There’s Gotta Be a Way…

Image: 'Push-me-Pull-you,' by user 'wiredwitch' on Flickr.com

[Image: “Push-me-Pull-you,” by Flickr user “wiredwitch” (actually a pair of Washington, DC-based photographers named Ketzirah Lesser and Art Drauglis). (Used here under a Creative Commons license; thank you!) The description there says, in part: “We came across these two red fox[es] who appeared to be stuck together. Our first thought was that they were mating. But they were facing in opposite directions. Having not read the Kanine Sutra we were unaware if this position was even possible for coitus. The predicament went on for a few minutes and they remained entangled. We wondered if there was some glue or piece of trash or something which was keeping them together. The classic Washington dilemma then popped up: Which Agency Do I Call?” For the rest of the story, see the page on Flickr.]

From whiskey river:

So much of what we dream flickers out before we can
name it. Even the sun has been frozen on the next street.
Every word only reveals a past that never seems real.
Sometimes we just stare at the ground as if it were
a grave we could rent for a while. Sometimes we don’t
understand how all that grief fits beside us on the stoop.
There should be some sort of metaphor that lifts us away.
We should see the sky open up or the stars descend.
There are birds migrating, but we don’t hear them, cars
on their way to futures made of a throw of the dice.
The pigeons here bring no messages. A few flies
stitch the air. Sometimes a poem knows no way out
unless truth becomes just a homeless character in it.

(Richard Jackson [source])

and:

On Parables

Many complain that the words of the wise are always merely parables and of no use in daily life, which is the only life we have. When the sage says: “Go over,” he does not mean that we should cross over to some actual place, which we could do anyhow if the labor were worth it; he means some fabulous yonder, something unknown to us, something too that he cannot designate more precisely, and therefore cannot help us here in the very least. All these parables really set out to say merely that the incomprehensible is incomprehensible, and we know that already. But the cares we have to struggle with every day: that is a different matter.

Concerning this a man once said: “Why such reluctance? If you only followed the parables you yourselves would become parables and with that rid yourself of all your daily cares.”

Another said: “I bet that is also a parable.”

The first said: “You have won.”

The second said: “But unfortunately only in parable.”

The first said: “No, in reality: in parable you have lost.”

(Franz Kafka [source])

and:

Your problem is how you are going to spend this one odd and precious life you have been issued. Whether you’re going to spend it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it and find out the truth about who you are.

(Anne Lamott [source])

Not from whiskey river:

So our families were train wrecks; we’ve ruined the earth; kids die all the time. How do we understand that something welcoming remains, sometimes hidden, that we can still trust? When all seems lost, a few friends, the view, and random last-ditch moments of grace, like Liquid Wrench, will do. Otherwise, I don’t know. We don’t exactly solve this problem, or much of anything, although one can learn to make a perfect old-fashioned, or blinis.

(Anne Lamott [source])

…and:

Why Poetry: A Partial Autobiography
(excerpt)

How tense it makes me, reading
poetry, knowing how much I miss, misunderstand,
how only some of the words
resolve under my eyes
into sentences
while others slip by unnoticed,
like a note inscribed on a greeting card
by an aunt who never knew me well.
What I mean is the job is never
done, I’m never through. And I’m not made
for tasks that linger; some
of me is always considering
all the money I owe
to banks and credit card companies
and the kid
who kindly bought
me most of my high school lunches
because my dad forgot to send me to school
with a couple of bucks.
Which is of course to say
reading poetry is a metaphor.
Nothing ever
finishes.

(Craig Morgan Teicher [source])

…and:

If you can solve your problem,
Then what is the need of worrying?
If you cannot solve it,
Then what is the use of worrying?

(Shantideva [source])

…and:

This is what Wisdom means: To be changed without the slightest effort on your part, to be transformed, believe it or not, merely by waking to the reality that is not words, that lies beyond the reach of words. If you are fortunate enough to be Awakened thus, you will know why the finest language is the one that is not spoken, the finest action is the one that is not done and the finest change is the one that is not willed.

(Anthony de Mello [source])

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