Hold It All

Month: December, 2019

Put Your Body Where Your Mouth Is

In a time when it is the fashion to propose amendments to the Constitution, I would like to propose an amendment requiring (1) that when war breaks out the president and all consenting members of his administration as well as all consenting legislators, whatever their ages, should immediately be enrolled as privates in combat units; and (2) that for the duration of any war all executives and shareholders of corporations contributing to the war effort should be restricted to the same annual income as the workers in their factories–no sacrifice being too great in a time of national peril.

–Wendell Berry, “Letter to Daniel Kemmis,” in The Way of Ignorance and Other Essays (2005), p. 148.

The Power of Footnotes


My idea of the ideal text is still the Talmud. I love the idea of parallel texts, with long, discursive footnotes and marginal commentary, texts commenting on texts.

–Noam Chomsky, Mother Jones interview, 1987


Text from Noam Chomsky, The Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel, and the Palestinians, p. 386 (South End Press, 1983):

[On the Sabra-Shatila massacres] There was also a reaction from Elie Wiesel, who is much revered internationally and in the United States for his writings on the Holocaust and on moral standards and has been proposed many times for the Nobel Peace Prize for these writings, again for 1983, by half the members of Congress according to the secretary of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.* Read the rest of this entry »

Perennially Good Advice

“Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still. Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. Aim above morality. Be not simply good—-be good for something.”

–Henry David Thoreau

Three Incitements to Read a Book of Poems by Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore

1. Winter Haiku
Winter’s on its way.
Maple leaves all
cross the street together.

2. Recognition
The same God Who sent the prophets
And inspired the Qur’an

has me work at a job I hate
then come home and wash the dishes

3. Infinite Sadness
I want to express infinite sadness.

How should I go about it?

Should I dip a whole life’s tragedy
like a big spoon through the
roof of their house and pull up
the last of the survivors? The lone
child with big eyes, the good-hearted
grandmother? Read the rest of this entry »

A Phenomenologist of Impermanence

In this world of ours where everything withers, everything perishes, there is a thing that decays, that crumbles into dust even more completely, leaving behind still fewer traces of itself, than beauty: namely grief.

–Marcel Proust, Time Regained

Today’s Gratitude

I received an envelope full of treasures like this from artist Cris Airaghi in Seattle.


“Help Win War–Beat Fascism”

Woody Guthrie, New Year’s Resolutions, 1943


To Serve Suffering Humanity

Shekhar Ganguly, A Satyagrahi, a Revolutionary, a Communist
People’s Publishing House, New Delhi, 1995

I recently read Arundhati Roy’s moving essay, “Walking with the Comrades,” detailing her solidarity with the indigenous Maoists of India back in 2010.  Shekhar Ganguly is an ideological antecedent, in some respects, to those women, men, and kids Roy met in the jungles of India.  His book is a straightforward account for the  benefit of the next generation.  Here’s a most important fact: He spent 12 years in jail for his Communist compromismo. 

Ganguly  became a satyagrahi at 13.  He noted the influence of the Ramakrishna movement and Vivekananda and revolutionary politics: “I was torn between two ideas and two desires at that moment. To search out and join the ranks of the revolutionaries, fight the British rulers and die a hero’s death like Bhagat Singh and the other heroes or to join Ramakrishna Mission and spend my life serving the suffering humanity! In those days the first was much stronger than the second.” [9]

He moved away from “Gandhism” because he was “serious”: The British only understood force:  “Hence they will have to be thrown out by force.”  [11] He had to reckon with this question: “Are you ready to sacrifice everything for the freedom of Mother India?” [11] He sealed the deal with an offering of blood to the goddess Kali and “learnt in jail that many others had been tortured much more and for longer period than me.” [25] Read the rest of this entry »

Sayings by Maharajji

Said one devotee, “Maharajji was love incarnate. No religion, only love.”


from Miracle of Love: Stories about Neem Karoli Baba, compiled by Ram Dass

See God in everyone. It is deception to teach by individual differences and karma.

I am here and I am in America. Whoever remembers me, I go to.

You get wisdom from suffering. You are alone with God when you are sick, in the cremation ground or hospital. You call on God when you suffer.

If you want to see God, kill desires. Desires are in the mind. When you have a desire for something, don’t act on it and it will go away. If you desire to drink this cup of tea, don’t, and the desire for it will fall away.

It doesn’t matter if you are married or not, it only matters how much you love God.

It’s better to see God in everything than to try to figure it out.

If you are free of attachment, you will lead a simple life in a simple environment.

Truth is the most difficult tapasya. Men will hate you for telling the truth. They will call you names. They may even kill you, but you must tell the truth. If you live in truth, God will always stand with you.

Money should be used to help others. Read the rest of this entry »

Share the Wealth with Ale Vazquez: Capturing the Power of Transformation

Healing from heartbreak—of various kinds—is a process that can involve creative practices. In this gathering, Ale will tell of how she has transformed suffering via watercolor, haiku, photography, dialogue, and community as a means to recommitting to self. You are invited to consider and name your own journeys of brokenness becoming beauty, of pain leading to compassion, of mercy you have channeled for yourself.

Ale is a poet, a painter, a music collector, an educator, an astrophysics hobbyist, and an activist. She resides in San Antonio with her books and her paintbrushes.

Join us
Saturday (not Sunday!) 14 December
Potluck dinner begins at 6:00 p.m.
Ale begins sharing at 6:45
At the home of Ellen Curry and Cami Kaz
4256 Botanical Avenue
Apartment #5 [Third Floor]
Saint Louis, MO