Though I am old with wandering Through hollow lands and hilly lands, I will find out where she has gone, And kiss her lips and take her hands; And walk among long dappled grass, And pluck till time and times are done The silver apples of the moon, The golden apples of the sun.
What makes a fire burn is space between the logs, is a breathing space. Too much of a good thing, too many logs packed in too tight can douse the flames almost as surely as a pail of water would. So, building fires requires attention to the spaces in between, as much as to the wood. When we are able to build open spaces in the same way we have learned to pile on the logs then we can come to see how it is fuel, and the absence of fuel together, that makes fire possible. We only need to lay a log lightly from time to time. A fire grows simply because the space is there, with openings in which the flame that knows just how it wants to burn can find its way.
This reminds me of the resting space in the midst of a conversation, a busy day, before a meal, and even, between breaths. There, right there, between the in breath and the out breath, is a space to rest.
If you don't know the kind of person I am and I don't know the kind of person you are a pattern that others made may prevail in the world and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.
For there is many a small betrayal in the mind, a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood storming out to play through the broken dyke.
And as elephants parade holding each elephant's tail, but if one wanders the circus won't find the park, I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.
And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy, a remote important region in all who talk: though we could fool each other, we should consider-- lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.
For it is important that awake people be awake, or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep; the signals we give--yes or no, or maybe-- should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.
Hang up the swing of love today! Hang the body and the mind between the arms of the beloved, in the ecstasy of love's joy: Bring the tearful streams of the rainy clouds to your eyes, and cover your heart with the shadow of darkness: Bring your face nearer to his ear, and speak of the deepest longings of your heart. Kabir says: `Listen to me brother! bring the vision of the Beloved in your heart.'
No one expected all three of them to sit there on their tree stumps forever, their senses covered with their sinuous paws so as to shut out the vile, nefarious world.
As it happened, it was the one on the left who was the first to desert his post, uncupping his ears, then loping off into the orbit of rumors and lies, but also into the realm of symphonies, the sound of water tumbling over rocks and wind stirring the leafy domes of trees.
Then the monkey on the right lowered his hands from his wide mouth and slipped away in search of someone to talk to, some news he could spread, maybe something to curse or shout about.
And that left the monkey in the middle alone with his silent vigil, shielding his eyes from depravity's spectacle, blind to the man whipping his horse, the woman shaking her baby in the air, but also unable to see the russet sun on a rough shelf of rock and apples in the grass at the base of a tree.
Sometimes, he wonders about the other two, listens for the faint sounds of their breathing up there on the mantel alongside the clock and the candlesticks.
And some nights in the quiet house he wishes he could break the silence with a question,
but he knows the one on his right would not be able to hear, and the one to his left, according to their sacred oath-- the one they all took with one paw raised-- is forbidden forever to speak, even in reply.
We are no longer innocent; but we must make every effort to become primitive so that we can begin again each time, and from our hearts. We must become springtime people in order to find the summer, whose greatness we must herald.
Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.