Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Understanding the "Other"

[Artist: Javier Zabala].

On Re-reading Bartleby the Scrivener

Nothing so aggravates ... as passive resistance,
the stubborn persistence of the unaccepting Other, 
where the refusal to comply
forces others to react.

Understand that you can't always reach or understand
the souls of those who suffer.
They sometimes seem ungrateful, treat you with disdain.
There is no compromise, no felt need to explain,
theirs is the only universe, and you're not in it.

Know you what it's like to be undone?
Bound up in
overwhelming hopelessness
where you can no longer Be, where 
even hunger's ceased - one
dies, despairing, choked by
unrelieved meaninglessness.
At days' end will still they murmur
 "asleep with angels now"
to restore lost balance?

Ah lost soul.  Ah humanity.

I would prefer not to
on the whats, or whys or whos
inside or outside the Tombs,
on action versus passivity, guess
the motive, know the reason,
judge the Silent.
We adapt, pretend, shut down, continue -
do or be done unto, who's ultimately
to blame?  "We are all brothers" but
don't communicate, and even if we did,
what is there to say.

We, I, you, him, her, can you divorce
an "us", reject all life, to let the world know
none of it applies?  Oh do not lecture, that
the rules have been bypassed, that one has
self-destructed in the process.
All life is a process, it's not life but the
with which we concern ourselves -
and there are many ways to Be . . .
and even more,


To read a text of the complete story, go here.

To hear the full audio book, click here.

To see a 27-minute film reenacting the story, go here.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

And on the political front ...

Chris Watte/Reuters

"Canada’s Liberal Party swept into power for the first time in nine years Monday night, ousting the Conservative government in a dramatic upset in the country’s parliamentary elections.

"Justin Trudeau, the charismatic 43-year-old Liberal leader, will become the second-youngest prime minister in Canadian history.

 "His father, Pierre Trudeau, served as prime minister from 1968 to 1979 and again from 1980 to 1984. During his lengthy tenure in office, the elder Trudeau severed Canada’s last legal ties to Britain, passed the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, enshrined multiculturalism and bilingualism as national policy, and dominated the Canadian political scene like no other postwar prime minister.Although the final few days of opinion polling suggested a strong Liberal showing, the younger Trudeau's victory is nevertheless one of the most surprising upsets in Canadian electoral history. Never before has the third-ranked party in one Canadian parliament won a majority government in the next one."   [Source]

Saturday, October 17, 2015

First Snow Today

Imagine, I said to a friend the other day.   It's snowed already in Moscow!

When we woke up this morning huge flakes were scurrying past the window,
covering the ground.

Maurice our tree had not yet shed his yellow coat, it was occurring leaf by leaf.

Well all right then, we'll have it the full six months this year.

Bring it on, as they say.   Send sun. 
Hold off  the cold.

Like the sky ever listens.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


from a trip down to the States,
returning through wonderful Vermont

 Detail from a painting by artist Mary Callahan,
hung in the reception hall of a medical building
 on St. Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA

Grandson's little toy moose,
cloth canoe, wood wheels