Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Inner-View. 5 minutes. One question.

Today I interviewed David Dark, recent PhD graduate from Vanderbilt University. He also happens to be my husband. If you have an answer to this question, consider yourself interviewed and write in. Or better yet, ask someone nearby. Questions are the sunshine.

"...a creative listener is not someone who simply allows me to say what I already want to say, but someone whose listening actually makes it possible for me to say what I never could have said, and thus to be a new kind of person, one I have never been before and could not have been before this directed listening."
James Carse The Silence of God

IV: Can you think of a time when someone listened to you with the kind of expectancy that helped you to become, as Carse suggests, "a new person"?

DD: Steve Stockman comes to mind. In 1992 he got to asking me questions in Northern Ireland and eventually asked me to "speak" to his group. His finding me interesting helped me want to be interesting. He brought the possibility in his questions that my voice might change him and that changed me.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

To Be Born Again

The biblical expression for such existence is "eternal life." We can be easily misled by this term into thinking that what is being offered is an unchanging status of some sort, a blissful terminus to all our journeying in which nothing new can ever happen again; indeed, in which nothing at all can happen. It is useful to recall that the great medieval mystic Meister Eckhart preferred the term "eternal birth" as a way of indicating the dynamic element in the life of prayer. Eternal birth is something of a contradiction, of course, for it is difficult to imagine being born over and over again through an eternity. One often suspects, however, that persons who enthusiastically claim to be "born again" mean to be born into a state in which they will hold out against all further change, as though to be born again is a specifiable condition in which one may remain forever. To be born again under these terms is more like dying than living. Eckhart instructs us that we are not to be born again, but to be born again, and again, and again, and...
James P. Carse, The Silence of God: Meditations on Prayer

Wednesday, August 17, 2011



When I die, I will see the lining of the world.
The other side, beyond bird, mountain, sunset.
The true meaning, ready to be decoded.
What never added up will add Up,
What was incomprehensible will be comprehended.
- And if there is no lining to the world?
If a thrush on a branch is not a sign,
But just a thrush on the branch? If night and day
Make no sense following each other?
And on this earth there is nothing except this earth?
- Even if that is so, there will remain
A word wakened by lips that perish,
A tireless messenger who runs and runs
Through interstellar fields, through the revolving galaxies,
And calls out, protests, screams.

Czeslaw Milosz

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Lost Bodies

Hold your applause. It's...Well it's more of the different same. Todd Greene continues his journey under the tutelage of Bankei, and it's got him mashing up the 12 stations of the cross with Bankei's 12 stages of agitation; going all first-class animal being the first stage of being unborn. I find the above image helpfully reminiscent of any of the Seven Deadly Enemies one finds within the Rock of Eternity, the lair of the wizard Shazam of Captain Marvel fame.
The fortunate few who come out to the Twist this Saturday evening and onward will be privileged to behold the following:
Hungry Ghost, the Mealy-mouthed Swindler, Double Mind, Transmigrator, and Void of the Human. This last one draws from the collaborative volume b/w Aimé Césaire and Picasso called Lost Body which your reporter procured from a Detroit bookstore for Mr. Greene. There are elements that the terminology of warning would deem graphic.
"Why would I pass a Saturday evening exploring this sort of thing?" I can't answer this question for you, but I'll try. If the alternative to a weekend consisting of one soul-sucking vacuum after another vying for your attention, hijacking your equilibrium, disturbing your peace is an immersion in attempted mindfulness, what could be more worthwhile? It could enliven our relationships, make our hearts a little less manic. In any case, J. Todd Greene has another show going on exactly one room over from "First-Class Animal." Drawing upon James Carse's Finite and Infinite Games, there are two titles to choose from: "Unheard Silence" OR "Myths Are Like Magic Trees." Here's Carse: ”Myths are like magic trees in the garden of culture. They do not grow on but out of silent earth, of nature. The more we strip these trees of their fruit or prune them back to our favorite design, the more imposing and fecund they become.” I've only had it described to me so far, but I hope to have an image or two up for you today or tomorrow. I'm tempted to rattle on about Carse, but I should probably save it for another post. We've been reading him to one another around here all summer. Come on out and join the conversation. I leave you with more Carse. All evil might be an overstatement, but the line gives helpful pause as is:
“Evil is never intended as evil—Indeed the contradiction inherit in all evil is that it originates in the desire to eliminate evil.”