Thursday, July 17, 2008

More Billy Collins, Now: Regarding Dick and Jane

When you can allow this moment to be as it is without needing to label it,
wanting it to be different than what it is,
you open to the vast power that is concealed in the present moment.
Eckhart Tolle, an interview with Mary O’Malley.

Even as a six year old, I was just a bit bored by the plot of these kids’ lives.
Though I did love Spot and the redness of the ball,
and “Look! Look!” fairly spilled with possibilities…
couldn’t we get on with things?
Let the adventure begin, for god’s sake!

Perhaps I shouldn’t blame plot
so much as the pace.
I was running to the future.
I could see it coming and it would be GREAT!
The Future clearly was much better than Now
right here in my hands.

Once, I told Pop I just so wished the next two weeks would go
and then we could have Christmas.
He looked at me with great seriousness.
“Never wish your life away,” and I was appalled.
Apparently, I had made a grievous error.
But, I had simply said I wanted Christmas to be here.
I didn’t want to be Here. I wanted to be There.
How old was I? Nine?

To welcome whatever arises in this moment is the ultimate spiritual practice.
If you practice just this one thing, you won't need to read any more books
or learn any other meditation techniques…
Eckhart Tolle

Oh man. So here is my practice.
This is my life
right now.
And perhaps, has always been.

First Reader

I can see them standing politely on the wide pages
that I was still learning to turn…
the boy and girl who begin fiction…

It was always Saturday and he and she
were always pointing at something and shouting,
“Look!” pointing at the dog, the bicycle, or at their father
as he pushed a hand mower over the lawn,
waving at aproned mother framed in the kitchen doorway,
pointing toward the sky, pointing at each other.

They wanted us to look but we had looked already
and seen the shaded lawn, the wagon, the postman.
We had seen the dog, walked, watered and fed the animal,
and now it was time to discover the infinite, clicking
permutations of the alphabet’s small and capital letters.
Alphabetical ourselves in the rows of classroom desks,
we were forgetting how to look, learning how to read.
Billy Collins

“forgetting how to look, learning how to read”
The words took me by surprise.
They landed hard and tightened in my throat.
They filled my eyes with tears.

The poet sees exactly how we’re robbed,
for the poet must hold on to the goods.
He must retain the ability to truly see,
to stay with the purity of “Look”
even as the label is applied.
The poet remains in Stillness, firmly rooted in the Now,
even as the mind spins out into the future
and the infinite permutations of the clicking alphabet.

It is as if the words are secondary.
It is the energy that comes with the words - or rather the stillness beneath the words - that is the greatest teaching.
Eckhart Tolle, interview with Mary O'Malley

But, they never taught us that.
They helped us to forget what we knew all along.
They helped us to move on into the Fiction and the Noise.

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