Here is the ocean,this is the moonlight:
Say that both precisely beyond either were –
so in darkness ourselves go,
mind in mind which is the thrilling least of all
(for love’s secret supremely clothes herself with day)
should any curious dawn discuss our mingling spirits,
you would disappear unreally;
as this planet (understand) forgets the entire and perpetual sea,
but if yourself consider it wonderful
that your (how luminous) life toward twilight
will dissolve, reintegrate, beckon through me,
I think it is less wonderful than this:
Only by you my heart always moves...
~
E.E. Cummings

This is the Nonsense of Love

I.

Our kiss is a secret handshake, a password.
We love like spies, like bruised prize fighters,
like children building tree houses.

Our love is serious business.
One look from you and my spine
reincarnates as kite string.

When I hesitate to hold your hand,
it is because to know is to be responsible for knowing.

II.

There is no clean way to enter
the heavy machinery of the heart.

Just jagged cutthroat questions.
Just the glitter and blood production.

III.

The truth is this:
My love for you is the only empire
I will ever build.

When it falls,
as all empires do,
my career in empire building will be over.

I will retreat to an island.
I will dabble in the vacation-hut industry.
I will skulk about the private libraries and public parks.

I will fold the clean clothes.
I will wash the dishes.
I will never again dream of having the whole world.
~
Mindy Nettifee

From Darkness to Light...
~
Jiddu Krishnamurti (1929)

Neither time nor space exists for the man who knows the eternal.

Space and time are real for the man who is yet imperfect and space is divided for him into dimensions, time into past, present and future. He looks behind him and sees his birth, his acquisitions, all that he has rejected. That past is being continually modified by the future which is ever being added to it. From the past man turns his eyes to the future where death, the unknown, the darkness, the mystery, await him.

Fascinated by these he can no longer detach himself from them. The mystery of the future holds for him the fulfillment of all his desires, which the past has denied to him, and in his dreams he flies to that brilliant horizon where happiness must exist, where he must seek it.

No one will ever pierce the infinite mystery of the future - impenetrable in its evanescent illusion - neither magician, prophet nor God! But on the contrary it will be the mystery which will engulf man, which will not let him escape, which will break the mainspring of his life.

Life is not to be approached through the past, nor through the mirage of the future. Life cannot be approached through intermediaries, nor conquered for another.

That discovery can only be made in the immediate present - by the individual for himself and not for others - by the individual who has become the eternal 'I'. That eternal 'I' is created by the perfection of the self - perfection in which all things are contained, even human imperfections. Man, not yet having achieved that condition of life in the present, lives in the past which he regrets, lives in the future where he hopes, but never in the present which he ignores. This is the case with all men.

Balanced between the past and the future, the 'I' is poised as a tiger ready to spring, as an eagle ready to fly, as the bow at the moment of releasing the arrow.

This moment of equilibrium, of high tension, is 'creation.' It is the fullness of all life, it is immortality.

The wind of the desert sweeps away all trace of the traveller.

The sole imprint is the footstep of the present.
The past, the future... sands blown by the wind.

This afternoon a flock of doves
settled on my porch. Their silence took the shape
of all I ever wanted to say. Today, the miracle
we want aches inside the trees. Why believe
anything except what is unbelievable?...
Now the leaves turn into messages
that are simply impossible to read.
The roots turn into roads as they break through
the surface. How can I even know what I mean?
Beneath the hem of night the rain falls asleep
on the grass. We have to turn into each other.
One heart inside the other’s heart. One love. One word.
Inside us, our shadows will walk into water,
the water will walk into the sky. Blind. Faithful.
Inside us the music turns into a flock of birds.
Theirs is a song whose promise we must believe
the way the moon believes the earth, the fire believes
the wood, that is, for no reason, for no reason at all.
~
Richard Jackson
(Excerpt from 'Abraham’s Journey')

In every important way we are such secrets from one another, and I do believe that there is a separate language in each of us, also a separate aesthetics and a separate jurisprudence. Every single one of us is a little civilization built on the ruins of any number of preceding civilizations, but with our own variant notions of what is beautiful and what is acceptable - which, I hasten to add, we generally do not satisfy and by which we struggle to live. We take fortuitous resemblances among us to be actual likeness, because those around us have also fallen heir to the same customs, trade in the same coin, acknowledge, more or less, the same notions of decency and sanity. But all that really just allows us to coexist with the inviolable, intraversable, and utterly vast spaces between us.
~
Marilynne Robinson
~
Gilead

