Thursday, August 5, 2010

I Am Not A Flat Man

Writing poems has picked up a little, several in the last two days. I’ve been here before… So much of life repeats. Some say a lesson comes around again and again until one learns its heart. Then it never returns. Perhaps that’s so.

I am a believer in hidden meanings and far more than those meanings that lurk in some of the chance encounters on the planet. I say Jung’s concept of synchronicity applies sometimes. I say there are cracks where the Divine shows through in the otherwise seamless landscape painted by all the selves on the planet. We, all the sentient beings, cannot govern everything with our demands for autonomy, not even with the sparks of selves in all sentience, all the way down to the inanimate. Where the autonomy of creatures reigns, there the Divine usually withdraws unless some kind of Divine necessity overrides things. The historical evidence shows Divine necessity rarely comes up in any recognizable way, probably because that kind of intervention seldom works for long.

There are cracks where the Divine shows through, but the cracks dance. They are dynamic and wink in and out in any particular location. Perhaps as well you will find the Divine in the patterns woven, like the light paintings of deep see creatures as they swim, or the glow worms of the night. We weave too, in our crowded shapes, too busy with our notions of our own business to see God emerge for a moment to tweak something because we have all overlooked that place at that moment. My friend Erin has asked about the gaps, so I offer this. There are many more ways the world gaps, like the moment of poise between breathing in and out, but the gaps in and between self will and self will are the main ones that pertain to our reasons to live, our destinies, where Divine aid comes from or magic works.

I Am Not A Flat Man

I've been here before,
you are not the only one.
Others, same struggle.
I cannot break through,
Know I am not the flat man
who would walk away
midway through the vows
that arise between the lines
and instead would ask.

You send me away
though my soul shows through my bones,
through my naked bones.

June 23, 2009 8:11 PM


  1. wow! i'm so glad i'm reading this... how beautifully you put it:

    "...but the cracks dance. They are dynamic..."

    me too a believer in hidden meanings... i have always sensed that fleeting nature of meaning... but the image you are using here is so illustrative...

    we should grow with the plant of meaning so that we could grasp it... eh?

    perhaps you'd like to read this:

    "though my soul shows through my bones,"


  2. Thank you for referring my to your story. Thank you for caring about mine. I see an error in my composition and for that I thank you. "I am a believer in hidden meanings and more that lurk in some of the chance encounters on the planet." That or something like that is what I should have written. I am going to change it because I am of course writing mainly about the "more" in that sentence.

  3. Such a complicated living
    that might be less complicated
    behind the gaps. I don't know.

    And as I write this
    a dream I had last night emerges
    and I look
    to see
    what I almost missed.

    Yes, instruction and revelation everywhere and I wonder on how often we disregard it without realizing it?

    And this I've been thinking about, you strip me, at times, Christopher. You are very hard with your learning. (I am being dangerously candid, right now, and somewhat out of character, but this is important.) You strip me as you are on your journey and further ahead in numbers than I am. Who is to say who is further ahead though? Who is to say who has learned more? I don't claim to have. In fact, I feel that I am both old and embroyonic, so perhaps I am in a state where my learning is like that dream I had, just outside of my core, but present. Who is to say? But there is a hardness in your learning. Did you know that? It holds people away somewhat. I tell you this because, as you strip me, you warm me, also. You hold me away and draw me near.

    I wonder how you emotionally reacted to our exchanges the last couple days? Or if perhaps you haven't? It seems that you bolster when I disagree. Do I read it wrongly?

    We have these journeys. No two alike. No set path that must be followed over and over again, no two souls on a conveyor belt. And so, I ask this softly, can we be gentle with one another and respectful? My journey is no less because of years or books. I know you know this, but if you look into it, would you see that sometimes you hold me/people away, while drawing them near?

    This, Christopher, is my experience, and while it might not reflect the whole truth, it does a part of mine, and it is not easy whatsoever for me to share. I am exercising ~ I intend this all respectfully and with friendship.


  4. Erin, thank you for your words. I think it is possible we are entering realms that might be better off the public grid. This is going to be long, I can tell. In fact I shall have to split it in two, I bet.

