Body and Soul II
By Charles Wright
(for Coleman Hawkins)
The structure of landscape is infinitesimal, Like the structure of music, seamless, invisible. Even the rain has larger sutures. What holds the landscape together, and what holds music together, Is faith, it appears--faith of the eye, faith of the ear. Nothing like that in language, However, clouds chugging from west to east like blossoms Blown by the wind. April, and anything's possible. Here is the story of Hsuan Tsang. A Buddhist monk, he went from Xian to southern India And back--on horseback, on camel-back, on elephant-back, and on foot. Ten thousand miles it took him, from 29 to 645, Mountains and deserts, In search of the Truth, the heart of the heart of Reality, The Law that would help him escape it, And all its attendant and inescapable suffering. And he found it. These days, I look at things, not through them, And sit down low, as far away from the sky as I can get. The reef of the weeping cherry flourishes coral, The neighbor's back porch light bulbs glow like anemones. Squid-eyed Venus floats forth overhead. This is the half hour, half-light, half-dark, when everything starts to shine out, And aphorisms skulk in the trees, Their wings folded, their heads bowed. Every true poem is a spark, and aspires to the condition of the original fire Arising out of the emptiness. It is that same emptiness it wants to reignite. It is that same engendering it wants to be re-engendered by. Shooting stars. April's identical, celestial, wordless, burning down. Its light is the light we commune by. Its destination's our own, its hope is the hope we live with. Wang Wei, on the other hand, Before he was 30 years old bought his famous estate on the Wang River Just east of the east end of the Southern Mountains, and lived there, Off and on, for the rest of his life. He never travelled the landscape, but stayed inside it, A part of nature himself, he thought. And who would say no To someone so bound up in solitude, in failure, he thought, and suffering. Afternoon sky the color of Cream of Wheat, a small Dollop of butter hazily at the western edge. Getting too old and lazy to write poems, I watch the snowfall From the apple trees. Landscape, as Wang Wei says, softens the sharp edges of isolation.
Today's horoscope: If only there were more hours in a day you would have a chance of doing everything you wanted to. Alas, you are allotted a mere 24, and have to do the best you can with that limited amount. Today you may feel real time pressure, as demands come at you from all sides. The office, home, your religious group and volunteer organization all could be clamoring for a piece of you. If you are not careful, there will be nothing left of yourself to give.
If just about everyone on my flist is being a curmudgeon, and that rubs off on me, is it better for my state of mind and that of others if I express my own unhappy feelings stemming from said grousing, or if I post something gratuitously haaapppppeeeeeee!!!! instead? I'm afraid to do the latter, because the last time I did, I promptly ran into a slew of posts about people who seem not to notice other people's pain and suffering, and instead go around squeeing like teenys. I probably took this more personally than I should have, but that, too, seems to be a trend around here these days.
Had a terrible post-movie evening online despite UConn victory after a perfectly fine day yesterday, but then it went back to being an excellent very-late-night once I shut the computer off (had forgotten what it is like not to have children in the house, heh). I am almost too paranoid to post that I had a bad evening, though, as I am sure that at least one person with whom I chatted last night is going to take it personally, when it's the sum total of a lot of crap that had me down.
Lately it seems like any time I say "Aaagh I am having a bad day" or "This trend in fandom is driving me nuts," I end up getting a regretful or hostile note from someone saying she knows I was talking about her and it really isn't her fault and even if it was I didn't have to tell the entire world about it, when often what's really bugging me isn't even about the person taking it personally. I seem to have utterly alienated two people in the past two months who decided that I was saying mean things about them in my journal, when in both cases what I was saying wasn't even about them. I still don't know whether to be horrified at my obvious cruel insensitivity in not realizing that I was such a bitch that my rant could be taken as vicious and personal by so many people, or horrified that I can't even express annoyance in my own journal without someone somewhere being made angry/upset/miserable/despondent about it.
I was thinking about declaring today UnFriend With Benevolence Day, and telling all the people on my flist who are obviously keeping me there out of some sense of obligation -- because we have common friends or once shared good times or are clinging to the edges of the same fandom -- to take me off their lists and go with my very best wishes. But then I realized that most of the people to whom this applies will never see this post, because although I am on their friends lists, I am not on their default views. I don't get comments from them. I don't even bump into them in other folks' comments these days. Cuz, like, if you're here waiting for the return of the LOTR fic? I can pretty much guarantee that there won't be any until the ROTK EE in November. And if you're waiting for the return of the HP fic, god only knows. I stopped trusting Rowling with her own characters after her last interview and need quite a bit of time to resettle; I don't like writing complete AUs and I get very nervous when my favorites may be turned into people I don't know anymore. (See "ROTK" above.)
I should probably go back to my policy of this journal being all happy-happy joy-joy fuck-what-I-really-think/feel-anyway-bec
Addendum: Nicholas Kristof in The New York Times on the effects of illegal abortion in Portugal: poor women, their boyfriends/husbands, parents and cab drivers in jail after having the intimate details of their lives made public in trials; rich women traveling by the thousands to Spain; and a largely conservative population over 75 percent of whom want the anti-abortion law overturned. "'Forbidding abortion doesn't save anyone or anything,' said Sonia Fertuzinhos, a member of the Portuguese Parliament. 'It just gets women arrested and humiliated in the public arena.' The upshot is that many Portuguese seem to be both anti-abortion and pro-choice. They are morally uncomfortable with abortion, especially late in pregnancies, but they don't think the solution is to arrest young women for making agonizing personal choices to end their pregnancies."