Updates to this journal
may be sparse for a time.
Please dip into the 140+
existing posts and pages.

The Minimal

 

I study the lives on a leaf: the little
Sleepers, numb nudgers in cold dimensions,
Beetles in caves, newts, stone-deaf fishes,
Lice tethered to long limp subterranean weeds,
Squirmers in bogs,
And bacterial creepers
Wriggling through wounds
Like elvers in ponds,
Their wan mouths kissing the warm sutures,
Cleaning and caressing,
Creeping and healing.

–Theodore Roethke

Grand sweeps of earth and sky, far-spreading efflorescence, looming sunset, onrushing deluge—these immediately and effortlessly entrance, in part for a confluence of setting, lighting and vantage not commonly so favorable.

Yet do much less, so much less …
Well, less is more …

–Robert Browning

 

And all the while, beneath nose and toes there presents an almost fractal infinity of lush sights and other sensations, needing only the narrowing of diffuse attention to spring into focus. Thus a new-reborn lupine—engaging enough already to the engaged eye—offers up a five-carat drop of hoarded dew,

closer inspection of which [double-click image to expand] reveals half the world, the sky above, the observer’s head, the sun that brings all of these things together and to life:

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour

–William Blake

 

As spring burgeons forth, with the New England mercury still bouncing erratically, it is a good time to become intimate with some perhaps familiar but under-examined corner of a facet of the Indra’s web of living complexity. Crop, crop again, sharpen the focus, let the mundane be a window into the extraordinary. Thus, where an artificed puddle in a copied cavity freezes over slowly by night and drusy rime is polished away by dawn’s warmth, a patchy mirror shows bright above

and murky below

and between, a delicate and evanescent (as are all things) exemplar of the self-organization that underlies all:

And having seen close and clear, we are perhaps readier to absorb and be absorbed into the flat-lit, pastel-toned and geometrical simplicity of a snowy vignette

 

without impatience for glories soon enough to reappear:

 

Ware tada taru wo shiru:  What we have is… enough.

 

 

 

Topsy-turvy

A man in the wilderness asked of me:
“How many strawberries grow in the sea?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

I answered him, as it seemed good:
“As many as red herrings swim in the wood.”