Tuesday, July 03, 2012


according to humans, some get rewards and some are punished when they die, it all sounds a bit like children hoping mommy and daddy will beat up their enemies. religion is inane and childish in this way. as if anyone was born a clean slate. anyone which is everyone was born into a part of the world they had no control over, and shaped before they had a chance to choose or not choose to behave according to that part of the world, right down to the mommy and daddy that were similarly descended from other confused humans and places and sorrows and confusions and so on. everyone looks at the world in a unique way that can never be reproduced, so how the fuck on earth can everyone adhere to the same rules of good and bad?

as simple as this is, it escapes mostpeople, except for youandi. youandi know that everyone is born lost and innocent, but carrying a weight no one else can carry. that is part of the reason we help each other.

ideas of heaven are perverse, created by perverted minds who want to force people into what they think is admirable, hardly even good. sad notions of hell or virgins or nothing belong to little hearts. when it is so goddamn simple:

this is heaven, god told me,

heaven is for everybody. even the murderers. even the slugs. we all shed the skins we dragged through the world and take on bodies made of light. when we shed the world, we realize we were part of some strange beautiful game of stars and subatomic particles. we lose all darkness and everything heals. heaven is a great landscape where we make things of great beauty. there is no pain and only kindness. we are as nice to a dog as we are to an orphan as we are to a king. no one is better and no one is worse. we spend long afternoons learning all the great things the world was and is going to be. god befriends the least and the first and asks what they believed and delights in the contradiction and never scorns. and war is dead there.

and if it isn't true? well, what difference does it make?

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

the end of the world

some people wish for the end of the world. they don't say it like that. they say they foresee a terrible thing on the horizon. they see the biggest of wars coming, they see it all burning. they look around at all the sad and painful things in the world and they see it bearing hideous fruit, as if it wasn't horror upon horror already - in the downtowns, in the war zones over there, in the feasts of the ugly rich. some of them see horror in people trying to be equal, in accepting the rejected. religious men see it in the love of abominations. some see the end of the world because of all the cruelty, or all the blindness, but some see it because they hate the thought the world is not what they want it to be, so they can't imagine it will hold together for much longer. they don't have the imagination to see that really, they want the world to end.

but don't worry, the world won't end. not for a long time. the world of oceans and land will be around so long it will change and change again, until it looks very different than the world we know. maybe that is like ending, but not to me. that is just the way things are born. the world of people probably won't end either. not for a long time. but i can see how a person could get relief from the end of the world. because the more likely outcome is that the humans will keep stumbling along, crushing alot of innocence and goodness in its path. they might even get so good at it they can keep it up for centuries, millennia. we've done that so far. they talk so much about good and right you start to believe they are working on it. but for everything they heal they seem to make two new wounds somewhere else.

and of course, a lot of them that talk about good and right... well... their idea of good and right is so angry and crazy that what their working on is bad fruit for a long time to come. they fantasize new wars, new enemies, new sanitization of life. few of them spend much time asking if they really know, it rarely occurs to them that they might be hurting people, because that would make the world too difficult a puzzle.

but if you believe in good, you've got to do something. you've got to help someone, somewhere. you've got to help them with your own hands. you'll find its hard and awkward at first. its the only way to learn if you're really helping, or if you're just making it up in your head. even then, its hard to know. the only way i've figured out is not to be afraid to be wrong most of the time. that's something a lot of people hold me in contempt for, because they think everything they are comes from their ideas about the world. they'd rather destroy it than admit they are wrong, that in fact they don't really know,

Thursday, May 24, 2012


i was just sitting there watching my dog chew a bone. i watched each crunch of his jaws vanish into the past, one after the other. i sensed the present moment, watched it vanish into the past, one moment after the next. i wondered about this present, some now turning into memory, some time down a long road before i die, before i die and this is all gone, dog, bone, youth - watching the present is a can of worms. watching this slow down. conscious of the end of everything, everything gets transparent but glows a little. and i thought happily i don't know what's going to happen next, and this seemed supernatural;

Friday, May 18, 2012

all of history

for people with very painful lives, the past is more often than not of little interest. remembering is difficult, a return to bad old days. much of my grandparents’ times are lost, and what little is known took a lot of asking and prying. even the happy memories tend to get buried with the hard ones. to me each scrap of their memories and artifacts from their time held immense value, whether it was my irish grandmother’s memory of going to a dance as a teenager in belfast during the second world war and being locked in when a bombing raid began. with nothing else to do, she spent the evening dancing. or finding my grandfather’s fake identification papers when he worked in the maquis (the french resistance), probably made in the south of france around the same time as my grandmother was dancing. they are points of contact, however fragmentary and one-sided, to a once-living past, and that once-livingness seems to me to be worthy of awe. but while i might find this or that particular history fascinating for a while, i see these as currents within a much larger river of time. All of history is interesting to me, even the occurrence of some dandelion on the side of the road in medieval ireland, or the lifespan of a single mountain peak in the northern rockies, or a sailor on an extinct sea. in many traditions, there seems to be an excessive emphasis on those events that “made” history, those world shaping events and forces that smashed the course of the river this way or that, the big boulders, the big rains. 

but history to me is everything that happened before now; even those things which did not have the power to affect the course of human events have significance.although i have my doubts as to whether it is possible, i would like to eventually have a detailed sense of the entire course of this river of history. a river seems a good analogy to me, because this progression of time does happen intimately with the land. one can look back at the course of a river and see distant land and distant life, and this is equally true of time. 

i’m not sure what having a long sense of history would accomplish necessarily, since my primary motivation is reverence rather than utility. to some degree having knowledge of many histories could help explain the relationships between eras and societies as they are now and how they got to where they are. to some degree it could help understand forces in the world that act on people over time. for me, many histories taken together make a grand story that is worth telling if for no other reason than it is in a wider sense my story, or better said anyone’s story.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

one day in the summer

one day in the summer when i was very young, no older than five or six, i was out with my father on a lake in the late afternoon, close to sunset. the water shimmered on that lake in a unique way, in a way that gave it a visibly unique character. while i was playing with the water and talking, my father grew very quiet until I noticed that there were no responses to my child-thoughts. i remember looking at him and seeing a strange distant look in his face, and i think he said something like, “wow” or “my god” and i, amazed, wondered what he was looking at to cause him to be so shocked. i looked and looked in the direction he was staring but saw nothing unusual, until i began to realize in my own little way that he was awed into silence by the mere beauty of the world around him. it was the kind of silence that is done for things worthy of reverence. being a son at that age i thought him the wisest of men. i too looked out on the water and the land and felt an immense reverence for the world. i don’t think my father could have explained in words this sense of reverence, and i am glad i was present to witness it myself. what i learned inadvertently from my father is that the world is an awe-inspiring place even at its most ordinary. i am awed by the notion of so many people coming and going on this land or that land, of the connection of the present moment in a long strand of movements and experiences going back into the distance of the past, and that the land itself has its own stories. a kind of sacred memory.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

riding the booster with enhanced sound

we little beings, we little strange ghosts, we little specks under the big trees and the giant mountains and the far oceans, we make machines that we send up into the universe, which until recently we didn't think was that much bigger than us, and it looks and feels and sounds like this: