Saturday, September 25, 2010

Like Starlight

Morning fog

Author: jedzer

"Here lies the misfortune of philosophy: we encounter on our travels some exceptional freak to which the philosophical rules are found to be non-applicable. Which are right - the freaks or the philosophical principles?"
- Michal Ajvaz

I have bet everything on the turn of a moment. This has happened several times in my life. Sometimes it didn’t work out as I hoped, falling short. Sometimes it turned out beyond my best possible dreams at the time, with one thing leading to another. I follow a spiritual path which allows for such things, though I hesitate to call them acts of God. I love the word serendipity, which to me means happy good luck, luck which carries the aroma of the divine about it. I am in Oregon in this way, and I have made my living in a career that started from one of these events. My poesy in its present incarnation comes from an investment in a woman that I made in a dream in 1983 which did not come to fruition until the last days of 1998. I had no idea such a thing could happen. That relationship led me to a poetry intensive of more than two years duration.

I began blogging by accident too. I stumbled across a blog that completely surprised me and that blog led to some others. Then I haunted the comments for a while, slowly spreading out and finding other blogs for a couple months before deciding I had the willingness to start my own. None of this would have happened had I not found that first blog, That blog so completely impressed me that I got the motivation to span the gap. I came to blogs fairly sure they were going to be time wasters, perhaps even worse than computer games are. I was biased against blogging. That was before I ran into a way of using haiku to my own purpose while haunting the comments of a couple blogs and that’s what led to this blog.

I can confidently say that everything that is of any deep value in my life has come in this “accidental” way. I deeply believe in the concept of destiny, that somehow in some way the outcome of my life is a meaningful participation, a collaboration between me and mystery, between me and forces beyond my ken.

Like Starlight

Everything turns
on one moment: before you
touched me I was not
much to look at or
listen to - no resonance.
I did not notice
as you approached. Why?
Why should I? Nothing
mattered. But your finger touched
my cheek like this, like
starlight and I changed
in that moment, noticing
who I really am.

July 19, 2009 1:13 PM


  1. I love the notion of serendipity too, Christopher. Much of my research I follow purely by serendipity. To me it's the best way. One link leads to another often by chance and I come across new ways of thinking. This is also what I love about blogs.

    Like floating around in a benign maze and moving from one attraction to another, staying when it seems worthwhile, revisiting too, but also going off on unexpected tangents when the impulse takes me.

    It's exhilarating, as are your thoughts here. Thanks.

  2. Just as you say, Elisabeth. Nice to see your comment. I know I am not the only one to choose his path this way. On the other hand, it is not that common around my neck of the woods.

  3. I live by it.

    I wonder if I fail by it, at times. But it is my nature, to be touched and then drawn, whether by art, idea, culture or love.

    Is it a valuable state to be in? Or do we undermine ourselves?

    Oh, I'd not have it any other way, and I see the strength in it more these days, but seeing it written by someone else's pen, I do wonder.

    I like like the surprise and then the value you have arrive at in your poem.


  4. Erin, I have long felt I do not have much choice. To articulate a thing often gives one a feeling that one has power over it. My life could turn out to be a series of claims of authorship, similar to the guy who stumbles and then claims he meant to trip up.

    I am exquisitely aware quite often that I am running alongside myself trying to catch up with things as they are. I am hardly in the lead in my own life. There is just far too much to know, right now. I articulate this way of embracing serendipity as if I had a choice in the matter.

    I have no real idea if other people experience the world this way but I certainly get the impression they think they do not and that they are invested in maintaining far more control of things than I think possible in the face of the chaos. To me this kind of control over things is a falsehood even if it is not so obvious.

    There are many kinds of discipline that remain possible, all attempting to maximize on my responsiveness to the dynamics I perceive in my life. It is all a matter of who leads, and accepting that it is rare that I do.

    Real magic is the art of being present and balanced in the dance so that one can be the actor in those rare moments when one is permitted that degree of necessary freedom of choice.

    This is not so easy.

    It is far easier to devise and construct a parallel story placing oneself in the center of things as one is told one ought to be. One gets cosignatories in the pantomime, the price being that one supports the illusions of others as well, each of us then holding up the common story as needed. That is what my dad called the illusion of central position. Others call it being selfish and self centered. It is a very common approach to things, but it nonetheless remains a construction as is plainly taught in most spiritual traditions.

