zen moments of the senior kind

Happy Hermit

 

The continuation of the spiritual journey really depends on how crazy we’re willing to be.
– Reggie Ray

I had no idea I’d end up this crazy. Or this contented. Or this fulfilled. Don’t ask me about happiness – it’s a sub-category these days. Imagine being happy to be unhappy? Imagine being contented to feel like shit? Imagine being at peace with pain and weariness? Imagine being ok with depression, flatness, confusion? If this isn’t your version of liberation I totally understand. (We all start out on this journey imagining ‘waking up’ will magically erase all discomfort from our experience.)

But this absurd liberation lives here, and this is what the crazy cow offers tonight: five three-liners of the slightly nonsensical variety. They like to think they are haiku, but would duck and hide in the presence of ‘real’ haiku. Apologies for my warping of noble zen aphorisms, koans and haiku. I mean no disrespect; after all these years they are deeply embroidered in the fabric of this brain and have a life of their own.

My sanity does too. Where the hell did I put it?


old flesh, old bones

on the zafu, aches come and go

just like I used to

~

weary old mind

data flows in, data drops out

plop!

~

music to my ears…

the sound of someone else

chopping

~

puddle on zafu

old cow’s melted-down stories

moo!

~

relentless koan:

what is the sound of my neighbor’s dog

barking?

 

~

 


About the image.  This delightful brush drawing comes from the cover of an exhibition catalogue: L’Au-delà dans l’art japonaise. Paris 1963. Nowhere in the book does it mention the name of the artist whose work is featured on the cover. My instincts tend towards Sengai… what do you think?


 

on turning seventy three

 

alone in my hut

[no one here to invent me]

eyeballing emptiness

 

Rainbow Lorikeet hovering by Trevor Andersen

 

Seventy three missions

around the sun and not

one thing of worldly value

to show for it.

 

No savvy safety-nets:

investment portfolios, insurance policies,

plans A, B and C.  I walk the way

of not-knowing and wonderment.

 

Lofty notions of enlightenment, bliss,

exalted understanding have no buyer here;

I’ll take this uninvited, serene,

free and priceless fulfilment.

 

See, today I heard the air sing

as it danced through the rainbow wings

of a Lorikeet suspended

in space.

 

Today I watched cumulonimbus

massing in the west, those

sculpted edges alive with flaming gold

as the sun went down.

 

Tonight, as dusk fell

bringing cool relief to the sweating forest

I giddily inhaled a draught

laden with night-scented Jessamine.

 

And it is enough. Whatever may lie ahead

for this beloved bag of bones

the simple sensuous joy of being Presence

 

is enough.

 


Rainbow Lorikeet hovering. Photograph by Trevor Andersen.


breathing with the lake

Here I am.
Sitting in Paradise
breathing.
Breathing the tide of clarity – in it comes
crystal-clear, out it goes,
often muddied by mind –
and I smile as this lifestream flows on
saturating each sensation, yet
paying no heed;
never cocking an eyebrow or casting a vote,
only ever reminding me:
Here I am
I-without-name-or-boundary
here and now
as This, and This and This.


The current version of Paradise finds me staying in a place of great beauty, beside a large lake. This entire year has unfolded as a series of deep retreats. It is a time for, and of, integration. Health issues are being lovingly tended and their emotional causality explored. It’s both harrowing and heart-swelling: Grace delivers whatever is needed, reminding me I signed up for the Full Monty.

Apropos of nothing (I never go fishing) these three small poems landed in my net:


Miriam Louisa Simons, Lake Macquarie, dawn

 

breathing with the lake

I am

Monet-mind beside the Seine

 

 

black swans glide by, curious:

pounding the lakeside path

a rainbow!

 

 

fog hiding the lake

one solitary oarsman

rows through melting space

 


Photograph taken from my zafu.


dances with bunnies

She-who-scribbles has been in d-e-e-p retreat for some weeks; don’t expect sense anytime soon.
 

Beatrix Potter - Dancing to a Piper, detail

 

Everything is dancing today.

