Friday Poem: Brink

“A masterpiece is not the result of sudden inspiration, but the product of a lifetime of thought.”

Virginia Woolf


Meditating or sleeping
I am hovering on the edge
Of something almost understood.
What is it?
I turn my head;
It disappears
Just beyond my grasp,
just beyond comprehension,
Just beyond realisation.
It is a light
I glimpse but cannot see;
A solidity that dissolves
Before my touch.

If I can make myself
Quiet and empty enough
Perhaps it will enter
By itself.window

Sometimes things just won’t come together, and it all seems like too much struggle. Sometimes there’s no time to do all the things I want to do, and the would-be masterpieces are nothing but vague ideas, bubbling away gently on the back-burner of my mind. That’s a really good time to let everything go, to just sit (or walk) and be mindful, to flow in the effortless way of a river. Eventually, things will become clear again by themselves.

I hope.

red moon 2

That’s the eclipse of the moon, a couple of nights ago. Eventually it came back, all by itself!

Dominator Culture – An Example

peace love empathy - hand made book pageI read a news story recently about a pair of young Albanian boys who are afraid to go outside their house because their neighbour has a vendetta against their family and aims to kill them both in revenge for a member of his family who was killed years ago by a relative of theirs. It is a long standing and crazy tradition  in that country – especially in remote villages – that if a man is killed, then his (male) relatives are obliged to kill the (male) relatives of his killer. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth – Albania is blind and toothless…

The mother of the two housebound boys committed suicide, hanging herself in the barn, unable to bear the lifestyle of fear and constriction any longer. The family were given three days ‘grace’ by their oppressor in which to bury the mother before the stupid game was on again.

The boys only education is with a female teacher who visits every two weeks or so to teach them to read. They rarely venture outside, and have never known the joy of running freely in the sunlight. What kind of a life is that? And for the neighbour, what kind of a life is that? Consumed by hatred and sworn to pointless revenge – which, if exacted, starts a fresh vendetta back in his own direction. Presumably the idea of trying to kill all the (male) relatives is to have none left to start over trying to kill all yours…

This is Dominator Culture at its maddest. They say it is a response to a lack of justice , and that the solution is to hand retribution over to the judiciary (those boys uncle went to jail for 25 years for murder…). But I say it is the result of a lack of empathy, a dearth of compassion, and absence of love. The solution must lie in education, and probably should start with the women, who are responsible in a large part for rearing the next generation of men. Teaching mindfulness in schools would also help.