  5. Erin, I tried to reply and received the message I had written too much. The whole thing dumped. I take this as a message I am not permitted to make this reply at this time.

    I hope that I have achieved a view of my own life that releases me to some extent from the illusion (as my dad called it) of central position. My discussions of serendipity fall into this posture that I try to keep as a matter of my own integrity. I feel that I am holding closer to what is actually happening in my life in this way.

  6. I read the poem and the commentary, and some of the comments thinking if and where serendipity and accidental events have played a part in turning points for me, so I could relate…. I did find a few, but for the most part when I thought more about these few times, I find they would probably have happened anyway as I had in some how been preparing from the beginning to be where I have eventually ended up. There were good and bad stuff that interfered, but I must say, what I am doing now, I have been preparing for since I can remember even as a child…. I wonder which is the anomaly, or if the accidents are sometimes being planned all along, even if we don’t know we are doing so?

  7. The sense that you are doing what was being "planned" all along, if you also have the sense of being on top and aiming for it is one thing and quite another if it is being revealed along the way.

    I am acutely aware that I am working out my life according to a destiny that is thematic. I end up in the same arena even while I may have had dozens of actual paths possible to get here. This is like a literary theme which can tie many different plot lines together, one at a time and still produce literary works of quality. Some themes are timeless and work out in many guises. Romeo and Juliet is one classic example. There are literally thousands of variations of that story. Just so my life, working out just fine the way it has but it could have gone many other ways and I could have said the same.

    Working according to a destiny that draws me out is different from planning from this end into the future. The destiny is like a magnet calling me forward and I follow paths of convenience trying to get there rather than having some sort of five year plan driving me from behind.

    The actual goal is in the here and now, in the quality of my seeking and not in the achievement of some end because I really still don't understand what the end might be, even now at age 64. There may not be an end in this lifetime in the destined sense. There is the calling, however. That may have to be enough.

  8. I loved your poem Christopher. It is so true for me. I wish I did not feel so "blank" but I do, and ever more so. Everyone who notices me, just for a moment, adds something which changes my course. Each slight alteration will land me in a different destiny. I wonder at the final destination. Have no idea of it. But that's okay.

  9. You cannot NOT take a risk. There is no avoiding them. The only thing you can do in that consequence is be sure that you are living according to your own best lights. If you are blank, then you are blank. Perhaps you are Pisces, the astrological sign which makes fluidity and no boundaries a sacred human condition. But it doesn't matter if you are not, because everyone has Pisces somewhere in the chart, or Neptune may figure large by dynamic aspects.

    In any case, what I want to say is that it is a legitimate human condition to mold oneself in a dynamic way with what comes next, with who shows up, with the dream that is here now. Yes, the destiny takes shape this way, and if reincarnation is real, then we all have this kind of life at least once and probably many times. If it is your turn, then you are like me in some ways. I am a Pisces moon bucket chart with Neptune at the midheaven. This softens my Scorpio sun considerably and puts music into the philosophies of Sagittarius rising.

  10. Interesting comment, that last one. My Moon is in Scorpio, Sun in Pisces with Virgo rising in a splay chart which has Gemini at Mid-heaven. No wonder I feel at home amongst your blogposts! LOL :)

  11. Well, to finish it, that Pisces moon is third house, not only a bucket but a T-square to Mercury in Sag. and Uranus in Gemini. There is also a wide yod with Jupiter and the Midheaven in Libra on one side and Pluto in Leo on the other. Jupiter and the M.C. straddles the Moon's degree at inconjunct, while Pluto is in orb inconjunct Moon by anyone's reckoning and it is the M.C. which takes the sextile with Pluto. Moon is separating from Pluto and M.C. and applying to Jupiter.

    Thus Moon/Pisces third house is focussed by bucket, by Yod, and by T-square. Is there any doubt of a desperate alcoholism? How about Neptune in Libra conjunct the M.C. on the 9th house side (hidden connection to Sag. rising)? How about no planets nor angles in Earth? Even the part of Fortune is Aries. No earth. I float in Air, swim in Water, burn with Fire but there is no substance, no ground.

    I reached professional level in this stuff back in the seventies.


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

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