"Woman with Hawk"
From a rapidograph series circa 1974 NYC by AlexRa (unfinished and damaged)
"In Other Words" (Composed Spring/Summer 2012)
In Other Words
The hardness of soft living engages my understanding. The freedom from wage slavery is much appreciated, but the attrition of stimuli, the lack of camaraderie and the absence of a spouse and the silence it engenders, accompanied simultaneously by the clamor and hyperactive activity of the mechanized world creates an often disquieting contrasting condition.
Acute feelings of separation from time, place and station are the consequence of numerous journeys and changes of residence, the seduction of masterworks and fantastic, hallucinogenic sequences of haphazardly associate imagery that resulted in revelation and awe. Thus ensnared by my susceptibilities, my sensibilities were entangled and the ennobling thoughts of peace and equality that may have been a consequence of this incongruity, instead detail with incisive exactitude what others may sense, but have not encountered and cannot understand.
Nevertheless although it is believed by some that all of life is maya*, the realistic laws of nature alarmingly continue to prevail in their inalterability and pitiless priorities. The extraordinary complexity and majesty of creation concurrently provides me with life-affirming reassurance and veneration prevails, but it is also this structure and contrast that also allow reproof for my dissatisfactions and the recurring shroud of melancholy.
The mixed blessing of empathy for nature and love of family, friends and animal companions co-exist in tandem with thoughts about the end of life -- -- be that anticipatory relief, resolution, respite or liberation.
Remembering the opportunity and privilege of youth, at this juncture of aging -- confidence, except for occasional concern and periodic fractious instincts, appears to be shelved permanently.
Despite the boon of a eureka moments, even modest self-induced assignments appear to fail time and time again. Even a simple compassionate, altruistic offer was recently rejected and the desire to be useful frustrated -- more often than not because of the necessary interaction and dependence on the surrounding peopled milieu, which only serves to demonstrate what some would deem the reward of a surplus of experience and others, a jaded perspective.
The brothers and sisters of the 'love generation,' with whom I had such great rapport and who I believed comprised a much larger part of the population than they (we) actually did, seem to all have dispersed. No doubt, because of the necessity, like me, to make a living. They were, for the most part, once again assimilated into the establishment that was so fervently denounced and was sought to be discarded entirely.
Insofar past tender aspects, assiduously nurtured, with my love interest are concerned, they more or less lie fallow. The ripening memories are no longer constantly prolonged and amplified by daydreams and the grandness of his tributes have only remote bearing in the unadorned closeted days of my existence. Albeit admiration for craft and beauty remains -- perhaps because art, contrary to romance, need not sustain the fanfare of edifying and housing reality.
The chance was then -- when we took for granted the zenith, the mark and tenure of energy and youth and more, the place… the time of being when the fulcrum of change and innovation germinated and was not reprimanded or curtained by actuality.
Now, when brief, wordless connections do occur, the impression is at times aggressive and imperious, once or twice plaintive and most agreeable -- pleasant, forthcoming and supportive. A reminder? A call to action...or relief and/or thankfulness for silence and inaction?
In lieu of appropriate graveside words, of which there shall be none from either of us -- art is a concrete signpost that all was not negligible. The sacrificial lamb yielded, cloaked in honor and the twin constellations provided pleasure and sustenance to a clan who acquired enlightenment while at the same time being kept in the dark.
Anguished unheeded admonitions were part and parcel of my existence and to me reasonable explanations in the experience of boldly casting about for a life. The aesthetic pleasure, the challenge to attain rapture and magnificence was achieved, but perfect alignment was the result of passion of some time past and activity toward achievement is now whittled to a hand span.
These comparisons festoon my bower with the privilege of knowledge and the irony of attending a feast shared with my counterpart only symbolically.
And on this clear deck -- the waves cascade unanswered and uncelebrated, but the way is, for a time, even tempered and purposeful in every day commonplace matters, only if to subsist with more is not available and may, in fact, strike one as avaricious and while ideas, dreams and projects beget failure and undermine me, I beguile myself with the imagined comfort of there may be reasons why things developed as they did.
