Self and reality. Symbol and language. Myth and image. Memory and consciousness.
Dream and unreality: locus communis.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Psalms as Meditative Bridges

New Year's Day bloomed as a gray and chilled series of hours. The boy played upstairs— his laughter carrying throughout the house despite the lack of color outside. A strong contrast of realities, perception. I still feel a lingering sensation of a mild cold— a mere frustration really, just enough discomfort to make me wish I could stay in bed all day, avoiding responsibilities. The illness gathers in my joints and sinuses results in numerous sneezes, coughing attacks, the need for numerous tissues. In the background a slow John Coltrane filters from the stereo: mellow, drawn-out rhythms.
Earlier in January, Bitter Oleander rejected a short series of poems— on a positive side, the editors included a nice note, encouraging a re-submission in the future, providing a connection for possibilities— offering a sense of understanding between us was reached. At the beginning of a new year, such statements carry a strong emphasis. Reinforce a commitment with the self regarding more frequent submissions of manuscripts.
After a brief hiatus, I have begun writing daily tanka verses again. Like the haiku project, I am presenting these in sentence format rather than stanzas. This shift allows a greater experimental notion— a stronger word association game, which enables positive results in longer works. The relationship of metaphors has altered somewhat for me as well— producing the want for a stronger abstraction, rather than a logical, expected bridge of thought. The evidence of this change should be more obvious in days to come.

146 / I did not want to recall the past— and yet here you are, with scents of stale cigarettes and beer lingering under your tongue —
—and then, as well, I have been developing a poem regarding the horrors in Connecticut. As a parent, the event shakes me to the core; the root of my sensibilities bristles with anger, resentment, grief— At this juncture, too many individual threads of thoughts keep conflicting with my need to bring together an adequate response, yet sensitive to those affected.

In my notebook, the sequence of verses began with these phrasings:
torn prayer book
psalms as meditative bridges
child's shirt left over a chair
shells of water-oak acorns
— mere subtle scraps of images, but on the whole these words are helping to bring out an emotional questioning to my understanding of faith and devotion. Abstract concepts which I need to translate and provide to my child. Building some sense of a structure of security in this world of insecurities.

1 comment:

  1. Your productivity is both admirable and a lesson to me.
    146 has me hooked. There's so much in those few words. Longing lust memory pain and human frailty - and that's just me and my imperfect and very personalised reading!
    And yes, Connecticut.
    This is the random meaningless horror that we humans - designed to seek out meaning - will forever continue to be tortured over and by.
    Here - 17 years ago - it was Dunblane and the gun murder of a class of Primary One children.
    I spoke to Ana, my 9 year old about this one and it was she who reminded me - atrocities like this are happening every day. Afghanistan. Iraq. Congo. She said 'why do people kill other people Mum?'
    You cannot protect them. You equip them, I think. Fortify and strengthen them with love and constancy. Reminding them that life is beautiful.

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