We clutter the earth with our inventions, never dreaming that possibly they are unnecessary – or disadvantageous. We devise astounding means of communication, but do we communicate with one another? We move our bodies to and fro at incredible speeds, but do we really leave the spot we started from? Mentally, morally, spiritually, we are fettered. What have we achieved in mowing down mountain ranges, harnessing the energy of mighty rivers, or moving whole populations about like chess pieces, if we ourselves remain the same restless, miserable, frustrated creatures we were before? To call such activity progress is utter delusion. We may succeed in altering the face of the earth until it is unrecognizable even to the Creator, but if we are unaffected wherein lies the meaning?
~
Henry Miller

We waste so much energy trying to cover up who we are when beneath every attitude is the want to be loved, and beneath every anger is a wound to be healed and beneath every sadness is the fear that there will not be enough time. When we hesitate in being direct, we unknowingly slip something on, some added layer of protection that keeps us from feeling the world, and often that thin covering is the beginning of a loneliness which, if not put down, diminishes our chances of joy. It's like wearing gloves every time we touch something, and then, forgetting we chose to put them on, we complain that nothing feels quite real. Our challenge each day is not to get dressed to face the world but to unglove ourselves so that the doorknob feels cold and the car handle feels wet and the kiss goodbye feels like the lips of another being, soft and unrepeatable.
~
Mark Nepo

If it is true that the only paradises are those we have lost, I know what name to give the tender and inhuman something that dwells in me today. An emigrant returns to his country. And I remember. The irony and tension fade away, and I am home once more. I don’t want to ruminate on happiness. It is much simpler and much easier than that. For what has remained untouched in these hours I retrieve from the depths of forgetfulness is the memory of a pure emotion, a moment suspended in eternity. Only this memory is true in me, and I always discover it too late. We love the gentleness of certain gestures, the way a tree fits into a landscape. And we have only one detail with which to recreate all this love, but it will do: the smell of a room too long shut up, the special sound of a footstep on the road. This is the way it is for me. And if I loved then in giving myself, I finally became myself, since only love restores us.
~
Albert Camus (Lyrical and Critical Essays.Vintage, 1970)

One morning, the Mongol warrior, Genghis Khan, and his court went out hunting. His companions carried bows and arrows, but Genghis Khan carried on his arm his favorite falcon, which was better and surer than any arrow, because it could fly up into the skies and see everything that human beings could not.

However, despite the group’s enthusiastic efforts, they found nothing. Disappointed, Genghis Khan returned to his encampment and in order not to take out his frustration on his companions, he left the rest of the party and rode on alone. They had stayed in the forest for longer than expected, and Khan was desperately tired and thirsty. In the summer heat, all the streams had dried up, and he could find nothing to drink. Then, to his amazement, he saw a thread of water flowing from a rock just in front of him.

He removed the falcon from his arm, and took out the silver cup which he always carried with him. It was very slow to fill, and just as he was about to raise it to his lips, the falcon flew up, plucked the cup from his hands, and dashed it to the ground.

Genghis Khan was furious, but then the falcon was his favorite, and perhaps it, too, was thirsty. He picked up the cup, cleaned off the dirt, and filled it again. The cup was only half full this time. The falcon again attacked it, spilling the water.

Genghis Khan adored this bird, but he knew that he could not, under any circumstances, allow such disrespect; someone might be watching this scene from afar and, later on, would tell his warriors that the great conqueror was incapable taming a mere bird.

This time, he drew his sword, picked up the cup and refilled it, keeping one eye on the stream and the other on the falcon. As soon as he had enough water in the cup and was ready to drink, the falcon again took flight and flew toward him. Khan, with one thrust, pierced the bird’s breast.

The thread of water, however, had dried up; but Khan, determined now to find something to drink, climbed the rock on search of the spring. To his surprise, there really was a pool of water and, in the middle of it, dead, lay one of the most poisonous snakes in the region. If he had drunk the water, he too, would have died.

Khan returned to camp with the dead falcon in his arms. He ordered a gold figurine of the bird to be made and on one of the wings, he had engraved:
Even when a friend does something you do not like,
he continues to be your friend.
And on the other wing, he had these words engraved:
Any action committed in anger is an action
doomed to failure.