It is as if in this sphere of constrained simplicity my nature acquiesces to revisit the innocent virtuousness of long ago, before the mating game was afoot, before the deliberateness of a particular accomplishment goaded me mercilessly and relentlessly to discover consanguinity and assuredness with a helpmeet -- long before enchantment and imposing aspirations were at stake.
At peace with the past is the realization of the inevitability of what comes and what cannot be resurrected, rather than the hope, aspiration, desire that heretofore provided the momentum. In that, lies not the clarity and charity of forgiveness or the lucid comprehension of why and how, but the resolution of sanity.
Of course in that life often demands recompense, the consequence of this unfettered state of mind is the failing compromised garment of self and the specter of extinction that will come to pass when all functions cease and are extinguished and the body is vanquished to join the timeless universal consortium of matter.
Setting aside a stoic outlook or proclivities of martyrdom, freedom is granted to my pride and all prayers ascend, what matter the origin of feathers that lift the wings that kiss the wind and strive heavenward?
The delight in nature’s treasures and appreciation of every day comforts and entertainments nurture and sustain. While not the cherished and protected feeling of early childhood, the goodness of life and appreciation of counted blessings have presented themselves in the unexpected benefit of attitude adjustments, embedded in the chemistry of emotions that is stabilized and tearful aspects, for the moment, no longer have such an penetrating impact on my life as I am privileged to live it.
Albeit no cosmic proportions are readily apparent in the mundane perspectives of daily activities, every living thing nevertheless arrives at its uniqueness and complexity and although humankind strived and achieved to tread on the moon, no living thing has yet to be created without nature's building blocks. The cycle of life and death is grounded in indisputable fact and its remorseless certainty will make even the most self-confident and arrogant take notice.
And in the relative scheme of things --the fateful insufferable shortcomings of the poorly chosen partners of my past, the wolf slavering at the door, betrayals by friends, the toxic miasma I breathe and restrictions and disadvantages of various sorts give rise to the thought that whereas humankind cannot live by bread alone, eloquent words, fabled dreams and love professed and promised have mitigated sorrows and concerns, but have not entirely compensated.**
Be that as it may, like for many, a loving, faithful lifelong relationship with a spouse revealed itself to be unattainable for me. (Lest I forget -- fate did grant me a few years of happiness, as if to give me a frame of reference, so that in retrospect, I know that what I was striving was actually possible!)
Be that as it may, evidently I still aspire to share with one I think understands better than anyone in the world the ambivalent feelings that evolved pertaining to the process of struggle and travail to realize desire that was purchased with irresistible sentiment and creatively expressed by him with skill that left my being vulnerable and overcome by want but tethered my soul to bliss and concurrently entertained the intellect and gratified the need to be acknowledged and appreciated.
Memory replays the striving for access to what proved to be insurmountable – a house of many windows, but one door, the key for which was never to be discovered. Had it been presaged, I would surely have disdainfully deemed it a craven malediction but to now, in the present, to interpret the matter as not only unconventional, but sheer madness, would only serve to undermine sensitive, artistic, romantic hearts.
Never once was there question of forgetfulness -- having established surprising compatibility in an incomparable liaison and having been granted the experience of inspiration remains to this day invaluable and touching.
Few in life can lay claim to a grand passion and even if our friendship, as it is commonly understood, is circumscribed and compromised by parameters set by fear and uncertainty -- within the established fixed goal posts of distance, separation and communication, cradled in artistic expression, our connection is seasoned by a mind-set that exonerates disappointments and has resolved into a conciliatory impasse and rapprochement that is sustaining and comforting. ***
* in Indian religions, has multiple meanings, usually quoted as "illusion", centered on the fact that we do not experience the environment itself but rather a projection of it, created by us. Māyā is the principal deity that manifests, perpetuates and governs the illusion and dream of duality in the phenomenal Universe. For some mystics, this manifestation is real. Each person, each physical object, from the perspective of eternity, is like a brief, disturbed drop of water from an unbounded ocean. The goal of enlightenment is to understand this—more precisely, to experience this: to see intuitively that the distinction between the self and the Universe is a false dichotomy. The distinction between consciousness and physical matter, between mind and body (refer bodymind), is the result of an unenlightened perspective.