 

Light,

sound,

motion,

all movement.

 

A rabbit pulls a pipe

from his waistcoat pocket,

then winks.

 

Breathes deep and fingers

a scatter of twinkling

starlight.

 

This causes a few planets and I

to go nuts

and start a little jig.

 

Someone sees us,

calls a

shrink,

 

tries to get me

committed

for

being too

happy.

 

 

Listen: this world is a loony-bin.

It’s only real if you’re chronically

sane,

if you haven’t made the

free-fall

into wild foolishness.

 

Even with its firmness

beneath my feet

and the mailman knowing

my street number

 

I hang out somewhere else:

with partying bunnies

and a cosmos spinning

in giddy delight.

 


Reading Hafiz’s poem Then Winks catapulted my brain over to Beatrix Potter and her partying rabbits. Or was it the other way around?
Purists will protest my highjack and mash-up of Hafiz’s words, forgetting that they aren’t even his – rather, they are the Hafiz-inspired outpourings of Daniel Landinsky.
Beatrix – who knew the truth about bunnies and most things – would smile knowingly.
Daniel – well, he knows what it is to be gripped by a verse and taken for a ride.
As for Hafiz – I’ll ask him next time we’re in our cups and jiving…


Beatrix Potter watercolour from bibliodyssey blog.

Then Winks, by Hafiz [Daniel Landinksy]


time forgets to tick

New Years Day, 2016 – according to the calendar. Three micro-poems which might or might not be haiku. I offer them as they landed. The first one is a selfie and makes me chuckle. The last – well, if you’ve experienced an Australian morning you’ll know about the predawn antics of the rowdy kookaburras… In between, a quiet reflection on – how it is.

 

Gerrit Dou: Old Woman with a Jug at Window

 

xliv

the caged bird long flown

an old woman waters flowers

time forgets to tick

 

xlv

abandoned at last

by meaning and purpose

I sit with my tea

 

xlvi

3am – seems they know

it’s the dawn of a New Year

kookabloodyburras

 


Image: Gerrit Dou, Old Woman with a Jug at Window, c 1660 – 1665
Oil on Panel, 28.3 x 22.8
Kunsthistoriches Museum, Vienna


 

oh how I love being so deluded

 

Andrew Wyeth: Wind from the Sea, detail

 

I was asked to find my mind

and

I failed

I was asked to find my thoughts

and

I failed

I was asked to find my self

and

I failed

 

So then it seemed timely to try to find

the I

that was so successful at failing

 

ha!

it couldn’t be found

yet

it can’t be escaped

 

oh how I love being so deluded

that simply watching words leak out of a pen

can deliver shameless delight!

 


Image: Andrew Wyeth – Wind from the Sea
Tempera on hardboard, 1947, detail
[What moves – the curtain or the wind?]
Source: Washington Post


All writing on this blog leaks from the pen of Miriam Louisa Simons.  Over at my other blog this unlit light, you’ll find more of a smorgasbord of writing, including some of my own.
I chose this WordPress theme for its uncluttered minimalism, and because it’s responsive (i.e., it displays readably on all devices).  All the links that normally appear in a sidebar or footer are hidden behind the menu icon at the top of the page.  If you feel inclined to explore the offerings posted here since 2010, please click that icon.  You’ll also find a way to follow this blog by email there.  I promise you won’t be overwhelmed – emptiness has erratic and unpredictable habits.  Posts turn up.  I marvel.

– mls
Copyright © Emptiness


pop goes the poseur

Three mid-winter haiku.

 

Rengetsu - Uji River Teapot Scroll ca1840

 

xxxv

winter in my hut

drafts shivering the rainbows

I sit with my tea

 

xxxvi

thoughts and thinker? wrong

thoughts-thinker-thinking: all one!

pop goes the poseur

 

xxxvii

zafu guru says

two thoughts cannot co-exist

I dive in the gap

 


Painting by RengetsuUji River Teapot Scroll

Source – The Rengetsu Circle