Intersection

comments 37
Christ / Poetry

Illusion is a grid of two-way streets,
an endless network of choices.
Asphalt riddled with diesels, sirens, and street lamps.
Buildings with decisions stacked up to the sky
like trays of factory-laid eggs waiting for chicks.
Dropped ceiling meanings.  Angled views.
Helo pads on top.  A strange silence up there.
What if the engine fails?
Parachute racks, lightning rods and hose reels.
Tightropes strung from peak to peak.
Wind socks for safety and guidance.
The heavy burden of choosing,
its relentless necessity,
a gnawing uncertainty paved over with habit.
The addiction to data.
An elevator back to the ground.
A dank stairwell whose echoes are polygons,
the past spliced onto the future.
Forgotten, helpful signs over the doorways.
An axe behind glass, the display of violence.
A corridor pregnant with running disaster.
Back at grade, views of the water.
Choices arrayed like nodes on a floating boundary:
river taxis, barges, and pontoons.
Whistles, solicitations, and negotiations.
Advertisements bobbing in the sunlight.
A line for tickets.  An empty gangplank,
the logical place for disembarking.
Jet skis, floating tricycles and scuba tanks.
Tours on tall ships recovered from a previous age.
Ropes as thick as your wrist.
Ferris wheels, psychics, and historical society
plaques depicting the regional rates of change.
The present testifies to the power of past,
of choices made by others–
gambles lost, battles won, boldness rewarded.
A quiet absence of the forgotten.
Underneath– subways, rubble and regional trains.
Electrified track, electrified cars, electrified minds.
Garbled announcements.  Bungled doorways.
A bedrock scored with rattling choices,
the clickety-clack of scheduled opportunity.
Illusion is the sensation that choices matter,
that the right ones lead out of the maze,
that purpose is a destination.
Illusion is the sensation that our choices build resumes,
that worthiness is our principal shortcoming.

Reality is a way,
a loosening of need,
an easy stalking of being,
a reliance upon the unnameable.  Stars in the darkness.
Standing on the platform, waiting in space.
Beings nearby.  Beings far away.
A feeling that began in Tokyo returns to you.
Arrivals and departures,
no choices that need to be made.
An acceptance of circumstance,
the carrying of presence, a patience that transforms.
The swirl of water below bridges, the gliding of birds.
Rivets and welds bathing in paint, bolted connections,
the continuous flow of weight into the ground,
an enormity no one can touch, though we walk upon it.
Sleeping and waking blend, a continuity of longing,
a desire perpetually filled.
The awareness of stoplights from here to the horizon,
their xylophone shifts, their syncopated phasing,
the gradation of memory into the breath,
every form an unfolding.  Ideas.
Imagination.
Trust.
Buddha and Christ, sipping tea, paving roads,
setting steel, watering flowers, disappearing.
Every perception an encounter, a beckoning home,
a taste of freedom.  Your words fill with sky.
Your heart fills with mind.
Your mind fills with ocean.  The phone rings.
Movement that reveals but does not compel.
Running in the rain, getting wet, smelling water.
Silent cues and feelings, interwoven.
Nothing needs doing.
We are a universe anyway.
A familiar smile on an unfamiliar face,
an anger you carry like a newborn,
a sadness you nurse back to health,
a favorite song, a friend you’ve lost,
a friend you’ve discovered.  Sunlight upon runners.
Reality is a timeless invitation continually accepted,
a gentle undoing, an easy discovery, an embrace,
a way,
forever,
uninterrupted.

37 Comments

  1. Reality – eternal uninterrupted simply being. Things appear to happen. Or not.
    I’ve been sitting at the computer for a few hours editing photos, checking occasionally online for emails or skating news, and all the while aware aware aware – what if none of the thoughts that arise here were to happen at all. They are unnecessary. It would all still be the same. Simply being, as apparent movement happens. Simply being. Simple being. Reality. It has no opinion. About choices or anything else. Your poem is a serendipitous reflection.
    Alison

    Like

    • Thank you, Alison. Yes, there is something we’re apart of and integral to that is far more stoic than our fleeting thoughts and opinions. Stoic is probably not the right word. Profoundly immutable. It is good to merge with that profound immutability from time to time. Sit in a scratchy, seasonal thicket of precisely what is and experience what it means to be a ten million year old stone with weeds and thorns dancing around you. I am excited to hear of your photo editing… I am becoming reflex-conditioned to expect beautiful images and scenes on your blog… 🙂

      Michael

      Like

  2. This section grabbed me. Wonderful. 🙂
    Every perception an encounter, a beckoning home,
    a taste of freedom. Your words fill with sky.
    Your heart fills with mind.
    Your mind fills with ocean.

