no longer working to get free
(or fix or heal or please)
no longer needing to understand
how any of this is possible
not to mention
Photo by ml:
A recently completed small work, a candle, my mother’s ashes, a daffodil, an apple and a magic arrow
2021 covid lockdown, Aotearoa New Zealand
She-who-scribbles has been in d-e-e-p retreat for some weeks; don’t expect sense anytime soon.
Everything is dancing today.
A rabbit pulls a pipe
from his waistcoat pocket,
Breathes deep and fingers
a scatter of twinkling
This causes a few planets and I
to go nuts
and start a little jig.
Someone sees us,
tries to get me
Listen: this world is a loony-bin.
It’s only real if you’re chronically
if you haven’t made the
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]
into the theatre of my life
after 39 days immersion in a
silent Dzochen retreat
I recently came upon a journal written on a 6 week silent Dzogchen retreat at Wangapeka Study and Retreat Centre in Nelson, Aotearoa-New Zealand, in 2010. (The Lama had asked me to do this as part of my practice.) Other writings from this period have been posted at this unlit light blog but the scribblings in this journal haven’t been shared before. The one above, written on the last day of silence, packed a punch from which I will never recover.
This is what happens on a retreat that goes long enough, deep enough, wide enough – you get ripped in three and re-braided.
“formations”? – anything that takes shape in consciousness: a thought, a feeling, a memory, a story, a self, an other…
“universe”? – the changeless, ever-present, immeasurable, all-inclusive and inescapable THIS.
“preferred”? – by whom? by what? (there being no chooser to be found) By the universe ITself, as the miraculous and incomprehensible expression of ITself.
“why”? – make up a good story; it doesn’t matter what you conceive … all stories are formations, fluffy consolations for a mind made redundant.
(Best not to attend such retreats unless prepared for obliteration of the old concepts and fixations around self-identity and world-view.)
God came to visit
she snuck in as a ‘flu bug
oh – what an honour!
resting in retreat:
with no idea of ‘body’
can illness be found?
gutted and legless
I’m utterly emptied out
(love loves a vacuum)
Image: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901), Seule 1896.
Oil on cardboard. H. 31; W. 40 cm
© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d’Orsay)