C is for Camel
I saw the amazing Story of the Weeping Camel last
night in Berkeley.
Itís going right onto my favorite movies list, nestled right next
to Dursu Ursala. Itís very simple and extremely moving. The Gobi
nomads live in concert with the natural world around them. It is
a matter of course to them that a camel that rejects its newborn
colt has a broken spirit, and that a musical ritual is called for
to heal her heart. They also know that the spirits that used to
inhabit everything on the earth are harder to find because they
arenít honored in practice, and because the earthís resources are
abused. Their religious practice is a combination of ancient
shamanism and lamaism.
I was moved again yesterday listening to the radio on the way to
Berkeley. A west African artist whose name I couldnít catch was
interviewed on KPFAís Hard Knock Radio. Before the interview
could progress, first question about how do you define yourself,
he said, first, let me give greetings, and thanks, and blessings
for being here. We donít hear too much of that, especially not on
the radio. People stopping to give thanks, or beginning each
action with thanks. What a simple beautiful reminder.
I was stopped in my tracks again after the film--stopped like the
blessing stopped the interview for a moment to remember whatís
important, whatís humanóby poetry on the corner of Shatttuck and
Addison. The city embedded poetry into the sidewalk. I read some
of them, and so did my friends, and I could feel other people
around me stopping too. Like poetry is meant to stop us, give us
a slow moment to consider.
The only one I could memorize was this:See, I am dancing.
On the rim of the world, I am dancing.
posted by Lisa on 8:26 AM link |
B is for Beauty...and the Binds that Tie
I walked the trail from Shell Beach looping up and dropping me off at the very top of my neighborhood last evening. I walked home descending through the streets. It was a relief to walk in the woods, out of the hot sun. I walked heatedly, not stopping for bird sounds. I did stop for occassional vistas to the northwest to see the mouth of the bay, to Hog Island, to the gentle cool air moving slowly in with the fog. I raised my arms to let it cool me down.
As I walked through the trees, the sun was too bright to see for seconds at a time, and then my eyes were in shadow for a moment and then sun, then shadow. I kept walking. Near the top, the huckleberries were fat and black and hanging in clumps and finally I did stop. I ate the plump, juicy little berries two at a time, then took a handful with me.
I realized that this time of year I could live for a month on berries. Like a bear. If only the bear would come back. I keep my eye out for signs of the bear and for the bear itself. You never know. But I donít see or hear a thing.
I donít know this route, but see a trail heading off to the left and it seems like the right direction and in the right place so I follow it. It gently dumps me off at the top of Via del Vista. As I walk down through the streets I imagine living in Los Angeles and taking a walk. The streets are filled with houses, closed in by sidewalks, cars whiz by and the only nature is in gardens. There is no emptiness anywhere nearby except the ocean.
I look around me again. I take for granted how beautiful even the streets are here. I pass a house and see movement in the yard. Itís the doe with her two fawns. They continue to eat as if they know me, barely looking up as I pass. Itís nice to live in a place where youíre known.
posted by Lisa on 7:04 AM link |
A is for Art
The Ear That Was Sold To A Fish
--translated by Daniel Ladinsky
It is true.
I once had an ear that got sold to a fish.
Lean back: I will be glad to tell you all about
How it happened,
But first I must digress a bit,
Perhaps way beyond any logical sequence Of events
We may ever again piece together.
We could start anywhere,
With any word,
In this fertile luminous world in which I live.
What is the first letter of your alphabet?
That will be just fine.
Art is the conversation between lovers.
Art offers an opening for the heart.
True art makes the divine silence in the soul
Break into applause.
Art is, at last, the knowledge of
Where we are standing--
Where we are standing
In this Wonderland
When we rip off all our clothes
And this blind man's patch, veil,
That got tied across our brow.
We are partners straddling the universe.
Someone inside of us
Has one foot
Upon each resplendent pole.
Someone inside of us is now kissing
The hand of God
And wants to share with us
That grand news.
You will find yourself knee-deep in ecstasy
When all your talents to love
Have reached their heights.
Hafiz, time space, and boredom
Are just passing fads.
All your pain, worry, sorrow
Will someday apologize and confess
They were a great lie.
Look how we got distracted,
"Beyond logical events".
I remember we were talking about:
The Ear That Got Sold to a Fish.
It is true
The moon once put a price
Upon my heard.
And then hired a gang of
It seems the Beloved felt
I had been telling too many secrets,
Giving too much of His precious wine
Away for free.
So I got called before a fat burly judge,
But I pleaded my own case well.
"It is all the fault of prayer,
It has filled me with divine treasures
That I love to loosely spend."
I bought a ticket for my eye
Upon that White Sky Bird
That never touches ground,
And I bribed an ancient deep-sea fish
To buy my ear and drown.
Now whenever the Beloved whispers
Or even slightly moves
I get a scouting report
That a thousand saints could envy
And would pawn their hearts to know.
Hafiz has become
One of the greatest spies upon God
This world has ever seen.
That is why the moon once got rough.
That is why that fat burly judge
Once crowded all of heaven into a small jury box.
God knowingly did risk my case becoming famous
If I won.
I think He really wanted my name
To spread forever wide.
Have you ever contemplated the thought
As I once did,
That the Beloved already knew, already knew,
Everything long before,
So long before we were ever born.
But now to end this drunken song
With its essence in refrain:
Art is the conversation between lovers.
True art awakes the
posted by Lisa on 7:24 AM link |
Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005 Lisa Thompson. All Rights Reserved.