Not There

 I live on two levels: here, which is a pretty nice place to be, and there, which is a thick morass of sadness and remorse about things in the past, strewn with jagged rocks of worry about what’s to come.

I was talking about this recently to Dan, my pen pal, poet-friend, and accidental mentor, whom I’ve mentioned more than once in this blog. Dan has often suggested meditation to me, but in his last email, he expounded on this in a way I could relate, meditation in an everyday form, by which he meant “those moments unencumbered by the notion of a substantial self –when I’m walking the dog, reading or writing a poem, or, as I am at this moment, apparently writing to you– as well as the sitting I do in the morning with a cup of coffee after feeding and walking the dogs…”

He went on to say that this everyday kind of meditation “is inseparable from poetry and art of every kind, ‘a self-forgetful, perfectly useless concentration’, as Elizabeth Bishop defined the conditions necessary for creating or appreciating art.”

And at one point he presented this exquisite thought from Angelus Silesius (c. 1624-1677) a German priest, physician, poet, and mystic of the Catholic church:

“God, whose love is everywhere, can’t come to visit you unless you aren’t there.”

It’s a chilly morning…Monte just handed me a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice, like a chalice of sunlight to drink in the present.

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