Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Bottom Fell Out - Reprise

The Reconciliation of Oberon and Titania by Sir Joseph Noel Paton
(in the public domain)

Paton's painting (1850) is an imaginative interpretation of an incident in Shakespeare's play 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'. Oberon and Titania, king and queen of the fairies, quarrel over the possession of a changeling (a human child, carried off to the fairy realm and replaced by a fairy child.) Lewis Carroll (The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland and through the looking glass) once counted 165 fairies in this painting, he claimed.

I have come into this world to see this:
the sword drop from men's hands
even at the height of
their arc of
because we have finally realized
there is just one flesh
we can wound.
- Hafiz of Persia

"The practice of peace and reconciliation is one of the most vital and artistic of human actions." - Thich Nhat Hanh

It is possible that disasters are not so bad. It was December of 2008 that I posted "The Bottom Fell Out" and I asserted that on that very day I listened to a man weep for the joy of getting his family back because he had reached out. He asked for reconciliation after finding out he had terminal cancer. He reached past a long standing estrangement. The story was complicated and not really mine to tell, but what happened before my eyes was certainly real. I witnessed him be wide open about the whole story. His daughter came back to him after twenty years apart. He met his granddaughter for the first time. She was at that time fourteen.

Maybe later the fact of his cancer would crush him but right at that moment before my eyes he was overwhelmed with joy.

It is a very good thing to have the privilege of witness. It feels to me now that I was then in the heart of serendipity. Now I have only these words. I do not remember who this man was and I am sure he was not part of my main circles. I do not now remember this event. I am happy I recorded it. It is another holy story.

The Bottom Fell Out

Now I speak the truth,
Now that the bottom fell out.
The flame comes swiftly.

I glow more than ever now
And sprout egret's snowy wings.

Filled with holy heat
And lifting off this old earth
I will fly and fly.

September 19, 2008 1:10 PM
First posted December 2, 2008


  1. this is moving, if not for the intent,for the effect on my heart.
    O to some day to fly on the snowy wings of an egret.
    Chris McQ

  2. If you want to be an egret you will have to put up with egret shit and egret parasites. You will have to eat what egrets eat. You will have to put up with other egrets too. It isn't all flying, you know.

  3. Those egrets are little bastards.

    The poem's nice, though. You give them too much credit. :)

  4. In their own way, every creature on the planet is astonishing. Even lice. Right now lice figure big in getting human evolution right. Head lice evolved into body lice and only did so when we started wearing clothing they could nest in. Thus, finding out the era of that split in species also gives us a good estimate as to when humans started wearing clothing.

    Right now, that places clothing as an invention at about 170,000 years ago, 70,000 years earlier than the last estimate we had. Beautiful.


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

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