    Like

    • Thank you very much, Hariod. Now that the crazy questions are out of the way, we can focus on the serious business… 🙂

      To which end, I loved the video. Really great. Laughing is a key component to my daily approach. Without it I would be lost. It’s funny, but almost all of the moments of humor I enjoy with colleagues and friends are simply based on an awareness of what is… Not quite the Mooji wavelength, but our making fun of some bureaucratic process we must live with, or some blight of madness that has affected our particular niche of industry. The point being: we’re always laughing at what is… And over time our definition of what is changes… and suddenly we’re laughing at what never was…! Like Mooji!

      Michael

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      • Thank you Michael; I wasn’t at all sure whether it was appropriate to post that video here. Firstly, I’ve never been a devotee of Mooji and know next to nothing about him. Secondly, I confess that I feel a little sorry for the young lad who features so magnificently in it. Still, I’m sure he granted permission to Mooji for this footage to be used.

        In any case, the video clip does, I think, point up the absurdity of a lot of our questions about ‘reality’, and about ‘illusion’, and about those moments when we imagine we’re at an intersection of the two: ‘is this real?’ – who cares, let’s just laugh at the absurdity of our little minds and let nature take care of the rest; it will, if we allow it.

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        • Hariod,

          I decided a while back that ‘appropriate’ is not really an appropriate word for this site.

          As to Mooji, I have never been a devotee either and I know only what I have seen in that video. I liked his response early on to the woman about recognizing we are larger than our pain.

          I am reminded of A Course in Miracles again, where it says that all expressions of love are maximal. Love is, and there are no degrees. I think it’s the same with reality, also an inappropriate word, I know.

          🙂

          Michael

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        • You’re really on the verge of some poetry today, Hariod, I must say… Are you feeling quite alright?

          You may or may not be surprised to discover that I am called Mark on quite a frequent basis, but rarely with such merry aplomb. This is how we learn to laugh like Mooji. I know and you know, I’m not a Mark or a Michael. What’s with these people!?

          Msomething

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      • Am I feeling quite alright?
        You ask as if sensing some plight,
        some shift in my psyche,
        detected my Mikey,
        whose Mark I must now bid good-nighty.

        Like

    • I love this poem! Especially:
      “Your heart fills with mind.
      Your mind fills with ocean. The phone rings.
      Movement that reveals but does not compel.
      Running in the rain, getting wet, smelling water.
      Silent cues and feelings, interwoven.
      Nothing needs doing.
      We are a universe anyway.”
      That blows my mind. And I think Hariod’s video is very relevant. Paramahansa Yogananda says that the “way” is one of joy. Joy in God. Meditation brings that out. Like you say, “We are a universe anyway.” So perfect! I love the mind filling with ocean and the phone ringing. We are in two realities at once, well one reality and then Maya but we have to live in Maya to function. xx Ellen

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  3. There’s definitely the imagery of a big old city here, London, or New York. It’s something I’ve often thought, the endless permutations of illusion, the innumerable ways and means of holding on to things, and it’s actually the immensity of it all that leads to relinquishing the whole thing… it’s all just too much. Thanks Michael, this was one of your better ones…

    Like

    • Yes, Tiramit, you are right on. I was thinking of both London and New York at various points in the process. I am enjoying reflecting on your insight as well. I can see and feel it. The recognition that it’s all just too much, so we relinquish it. I think that is another way of describing some of the feelings I was writing about a few months ago, when I was trying to describe the notion of letting go of all thoughts of mechanisms, and accepting that Love alone was my choice. Because in a similar way, trying to understand how to make sense of life, how to move out of suffering, how to deal with the environment, politics, warfare, ignorance, anger, close-mindedness… It’s all too much. And in feeling the overwhelm and being blown wide open, I am nudged into reverence… To taking a conscious breath… Look… a being…

      Thank you for that.
      Michael

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  4. Wow–LOVE it! It reminded me of a book I read recently which I now recommend to you: Astonishing The Gods by Ben Okri. I think you’ll like it Michael. 🙂

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  5. I love the structure of this Michael; the work creates such definitive contrast with your imagery and rhythm. At the end of the poem, I was reminded of one of my favorite song lyrics as of late:
    “By the time I got your letter, I had lost my mind.”
    Thank you for helping to remember to forget.
    ❤ Amanda

    Like

    • I love that line: remembering to forget. That strikes me as the essential activity of the recovering mind– to look up and remember to look past, or forgive, what once so fully occupied our attention and inculcated us with its brazen assertion of existence. I’m glad you enjoyed this one. If I dug up the right song, I think my tagline from that one would be I’ve been sippin’ that cool aid of the cosmos… 🙂

      Thank you for reading and sharing, Amanda, both here and on Dreamrly and beyond. I am enriched by these encounters.

