Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Pure Cold Stream

                    PIVOT POINT

The journey from one edge of an eyelash
         to another
                                     how infinitely far!

and the time it takes--that microsecond's
                        an eternity

but ride the next express
                           between heaven and hell
either direction
                   now there's hair-raising speed!
you'll arrive even before you depart

I know a breath   inside a breath
                                      inside the breath

I know the pivot point
                     for swirling clouds of worlds

tell me                 are you awake yet
   see what you can't see
            hear what you can't hear
                            feel what you can't feel

there's a   pure   cold   stream
                               that's always flowing

if you find it don't hesitate
                             kneel   kneel and drink


When good is near you,
when you have life in yourself,
it is not by any known or appointed way;
you shall not discern the footprints
of any other.
The way, the thought, the good
shall be wholly strange and new.

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson --


     We thirst. We thirst, but most of the time we don't realize it, never mind knowing what we're thirsting for. So we blunder through the desert of our days, the wilderness of our nights, unconsciously seeking something, failing to find it in this mirage or that illusion, dying of thirst even as we believe we've finally entered The Promised Land.

      What are we really thirsting for--and how do we find it, hold it, keep it, drink of it at last? From early childhood I knew there was a Magic Gift hidden somewhere, if only I could stumble across it; a Secret Portal no adult seemed aware of, a Mysterious Stream which I could sense flowing far underground, yet could never quite locate. Then I grew up, became so much smarter, stopped searching and listening, no longer stirred to that faint, miraculous music anymore.

     Inevitably, I wandered further and further off course, growing ever more alienated from myself and increasingly estranged from others. I could hear no inner voice to follow, see no guiding star to steer by. One night the nasty karma poisonously accreted over many years all came crushing down at once. I was ruthlessly stripped soul-naked, scathingly exposed to the harshest blasts of grief and loss--alone, despairing, bereft. I plunged headlong toward what I thought must be agony's bleakest rock-bottom--only to discover there was none; it was bottomless.

     What happened next I won't even try to describe here. I've stammeringly attempted to narrate it in countless words--both poetry and prose; and if you ask me about it, I'll stammer to tell it again. But the truth is utterly beyond language, however eloquent or inspired. Ultimately, all I needed to know--all you need to know--is this: in the very last place I expected, I discovered the Marvelous Gift, stumbled through a Hidden Portal, drank from that Miraculous Stream!

     Yes, this all sounds terribly tenuous, otherworldly, even pie-in-the-sky. Where's the beef?! The real problem though, isn't that this Reality is so abstract and far-removed from our experience; rather, it's so intimate and immediate we can scarcely fathom it, hardly bear to feel so humblingly, overwhelmingly encountered. Such simple, childlike openness renders us more vulnerable, and at the same time more accountable, than we've ever been before, ever conceived we could be! Targeted at the cross hairs of our innermost Essence, there's no place left to run, nowhere else to hide.

     All I can offer through mere words are hints and guesses, riddles and clues. Stop looking outside for what you can only discover within. To find this sanity you must lose your mind. Nakedness is your compass, emptiness your backpack, getting lost your direction. Never surrender, always surrender. As painted cakes cannot satisfy hunger, so the most seductively marketed elixirs cannot assuage this deepest thirst. The Healing Water you long for is pure, cold, sparkling, crystal clear, limitless...



  1. Thanks Dad for this beautiful sentiment and illustration. You've picked me up at a time when I needed it. All my love, Matt.

  2. You're welcome, Son! Great to know my work can make a difference.