Monday, December 22, 2008

Keeping Quiet

It's late. I'm sitting here in my big, fat, green chair: the one that people will fight over if I die, still wrapped up in my coat and scarf. I've just come in from the cold on the longest night of the year. "Solstice" meaning the "sun stands still." It does so and in some sort of grace to us allows us to feel the cold, to draw inside and hibernate for a while. It makes us think and feel.

I'm thinking: as I was driving home alone along the eastern bench of our Salt Lake valley, looking over the street lamps and house lights, the glittering stars of our universe twinkling below me, I picked up my phone, and by pressing three buttons was able to talk to one of my most dear friends, Jason, in Dubai. It was less than a minute. He didn't have time except to say that it touched him to hear my voice. I was satisfied just hearing his. Alone and together--him in the blazing sun of a hot desert, me alone staring out the frosty windows of my snow-covered car into the night.

The poem, the yoga of words, that was read to me earlier tonight from the book whose pages open up automatically to this poem, the cause of the many nights it has rested face-down on the night stand holding it's special place open to be read again tomorrow, and which is really about us all sitting here reading this, is what I want to repeat as my offering for this solstice.

Keeping Quiet
Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still.

This one time upon the earth,
let's not speak any language,
let's stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be a delicious moment,
without hurry, without locomotives,
all of us would be together
in a sudden uneasiness.

The fishermen in the cold sea
would do no harm to the whales
and the peasant gathering salt
would look at his torn hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars of gas, wars of fire,
victories without survivors,
would put on clean clothing
and would walk alongside their brothers
in the shade, without doing a thing.

What I want shouldn't be confused
with final inactivity:
life alone is what matters,
I want nothing to do with death.

If we weren't unanimous
about keeping our lives so much in motion,
if we could do nothing for once,
perhaps a great silence would
interrupt this sadness,
this never understanding ourselves
and threatening ourselves with death,
perhaps the earth is teaching us
when everything seems to be dead
and then everything is alive.

Now I will count to twelve
and you keep quiet and I'll go.

by Pablo Neruda

This week may be our opportunity to think about the creation of the Divine. As we are still, hibernate, and draw in, you may want to practice savasana for 45-60 minutes each day. I'm not joking. Just for this week. It'll change your life.

I'm out of town. I've arranged some great subs. See you next week.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

[b]Moral dilemna![/b]

Wazzup! I've hung around watching and reading for ages here.

Well, tbh I had this experience recently. There was this occurence... When I was done with school one day I headed out, I was hungry so I dropped into this place for a snack and ordered a sandwitch and then went off to eat it in a corner when I was done I remembered I didn't pay!

Yeah evidently they were super busy and distracted because there was this manager/investor type looking around everywhere and talking to them. So I was just about to go up to the counter and say I hadn't paid but then I realized if I did that the owner guy might get mad at the employees. So I just left. What should I have done do you think?