      Michael

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      • Such big smiles you have given me!! Of course you plucked my other favorite line from The Voyager …. “Sippin the Kool-Aid of the Cosmos!!” Yes! Oh I am just so tickled by this connection. So awesome. The song is so archetypal, I really want to write about it soon.

        Been missin you in my reader actually, I hope that means life is so full and all is well. 🙂

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        • Hi Amanda,

          All is well… Been a very busy stretch of time, but good I think in the end to be pulled into some new spaces.

          Looking forward to this post!

          Michael

          Like

  6. I love this poem! Especially:
    “Your heart fills with mind.
    Your mind fills with ocean. The phone rings.
    Movement that reveals but does not compel.
    Running in the rain, getting wet, smelling water.
    Silent cues and feelings, interwoven.
    Nothing needs doing.
    We are a universe anyway.”
    That blows my mind. And I think Hariod’s video is very relevant. Paramahansa Yogananda says that the “way” is one of joy. Joy in God. Meditation brings that out. Like you say, “We are a universe anyway.” So perfect! I love the mind filling with ocean and the phone ringing. We are in two realities at once, well one reality and then Maya but we have to live in Maya to function. xx Ellen

    Like

    • Thanks, Ellen! Yes, I think the way is joyous indeed. I am glad you picked upon that line We are a universe anyway. When it popped in from wherever it came from, I kind of laughed. There is laughter in love. It is interesting, meditation can unlock these places I think, but it isn’t instantaneous. I have been having one of those weeks where you find yourself leaning into the wind, and meditation has been a slow-motion leaning into the wind. Ha! Not exactly a brochure for mindfulness… But, I find that when I just sit with it, eventually it cracks open into the darnedest things. Like a flash of relief, a glimpse of pure knowing. And then you do start laughing!

      Michael

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  7. Man, you take your vacations in some interesting places to observe 🙂 !

    I love the idea of being “stalked by being” and recently experienced this in the feelings of a broken heart. I am so happy to be alive to tell the tale of joy offered in such an encounter. The eyes share water at the reading as the heart feels such uncontainable joy. -x.M

    Like

    • Thank you, M. My new work of poetry:

      Vacations: Confessions by Left Field.

      I am sorry to hear of your broken heart and surmise it involves the transmigration of a feline soul. I’m sorry to hear about your friend and companion. Thank you for sharing water here in honoring memory…

      Wishing You Peace
      Michael

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  8. Your writing is so vibrant and visual, I feel like I am taking a vacation behind some anonymous eyeballs, a bit like BEing John Malkovich territory. So so slippery around here!

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    • I just watched that movie again a week or so ago, for the first time since it came out probably. I had forgotten most of it. What a crazy ride! Thank you for taking a moment to look at the world through these patchwork observations. The enormity of cities, where so much is happening– it always reminds me of a computer simulation we could never build because there is so much simultaneity. Computers do one thing at a time, and in these big cities you really see how all these karmic threads (and by karmic I simply mean the larger stories we only glimpse, even though we occupy them) magically interweave with incredible, simultaneous ease. Everyone is having their lives… at once! It’s amazing. One little blip like a computer would require to do everything sequentially, and the house of cards would collapse…

      Michael

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      • The way you write, in these snippets, makes me feel like I can visit so many different aspects within your created mind-blowing interweave, but the view from your reply makes me think of two things, first, the physics headlines of late that keep implying that it is possible that we live in a simulation – This theory seems so improbable given the programming (haha) involved- and you also make me think of the film The Matrix, of course. There is some truth that pings within when I watch that film or hear about the physics theory that connects to our very own lives within the matrices of our own making and the matrices of control steering us toward ignorance and sleep. Then what about those growing glimpses of purpose and beauty – Perhaps there is a mixture of beauty and purpose veiled by a manipulation of some sort that tweaks “reality” (that word again!) toward something less than what it could be – yet also there are hints of an even more zoomed out view – that all of THIS (immense evil and heart aching goodness) is purposefully occurring in a passion play of our own making. CRAZY MAKING – I ought to go to bed before I ramble anymore! Ah, such a treat to be able to wax so crazy in this computer generated life! 🙂

