From the monthly archives:

December 2009

Borges: Year’s End

December 31, 2009

in Poetry,Words

Final de Año

Neither the symbolic detail
of a three instead of a two,
nor that rough metaphor
that hails one term dying and another emerging
nor the fulfillment of an astronomical process
muddle and undermine
the high plateau of this night
making us wait
for the twelve irreparable strokes of the bell.
The real cause
is our murky pervasive suspicion
of the enigma of Time,
it is our awe at the miracle
that, though the chances are infinite
and though we are
drops in Heraclitus’ river,
allows something in us to endure,
never moving.

– Jorge Luis Borges (translated by W.S. Merwin)

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Snowfall at Dusk

December 29, 2009

in Image,Place,Senses

I actually choked on a snowflake earlier this evening, but my cold, wet walk was worth it.

Snowfall in Portland (Dusk)

This evening in Portland

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Gary Snyder, quoted in the book “Where Inspiration Lives”:

Another key principle in this creative stewardship is waking up to “wild mind.” He clarifies that “wild” in this context does not mean chaotic, excessive, or crazy.

“It means self-organizing,” he says. “It means elegantly self-disciplined, self-regulating, self-maintained. That’s what wilderness is. Nobody has to do the management plan for it. So I say to people, ‘let’s trust in the self-disciplined elegance of wild mind.’ Practically speaking, a life that is vowed to simplicity, appropriate boldness, good humor, gratitude, unstinting work and play, and lots of walking, brings us close to the actually existing world and its wholeness.”

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From the back cover of Haiku Year:

“In 1996, seven friends agreed to write one haiku a day and mail them to each other. At the end of the year, they realized that their collection of simple, critical observations had given them a new way to look a the details of their lives.”

Examples:

Tom Gilroy:

The Smiths on
Starbucks’ sound system
another dream over

Rick Roth:

Bitter stamp taste
Licked for a letter
that will get no reply

Jim McKay:

People in cars
telling life stories
in red light glances

Tom Gilroy:

the father pushing
the kid on the tricycle
when it’s easier to tell him to pedal

Anna Grace:

at dawn
we fall asleep
mid-sentence

You can even post your own to their guest book.

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