** Too much by far to expect, no doubt.
***Or so I want to believe.
shocked to consciousness in the dead of night
his calls like grim shots shatter diverting dreams
a stalking, insolent sound -- brutal and rapacious
-- far off a cackling jackal mocks and taunts
awakened from desired rest, identity manifests
individuality is revealed and awareness salvaged
recollections of perilous explorations surface
and remembrance of a dutiful life are exposed
gentler by far -- the tone at the break of day
conjuring treasured, opulent, melodious songs
resurrecting promises that apprise me of interest
a connection, a signal of past times shared
empathic, familiar, convivial, feelings are unveiled
an affirmative wordless pledge of loyalty and solicitude
the guardian reminds me of avariciousness and trepidation
but silence brings only bitter despondent lifelessness now
instead fear of malice is momentarily suspended
liberating insight and a pledge of constancy prevail
dreams doomed to failure are temporarily revived
and the heart permits sentiments of trust and faith
he lives! a signal of value and welcome reassurance
an indication of gratifying acceptance and tender consent
a shy response demonstrating ardor and earnestness
a reminder of what was once exclusively ours alone
encouragement developed years ago is unveiled
a smile of assurance and wellbeing touches my lips
and once, in truth, in shame… a whimper of gratitude
even if uncertain of intent... inimitability is mine to celebrate
pause, rest, peace
prospecting for words among unlimited resources
by recommended spokespersons with watchful minds
i needed them to proceed, to reawaken and regenerate
to try and capture the wayward considerations of your heart
i explored my mind's innermost inchoate being
to lay bare emotion acknowledged but incarcerated
by way of loan and borrowing we clamored
evermore seeking to enhance riches of meaning
your incandescent back pages transgressed ideology
and in a voice reserved for potent preachers
you read my mind and prompted me to expose
almost all.. like you, to a judging world
never will you know exposure's fragility
and the hopefulness your objective is honorable
as we examine and reassess all that went before
with steely resolve to right a wrong with word and song
this, that we sought to keep untouched pure
advanced to expressions of vile and wanton conflict
never dreamt of, never intended to cause grief
why did words lead, where hearts could not follow?
if before me you depart, you know I will weep
unable to have ever resisted what you had wrought
be that neutral or amorous and chivalrous
sagacious, redemptive or chastising
again to struggle to be exonerated from wickedness
that so thrust us into mad impulse and despair
to again raise rational orthodox ways and means
to redeem a lad and maid we once cared for
I'll Remember You - Bob Dylan
The times were fast, my friend, and we rode that train 'til it rusted into the ground. Music, poetry, thoughts, feelings and memories were ours. They're on the shelf for safe keeping. Behind the wall, this karmic bond remains it seems -- for how many lifetimes more, one can only wonder. In the amber eventide at the gate -- solitary, silent, listening, waiting -- all that might have been.
Remarks re: writer's block deleted 1/24, also "Law of Detachment" : author: anon)
Perpetuating nobility of heart-- persuasive in its intent, encrypted with sage advice, giving rise to liberating confirmation and redemptive assurance.
Devoid of time worn phrases...perfect in delivery, response and ancient universal sentiment -- revisited, refreshed and renewed.
Harken and behold the messenger welcomed lighthearted intrusion -- assertive and direct.
Dramatic presentations from unknown well-springs of creativity distracted, emboldened, celebrating the energy of being.
Gratified to be trusted and worthy of comment, secure to be understood... a consolation.
Grateful existence was enhanced by art, fortunate in the belief tributes were inspired.
Reassured of appreciation in an uncaring world -- elevated, set apart from the everyday in a niche of private thought...there to escape and dream, choosing benevolence over misalliance, accord over misery.