Tag Archives: living

On the Professional Diarist

There must be something more to it,
some sense behind the scenes,
a glimpse of meaning not quite shared,
or else my mind’s not keen
enough to understand the point
of merely keeping track
of each new day’s minutiae;
the long hours looking back
on what appears so trivial
would seem to waste, in turn,
great spans of time recording it;
who has such time to burn?

And why think such small moments
are something to be shared,
imagining some audience
is out there, and will care?
I wonder, in a thousand years,
will my old grocery list
of little peeves and daily notes
stand out from the great mist
and find interpretation
as the cipher that unlocks
the soul of this time that we’re in,
or if it’s just a crock.

23 APR 2006

Share This:

If You Want Love

My father was an upright man who never went to church;
but he gave his word and that was that, he’d help you from a lurch.
He hated all self-righteousness and practiced what he’d preach;
when I asked him what made the good life he’d give me this speech:

Live as if there’s no hereafter if you want a Heaven here on earth;
Spend as if it’s your last dollar if you want to get your money’s worth;
Act like everyone knows something that it might be worthwhile to learn;
Love as if the world is ending if you want love in return.

My father died ten years ago; we laid him in the ground.
I don’t think anyone expected he’d be Heaven-bound.
When I think back on how he lived, I have to crack a smile
imagining their faces when they look in his file
and it says:

Live as if there’s no hereafter if you want a Heaven here on earth;
Spend as if it’s your last dollar if you want to get your money’s worth;
Act like everyone knows something that it might be worthwhile to learn;
Love as if the world is ending if you want love in return.

Someday may be good enough for some folks, he would say;
but if you want to change the world you’d better start today …

Live as if there’s no hereafter if you want a Heaven here on earth;
Spend as if it’s your last dollar if you want to get your money’s worth;
Act like everyone knows something that it might be worthwhile to learn;
Love as if the world is ending if you want love in return.

17 MAR 2006

Share This:

Life is What You Make It

When I was a kid, I had a record (yeah, a plastic disk that spun around and was activated by an actual needle, producing sound waves that were amplified as electric signals through hot glass tubes and pushed out into the atmosphere through big ol’ speakers, not headphones) that included Guy Lombardo’s “Enjoy Yourself (It’s Later Than You Think)”. I always liked the song and what it seemed to suggest … for those who think that Tim McGraw’s song “Live Like You Were Dying” represents some new breakthrough in psychology, I would suggest checking it out. Anyway, I was sitting here watching a family of cardinals dining at the bird feeder in the backyard and enjoying the sunshine, and came up with the line “there’s no use in complaining, son, when life throws you a curve / we each get what we ask for, or at least, what we deserve.” And the rest of the song sprung (as in “spring has sprung / fall has fell / winter’s here / and it’s colder than … usual) from that.

Now, I suppose each of us chose
where we were born and raised,
just like we pick which songs to play
and what work fills our days.
I know it’s true that fortune moves
in strange and wondrous ways;
the lessons we require are given
’til the learning stays.

Good times and bad both come and go,
one day leads to the next;
you never know what’s coming
or just what you can expect.
There’s no use in complaining, though,
when life throws you a curve;
we each get what we asked for,
or at least what we deserve.

Life is what you make it
Don’t waste time knocking around
Don’t let your dreams split at the seams
Don’t let those teardrops drown
The sun that keeps on shining
Every morning until night
It may not be a perfect day
But it will be all right.

Geography and circumstance
are not just random luck;
and it’s no accident you drive
a Beamer or a truck.
Blue collar or accountant,
each has their own row to hoe,
and either fights the current
or learns to go with the flow.

There’s not much point in judging, then,
how the world has passed you by;
we each serve our own sentence,
a life’s span, and then we die.
So live like you want life to be,
and dance to your own drum;
who knows? tomorrow you might find
your lucky number’s come.

Life is what you make it
Don’t waste time spinning around
Don’t let love bloom around you
Without chasing a bit down
The sun will keep on shining
Every morning until night
It may not be a perfect day
But it will be all right.

10 JAN 2006

Share This:

Not Much of Everything

What is belief except a means to reach
beyond the limits safe within our grasp
to learn from the unknown what it may teach?
If in that fertile darkness, courage fails,
as well as our illusions of defense,
what is there but belief until night pales?

Can faith alone provide, as some suppose,
sufficient armor against what we fear:
a deep pervading loneliness that grows
with every hour, behind our cheerful smiles;
a nagging doubt that we are each alone;
that substance fails, and there are merely styles?

It is belief that is our mooring rock:
the tenets that we hold as true and sure,
that mark us individuals, and shock
those who either grasp at fashion’s whims,
or sip from here or there, like butterflies;
the book of life we choose to read, not skim.

But separate belief from life, and it becomes
a rigid set of chains that bind the soul,
that does not fuel, but instead starts to numb
the senses to the underlying truth:
that what we see is only a small part,
akin to how old age is known to youth:

A lantern in the dark, but not the light;
a drop of canteen water, not the spring;
a packet of dry crackers, but not grain;
a piece, not very much, of everything.

18 OCT 2005

Share This:

For Bukowski

Believe it … poetry can heal wounds;
of course, an awkward, ill-set bone
will sometimes need to be re-cracked,
and soft illusions that so gently cradle us
to bind the flesh beneath, must go.

And often, language is so poor
a conduit for what needs said
that poetry, to remain true,
must eschew words and simply ape,
pretending to be civilized.

In drunken rages, curses slurred
and spewed into a sewer’s maw,
a poet finds epiphany;
and if not driven to reveal
that underbelly, often pawns

off lesser dreck to pass as art,
or spends their time in all-night shops,
dissecting life with coffeespoons.
Let he who is well understood
explain such mincing words. Pray tell:

What inner demons exorcised
conduct themselves with grace and charm?
The world needs screaming, now and then,
and herds of pigs snorting, pell-mell,
beyond decency’s cliff.

04 OCT 2005

Share This:

The Starting Point

Like all Capricorns, I suppose, I am continually attempting to fashion some kind of theory of the universe. In conjunction with that astrological impetus, my real world experience in information systems technical support insists that this theory include a practical user’s guide written in language that can be easily understood (or at least understood if one possesses the proper prerequisite understanding). The musician that I am provides the cement that ties the ideas together, while the philosopher crafts the thoughts that the writer puts into words.

You’ll notice that I didn’t say my being “pagan” gives it any sort of spiritual veracity or inspiration. That’s because unlike all those other traits I identified above, it’s not an action. It is a state of being, not a religious inclination or activity. Besides, there are so many labels that could be, are, or have been applied to ideas that these labels make no more sense than an endless stream of acronyms paraded by a Silicon Valley wunderkind in front of a Neanderthal who just got his first wheel built. And I don’t consider this a “pagan” piece of thinking – or rather, I do, but I suppose not many other so-called “pagans” would agree. Maybe that’s because it’s not just the anti-pagans that have a far too limited interpretation of what that Latin derived word REALLY means. This work is not about that.

It is about expanding, not constricting.

It is a philosophy of energy.

This is an on-going work.

Share This:

Today’s Seed Thought

Adapted from Bowl of Saki, by Hazrat Inayat Khan:

Nature teaches every soul
to worship its’ own Divine
in ways and means of some kind;
and oft provides a method

that suits one and not the next.
Those who desire just one law
by which to govern all life
have lost sight of the spirit

that animates and informs
their own brand of religion.
Yet it is in such people,
who have not yet understood

their own religion’s meaning,
that ideas such as these
tend to arise frequently.
If they did but know the truth

that lives in their religion,
how tolerant they would be;
how free from holding grudges
against different dharmas!

Share This: