Monthly Archives: September 2012

things i want decided

Klyoshi Kobayakawa, White Shaw
image cited:

things I want decided

Which shouldn’t exit

in this world,

the one who forgets

or the one

who is forgotten?

Which is better,

to love

one who has died

or not to see

each other when you’re alive?

Which is better,

the distant lover

you long for

or the one you see daily

without desire?

Which is the least unreliable

among fickle things—

the swift rapids,

a flowing river,

or this human world?

~ Izumi Shikibu (974-1034)*

*The Ink Dark Moon

Trans: Jane Hirsfield with Mariko Arantani


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I wonder . . .

I want to believe, trust, hope.

I feel a strong desire to share that which awakens happiness and joy.  Sharing those priceless moments is felt to be a way of connecting with others with a hope, desire, dream, wish for the other that they too will have an wondrous “ah ha” moment … and, for a second or two, there is an easing of suffering.

I have come to a place where I question the words of anyone who profits from the suffering of others.  And the greatest profit seems to fall within the pockets of the news media, PBS and NPR included.

I question a media that refuses to inform truth — the horrors of war, of poverty, of greed and corruption while stirring up the emotions of the people through censorship and manipulation as they silently walk to the bank.

There is so much “product placement” in news I wonder if each major new station has a budget for programming commercialism.

I wonder if it is possible to turn the tide on deregulation.

I would see hope in the horizon if . . . there was a movement to take the money out of the political field.

Confused anger rises when I hear that the price tag of ONE fund-raising dinner plate is more than my annual salary.

I see myself as a fool for believing and striving for  “The American Dream” with the awareness  that despite a master degree and  internal mother, wife, employee, student role conflicts for 35+ years my annual income is only 1/4th of an identified middle class of $200,000 to $250,000.

I feel my heart break for those who put their lives on the line for all Americans; yet, whose annual salary suggest they are delegated to the role of peasant.

I wonder just how much money does one person really need and how can those who create laws that leave children suffering sleep at night.

I puzzle as to why Social Security and Medicare are labeled as “entitlements” and not GOVERNMENT ANNUITIES which I have been denied any say about  amount pulled out of my paycheck or how this money was invested.

I understand EVIL as blindness to the other, their joys and their sorrows.

I think EVIL has overcome the world and does so without restraint due to the fading of compassion that accompanies a perspective of  “them vs us”

I believe that many  do not see that the truth of power is in the hands of those who follow NOT those who lead.

Those who can see through the manipulation don’t have access to what goes on behind corporate and political doors.

We negate the common person who hoards objects; we worship those who hoard money.

We worship Hollywood as if those who are skilled at following a script speak from a place of wisdom.

I wonder if I being one of the 99%  leaves me as deaf and blind to my powerless as the characters in “Horton Hears a Who.”



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cannot speak of…

How still it is here –

Stinging into the stones,

The locusts’ trill ~Basho*

 On the eight we climbed Moon Mountain. Would we, I wondered, be passing next through the cloud gate into the course of the sun and moon?  When the sun came out the clouds melted away…we went down to Yudono…It is forbidden by the rules of the ascetics’ order to disclose details of this mountain to other people.*

I cannot speak of

Yudono, but see how wet

My sleeve is with tears. ~Basho*

 Why, I ask the teacher who is yet to appear, is it forbidden by the ascetics to disclose details of this mountain, to share one’s own experience of the mountain with another?

 I then wonder if the process of verbally sharing one’s experience is more of a testimony about the self within an experience and less about the situation. Could it be that adjectives, concepts, and labels alter what is?

 If some great idea takes hold of us from outside,

we must understand that it takes hold of us only because

something in us responds to it, and goes out to meet it. ~C.G. Jung

 Within Holocaust Testimonies, Lawrence Langer shares Charlotte Delbo’s words:

“When I speak to you of…my words don’t come from deep memory; they come, so to speak, from external memory…, intellectual memory, reflective memory.”

He then suggest that this “understanding invites us to become aware of a parallel distinction between what we might call ‘thinking memory’ and what she labels ‘sense memory.’ …the two interact and intersect continually, and the challenge to us as audience is to recognize and interpret those moments.

 *The Narrow Road to Oku Trans: Donald Keene

Photographs: bc kofford

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the veranda

Once upon a time in a peaceful village people would gather during the lunch hour to rest, eat their afternoon meals, and exchange village news and gossip.  In the village square, some people chose to sit on the grass, others rested in the shade of a large tree, while some chose to sit underneath a century-old veranda.

One afternoon without warning tragedy came to the village.  Five people died and two were seriously injured when the veranda broke loose and fell to the ground.  Before the end of the day, rumors, myths, and suppositions began to formulate from questions such as why that particular veranda?

Why that particular day? Why that particular time? Why those particular people and not others?  How could it have been prevented?  Who is responsible for this tragedy?

These universal questions have not found an answer that forever eases away grief and loss, anxiety, guilt, and confusion.  The silence that fills the air in response to questions seeking resolution has failed to ease the suffering that overcomes a loss soul.  The silence has given birth to myths of old.  It has also open doors to judgment, discontent, and marginalization.

To heal does not mean to cure.  To heal is a process of becoming whole and thus an invitation to see the world anew and to enter into a more gratifying connection with all that is life.

Women are empowered to step over the threshold of discontent and uncertainty within a trusting environment that encourages them to use their voice to speak of and process personal feelings, thoughts, and behaviors.  Within all of us there are powerful emotions within our souls that remain voiceless and silent until they are conveyed through imagery and symbols.  It is through creative endeavors – drawing, cooking, writing, painting, gardening, poetry, child rearing, photography, weaving, reading, work – that a woman may be able to give “voice” to that which words cannot convey.

All forms of art provide a means to help a woman externalize that which silently moves her, to re-acquaint her self with self, to re-create a new awareness of self, to communicate about herself with others, and to meet her own wondrous feminine spirit/guide.

Stories, myths, and parables acknowledge and respect the unique individuality of each of us. Myths give voice, through their use of symbols, to what is hidden, unknown, or evasive. Stories that share the dynamics of human interactions silently plant a seed of personal truth in the dark component of each of us, waiting for the appropriate time to bloom and to nourish. They also illustrate the universal theme of suffering and its resolution. Parables, with their multiple levels of meaning, honor the unique perspective and understanding of both listener and speaker.  These multiple layers of meaning touch what is salient to the reader and thus gift all readers with an invitation to define for self their own understanding, interpretation, and application.

One mother’s journey through grief is found in Cindy Bullens, Somewhere Between Heaven and Earth.

Nothing is hidden

It has always been clear as day

For divine wisdom; look at the old pine tree;

For eternal truth; listen to the birds sing;

Seeking the mind; there is no place to look;

Can you see the footprints of flying birds?

Above, not a single tile to shelter under,

Below, not a morsel of ground for support.

~ Zenrin

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when the student is ready the teacher will appear

I have come to see a part of myself as a ruminant autodidactic waiting for her teacher to appear … or it could be that I’m a student unaware that the teacher has already appeared as a collective of authors within a book format?

The journey of an autodidactic offers many opportunities to stumble and then to righten oneself with renewed realization.  Tulku Thondup (one of my teachers) writes in The Healing Power of the Mind, “…realization has many stages.  It is easy…to get detoured in grasping of one sort or another.” tells me that a book is a set of written, printed, illustrated, or blank sheets, made of ink, paper, parchment, or other materials, usually fashioned together to hinge at one side.  A single sheet within a book is called a leaf, and each side of a leaf is called a page.

Could a blog be a book made up of postings?

oh yes, my ego wants you to know that unless noted the photos included in this blog are images that I have created and I do hope there is a respectful sharing. TA

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