his struggle with his physical feelings--trying to fake that they are different, and hoping the kiss of a girl will make him be normal.

He kisses a girl whom he likes a lot, the sister of a school friend and nothing--her lips could've been slugs.

On two different occasions, he feels how much he likes her and how much he doesn't respond to her physically, and he is overwhelmed with grief.

When World War II is over, that day, he feels bad because he had been counting on death to get him out of his dilemma. The war is over, and he'll have to figure out how to be or look normal for years.

He almost gets engaged to the woman he likes and then doesn't. She gets married to someone else, and says she's happy. She and our hero keep seeing each other secretly which feels dangerous to her but not him. She doesn't say explicitly when she tells him it's dangerous, but I think she's afraid they'll get overwhelmed by their feelings and make love.

As she's telling him this in the dance hall they've gone to, he's getting overwhelmed by lust for some young gay guys he sees there.

She asks once, about him breaking off their near engagement, "Is it because you don't like me?" He doesn't say. In late forties Japan, they never have the conversation that the main character and the woman he likes do have in the sixties in the United States.

He tells her he's been dating her to prove to himself he isn't gay. She is furious and says so. She feels used and says.

He kind of shakes himself awake and goes, "Oh, yeah, I can see how you would feel that way." But he didn't get within a hundred miles of thinking of himself as using her when they were dating.

Like the Japanese sort of couple, this couple is in the midst of the kind of history that gets into history books--in this case, the civil rights movement in the South in the sixties. What's happening where they are going to college is hot--violence always close. Hot, and also interesting, and also doing a doing-a-good-thing opporunity.

The southern couple are both white. She is into the civil rights movment for reasons of justice. He gets into it and showing up for demonstrations because he wants to impress her. He probably wouldn't have thought of participating if he hadn't wanted to show off his worthiness for her (and he wanted her attention so she could be a prop to show himself and others he wasn't gay.

He's not a deep guy. A very believable college student.The Japanese guy feels grief at the combination of how much he likes the woman and how much they can never really connect physically. The American guy--it feels like at this point in his life, that kind of grief for that kind of reason is way beyond him.

The Japanes guy is, as a humna, mush more detailed and layered. And very aware of his details and layers. His tales of constructing the mask of being normal could be a guide to anyone invested in any fakeness important to them in how to try and how it doesn't work.

At the end of "Confessions of a Mask," our hero hasn't have sex with anyone else, but the war is over and those guys at the dancehall are looking really good.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Clausewitz, the European war expert, was alive at the time of the US Civil War and said it wasn't a war, as previously known, but was armed mobs roaming the countryside.

Sometimes it was and sometimes it wasn't.

The first part of the fighting and the fighting the next day in Stephen Crane's novel "The Red Badge of Courage," are part of the same battle, but they are very different.

The first day, which involves, on the Union side, where our point of view is, completely inexperienced troops, and officers who must be there but have no obvious effect, is about an armed mob. Our hero, Henry Fleming, runs away, as do many other soldiers.

Fleming is often called "the youth" in the narration, instead of his name, and he is young. When he hears, the night before the battle, other youths talking about how they are looking forward to the fighting, he is sure he is the only one who is afraid.

When, the next day, he comes back to his unit after spending a lot of time running away and being lost, he seems to never get that a lot of guys ran away. When he come back, he tells a soldier in his unit he meets "I got separated," and the guy grins with that direct rural guy humor and says, "Yeah, they're coming in every ten minutes," the many people who got separated. But the youth, our youth, doesn't pick up on that. He thinks it's just him, and that the guys who didn't get separated don't know who ran away.

The next day, Henry, our youth, is involved with other young men in a plan that officers make, lead, and execute. It is a really different battle, though technically part of the same battle. Officers lead. Soldiers do the plan, which works to some extent.

The US Civil War went from being armed mobs roaming the countryside to being a prequel to World War I.

Someone at that time wrote that because of more democracy, history was entering the era of wars of the people, and that wars of the people would be terrible, terrible war.

Big, for one thing. Some famous wars, like the Wars of the Roses in England, between families with ruling hopes, were ignorable by a lot of people. The Civil War in the US killed for many people it was tough to ignore.

As Henry Fleming marches away from the battlefield in "The Red Badge of Courage," he wonders what happened.

He got his red badge of courage, blood on himself, while he was fighting off a wounded man in the rear, where Henry ran to, who wanted his help and companionship. Henry said and pushed, "No."

That was probably a definitive experience, but not the one he dreamed of. Being competent the next day might not make up for it, in Henry's heart.

When Henry, or someone like him, came marching home there would be civic leaders who weren't there and who had never been in war on that scale, or at all, who would tell him, and the other troops, and the civilians, what happened.

They would be certain. They would use phrases like "red badge of courage."

But Henry still might not really get what happened because the tone of his experience was different than the tone of the speeches and of the questions he was asked that might have been heavy on "tell me how glorious it was."

The Civil War went from 1861 to 1865. Stephen Crane was born in 1871, and had never been in a war when he wrote "The Red Badge of Courage" in 1891. People who had been in wars and studied wars, when the book came out and now, were impressed--sort of stunned--by how right what Crane wrote felt.

