Hold It All

Philosophy/Poetics/Politics

Month: November, 2016

We Inter-Are/458

1.

Mev was inside of me
And so I wrote a book

And Miriam read the book
And Mev was inside of her

And when Miriam was with Johnny
Mev ended up inside of him

Johnny paid attention to Miriam
Miriam was inside of him

Johnny wrote Miriam a love letter
He was inside of Miriam

This kind of thing cannot be controlled
No CIA could interfere with it

This goes to that which goes
To this which goes to that Read the rest of this entry »

Teachers

Dear Simone,

As much as I love to read, I think if we only had was Easwaran’s translation of the Dhammapada, Schmidt’s book on Dipa Ma, and Knaster’s book on Munindra, we’d have enough teaching, inspiration, challenge for however many hours, days, weeks, months, years we have left to us.

Here’s what I mean, almost from at random in Living This Life Fully:

“You get thirty seconds with some teachers, but you could hang out with Munindra-ji. If you only saw the personality, he was this kind of odd little gentleman who had a lot of peculiarities.”  I’m a nobody who aspires to be a cross between Munindra and Sartre, when it comes to hanging out, usually in cafes. I have no professional training, no certification, no socially recognized status as “one-with-whom-you-can-hang-out.”  Reading about Munindra inspires me to go further, and listen longer, and forget about time. Read the rest of this entry »

The Real Crime of Cuba

The following comes from a 1990 discussion among U.S. and Canadian activists with Noam Chomsky. It may provide food for thought given the current focus on Cuba after the death of Fidel Castro.

 

Look, the real crime of Cuba was never the repression, which, whatever you think about it, doesn’t even come close to the kind of repression we have traditionally supported, and in fact implemented in nearby countries: not even close. The real crime of Cuba was the successes, in terms of things like health care and feeding people, and the general threat of a “demonstration effect” that follows from that–that is, the threat that people in other countries might try to do the same things. That’s what they call a rotten apple that might spoil the barrel, or a virus that might infect the region–and then our whole imperial system begins to fall apart. I mean, for thirty years, Cuba has been doing things which are simply intolerable–such as sending tens of thousands of doctors to support suffering people around the Third World, or developing biotechnology in a poor country with no options, or having healths services roughly at the level of the advanced countries and way out of line with the rest of Latin America. These things are not tolerable to American power–they’d be intolerable anywhere in the Third World and they’re multiply intolerable in a country which is expected to be a U.S. colony. That’s Cuba’s real crime.

Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky, edited by Peter R. Mitchell and John Schoeffel.

I Wrote It for You All

June 24, 2015

Srimatiji,

I gave you, yes, you, and no one else, a copy of my magnum opus three years and a month ago.

My novel is due out next week and I want to say something about the dedication page.

Well, I’ve already started by trying to connect you and Zeina. The page reads:

For Lubna Alam, Zeina Kiblawi, Layla Lavasani, and Anjali Oza
Who sparked the beginning
And for Magan Wiles
Who saw it through to the end Read the rest of this entry »

Different Paths

In 1933
Martin Heidegger was Rector at the University of Freiburg
and a new member of the Nazi Party
He was the renowned philosopher of Being

In 1933
The boy who became Thich Nhat Hanh was seven years old
and living in central Vietnam under French rule
He would become the renowned teacher of Interbeing

Photo Meditation/112

I’ve been reading volume four of Proust’s Selected Letters, translated into English by Joanna Kilmartin. I liked this passage from a letter to a Madame Greffulje–

“When you refused me once before, you gave me a very lame excuse, namely, that a photograph immobilizes and arrests a woman’s beauty. But isn’t that precisely the point to immobilize, or rather, immortalize, a momentary radiance? A photograph is the effigy of eternal youth.”

claire-in-the-library

 

A P.S. in a Letter from Claire

P.S.  Virginia Woolf
Did not go to graduate school.

My America, Our America by Fatima Rhodes

I am happy to share another reflection from Fatima Rhodes:

I love working with the newcomer children. Three months ago, the majority of them didn’t know a word of English at the beginning of the school year.  The other day, a six year old Syrian boy in the cafeteria line said something to me I couldn’t hear. When I leaned over, he smiled shyly and whispered in my ear, “I love you, Miss Fatima.”  In English. So in addition to teaching them English, we also teach them love and tolerance on daily basis. Read the rest of this entry »

It Was Love at First Haiku

Maria told me to contact you
When you were fresh back from El Salvador

And perhaps needing another shoulder to lean on
After re-entering this meshugah militarized greed culture

There we sat at a table
At Café Ventana

And soon you spread before me
Your final project from the previous semester

You stayed up all night to do it
It had to be that way

Had to cut through the sleepiness
To pour out all that had accumulated—

On each page a water color by you
And a special photo

And a haiku on one page in Spanish
And on the facing page your translation into English Read the rest of this entry »

A Declaration by Fatima

My friend Fatima Rhodes shared this with me, and I am happy to share it here.

 

America, I have been talking to you a lot lately. This one is for you.

I will register

I will register as a mother of two
And a mother-in-law of one

I will register as a woman
As as sister to many
As a beloved daughter

I will register as a French teacher
Who believes that first you treat students
Like people then you can teach them
Read the rest of this entry »