Hold It All

Philosophy/Poetics/Politics

Month: August, 2013

Gratitude Journal/5 (“Write for the world to read and see yr exact pictures of it”)

Several of us have been meeting weekly at a friend’s home on DeMun in a class, “Expanding the Heart: The Practice of Gratitude.”  We’re keeping gratitude journals.  Here’s a recent entry from mine.

Thank you, Sarah Bollinger, for thinking of me all the way over in Portugal and sending me that candor-drenched letter about your re-looking at the practice of writing, now that you’re done with your doctoral dissertation.

“Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr morning” Read the rest of this entry »

Writing with Annie, Northwest Coffee, April 2012

It’s easy to be in the present moment
With Anne Fitzgerald
I want to listen
I want to be receptive
I want to assure her
That Jesus was right:
You, Annie Fitzgerald, are the light of Gibson Avenue
The light beaming whenever you and Becca Feldmann are together
The light giving comfort at your grandma’s memorial service

We were present to each other
That Saturday afternoon in April
We did writing practice
It was your first time in a long while
You had a brand new notebook untouched
I gave us a topic
“Go for 20 minutes”
And off we went Read the rest of this entry »

Missing

July
Bella: Facebook is weird because...I can tell you I miss you an hour after leaving your side.

August
Perry: I am such a half-ass hugger. I apologize. I’m afraid if I did it the way I felt, you’d be in the ICU.

Bella: I disagree.

September
Perry:  You know, I’ve practiced rigorous, Che Guevara-like self-discipline in not telling you how much I’ve missed you in my life, palpably speaking, that is. Until now. It’s that uncanny calm exuberance…

Bella: Let’s not not miss each other. Read the rest of this entry »

The Global Family

1.

In the early days of the Cuban Revolution
Che Guevara received a letter from a woman in Spain
Her name, too, was Guevara
She was curious to find out if they were related

He wrote her back telling her
That anyone whose heart is committed
To opposing injustice anywhere in the world
That person was his sister, his brother

–from Ernesto Cardenal, The Gospel in Solentiname

2.

But he said to them:
Who are my mother and brothers?
Then at those who were seated around him
He said: “These are my mother

And my brothers.
Because anyone who does the will of God
That one is my brother, my sister,
And my mother.”

–from the Gospel of Mark

 

Gratitude Journal/4

Thank you, Katie Consamus, for responding pronto to my needy request for feedback. Whoosh, you delivered big time! I’m in a new phase of the journey, time to kick it like karate and finish this book/memoir/mishmash/collage! You’ve encouraged me with your words, like these…

“You know, I read Dear Layla on the train.  If I remember correctly, I was on the Brooklyn-bound Q train en route to some obscure audition for some pretentious adaptation of some Ibsen play…”

“And when you wrote about Carla playing the saddest song she knew on the violin… I remembered that to be of service, I do not have to abandon my art.  That it IS service.

It’s true, I want to be your agent, so let me prove myself first on Facebook, where I will circulate your writings.  Over the years, you’ve read me with energetic attentiveness, and I want to read you likewise–send me anything you’re working on, random scribbles,  magnum opus you’re laboring over and under, bedside nightstand dream log entries, recipes from your great-aunt, list of favorite asanas, five ordinary places in NYC that expand your heart, three secrets you’ve not yet told to a living soul!

Send me the topics of your curiosity (unless Mev and Layla have worn you out!) and I will respond with brio: postcards,  notes, letters, lists, villanelles.

Every person engaged in a writing or creative project needs to have a reader/friend/mirror/Muse like you.

I am stronger, happier, and saner because you’re in my life.

Mark

“Why I Read the Bhagavad Gita” by Katie Consamus

The Huffington Post calls her
“The Sunshine Goddess,”
But I just call her Anne-Margaret
And she is the reason I read
the Bhagavad Gita.

She told me once that her job as
a yoga teacher was to be
of service…
to say…

“I see you.”
“And you are loved.”
“You are here, and you are loved
unconditionally.” Read the rest of this entry »

Your Multitudes Don’t Freak Me Out

You told me everything
Bella Levenshteyn
So I’ll tell you:

I am full of wonder
Love and gratitude
For your multitudinous yous

Your charming you
Your depraved you
You back against the wall you

Your effervescent you
Your so so so sad you
Your Petrachan you Read the rest of this entry »

Bhagavad Gita Reading Group: The Way of Love

Chapter 12
Monday 26 August
6312 W. Park Avenue
6:30-8:00 p.m.

Meditation
20 m.

Recitation
Chapter 12
5 m.

Reflections
Eknath Easwaran’s commentary on chapter 12: “Every time we withdraw our desires from some self-centered activity, a little more of us has defected from the side of darkness to join the side of light.”  [347]

“We come to our full stature as human beings only when the mind becomes still. The reason is simple: the only source of mental agitation is the ego. A still mind means a still ego—and when the ego is still we can see clearly, we are free from compulsions, and there are no barriers to interfere with our personal relationships.” [351] Read the rest of this entry »

On Writing with You

Dear Bella Levenshteyn

As I continue going through my basement piles and stacks
I came across the following
Which fell out of a file I hadn’t looked through
In many years

Seems even back in the dark years
Of the second Regan Administration
I was doing my part to promote
Writing practice and camaraderie

Thanks for being my archivist
Shimmelstoy

 

Even though we haven’t rendezvoused
At some clever uptown cafe
(or perhaps sleazy downtown bar)
For several months
To sit and chat and think and write
And emote and confer

I want to tell you how much
These little meetings meant to me
No one has believed in my talents
Considered my worth
Encouraged my work
And found pleasure in my teeth
As much as you
And I hardly know you
And still hardly know you!

How did it happen that this man who introduced me
To the world of theology, Buddhism
And unencumbered writing
Came to mean so much to me?

I’m not sure

Perhaps, as one of my favorite poets once wrote,
Maybe you “sneaked up behind my ear
Wearing sneakers”
You not only came up behind my ear
But you also entered softly
Through the ear canal
And filled my mind with thoughts
Of profound caring

People don’t need to see each other
Everyday for a bond to form–
You are a case in point for me

I can’t tell you
How I feel as you leave town
(As a person who has few ties in this city)
I feel like I’m losing a soul mate
And will sorely miss your proximity
When I miss you most

I’ll read your thoughtful and zany pages…
And remember

Daisy Mayorga

— –from novel now in progress, Our Heroic and Ceaseless 24/7 Struggle against Tsuris

How To Replace Your Smart Phone

One morning at Café Osage
She told me all about it

How she had been so enthralled
Totally mesmerized by her Smart Phone

It was her life-line
Her axis mundi

It increased her efficiency
It allowed her to be in touch

“Instantaneously,
Whenever I wanted!”

She fell asleep with it
It kept her company on the Metro Read the rest of this entry »