The Beloved’s Cable Television Network

comments 34
Poetry

When I awoke
I found that
Hafiz and I
were riding breathless
beneath a whirling sky
of flames and television screens,
beneath booming voices
that emerged from the darkness
to pound the night’s hide
with declarations and logic
that made the ground shake
all around us like we
were dashing through
the replay of a furious world
filmed on a handheld.
Our lips were drawn in taut lines,
our horses tireless,
our clothing billowing and tearing
into streamers of muslin
that whipped in the air behind us.
Dust was pelting our eyes.
Talk show hosts and news anchors
were scoring points overhead
while the stars beyond them
were dashing to and fro
in droves, like swarms of bees.

“This is crazy, Hafiz!
What are we doing!?”

“We are in a recursive loop!” he yelled.

What!?

He pointed up ahead
to a Cartesian dystopia of
abandoned telephone booths
that stretched for miles
in every direction.
A graveyard of flash-in-the-pan technology.

He stepped inside a booth,
pulled the door shut and
motioned me into another.
We each picked up a receiver.

“Hafiz?”

He waved.

I waved back. This was fun.

“A recursive loop
is when you believe only what you see,
and you see only what you believe.
This creates instabilities in the force.”

Right.
“How do we stop it, Hafiz?”

“I find it helps to remember
the Beloved’s cable television network
has quite a wide variety
of programming options.”

It did give quite a contented feeling.

“I like talking to you without yelling,” I said.

“Yes, it’s nice, isn’t it?
We should do this more often.”

34 Comments

  1. footloosedon says

    Another gem Michael. My favourite lines:

    “I find it helps to remember
    the Beloved’s cable television network
    has quite a wide variety
    of programming options.”

    It sure does.

    Thanks for the reminder,

    Don

    Liked by 6 people

    • Thank you, Don. I think we were posting comments on one another’s posts almost concurrently when you sent this–in a tandem loop! I’m glad you enjoyed it. May we all tune into to something good… Hope you are well.

      Peace
      Michael

      Like

  2. How much fun, Michael! I loved the ride 🙂 It does pose quite a problem doesn’t it?…“when you believe only what you see, and you see only what you believe.” What a limited view of things!

    Thinking good thoughts about you and sending lots of love and light!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Lorrie,

      Yes, if one admits there is bias in the way we interpret experience, and that we supply events with their meanings and even perhaps with a portion of the conditions necessary for them to arise, then the conclusion is that in any difficulty there is another way of seeing things. Also that we need not take ourselves so seriously sometimes! There are other ways of being in relationship to oneself and the world. We might change the channel for instance!

      Peace!
      Michael

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature says

    Oh, my God, Michael! This is so perfect just before the election! It feels so much better to stay on The Beloved’s cable television network! One of my personal favorites is the Nature channel. Or one of those phone booths is looking pretty good right now. Everything is so loud!
    Good thing you had Hafiz with you to ride through all the “booming voices that emerged from the darkness to pound the night’s hide with declarations and logic that made the ground shake!” And it’s a good thing we have the two of you to bring Lightness into it all. Thank you. Really.
    Reading this makes me feel ever so much better about the election and the way the world is right now.
    We really do seem to be in one of those recursive loops, and together in Love, maybe we will all get off this silly merry-go- round in a way of Grace…and just hang out, in the unity….or a phone booth.
    Love, and an absence of yelling,
    Mary

    Liked by 5 people

    • Thank you, Mary!

      You’re right I definitely had the pummeling noise of the election coverage in mind when I wrote this. It was nice to step into the phone booth and have a quiet conversation with Hafiz. And also to reflect on the fact that we have choices in our programming, and in our experience. The Nature channel is certainly a good one. You have your own show there, do you not!? 🙂

      One of the real dismal parts of the election coverage here is how myopic it is, and how little else seems to be making its way into our awareness. I was listening to a radio news program the other day and they were talking about surgeons in Venezuela completing surgeries with light from the flashlight apps on their cell phones, because there were such shortages. It feels like there is something incredibly selfish and bombastic about what is happening right now– being so focused on a “personal” greatness and losing sight of the whole. It truly is a circus…

      Much Love–
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Clever as ever, Michael. 🙂 If Cubs win and the curse is broken, we know Hafiz is at work hacking the loops on that channel and we may even hear fireworks tonight.
    Waving,
    Kristina

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hi Kristina,

      Well I couldn’t stay up that late, but saw a few clips of the historical game, and I have it recorded to potentially watch. I find I record things and then still never watch them, but we’ll see… You must have been right about Hafiz tinkering with the programming, though. I’m sure you heard fireworks and then some given the way that final game progressed with such intensity! What a great Series.

