Sunday, May 30, 2010

Be in Life


Be in life

but keep your ideas
and your ideals
within yourself

Be true to Self
in the quiet
of your own space

Immerse yourself
in everyday life

But remain your own self

Participate in the world

But be of
your own inner world

from Joseph Campbell


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Leaving a Mark


Leaving a mark

Some talented people
leave their mark in the arts
or sciences
or in sports
in humanities and in healing
in organization 
or discoveries

But for the rest of us
more ordinary folk
I hear about the need 
to leave a legacy

to leave behind something 

to leave a trace
that the future generations 
can have as a marker
of our time on this earth
as a reminder of our presence

Some people create histories
write family records
research genealogy
create stories

Some want to leave
their creative endeavours
as their mark
some in words
others through images
or creations

and then some people
want their mark to be left
in the hearts
of their families
and friends
in the impact
that they have made 
on the souls 
of their loved ones

the Tao says that

Only by virtue of Love
does one live forever

Is it important for you
to leave a mark...
How would you like
to make your mark...


Markings from pencil rubbings
in order:

outdoor rattan table top
 crack in my worn desk
my woven shopping basket
seam of bamboo trunk
conch shell
 rattan coffee table top


Friday, May 28, 2010

A Wabibito


A Wabibito
is what I want to be


someone who understands the wisdom
of the grasshoppers and the rocks

Zen Rock Garden Kyoto

I want to become satisfied 
with my life

a simple life lived modestly

I want to pare back
and live now
and feel the peace
of the natural world
around me

Tea House

Wabi Sabi
is a Japanese view or aesthetic
based on the acceptance of transience
It suggests we find a beauty in 
all that is


Bonsai Brooklyn Botanic Gardens

in the humble
the modest
and the unconventional

Shakuhachi Flute

Wabi Sabi nurtures all
that is authentic by acknowledging
those three simple realities

Nothing lasts
Nothing is finished
Nothing is perfect

Tale of Genji text 12th Century earliest illustrated Handscroll

The word Wabi
speaks of a rustic simplicity
a quietness
with the quirks and anomalies
which add uniqueness
and an elegance 
to a creation

Tea Cup, Hagi Ware 17th Century

suggests a weathered rusty beauty 
and serenity
that comes with age
when the life of the object
and its impermanence are evidenced 
in its patina and wear

Kenrokuen Hanami

This is how I want to age
with wabi sabi
accepting the natural cycle of growth
decay and death
wearing the bloom of time

 Shigaraki Jar

Wabi Sabi can be considered
the material representation 
of Zen Buddhism

Black Raku Tea Bowl, 16th century

A wabibito
is a person
who is free in heart
who is comfortably oneself
and has the ability
to make do with less...
to appreciate the nobility
in the simple
and the common

A man is rich
in proportion to the number of things
which he can afford
to let alone

Henry David Thoreau

Labelled Illustrations from Wiki commons

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Double dose of Beauty


I have two beautiful things
to show you from my walk today

the first, you may question
my descriptive terminology

But I find 
this little Bearded Dragon
to be quite a beauty

A lizard of the Pogona family
he has splendid camouflage
and patterning

an inquisitive glare

spiky scales around his throat
and the back of his head
which can expand
when he feels threatened

His gentle friendly nature
makes him a good pet

This Bearded Dragon
was scuttling across my path
He measured about a foot in length
and will nearly double that
as an adult

But with my second offering

I am sure
that you will concur

 this soft peachy sunset
over the ocean

is a beautiful way
to end the day's walk


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The less you have...


The less I have
the more I have 
to be grateful for...

I wrote this as a comment 
to Steven one day
and Dan picked it up
and suggested I take it further

The paradox
has developed
from my world view
which has changed
and metamorphosed
over the years
as I have done so 
in parallel

Paring back
having less
not needing to accumulate
acquire possessions
not needing to achieve
or gain
or fill my life with busyness
is an emptying
that has given me
a quiet peace 
and contentment

and for what I have left
in my simpler life
I feel a deeper appreciation

In my state of less
I care more
I feel more
I share more
I experience life
more fully

 I feel more connected
to people 
and to nature
Having less has become
having more

Life is fuller 
and deeper
Life is richer
and I feel 
a rising gratitude
for all of the elements
of my Less
which are so much
more than More

and therefore
The less I have
the more I have 
to feel grateful for

Does that make sense
to you...

Artist: Jose Manuel Merello


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

No Bikes No Dogs

But it doesn't say
No Kookaburras

So I will perch here a while
and allow you to walk 
up very close

and even poke 
that black apparatus
right into my face

I won't flinch
or show I am at all concerned

and you can admire 
my splendid blue feathers
shining in the sunlight
like iridescent paua shell


Monday, May 24, 2010

A Personal Symbology


A Personal Symbology

At various times
in my life
I have been aware 
of powerful symbols
that seem to represent
the essence of an experience
or to succinctly capture
a prevailing emotion or feeling

At times when
significant people in my life
have passed through the veil
I have been visited by Brahminy kites
beautiful brown winged raptors
And I have also seen splendid rainbows

On the morning 
of my Mother in Law's death
I was driving my youngest to school
when the biggest and brightest rainbow
I have ever seen
arced across our town
in a vivid embrace

On the morning of her funeral
I took a walk by myself
and saw the same rainbow
and then again 
as we drove to Auckland Airport
to fly back home to Australia
a rainbow seemed to follow the car

These past few weeks
I have seen the Brahminy kites 
soaring the skies
and just a few days ago
and then again today
out over the ocean
the Rainbow of Hope

It may be a co-incidence
It may be synchronicity
It may be purposeful
It may be none of these things
It doesn't really matter
What does matter is that the symbol
is a container
a vessel that is able to hold
the feelings, emotions and energy
linked to the experience 
and of something more than the experience
The symbol holds all that is ineffable
beyond the scope of words

A symbol speaks in a language
more powerful than words
its magic and poignancy 
reach into the unconscious
and connect us to deeper realms
to deeper layers of feelings
and experiencing

They create a bridge
between the conscious world 
and that of the unconscious
and I believe 
of the Universal consciousness
Symbols yield a powerful connection 
and knowing
a communication that is intuitive 

Do you have 
special symbols
that have become a part 
of your personal symbology...