Archive for May, 2014

Today If You Would Hear

Posted: May 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

Mesa Wood Fire 042-2Hearing the call by phone of water coming out the door,  is this heard or done? I hear, if suddenly in the instant, or called to be, called two Sundays before by phone that had I not been called had been catastrophic. As is was enough. If not, worse. There was another flood, two years before, early on a Saturday, when I found when ready to do the roof water coming out the door, no call then, but some merely  higher intent, that trades a broken leg for a skinned knee,  a birthday present at 70, for this was my birthday. But there was one before that, in ’99, notified from a neighbor befriended, an old  woman, Grace, who  called with the first, vii inches deep, but still way better than go another day. That was a Sunday too. In none of these did I think not to act. I heard their voice and obeyed.

If there is a moment of such fatigue it cannot stay awake and body lays down, scene disappears, to surface a new whole, with a plan, a point of view,  which resolution comes as many times a day as is, these moments are not of words or thoughts but water and lung to emerge fresh to give account, that hearing, seeing, listening, following, lead–who cares! –do and be as one cuts endless board to fit, measure, mark, cut, break, trim, place, again, again, until 8 x 4 sheets disappear with not a single thought the whole time,  feeling nothing, saying  nothing but  cut, measure, trim: is this a high or lower function? Ho, the same with paint, clay vessels empty or full, you zen knowers? And words? No words. So hearing is the most important sense in determining truth. As K says, the confessor hears the voice, does not see the face of the confessor. “Gradually, as he listens, he forms a corresponding exterior,”  for hearing the voice “reveals the inwardness which is incommensurable with the outer, so the ear is the instrument whereby that inwardness is grasped” (Preface to Either/Or).

007-1Today, Saturday, cleaning the rooftop a/c coils  there is graffiti on the sign at the front. To get paint and go back, the car, blocked from its usual route, has to take the next turn to find these two chairs at a curb at 8 AM. Free. Please Take Me. But against better counsel I continue to finish the paint, but even then, on return they are still there…so what thought was in any of that? None. These  messages result of one being there to see. One is there by no self intent. Ear and speech lead and follow, led beside still waters, led in paths. The writers, John, Luke see and give such messages, hearing of the blood. Today if you would hear harden not your heart as in the day of provocation. Provocation melts. Hardened hearts against the voice. Hear Yahve, O Israel, Yahve Elohim.

Respecting the voices of elders, lives, to honor graves, bodies, as Abraham, Moses, Joseph  strengthen boundary stones, memory, find core root, so  fathers revive their works, remind what their ears heard, our voices speak, leading and following like ear and speech  what I would not have known or could: of course I follow.  I can no more think of not following than of not hearing. Bowden in the desert, and Barry Lopez speak of it,  no sound but the heart beat, no sound but the sound of blood rushing in the arteries and veins. On thing it makes you know the symphony of life.  All this hearing, seeing, leading, following are also like the unconscious, conscious, what Bowden calls “the place I cannot find inside myself, at least not often or easily, the place that seems to have been lost…the place where unconscious and conscious cease to have meaning, the dog in flight down the wash, the coyote watching, the snake sliding down the slope on errands never described or known…I want to move past the distinctions, past the words about life phases, species, organs, into that miasma, the same one within me, the place inside the cells, the place hidden inside the word mind, the thing flowing through the nostrils of a dog sucking in the literature of a wet spot and reading millions of years of life in a lash’ (Inferno, 59). “Once I walked across a pan of blazing sand in the midday sun and heard the blood moving in my veins, my heart thumping in my chest, everything this tom-tom beat, this gurgle inside my skin and then, at that instant, I caught the distant thunder of this hearing. Also there was time when I heard rocks hum. And there was still one more time, a deeper moment, an instant on the rim of absolute terror, when I heard nothing at all, not the sigh of a breeze, not the chirp of a bird, not the churning of the sun’s fires, not the scream of an insect…” (Inferno, 53).

If Bowden is a little dramatic, desperate, driven, oh well, Ezekiel had his eye placed against a chink in the wall. He saw elders bowing to snakes. This hearing is seeing, this discovery is prepared. Who gets to see and why? I have no idea. To be put in the moment, discover, is always unpleasant, the ugly, the unveiled. When have I walked in on praising, hard working artists? Always discovering sins, Charles Bowden is the only saint I can say. Bowden because he is tortured and his sins are open honest things, products of his scrutiny and circumcised heart, who hears and sees  “the line blurred and there was nothing but now, this long, persistent now…the present, a continuous and sensuous present, a silken thing like water…the days and nights becoming a pool and I dove into that pool and have never lost the sense of the waters closing over me and offering silence and a world where everything is within reach at every moment even though the idea of moments has become dubious to me” (Inferno, 95)…eyes floating for a glimpse…to seethembefore theyseeme but more importantly toseethembeforeIthinkIsee them, to be aware of their presence without being conscious of looking…floating, seeing and smelling and scraping andneverthinking, not one thought…yes, this will happen when it happens, when I get there without planning the journey, when I arrive without plotting my destination (Inferno, 83-4 compression added).

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