I think a Henry or two or three in the little town in New York he grew up in that was filled with Civil War veterans found in Crane someone who would actually listen to them. Listen to them all the way through. Listen to the doubts and confusion.

You don't have to say "Shut up!" to get someone to shut up. Tense up when they start saying words you don't want to hear. Hold on to what you believe about their experience in the face of hearing that that isn't what they believe about their experience.

I think maybe Crane the child and youth was willing to hear from the fighters things they hadn't been able to say. Which they hadn't been able to think all the way out because no one wanted to hear.

He also was influenced by Tolstoy and by a big collection of accounts from the top that everyone interested read--"Battles and Leaders of the Civil War."

He wrote "Battle and One Confused Regular Guy of the Civil War."

Tolstoy is great on the confusion of battles and the messiness. Tolstoy was also a man who had a very strong sense that life had meaning.

Crane didn't have that sense. He wrote a poem that goes, "A man said to the universe, 'I exist.' The universe replied, 'However, that does not create in me a sense of obligation.'" That tone is characteristic of his writing, but not of "The Red Badge of Courage." That tone is also almost the opposite of what Tolstoy believed--it's all one, and it means something

Crane wrote of war very matter-of-factly in "The Red Badge of Courage." Make of it what you will. I read it anti-war, but I'm like that. Theodore Roosevelt, who tended to love war as a genre, also loved "The Red Badge of Courage."

Crane wrote "The Red Badge of Courage" in ten days when he was twenty-one, the general age of the men he was writing about.

I imagine him remembering their eyes as they told their stories, including the parts they had almost never told, rarely thought about. He honored that they didn't think one think about their war. He took on telling it from the point-of-view of an essential participant in war, an unsophisticated, hopeful at first, confused later, youth.

Rah-rah and listening are different. I've read about popular and I've read about unpopular wars. I've never read where a veteral said something like, "When I got back, many people wanted to hear in detail exactly what I'd been through."

After popular wars, the vets sometimes speak of how the rah-rah is brief, and if you get home after the first rah period, you don't get much. People want to get on with things other than the war that is over. After unpopular wars, no rah-rah, and some people looking at you with their worst possible imagination of what you did.

So maybe after years of sort of telling the story, a man or two in upstate New York, where Stephen Crane lived when little, was confronted with the young person who, when they hinted a little at parts of their war they couldn't speak of, didn't tense up and shut them up, but conveyed, "Go on."

Clausawitz, the author of the still much read "On War," liked his thoughts and ideas about war. So do we all--or we've evolved ideas about war in general and the war we're thinking about now that fit with who were are and what we expect out of life.

These theories that fit us may not fit the experience of some one individual involved in a war. Shutting up that individual may be easy if that person has been frequently shut up. But how interesting to listen in a way that they can be accurate to what happened to them. How different if the perceptions of people actually involved in war were common, were part of what we all knew.

These perceptions would not be the same even for one war, or one group of people in the same place in one war--that's my theory. And if we let these perceptions out and about more and lived with them, we might make better decisions, as a group, about future war--or future not wars.

"Fifty-four forty or fight" was a popular US slogan about where the border with Canada in the west should be. It isn't. It's lower than that--there is more Canada and less US than there would be if that were the border.

There are people alive who are descendents of people wo didn't die in the "fifty-four forty or fight war" because that war didn't happen.

I think about the missing descendents of the war diers now and then, what they might have done if they'd existed.

Maybe somehow listening to what war survivors really have to say, the whole thing, might help there be more of those folks who descended from people who didn't die in war because we the humans didn't do that war--we found some other ways to heal the problems that might go to war. Our increased practice at listening and being able to hear other people's experiences that don't fit with our theories and fantasies might help. If when we talk about going to war, going to a specific war, our minds and hearts were filled with what specific people had told us about their specific experience of being in war, that would be different.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Noisism is practiced by people of many different belief systems.

Noisism is the belief that it is important for other people to make the same kind of noise that we do--whether the noise is the words they use to say what they believe, or what kind of musical instruments they play and how loud they play them
I had a dream where a friendly, authoritative voice told me I couldn't go through a door I had just gone through.

It felt like she wasn't informing me of a rule but of something more like physics--it can't be done.

The authority and friendliness were such that I briefly believed her, then I said to myself, "But I have walked through the door, and here I am." I kept walking
There is also letting the healing power in, in a general sort of way, and letting it find what it wants to heal.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Seeing all that--seeing the interlocking rules of dumb that trap us and seeing at the same time the loose part of that tight trap, seeing how we can push through there at the looseness and reconnect with our brains in everyday life on this issue where idiocy was, until now, required, you walk through the looseness, others see how it's done when it's undumb, and intelligence advance and becomes more common. Thanking you in advance.
El, al, the, der, la.

La luna. Does the moon have an opinion about which of the human words for it is most accurate?

There's a shine on the language I'm most used to that doesn't come from inside that particular language. It's a reflection of the blazing brilliance of our brains in always making language, always using language. No language is the language--but the whole language part of humans shines like el sol, like an amazing energy producing reaction going on all the time.