The animating process is
The building block upon which
You have been erected.
Even after you have been torn down,
The building block remains.
Centering your attention there is
The direct means to gain
The rose is obsoletebut each petal ends inan edge, the double facetcementing the groovedcolumns of air--The edgecuts without cuttingmeets--nothing--renewsitself in metal or porcelain--whither? It ends--But if it endsthe start is begunso that to engage rosesbecomes a geometry--
Sharper, neater, more cutting
figured in majolica--
the broken plate
glazed with a rose
Somewhere the sense
makes copper roses
The rose carried weight of love
but love is at an end--of roses
It is at the edge of the
petal that love waitsCrisp, worked to defeat
plucked, moist, half-raised
cold, precise, touching
The place between the petal's
edge and the
From the petal's edge a line starts
that being of steel
infinitely fine, infinitely
the Milky Way
from it--neither hanging
The fragility of the flower
–William Carlos Williams
When someone dies you are supposed to tell the bees and invite them to the funeral, give them wine and cake, hang mourning cloth over the hive.
You should tell them other things as well - of a marriage, when you are planning to rob the hive, when you are troubled by your dreams.
Tell and they will listen, tell and they will spread the word with the wind.
Let me begin again as a speckof dust caught in the night windssweeping out to sea. Let me beginthis time knowing the world issalt water and dark clouds, the worldis grinding and sighing all night, and dawncomes slowly and changes nothing. Letme go back to land after a lifetimeof going nowhere. This time lodgedin the feathers of some scavenging gullwhite above the black ship that docksand broods upon the oily waters ofyour harbor. This leaking freighterhas brought a hold full of hayforksfrom Spain, great jeroboams of darkAlgerian wine, and quill pens that can’twrite English. The sailors have stumbledoff toward the bars of the bright houses.The captain closes his log and falls asleep.1/10’28. Tonight I shall enter my lifeafter being at sea for ages, quietly,in a hospital named for an automobile.The one child of millions of childrenwho has flown alone by the starsabove the black wastes of moonless watersthat stretched forever, who has turnedgolden in the full sun of a new day.A tiny wise child who this time will lovehis life because it is like no other.
You have been trained since infancy to direct your attention to what is temporary. Had anyone before revealed the Permanent to you, there would be no need to sit with Wu Hsin.
Most people don’t sit because they are afraid of what is revealed.
The individuals fear that they will lose their individuality, their identity. One could say that the love of Being is not yet greater than the love of being somebody … or it could be said that the fear of the not yet known is far greater than the distaste for the known.
Either way, “I’ll pay any price” is suddenly shown to be a hollow offer.
When you become clear that you are not this body, but that it is your instrument, then worries about death dissolve.
In essence, death dies.
Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
I am I, and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other, that we still are.
Call me by my old familiar name,
speak to me in the easy way which you always used.Put no difference in your tone,
wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.Let my name be ever the household word that it always was,
let it be spoken without effect,
without the trace of a shadow on it.Life means all that it ever meant.It is the same that it ever was;
there is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you, for an interval,
somewhere very near, just round the corner.
And all is well.
–Henry Scott Holland (1847-1918)
Canon of St. Paul's Cathedral, London. UK