Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Oldest Fire I Know

Rigorous passivity. Or something like that. Passive attention in a sustained way? Well, my breath does leave me slowly, floating in silver clouds towards faint stars and an even fainter moon, nearly lost in clouds of its own way over there by the neighbor's. Wood smoke vs. a promise of rain vs. a deserted rabbit warren come to unexpectedly. The dog is energetic but stays close, as these days she tends to, and from time to time I whisper her name, which is a way of saying yes. It's too early to be out walking, as skunks and deer are only too happy to remind me, but what can you do but what you can do? None of us are objects, and yet objects abound. When the owl cries I stop to listen, as if there were an answer one could give outside the non-traversable landscape. We go far enough to hear the brook, the hollow sound it gets when ice begins accumulating and then turn back. I am never far from the idea of bells, and the nineteenth century is hardly an afterthought. In the drafty back room I eschew coffee and just write. What a drama, all these umbrellas fretting what will happen to them now it's winter. The more words the better, I say, setting yet another log on the oldest fire I know.


  1. Perhaps to keep it burning is the choice we must make again and again until we are finally, irrevocably, consumed. At least, after reading this, Sean, I can see it that way.

    At my ACIM study group meeting last night, we were talking about what is created (as opposed to made) -- peace, joy, love -- and how in that context we are like God, we are God. We spoke of different traditions -- burning Advent candles, the shared significance of light, other thoughts I can't recall. And, I said, thinking of you as I said it...that there is coherence here, and thought how that coherence helps open us to greater understanding and that when it doesn't exist, we get stuck in a chaotic stasis...if that makes any sense.

    Anyway, on the way home, I smiled to myself, thinking coherence does indeed matter.

    I'm thinking you are feeling better .... if your writing is any indication.

    Happy Monday!

  2. Yeah, I'm feeling a little better . . . mostly I've got my wordiness back, which was gone, which was not as bad as not really being able to read which was really hard and so actually good to sort of sit through . . . It occurred to me that a lot of my reading is a form of resistance, a kind of dancing on the surface rather than dropping through the levels downward . . . it is like the month's rapture, not the marriage, to paraphrase Jack Gilbert . . .

    I like that idea of how the presence of coherence allows for an opening . . . this sense of opening has been a kind of image for me over the past few months. Not fog lifting or veils parting but literally an opening . . . so that resonates a lot and makes me happy and thoughtful, for both of which I thank you . . .

    Talk to you soon!

    ~ Sean