When misfortune confounds us
in an instant we are saved
by the humblest actions
of memory or attention:
the taste of fruit, the taste of water,
that face returned to us in dream,
the first jasmine flowers of November,
the infinite yearning of the compass,
a book we thought forever lost,
the pulsing of a hexameter,
the little key that opens a house,
the smell of sandalwood or library,
the ancient name of a street,
the colourations of a map,
an unforeseen etymology,
the smoothness of a filed fingernail,
the date that we were searching for,
counting the twelve dark bell-strokes,
a sudden physical pain.
Eight million the deities of Shinto
who travel the earth, secretly.
Those modest divinities touch us,
touch us, and pass on by.
‘Shinto is the indigenous faith of the Japanese people. In general, Shinto is more than a religion and encompasses the ideas, attitudes, and ways of doing things that have become an integral part of the Japanese people for the better part of 2000 years. The ancient Japanese never divided spiritual and material existence, but considered that both were inseparable, seeing everything in a spiritual sense. Shinto, unlike other major religions, does not have a founder, nor does it possess sacred scriptures or texts. Shinto practices can be roughly summed up by the four affirmations:
- Tradition and family
- Love of nature – The kami are an integral part of nature.
- Physical cleanliness – Purification rites are an important part of Shinto
- Festivals and ceremonies – Dedicated to honoring and amusing the kami”
Zeke’s paws are scratching. He’s dreaming. His body twitching. I steal a glance at the clock. 1:15 am. I smile. You go from refusing a dog for 20 years, to the animal taking center stage on your bed. Every night. What a tough guy.
He knows. Dogs have a second sense. Even when he’s sleeping, he hears.
Car door shuts. It’s Rachel. Rolling in from her evening out.
I lumber down to her room. Bathroom door is closed. Water is running. I lie down on her bed. Stare at the ceiling. And wait.
Mind whirs back to a moment during the week. I’m driving into Manhattan. Rush hour. Traffic stalled. GPS flashes a 3-mile backup to the Triboro bridge. Beach Avenue and Bruckner. Young girl is holding her Dad’s hand. They are crossing the walkway over I-278. Her passion pink backpack sharply contrasting with the streaks of graffiti. The pair offering up a burst of illumination against the grey of the housing projects and the trash lining the freeway. Their hands and arms sway in unison. Dad smiling. She’s skipping to keep up.
That day, Mind was crocheting stitches of a majestic tapestry. One of family. Of warm spring days. Of light breezes. All storm clouds pushed way south. And the Moment hovered. All week.
Why this moment? This was not an impressionist by Monet. Not a intricate passage by Joyce or a dreamy segue by Murakami. No deep existential words here by Kierkegaard. Not a big win at Work. A Father. A daughter. A pink backpack. Walking over a dilapidated bridge in the Projects.
“…There are moments on the brink, when you can give yourself to a lover, or not; give in to self-doubt, uncertainty, and admonishment, or not; dive into a different culture, or not; set sail for the unknown, or not; walk out onto a stage, or not. A moment only a few seconds long, when your future hangs in the balance, poised above a chasm. It is a crossroads. Resist then, and there is no returning to the known world. If you turn back, there is only what might have been. Above that invisible crossroads are inscribed the words: Give up your will, all who travel here…”
Passage Excerpt from nytimes.com.
Eddie Catlin – Actor. Peter Batchelor - Narrator / Voice. Music Credits: ”Preparing” by In The Nusery. ”Hope Renewed – Instrumental” by Martin Sebastian Holm.
What a task
and not by the century or the year, but by the hours.
above me, and above the sting of the wind, a sound
I did not know, and my look shot upward; it was
faster than the ones we usually see,
and, being the color of snow, catching the sun [Read more...]
“…maybe that’s the lesson for me today. to hold on to these simple moments. to appreciate them a little more. there’s not many of them left. i don’t ever want that for you, finding things that make you happy shouldn’t be so hard. i know you’ll face pain, suffering, hard choices, but you can’t let the weight of it choke the joy out of your life. no matter what you have to find the things that love you; run to them. there’s an old saying: that which does not kill you makes you stronger. i don’t believe that. i think the things that try to kill you make you angry and sad. strength comes from the good things: your family, your friends, the satisfaction of hard work. those are the things that keep you whole, those are the things to hold on to when you’re broken.”
~ Jax Teller, Sons of Anarchy