this wild and precious life

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

– Mary Oliver

 

Kano Motonobu - Zen Patriarch Xiangyen Zhixian Sweeping with a Broom

 

after decades of wondering what I’d be
when I grew up,
what I’d do when I found my ‘real’ work,
what I’d contribute to life that might be of worth,
I tossed the questions to the stars
and gave up

is this typical I wonder?
a symptom of seniorhood?
or does it eventually occur to everyone
that while life is unbearably precious
and untameably wild
it isn’t yours or mine nor ever was

so with hair gone silver and eyes a-twinkle,
I whisper to the beloved poet:
this wild and precious life was never mine to map;
it always had its own agenda, dancing itself
across infinite webs of thought and feeling,
back to its own vibrant womb

and the role it gave itself as miriam
was that of sweeper of the space,
one who clears the mind-droppings, ensuring
no concealment of that fierce Grace
shining, shining through the world’s sorrow and joy
(and the sweeper’s too)

 

And what will Life do I wonder, with its one wild and precious You?

 


Image: Kano Motonobu –  Zen Patriarch Xiangyen Zhixian Sweeping with a Broom (detail)
Muromachi period 1336-1868.  Ink and color on paper.


 

choice happens

257

There’s much ado about ‘conscious choice’ – how we must apply it to our lives to achieve everything from prosperity to enlightenment – how it’s needed to change world events – how it will assist in earth’s transformation or salvation.  A huge and profitable industry constellates around this fairytale assumption.

The assumption of a chooser entity with powers of volition is largely non-negotiable. But if you’ve done your homework – dug deeply into research on ‘personal’ volition (Benjamin Libet et al) – sat silently on cushion (thought-tracking) – embraced ‘n’ (now-this-here) with every belief-free breath, then you’ll know the wonder of it:

Choice happens.
And measurable ticktocks of time later
responsibility is claimed by a subsequent thought
called dear wee me.

~

just who is this ‘no one’?

24

no one here to believe or to not believe
no one here to have free-will or to not have free-will
no one here to choose or to not choose
no one here to care or to not care
no one here to surrender or to not surrender
no one here to witness or to not witness
no one here to be humble or to not be humble

but don’t be mistaken dear one
dis-identification isn’t the end of the story:

eradication is

~