Only the hand that erases can write the true thing-
Do you want to “train” with a riding partner who is hesitant to think that things will work themselves out fine and dandy further down the road? Or do you want to practice next to a Pollyannaish yoga princess who never, ever – never ever thinks that anything could go wrong during yoga class – Until it does, chipped nail polish and all? Have you noticed of late this “spiritual presence” wafting in the air, pressure of having to be positive, jovial, and enthusiastic every stinking moment of the day?!? Even my Son asked me the other morning if I was feeling excited about rebuilding a Cannondale Headshok that exploded on me recently. “What was that little dude?” I said, “You must be kidding.” He paused, looked into my furrowed eyes and simply laughed. He knew he was trying to manipulate me into feeling “something” I was not at the moment, or he wanted to watch Star Wars Rebels?!?. Anyways, he could not help himself. He just had to give this leaky, broken down fork, a fork that was going to bother me for the rest of the mountain bike racing season, a positive spin.
What’s lost in our “spiritual presence” conquest, constantly needing to be coaxed and persuaded into balance - Is perspective. What is truly lost, is the idea to question the way we experience ourselves and others before we even acknowledge these negative thought(s) or event(s). True spiritual practice kindly offers us perspective. Once we tap into who we truly are, we look at the particular, nuanced daily experiences with wisdom and a gentle heart. We don’t have to take “life” so seriously anymore. Just looking at our inner thoughts and feelings from the perspective of – Being - causes us to find peace and smile. A deeply rooted spiritual practice allows us to observe, allowing the wonders of life to unfold before our very eyes – naturally.
Kids and broken bike parts are wonderful when it comes to offering a new perspective on this “thing” called life.
Over the back of the Florida basker,
over the froth of the Firth of Forth,
Up from Tahiti and Madagascar,
Lo, the sun walks north.
The first bright day makes sing the slackers
While leaves explode like firecrackers,
The duck flies forth to greet the spring
And sweetly municipal pigeons sing.
Where the duck quacks, where the bird sings,
We will speak of past things.
Come out with your marbles, come out with your Croup,
The grass is as green as a Girl Scout troop;
In the Mall the stone acoustics stand
Like a listening ear for the Goldman band.
At an outside table, where the sun’s bright glare is,
We will speak of darkened Paris.
Meanwhile, like attendants who hasten the hoofs
Of the ponies who trot in the shadow of roofs,
The sun, in his running, will hasten the plan
Of plants and fishes, beast and man.
We’ll turn our eyes to the sogging ground
And guess if the earth is cracked or round.
Over the plans of the parties at strife,
Over the planes in the waiting north,
Over the average man and his wife,
Lo, the sun walks forth!
– Robert Lax
A snail is climbing up the window-sill
into your room, after a night of rain.
You call me in to see and I explain
that it would be unkind to leave it there:
it might crawl to the floor; we must take care
that no one squashes it. You understand,
and carry it outside, with careful hand,
to eat a daffodil.
I see, then, that a kind of faith prevails:
your gentleness is moulded still by words
from me, who have trapped mice and shot wild birds,
from me, who drowned your kittens, who betrayed
your closest relatives and who purveyed
the harshest kind of truth to many another,
But that is how things are: I am your mother,
And we are kind to snails.
I paint the spirit and soul of what I see-
Do you recall drawing growing up? A pair of stick figures going for a pleasant bike ride, some puffy clouds and a brilliant sun overhead. Curved lines of a peaceful tree that punctuate the landscape, elevating from the ground, spreading into the unknown. Our childhood drawings were pure, innocent and beautiful. There is something truly magical about drawing and trees – They are, in fact, symbols of our soul.
Trees at times, can be dark and ominous. They cast a long suffocating shadow when we stray close enough. During the winter months, their barren, bleak blackness marks them against gray skies and freshly fallen snow. Tress are survivors of winter, and we would be wise to learn from them.
Trees are, after all, capable of heavenly feats, perhaps trees are more in tune with their true spirit than we are?
It’s so late I could cut my lights
and drive the next fifty miles
of empty interstate
flying along in a dream,
countryside alive with shapes and shadows,
but exit ramps lined
with eighteen wheelers
and truckers sleeping in their cabs
make me consider pulling into a rest stop
and closing my eyes. I’ve done it before,
parking next to a family sleeping in a Chevy,
mom and dad up front, three kids in the back,
the windows slightly misted by the sleepers’ breath.
But instead of resting, I’d smoke a cigarette,
play the radio low, and keep watch over
the wayfarers in the car next to me,
a strange paternal concern
and compassion for their well being
rising up inside me.
This was before
I had children of my own,
and had felt the sharp edge of love
and anxiety whenever I tiptoed
into darkened rooms of sleep
to study the small, peaceful faces
of my beloved darlings. Now,
the fatherly feelings are so strong
the snoring truckers are lucky
I’m not standing on the running board,
tapping on the window,
asking, Is everything okay?
But it is. Everything’s fine.
The trucks are all together, sleeping
on the gravel shoulders of exit ramps,
and the crowded rest stop I’m driving by
is a perfect oasis in the moonlight.
The way I see it, I’ve got a second wind
and on the radio an all-night country station.
Nothing for me to do on this road
but drive and give thanks:
I’ll be home by dawn.