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Thursday, November 19, 2009

My Journey: part 1

(Click on highlighted texts)

More and more 'pie in the sky bye and bye' has fewer and fewer charms for me when compared to the way the sun lights the grasses at the end of the day and how the breeze makes the grasses sway. I saw the rich colors out the window and had to stop and look.

Moments like this draw me out of myself to meditate on what is really there and to think of what it means. And while I am thinking, the sun sets, the colors leave and I am in the dark. But I have swallowed the seeds of illumination.

It is odd that I should feel the way I do because everyday I am closer to dying and being 'lost'. These are the 'ultimate' concepts impressed on me as a child and all through my adult life. (They are still being impressed on the minds of children in the care of Christian fundamentalists.)

But, shouldn't I cling to something' in this situation? Is the reaction I was taught appropriate to a situation like mine? I was taught that holding on to something; the future, the past, something other than this slippery mercurial moment that can't be held would make me safe.

Asking questions in the context of time elaborated on by Albert Einstein was the key that allowed the door to remain open for me. When reality resumed I realized I had been taught many 'well meaning' ideas, but that they were fundamentally incorrect in the way they were presented. They were not only incorrect, but harmful to me as a person.

The idea of despising the moment of God's providence was the way I learned to be unfaithful and ungrateful for the day by day sustenance Jesus said his 'Father' provides for all of creation. I learned to trust in another 'Father', one in the 'future' whose throne is on Wall Street. In that context Jesus' words are just foolishness.

But Jesus said this: Matthew 6.

"24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?"

Similar thoughts are here in Verse 16 of the Tao. Click on the 'Tao Te Ching'.

"Touch ultimate emptiness,
Hold steady and still.

All things work together:
I have watched them reverting,
And have seen how they flourish
And return again, each to his roots.

This, I say, is the stillness:
A retreat to one's roots;
Or better yet, return
To the will of God,
Which is, I say, to constancy.
The knowledge of constancy
I call enlightenment and say
That not to know it
Is blindness that works evil."

Jesus explained the providence of his 'Father' in the same way Lao Tzu described the providence of the 'mighty Way'. Everything keeps on keeping on. Food keeps growing, rain keeps falling, the sun keeps shining and we keep falling in love to keep the world from being uninhabited. According to Jesus and Lao Tzu that's what keeps things rolling.

The key to all this is to trust that the present moment will bring forth what is needed and that to meddle with it and try to pull more out than it wants to give up is somehow wrong; a denial of the 'Father', a misuse of the 'Way'.

From verse 29 of the Click here: Tao Te Ching'.

"As for those who would take the whole world
To tinker as they see fit,
I observe that they never succeed:
For the world is a sacred vessel
Not made to be altered by man.
The tinker will spoil it;
Usurpers will lose it."

Everything we try to hold onto to, to keep, to preserve, dies in our grip and becomes a corpse we carry with us. Hauling the past around is an unbearable burden. Hoping for a better day 'bye and bye' is the thief that breaks in and steals the treasure the 'king' bestows every passing moment inasmuch as it makes me want to ignore the providential divinity present in the moment. Holding on to the past or grasping for the future means we have turned our back on the ways and means of the Kingdom of God Jesus spoke of.

We as a society have done it and we've got the culture to prove it.

Below is a video I made involving moving away from my house on 'the hill' in New York to the north coast of Oregon. It will be a multi-part attempt to make sense of everything.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Moment by Moment

(Click on the photographs to enlarge them)

Early this morning there was a thunder storm with high wind gusts and torrential rain. It began abruptly. The winds blew part of the awning of the deck off. It was brief but violent. The amount of rain was incredible given the amount of time it rained.

I unplugged the computer, disconnected the internet cable and decided to write a poem about the squall on battery power. As I began to write I thought illustrating it with a video would be effective. The videos and still photographs below is what I came up with.

The thought inspiring the poem is that one moment leads inexorably to the next. The future and the past are connected by the present which makes the moment take on a great importance.

Also in my thoughts was the transitory nature of experience. It didn't rain all day. It changed from one moment to the next. First one thing was happening, then another thing. Both experiences even though different were organically connected by the preceding moment. This is the process of creating the future and it indicates to me the 'oneness' of experience, reality and time.

The video is below the text of the poem.

Moment by Moment

Thunder comes in a long continuous rumble
like the sound of an approaching freight train
but richer with a more melodious timbre,

lightning stabs at trees on the hilltop.
Rain and wind appear fierce, suddenly
suddenly ripping panels from the deck
and dropping them on the steps.

The next moment the wind is gone,
rain falls quietly having no memory
of the moment before.

Later today there was this:

And sunshine. What do these moments say?

Poem and visual elements Copyright 2009 by David H. Roche

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

In The Temple of the Elk

A herd of a hundred or more elk came to graze in the pasture next to trailer park. Some left the confines of the pasture and ambled out onto the adjoining lawns. There are said to be three herds of elk in the area. Two of the bulls had racks of at least ten points and maybe twelve. There were several bulls with smaller racks.

It is impressive to see these elegant statuesque creatures. They go where they want to go. I was more impressed with their quiet animal spirit.

They noticed me and were aware of my movements with the camera so they kept an eye on me. I came within twenty to twenty-five feet of them with nothing between us but grass. They seem to be quite well adjusted to the infringement of noisy trouble makers like me and my kind into their primeval world.

I wasn't the only one to come and gaze at them. When the word was out that the herd had come to the pasture, occupants released themselves from their houses, computers and televisions and came to stand on the grass and watch with awestruck fascination.

Why can an event like this wrench us from our domestic routines to gaze in wonder at wild things that we have long parted company with? My personal feeling is that it is like getting a long distance phone call from the home we ran away from and for which there is an unrecognized need to return to.

I hope you enjoy the visuals and the poem.

Photographs, video and poem Copyright 2009 by David H.Roche

Monday, November 02, 2009

It's A Circle

I went to sunset beach at sunset. I found the sun just touching the rim of the ocean when I got there (an illusion, beautiful none the less)

I took the video and the photographs and when I came home and looked at them I wondered. Strangely what came to my mind were verses from the creation myth in Genesis:

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

It made me think; is life a circle or a line that terminates? So I let one track run over into the next to indicate the succession of days. Another thought came to me as well. Day and night light, and darkness are the same thing. They've been separated. Before the separation they were one.

Here's the video:

The Grateful Dead have always encouraged the taping and distribution of their concerts. So I don't think they'll mind me using this track.

Photos and videos mine, the music is by the Grateful Dead 'jammin' at the edge of magic'. the song is Dark Star (crashing).

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Illumination In A Plastic Chair

What follows is a series of photographs taken of a plastic chair. The images in the video are of the same chair, but have been altered by photo imaging software. The still photographs are the product of time exposure. The purpose is not only to show that the ordinary things of life often have immense beauty if we look at them the right way. But more importantly they are not always what they seem to be. The later is something not often understood.

(click on the photographs for greater detail)

Photographs and everything else Copyright 2009 by David H. Roche

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A practitioner of the art of living with the intent of learning how to die without fear.