Monday, April 06, 2009

What the Light Was Like

Eye of the Storm
Originally uploaded by Seeking Tao

If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel’s heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence.
George Eliot, Middlemarch, Book II, Chapter 20, sited in the notes for “August Darks” a poem in What the Light was Like by Amy Clampitt.

The “August darks” what is that, and are we not in April now?
I don’t know.
I am in week three of vertigo and dizziness unassuagible by any drug or Epley maneuver.
And I realize now that Nothingness – one version of that clear perception of Infinity or Silence – can arise from simply a dizzy brain, a troubled middle ear.
I think of Scrooge telling Marley's ghost, “You’re nothing but a bit of undigested meat.”
So, much for spiritual pursuits.

I am not at all clear anymore as to causes or effects,
and was thinking it was to to give up on trying to explain or understand
when I came across this Nisargadatta quote that seemed to only emphasize the point:

Your needs are unreal and your efforts are meaningless.

What a swift kick.

It seems enough to get through the day when most steps shake the floor a good six inches.
I seemed to have lost all sense of shock absorbers.

When nothing stays in focus,
when your world arrives through the wrong end of binoculars,
when gratitude finds inspiration in the fact there is no nausea,
what wonderful support for the practice of letting go.
Let Go.

Nothing can make you happier than you are.
All search for happiness is misery and leads to more misery.
The only happiness worth the name is the natural happiness of conscious being.


Conscious Being...
Beyond the Silence there can be a crushing roar of dissolution.
Or having settled into That, there is the opposite, the outward stroke - the roaring of that March lion, Creation, springing forth.
Did George Eliot realize this? Or do I misconstrue?

Anyway, this poem and these quotations caught my eye,
middle March, middle ear.
I also completed this version of a painting this past weekend.
It’s done upon a photo I took of my bathtub drain and shadows on the water.
It doesn’t seem your usual bathtub. Not at first – but, every child knows just such a tub exists and has explored these waters.

The August Darks

Stealth of the flood tide, the moon dark
but still at work, the herring shoals
somewhere offshore, looked for
but not infallible, as the tide is,
as the August darks are –

sanguine with labor, but effortless:
as is the image, far out, illusory
at the dark’s edge, of a cruise ship
moving, seemingly unscathed by effort,
bright as a stage set…

out where the herring wait, beyond
the surf-roar on the other side of silence…
have already died…
Amy Clampitt

And I try to keep the faith that everything is as it should be even as I maintain the delicate dance of playing my part with best efforts, even while I accept
this is how things are.


DrDeb said...

I love your focus on looking within and seeing for yourself! The major Teachings from around the world consistently tell us that if we want to find the Divine, we should stop looking up toward the sky and start looking inside ourselves, which is exactly what you're already doing. The Teachings also warn us that the road can become increasingly confusing as we let go of our ego and everything we think we are, because our ego's needs and efforts are indeed meaningless. But don't give up -- it sounds like you're exactly where you need to be!

Beth said...

(o) Sorry to hear about the vertigo, Pat. I trust it will eventually pass, or become understandable and treatable, and in the meantime I wish you some peace and some additional insight from the experience. Ach. Hang in there.