      Thanks for waving as you pass us by…
      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  5. the Beloved’s cable television network
    has quite a wide variety
    of programming options.”
    … a great metaphor Michael, so much to discover in your wonderful post. What we perhaps need to learn is that there is no remote, we have to find a way to get to the television set and tune in to the right channel.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hi Rajani,

      I like your continuation of the metaphor very much. It does take a little bit of impetus–of desire and motivation and movement– to make the leap from one channel to another. And of course we have to be willing to let go of what we’re watching now, to make room for something new…

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This one did it for me: “…a Cartesian dystopia of abandoned telephone booths that stretched for miles in every direction. A graveyard of flash-in-the-pan technology.” Like a splendid monument commemorating some important person in history, but nobody can remember who that was…

    Liked by 3 people

    • Brilliant, Tiramit! I love your metaphor as well. That feels like it is a more common occurrence than we might like to think– our running into a monument we love, to something we’ve forgotten. Glad you enjoyed it, T. Hope you are well.

      Peace
      Michael

      Like

  7. And here I thought you’d be flying over the Cubs game or something….I was….but what a fun ride but I enjoy it amid the chaos for only a short while, its the settling and letting the dust clear that I like best. and then the celebration and champagne shower of goodness to know that in the end, we all win 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, Kim, getting to the perspective that creates a win for all of us is the holy work, I think. It’s great fun to win and to succeed, but is most meaningful when the way it is done is an expression of our underlying unity. Hopefully we can get to the dust-clearing part quickly this week… 🙂

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  8. How limiting life is when we only believe what we can see, and only get to see what we believe. Thank goodness for there being so many programming options 🙂
    Another sweet wild ride Michael. You and Hafiz – you’re quite a team!
    Alison

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you, Alison! Yes, it is limiting to see things as if they are solid and unchangeable. It can be quite fun to channel surf once in a while. 🙂

      Glad you enjoyed it and it’s fun to tune in to Hafiz’ channel for sure!

      Peace and Love
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This dazzlingly evocative piece of yours reminded me of the 19th.c. German polymath Hermann von Helmholtz, and his theory of predictive perception, Michael. He posited that the brain is a prediction machine, and that what we apprehend is nothing more than best guesses, made by the brain, about the meaning and relevance of the incoming flood of data. So, our prior beliefs about the world help shape this filtering process by means of inference, by a priori presuppositions. This explains our various and more-common-than-we-realise hallucinations of perception – the rabbit at the roadside that turns out to be a log, the heron on the river bank that turns out to be a grey plastic bag, and so on. The older I’ve gotten, the more I realise that everything’s provisional, or to put it another way, the less I feel certain about anything at all. I’m comfortable with that. Blessings on the day, my friend, and thanks for the ride. Hariod

    Liked by 6 people

    • Thank you, Hariod. I can warm to your realization that everything’s provisional, and as I make my way along I not only how little I know, but a decrease in the need to know. I think perhaps we value as a society this idea of “knowing” because we’ve got this mindset of “fixing” things. The government. The policy. The football strategy. The corporate strategy and structure. The body. Without this knowing how can we make the right adjustments to create the outcomes we desire?

      But you realize all the sorts of knowing we’ve valued are only themselves provisional. There are other channels to explore we haven’t even begun to watch yet!

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you for lightening that data transfer “load” by pointing out that recursive loop! Yikes!
    Well, I suppose we don’t have to shout the same message over and over again, but I do find that waving from phone booth to phone booth (a now virtually defunct technology combined with a timeless gesturing language) is the perfect mental image that I needed just now. “Hi” ::waves:: 🙂

    ❤ Well, here we are! ❤

    I needed this smile that appeared on my face! As Hariod says, "everything's provisional," I dare say I do agree! What a great way to ease into my Friday afternoon: BCTN,

    Reporting live from the beloved, Ka

    Liked by 4 people

    • So great to have some live reporting here, Ka! You find some lovely and interesting things to report about, and I much enjoy the coverage you provide. I’m glad you enjoyed this and that it came into view at the right time. There is something fun about waving to one another from ten feet away, while standing encased in soundproof glass boxes. You realize… this is crazy! All of it!

      Peace!
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  11. splendidly i saw the game
    and wasn’t sure if what i
    was experiencing was really happening!
    after a few calm breaths
    there was an acceptance
    and realizing
    i’m usually
    not sure of much,
    but your skillful
    tale telling, Michael 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, David. Hard to know what’s really happening, I’ll give you that!

      I like when we spend a moment or two together like this, and tell the stories most meaningful to us, and include the whole world in them. There is something joyful about it.

      Peace and Joy!
      Michael

      Like

  12. Dear Michael, I hope this doesn’t sound trite – and I will disclose that I have a wicked migraine right now so insightful or illuminating or clever are beyond my capacity, I found like I was watching this on a big 70MM technicolor screen. This was your Lawrence of Arabia. 🙂 Peace, Harlon

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Harlon,

      I’m hoping you’re feeling A-okay at this point vis-a-vis the migraine. Okay, just generally, too! Thank you for the kind words. So glad you enjoyed it!

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, JoAnna! My second poetry book is just a few weeks away, so you’re right on track with this! I don’t have this piece in there, though. Maybe the next one… 🙂

      Hope you are well–
      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Meg! So lovely of you to drop by! Wishing you some late autumn, golden light, and a side of doves in flight.

      Peace and Love
      Michael

      Like

    • When surfing the infinite it is hard to quantify how much time on any given channel is appropriate. Not like one can take a rational approach at giving fair weighting to each frequency!

      Michael

      Like

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