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        • I apologize for the delayed reaction. It has not been for lack of interest, I assure you. It has been a frenzy of ten and twelve hour days and then a brief trip to D.C. and I’m just getting sort of back to a sense of myself… I am reminded by your quote here of the quote from Walter Russell that says, “Everything in Nature is voided as it occurs, is recorded as it is voided, and is repeated as it is recorded.” I have never quite understood this intellectually, but when I read your note here I was thinking that what “happens” is invisible, and the simulation is just the echo. So, the mechanics of the simulation are this simultaneous, non-linear, non-computable, utterly invisible dance of relationship, and it is perpetually voided as it occurs, but then there is this visible, moving echo of light thrown out. Maybe…? 🙂

          When we say simulation we so often think of computers and how they operate, and I think if Nature is a simulation it is the ultimate in decentralized computing… Every point in space is a node calculating in real time otherwise, like I said, it seems it couldn’t keep up with itself no matter how fast it ran… On the other hand, Buckminster Fuller pointed out the visible universe is non-simultaneous. Light from distant stars is quite old when we finally receive it. There are many points in the universe with which we simply can’t interact physically. And yet there is still this sense I/we have of “it” happening all at once… I keep coming to the notion that what is happening is invisible and everywhere, and what we see is this finite residue…

          I think you are onto something with the thought about there being something beautiful and purposeful at the heart of it all that is somehow distorted in between its invisible domain of action and our visible realm of realization. That distortion I think is in our understanding of ourselves and the world. We filter the natural arising somehow. We have ideas at work that overlay upon the whole and give it strange shapes and outcomes. I don’t think it is malevolent, really, just a misunderstanding very long and collective in the making. Perhaps what seems to steer us to sleep is simply the experience of being asleep. Not an effort to ensnare us, but the experience of being ensnared…

          Michael

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          • Welcome back (to yourself:)! You were missed in words, but not in presence. I am catching up with your experiences of late, but I will save that for the appropriate spots.

            I have not read this particular W. Russell quote – and I am puzzling a bit too, while also something seems right on, outside of my reasoning. Seems similar to the idea that we never can enter the same stream twice – only this stream being experience is so immense – even infinite as you suggest. And the stream of yesterday never really was!?! What is right now apparent – is not what can be, so I do not need to get lost in this residue that seems finite, perhaps?
            I like your take out of the dark interpretation of malevolence into mere misunderstanding with a large amount of steam or momentum behind it – I also often am aware of my choice in the whole matter.
            Compared to the everyday interactions, these exchanges and sharings are so full of energy and interest for me – grateful am I that there are others riding the wave, saving me from only conversing with the tree out back and cat meowing by the from door – Bowing deeply, with a smile.

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            • Hi Marga,

              I daresay the tree and the cat are equally profound ambassadors of the unknown. We are in good company…

              Your thought about how the moment we are in can never be repeated was intriguing to me. I hadn’t ever thought of things in that light before, and I think it’s because although particular circumstances may not repeat in quite the same way, I do have the experience of covering similar ground. But it’s inner ground. The textures of experience. The familiarity of canyon lands and forested hills.

              There is a place in A Course in Miracles where Jesus suggests that every disappointment, bit of shame or guilt, etc., are simply our re-living the painful memory we have of choosing to experience separation. You can see in that quote the suggestion of how powerfully our inner shadow can discolor or distort our experience of things, as you suggested in your previous comment.

              We definitely don’t want to get lost in the finite, but lately (very lately) I’ve been thinking about how the finite and infinite join, and the finite takes on new relevance and possibility? Deeper meaning? This is something I think Kingsley is suggesting in Reality, the idea that maintaining our equilibrium through glimpsing the changeless invisible allows us to navigate/interpret the changing visible without distortion or judgment. In A Course of Love, Jesus talks about our “self”, our very “experience” becoming a common denominator between the visible and the invisible, the place where they meet, the only way in which more of the infinite present in the invisible can be brought across the gap and given expression in the visible…

              Sitting here, trying not to disappear altogether…
              Michael

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