Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Open Wider, Hatchling

Sometimes when I write I get overtly spiritual. I went through a period when I felt the right word for what I write is not really "poem" but maybe more like "song" or "psalm". I don't insist. The following poems were written a day apart, so I was in a mood. But so were some others at the time. They touched me and these poems were my response.

This first poem deals with a notion of spiritual life that is actually echoed in at least some of the martial arts. If life is too big, the spirit too warm, the light too bright, the adversary too severe, the pain too intense, then open wider. What happens then is that there is somewhere for the encounter to go. Don't hold back. This is counter-intuitive, though perhaps not to experienced mothers in the middle of giving birth.

Open Wider

Where am I? Empty.
Stripped of form in the holy,
What is left can't hold.

I shall not shut down, not now.
Open wider if I can - yes.

When I return, I'll sing.
I'll step easy in gardens,
And I'll remember.


That remembering is a real problem. How am I to remember an encounter too "large" too "holy" to fit in my form?

Each moment is new. There is a real sense in which the entire whole (holy) thing is created entirely in each instant. This is true of experience in the way the brain works (there are intervals of duration which are too fast, can't be experienced, and so our apprehension of things is literally more like movie frames than we think) with the smooth flow of things a filling in of the gaps. I happen to believe that this is merely a mirror of the cosmic process, though the gapping is very small and quick. I believe that quantum mechanics basically forces this view. It makes a kind of quantum "sense" to know that I am brand new this moment, in truth a


Inhale, exhale, yes.
Breathing the rainbow's glad sound.
I am now fertile.

Long ago I was other
Than I am this golden day.

I hatched under God,
Who melted me, my Mother,
My Father, my Love.


  1. Mmm, because those experiences are essentially formless, but the only way to hold them in memory is in some form. The paradox itself can offer its own illumination, perhaps. Yet we do need to hold on to the knowledge that we had them. I suppose.

    Your 'open wider' reminds me of something someone else said: 'don't flinch'. Yet we do, close down, flinch, turn away. I think perhaps even the act of telling ourselves not to can cause us to do so.

    I know so little, and my practice and capacities feel very limited. But it's good to be here.

  2. I have a friend who is a survivor of death row. He killed a cop in a bar fight at the age of 16. He was gigantic for his age. He spent years on death row, sentenced as an adult because it was a cop. Then Oregon rescinded the death penalty. Then his sentence was adjusted because he was a minor. Then he got out. Years later, after service in Vietnam, he quit his outlaw ways (mostly) and got sober in AA. Here is how he says what you did, Lucy, "It's a great life if you don't flinch."

  3. Lucy, I want to remark to your "formless", to add to it the notion of a higher form. Maybe not only formless but a kind of "hyperdimensional form". I once saw a mathematical demonstration of what adding spatial dimensions at "right angles" did. As you pass through a hyperdimensional solid, there is a registry of it in our four dimensional world of space/time. The first and most obvious change is that the footprint of the solid is dynamic perhaps, changing radically, even to becoming more than one object over time. In its own hyperdimensional space it is a single unchanging object, perhaps at rest, perhaps itself in motion.

    All we can see is a footprint, or a shadow. Perhaps a chaos. There is nonetheless a higher order, an object, a solid. I do believe that something I call "seeing through God's eyes" (by permission? by Magick? by Promethean arrogance?) has something of this nature.

    I had an experience long ago, and looked at one way, it was formless, while looked at another, it felt exquisitely full of form.

    The experience then might be of the formless, and again, it might be of a higher, intermediate form. I would agree, I think, that the highest, the source beyond is essentially beyond all categories and in this sense formless. That would most certainly be as Alpha. However, I am not so sure that Alpha equals Omega in every respect, or in other words, having had the full experience of passing through the myriad forms, Alpha changes.

  4. Thanks Christopher, for that response, you share so much...

    I do try to track comments, at least if I feel I might have said something that might elicit a response. Sometimes not immediately, but I will usually be back.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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