~
Paulo Coelho
Like The River Flowing

Excerpt From: The Myth of Sisyphus
By Albert Camus

...If one believes Homer, Sisyphus was the wisest and most prudent of mortals. According to another tradition, however, he was disposed to practice the profession of highwayman. I see no contradiction in this. Opinions differ as to the reasons why he became the futile laborer of the underworld...

It is said also that Sisyphus, being near to death, rashly wanted to test his wife's love. He ordered her to cast his unburied body into the middle of the public square. Sisyphus woke up in the underworld. And there, annoyed by an obedience so contrary to human love, he obtained from Pluto permission to return to earth in order to chastise his wife. But when he had seen again the face of this world, enjoyed water and sun, warm stones and the sea, he no longer wanted to go back to the infernal darkness. Recalls, signs of anger, warnings were of no avail. Many years more he lived facing the curve of the gulf, the sparkling sea, and the smiles of the earth. A decree of the gods was necessary. Mercury came and seized the impudent man by the collar and, snatching him from his joys, led him forcibly back to the underworld, where his rock was ready for him.

You have already grasped that Sisyphus is the absurd hero. He is, as much through his passions as through his torture. His scorn of the gods, his hatred of death, and his passion for life won him that unspeakable penalty in which the whole being is exerted toward accomplishing nothing. This is the price that must be paid for the passions of this earth. Nothing is told to us about Sisyphus in the underworld. Myths are made for the imagination to breathe life into them. As for this myth, one sees merely the whole effort of a body straining to raise the huge stone, to roll it and push it up a slope a hundred times over; one sees the face screwed up, the cheek tight against the stone, the shoulder bracing the clay-covered mass, the foot wedging it, the fresh start with arms outstretched, the wholly human security of two earth-clotted hands. At the very end of his long effort measured by skyless space and time without depth, the purpose is achieved. Then Sisyphus watches the stone rush down in a few moments toward that lower world whence he will have to push it up again toward the summit. He goes back down to the plain. It is during that return, that pause, that Sisyphus interests me... At each of those moments when he leaves the heights and gradually sinks toward the lairs of the gods, he is superior to his fate. He is stronger than his rock.

If this myth is tragic, that is because its hero is conscious. Where would his torture be, indeed, if at every step the hope of succeeding upheld him? The workman of today works every day in his life at the same tasks, and this fate is no less absurd. But it is tragic only at the rare moments when it becomes conscious. Sisyphus, proletarian of the gods, powerless and rebellious, knows the whole extent of his wretched condition: it is what he thinks of during his descent. The lucidity that was to constitute his torture at the same time crowns his victory. There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.

If the descent is thus sometimes performed in sorrow, it can also take place in joy. This word is not too much. Again I fancy Sisyphus returning toward his rock, and the sorrow was in the beginning. When the images of earth cling too tightly to memory, when the call of happiness becomes too insistent, it happens that melancholy rises in man's heart: this is the rock's victory, this is the rock itself. The boundless grief is too heavy to bear. These are our nights of Gethsemane. But crushing truths perish from being acknowledged. Thus, Oedipus at the outset obeys fate without knowing it. But from the moment he knows, his tragedy begins. Yet at the same time, blind and desperate, he realizes that the only bond linking him to the world is the cool hand of a girl. Then a tremendous remark rings out: "Despite so many ordeals, my advanced age and the nobility of my soul make me conclude that all is well." Sophocles' Oedipus, like Dostoevsky's Kirilov, thus gives the recipe for the absurd victory. Ancient wisdom confirms modern heroism...

All Sisyphus' silent joy is contained therein. His fate belongs to him. His rock is his thing. Likewise, the absurd man, when he contemplates his torment, silences all the idols. In the universe suddenly restored to silence, the myriad wondering little voices of the earth rise up. Unconscious, secret calls, invitations from all the faces, they are the necessary reverse and price of victory. There is no sun without shadow, and it is essential to know the night. The absurd man says yes and his effort will henceforth be unceasing. If there is a personal fate, there is no higher destiny, or at least there is but one which he concludes is inevitable and despicable. For the rest, he knows himself to be the master of his days. At that subtle moment when man glances backward over his life, Sisyphus returning toward his rock, in that silent pivoting he contemplates that series of unrelated actions which becomes his fate, created by him, combined under his memory's eye and soon sealed by his death. Thus, convinced of the wholly human origin of all that is human, a blind man eager to see who knows that the night has no end, he is still on the go. The rock is still rolling.

I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain! One always finds one's burden again.
But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night-filled mountain, in itself forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.