Hold It All

Philosophy/Poetics/Politics

Month: September, 2012

Some French writer once posed this question: “Do you want to be read one time by 10,000 people, or 10,000 times by one person?”

I could identify with some of  the following, as regards both The Book of Mev and Dear Layla….

“Some people may have thought that this book was too personal, too confessional.
But what these people think about me is none of my business.

I got to write books about my father and my best friend,
And they got to read them before they died. Read the rest of this entry »

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Bodhisattva Training

To me, the Five Mindfulness Trainings are the substance of a bodhisattva. A bodhisattva is a living being animated by the strong desire to help awaken other people, relieve their suffering, and bring them happiness.
–Thích Nhất Hạnh

-First Training-
Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of life, I am committed to cultivating compassion and learning ways to protect the lives of people, animals, plants, and minerals. I am determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to condone any act of killing in the world, in my thinking, and in my way of life. Read the rest of this entry »

A Poem by Dorothee Sölle: hospital in haiphong

doan is three years old
in his head a fragment
of that handy bomb
that leaves buildings undamaged
never puts a factory out of production
doesn’t even harm bridges Read the rest of this entry »

Happiness

Sitting here with you
No agenda

Breathing in and out
No to-do list

Being calm and at ease
No strategic plan

Looking into your eyes
No rubrics

Coming to Clarity during the Vietnam War

At first I would not believe that our allies, our liberators, the Americans, would plan and carry out programs which were total annihilation sweeps. I felt as did so many good Germans during the Nazi period. “The Führer does not know about this!” But the Pentagon knew.

–Dorothee Sölle,The Arms Race Kills Even without War

Composing “HOWL”

Here’s Allen Ginsberg talking about the process of writing HOWL, which is reminiscent of Natalie Goldberg’s project in Writing down the Bones, to free the writer within:

I thought I wouldn’t write a poem but just write what I wanted to without fear, let my imagination go, open secrecy, and scribble magic lines from my real mind—sum up my life—something I wouldn’t be able to show anybody, write for my own soul’s ear and a few other golden ears. Read the rest of this entry »

My Beloved Syria, My Beloved Alawi Friends: A Presentation by Steve Tamari

For our next gathering of Share the Wealth, on Sunday 7 October, Steve Tamari will briefly explain the context for the civil war in Syria and share why sectarianism is a reality but not the only reality. He will try to explain his belief that the future may not be as dim as some might assume. Read the rest of this entry »

Clarity

The original sin of the prevailing world system has first of all been colonial domination. This is the first sin; all the others in the system spring from it. The greater sins are those that we don’t even notice.

–Enrique Dussel, Ethics and the Theology of Liberation

Today’s Aspiration

No hostilities
Firecrackering off
In my mind

Wednesday 19 September

A sunny day
70 degrees

Sitting outside together
We discuss the future—

Prospects, possibilities,
The quixotic quest for balance in this topsy-turvy world Read the rest of this entry »