    You are right that this is dangerously candid all around. We are protected in that we are "beyond" most at this point, as is true of the intimacies of most pairs of souls on the planet. They join for some purpose and work to some purpose, though they often will not understand it, perhaps ever. Others look from somewhere and don't see the heart, only the heat, or some other half truth, and then they wonder. Many people work like this in private places, not because such intimacy is dangerous directly but that the interruptions are too difficult and what they do perhaps inexplicable. Others will do it in masque in public because they are too dangerous to each other.

    I am high and low at once, ahead and behind at once. I am a critter on the planet, a mixture of things. I have long ago quit trying to stay "consistent" with myself. It is neither useful nor is it truthful. I let my moods lead as often as my head and mostly here in this blog I am following my poems from a year ago as well. The moods of a year ago resurface too. While that mix is good for poetry, it complicates things.

    It would be wrong to think of me that I have at my beck and call all that I know, all that I am in any given moment of any given day, nor that I have accessible all my motives, all my hopes, or all my fears, all my shortcomings. Not all can be conscious because much is dependent on emotional shapes to arise. I am always specifically "me" but I cannot be all of me.

    I know that I do not mean to hold you far away in any way, but I am my mother's child and she also struggled with that twist in her heart. That is what I would say about that. I have a twist in my heart.

    Language and communication itself, the written word itself, arises as a presence in all this. We move on the internet through iconic versions of ourselves. Some of us have real internet personas, like my friend Ghost Dansing uses. None of us are absolutely naked out here in the global village, though we might intend a naked presence. I intend frankness, but the nature of things is that we see each other in part only, the iconic part.

    This is like the picture of you that you put in place on your site. It too, as you have just now written of me, is a statement of limit, "come this close, no closer" But how else, I ask, can this be done? Our friend Katrin shows us that one form of frankness does not necessarily lead to another.

    I try not to be hard at the edges of things where we have to strip down in order to breathe. In the center of the swamp, where the aches and pains of the day are located, in this personal place of my own life on the planet, there I get hard, not really so much on anyone but me.

    Here, though, we visit each other, sit in some kind of community. Things I write cannot be aimed only at me or at you exactly when they are let go. As well, when we write the stream of words all the other directions the stream could have gone go silent even though they may not vacate the premises.

    I cannot and should not write specifically and exclusively to you here but always with some knowledge that anything posted will possibly be read by others, and perhaps read by people who have a stake in things though they may not reveal themselves. My responsiblity is to avoid harm if I can in all the realms. I have taken that pose even if I know little of how to do it and must rely on the Divine to span the gaps.

    I think you find my shortcomings, my friend. I do not mean to rise above you or hold you in any hard way. Even in love someone ends on top for a while. It is the nature of things. In the dance, someone leads.

    (continued, next comment)

  5. You are right, Erin, that you have a unique window overlooking the whole thing. If we were living together on the planet you would see that I honor that. I would happily show you my respect often. I easily place women beside me rather than below.

    The iconic pose I hold here is only a pieece of what I do. How can you fit that I watch professional wrestling with it? Or that I hang out on street corners with my men friends, women too when they linger there? That I speed a calculated amount over the limit and work the cops? That I struggle some with my health and am seriously overweight? That I scratch my back like a bear does (I just did)? That I struggle in my work life? That I have many women friends, some intimate and long term I see often in public places but have no lovers? That my house is a complete mess and no one comes here? That in all this I do not speak of children because I have none?

    That I come here to the blogs to escape as much as to be present?

    In the interests of truthfulness, I have edited this piece as I write. In that way it is more unitary than my brain. That I edit is true most times here on the blogs, yet another way my planetary presence is distorted, that the words are more timeless, more perfected than I can be, and each paragraph may be the creature of many moments of attention rather than the only the one where the words were first laid down. I have to remember to go back and fill in unwritten and assumed thoughts in my writing or else I become far too dense to understand, bamboozling me too in some future read. This happens when I speak too and then my words can cause me far more grief than when I can edit.

    Life is hard. Then you die. :)

    I love you, my friend.

  6. I feel like an interloper in a private conversation :) I came. I read. The rest remains behind the curtain. Perhaps Oz had it right.

  7. Annie, you are my friend too. I will meet you at the level you choose. I have a transparent life as far as my character defects allow. I am not an easy man, however. I am far too smart and arrogant for my own good and that means I am a tedious man for many people and hurtful to some. There is a reason I chose to drink, I remind myself, or I am here because I am not all there.

    A much younger man than me is using me as a mentor. He says of himself that on his tombstone they will put, "but he meant well." That applies to me too.

    Oz was an apparition in a dream :)

  8. Christopher, it amazes me how any one strand can unwind and become something of its own making. Perhaps the originator of the peeling of that first strand had no idea where it would lead. I think of rhubarb, of stripping rhubarb.

    I think this is not a private conversation. I laugh a little to see Annie unsettled. We are on these journeys, and to be honest about them is to expose intimacies of the self. But I think that is ok to show these things. Perhaps the world would be a better place to show more of it.

    It is good to see you vulnerable and fallible, Christopher. This is a part of all of our journeys. I think perhaps I wasn't seeing that, or maybe, as you say, we control to a certain extent what we project. In my core I am a naive person. This is one of the things I actually value in myself. I take it forgranted that people are honest, that they expose themselves. I find it confusing and surprising when people create personas, even if on-line personas. I kind of put it out there, all of it, as it becomes relevant to me or relevant to share. I don't believe in holding back except only to protect others, not myself, so much.

    Am I making any sense this morning? I am in a bit of a muddle. The danger I referred to wasn't in sharing deep feelings, but rather in perhaps offending you. I don't live my life in such a way as to call people out intentionally. I was being dangerous in that I was calling you out. It seems that you sometimes stand behind your learning and this is what I was talking about when I said that sometimes you push away, but you do expose yourself, and in this way you draw us near. You draw us near in friendship too.

    I think it is important for us to share ourselves, our stories, if only to learn, but also to know that we are not alone.

    thank you for your very real and open response, Christopher. I value you both as a friend, and as someone who has an incredible life's journey.


  9. Thank you for calling me out, Erin. I am willing to rise to the occasion. This is public and we both know it. What we do, this is how it is done. But even at this point it is not all done. You can't say it all at once. That is impossible. In this way, nothing said is ever completely true.

  10. Personally, I find this last part very interesting, "In this way, nothing said is ever completely true." I see the truth in this. I have lived it and I suspect, will again and again. It is kind of akin to something you wrote about recently, how you can know certain things but you have to suspend knowledge and live. Many things are like this, in fact.

    It is an interesting thing to live and think and examine and live and fail and get up and try again. We are lucky to be here and to have this kind of forum to share within.

    Hoping you're hanging out with those guys on the street corner shooting the shit. Sounds like a worthy way to spend time. Look up and enjoy the sky. Too much city? No stars? Well, street lights are mighty fine.


  11. Your observation of the privilege of being human is something that some Buddhists stress. We sit in a unique spot with Heaven close by. There is at least one short cut available. When we come close in honest exchanges that reach toward Heaven as this one between us has done, then you have experienced the power we have to assist one another under the right circumstance. As we do this we engage in the deep work of spirit. This would not be available were we not human. The Buddhist take on this as I have written is that the short cut is not because we are at the top of creation. We are not at the top, not by a long shot.

    That is like the Christian realization that we do not get to Heaven because we earn it. We are in a special unearned spiritual position. In both cases we are in this position by grace. If you stop right there, then Buddhists and Christians agree.

  12. I think, too, on a quote I wrote down a few years ago because it spoke directly into me, how I work, perhaps all of us, but who knows. It's a pretty common one but it came at the right time and I was able to receive it. It has helped me a great deal in understanding and appreciating the moment, "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but spiritual beings having a human experience." It at first knocked the wind out of me and my ego, and then it made me feel large within my tiny. I am ok living within the greyscale of that.


  13. I too know that quote. I read Pere Teilhard in my youth when his books were fresh. He basically felt and I agree that there is a future that draws us forward into it. Aristotle called this "the final cause" I believe. Further I believe that such a thing is an individual situation too, that you or I have a destiny.

    Like we have been exchanging this is another area, I opine, that both ends are true...humans yes indeed, and beings from a spiritual elsewhere as well. I know that my primary work is from the standpoint of a spiritual being's point of view. However, I am definitely climbing the human experience tree, taking the branches as they come.


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

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