Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Beginning of Memory

I nearly slipped going east down the hill and the dog paused to look back but I righted myself - arms extended - and went on, wondering what other falls await me and who, if anyone, will right me when I can't. Distance means we aren't distracted by sex, or are distracted differently, and also that we are obligated to use words to communicate. Lucky me. God does not need thanks but the thought is nice, if one is inclined to gratitude. The glitter of starlight on snow remains a favorite image, reaching all the way back to the beginning of memory, but I am less and less partial to the cold in which it happens, despite a bulky jacket, despite a handmade hat. I am beginning again a particular landscape that scares me, and yet to which I seem to return again and again, as if there were a lesson to learn. But in the end all we ever see is that there is no seer, and then we have to choose: will I turn back to the false comfort of the known or will I enter the unnameable flux in which all differentiation - including that which I believe composes me and you - ends? Well, that is one way to look at it. Probably there are others. A few cups of coffee, another thousand words or so, and the Beloved remains ensconced in her holy faroffness, her sacred now-you-see-me-now-you-don't. Perhaps it was always that way. We leave the hive and fall in love with bluets while all the while someone waits for the nectar we were sent to find, and found, and then forgot in the face of beauty, forget in the reflection of love.


  1. I'm giggling Sean ... and interpreting what you're saying as: some people are helped up the mountain ( or to fix their tractors) by Ken's uncompromisingly deliberately black and white (some might say arrogant:) )delivery of ACIM, some are helped by Garry Renard's funky new agey ascended masters stuff and some are helped by Tara Singh's ... ( I can't say 'cos despite a few earnest tries he just doesn't - yet! - resonate for me ... which doesn't make him anything except I'm just not ready) and some are helped by Sean Regan's poetic, delightful, guileless, chimerical wordiness - (that's just to prove your point about interpretation!) and that's all good! The salient thing is that it IS helpful, surely, not the mode of delivery? And as you say, sooner or later all the 'help' must be put aside and the tractor dealt to which doesn't diminish the value of the help one bit. I think I'm at the stage of just leaning very gently on the tractor and kind of stroking it and musing whether it's really a tractor at all... I mean, how can I judge right?

    Thank-you for writing and sharing with such copious generosity -I enjoy very much the almost daily ritual of reading and musing and it really IS helping me begin to actually give attention/ fix the tractor/ climb the mountain ... so yeah, thanks!

  2. Ooopps - the below comment belongs in the before post - hope you can cut and paste on your end - sorry Sean.

  3. Hi Alexandra,

    These posts all bleed together for me so it's all good . . .

    Yeah, I agree with you, helpfulness is really what is important and, at least in my experience, what is helpful tends to evolve over time. We need a lot of students talking (as formal teachers or just as wordy students) about their experience in order to learn, in order to find what resonates. It feels to me that the less emphasis I place on being right or wrong, the more readily I encounter those teachers who are truly helpful for me, in part because it's all helpful, once you liberate it from the pressure of being the be-all-end-all.

    Mode of delivery is a neat way to phrase it . . . yeah, it doesn't matter so much, except in the way that it does matter, which is where we are in relation to it. We can only hear what we're ready to hear, as you pointed out (so again, thank God for a plurality of teachers and interpretations).

    Tractors, mountains . . . what metaphor can we use?! I don't know . . . One of the reasons that David Bohm and Krishnamurti appeal to me is their studied insistence on refusing poetry, on talking about this stuff in very direct and plain ways, as much as possible. "Give attention" is the best I can do, and I start there - it's how I live mostly more or less - but once I start writing I tend to end up with starlight and crows and busted tractors. Tail lights going away at dusk . . . And really, as soon as you bring farm implements and Ursa Major and open marriages with chickadees into it, you've kind of blown open the stable doors . . . .

    Actually - and now I am just thinking as a writing teacher, workshopping it - maybe what we need to do is find through writing - through a dedicated practice of writing - the metaphor that speaks to us. Tractors have a special resonance for me - in my family, my community, and so forth, so they are part of a fruitful mythology, spilling out of my storehouse of images by which I navigate emptiness, with which I populate emptiness with the familiar, the better to manage it until I'm ready to just let go and be it . . .

    That would be a fun exercise, exploring the metaphor in writing that speaks to us of the Absolute, the Ultimate, God, What Is, the Divine Et Cetera . . . not the ones we are given by others, but ours, which we could think of as the unmanifest briefly manifesting through and with us . . .

    Thank you for writing, Alexandra . . . I can't believe anybody read that post! I felt slightly ridiculous posting it. I am always telling my composition students "tighten your sentences - less is more - brevity is the ground of wisdom . . . " They'd rake me over the coals if they knew . . .

    Thank you again!