TRIUMPH OF SPIRIT IN LOVE, NATURE & ART

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Night Visions

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I look up and
my head swims
with delight
making me giddy
with awe.
So humbled
one being
like all others
on this earth
gazing heaven toward
under a canopy
of stars.
Diamonds
with infinitesimal degrees
of infinite distance.
Each a quiet distant world
in one of endless galaxies
in one of endless universes
in one of untold possibilities.

Street Life in New York City

Inspired by a post by Tiramit at Dhamma Footsteps

Have seen the plight of the working poor in India, especially working women in films like Ankur,” and in many other Indian films.  But it is not just India.  It is everywhere. And it is not just the working poor.

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The belongings of the first resident to set up camp near a seminary and a church

A block away from our apartment in New York City is a tiny campsite of homeless people. I think of them every morning at prayer. I wonder should I bring them food? Coffee? Meantime, in shame and shamefully, I cross the street to avoid walking into their bedroom. I feel for them especially when I am sick and think how horrible to be homeless when sick. But actually it is a daily horror.  Only a scaffolding protects against the elements, the heat of summer and the bitter cold of winter. And know I could be there, too, if not for the grace of God.  For these people are most likely unemployable.  Most likely they are mentally ill, like me, only unlike me, unable to work because they are untreated and homeless.  My husband, a retired psychiatric social worker had many homeless clients who could not work and could not get it together to get disability.  These clients spoke of the horrors of homeless shelters and explained how living in the streets is preferable.

The residents of this little homeless camp seek refuge and food in the church across the street. As they huddle in comforters in winter and on the sidewalk in summer, I ponder their lot in life while we have our little lives, wrapped in middle class comforts.

And in the United States we have a candidate who speaks to the rascist and xenophobic of our country.  To our shame to have even running.  But he also speaks to the working poor who are failing despite working one, two and three jobs, to the people who would despise the people down the block because the residents are not working.   And he promises his followers a better life.  And they believe his fantastic lies.  Such are among the many problems of having an underclass of the working poor.

exploitation

A slice of reality, not just of Mother India, from my friend, Tiramit at Dhamma Footsteps…

dhamma footsteps

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POSTCARD #219: Delhi: Everything comes to a stop when I see this photo, sent by Jiab in Gujarat, West India. All the pain and suffering I’ve experienced recently is suddenly nothing when I see the endeavor of this woman pulling what looks to be the trailer belonging to a truck. Even so, some would say, it’s easy for me to say, easy for me, comfortable in my male middle class security… and I search for words: admiration, respect, deference. None of these seem to describe the way that lady who looks like my Auntie is pulling that thing with the momentum of a short run at it, to get up and over the incline leading up to the bridge, then over the top and holding the weight as the trailer gathers speed on the downside.

When I first examined the photo it looked like there were two women pulling the…

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groundedness

Another beautiful post from my friend, Tiramit!

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IMG_0682POSTCARD #218: New Delhi: Jiab sent me this pic of the cow in Gujarat. There’s always something that ‘clicks’ inside me when I see the cow in the city traffic in India. The aloof separateness of the Gods. Something about the bovine ‘mother’, sacred cow that all Hindus are conscious of.

There’s also  a memory of something from my home on the farm in the North of Scotland when I was a kid. I remember long nights and short days, aunties and grannies wearing comfortable wooly cardigans, porridge in a cracked bowl, coal and wood fires, cows in the fields, a black-and-white collie dog – and it’s this that I notice about the rural/urban Indian cities, cows sitting on the pavement, goats nibbling and chickens pecking around, the sound of a cockerel in the distance. It’s the farmyard scene where I was brought up that followed me here!

There’s a…

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as the crow flies

From my friend, Tiramit, over at Dhamma Footsteps… pure poetry…

dhamma footsteps

IMG_2982POSTCARD #211: Delhi/Bangkok flight: I arrived at the place and couldn’t remember how exactly I came to be there except for the journey returning to me in flashes; scanned by X-ray machines, identified, processed, held in aircraft cabin pressure for 4 hours… then look out the window and see small green rice fields with water everywhere; 1800 miles southeast on the Asia map as the crow flies.

Placed on the ground and I have to get my things quickly, put together the parts of who I think I am in this new context of a day I missed the beginning of, and things out there are just happening anyway. Extraordinary, even so – catching up on the rebound, the momentum of the journey, the sense of something recharged, action endowed with purpose because I’ve arrived in what remains of a day that belongs to other people, those who have…

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Illusion Crumbles

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Age has crept up on us

like a thief in the night

I think

as I watch the clock hands

remain stuck on 1:30

as I wait

in the third doctor’s office

in six days

with my newly retired husband

ill again

with the illness

that drove him

from his beloved work

with the poorest of the poor

mentally ill

and I wonder

as I worry

about him

how did he do it

and why

and why

did he marry me

taking my major mental illness

as a dowry

and I wonder

how did it happen

that we got so old

we look at people

30 years our junior

on the TV

in the waiting room

and think ourselves

like them

but we are not

old age has crept in

like a thief in the night

were we always broken

cast under a veil

of delusion

which now becomes

seen at times

as bodies

fall ill

and age creeps in

are we finally seeing

the unreality of the “reality”?

 

 

Whispers of Spring

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Spring green and faint yellow

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Sap flowing amid stone and evergreens

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A burst of red

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Cows heading past lone bare tree

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The hide-out of the Spring Peepers

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Layers of Spring texture

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Greening grass at end of day

Seeking God in New York City

DSCF8435_edited-1Riverside Park and Trapped Nature

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Political Wall

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Customer in Local Coffee Shop Window

***

Twinkling stars, infinity sky
no longer can I see,
blinded by the might of
fierce night light in the city.
Now the universe  appears
behind closed eyelids
unbound by hour on the clock.
Energy fields in the sky of day
once transported me instantly,
now I battle noise and numbers
in the megaphone metropolis.
My private piece of sky to see,
sitting in the summer sun,
in the backyard playland,
sits now in memory
along with the macro world
of insects underfoot.
The infinity of the terrestrial lawn,
now is writ on microscopic cells
inside my convoluted brain.
Our little piece of paradise
Our little barn for sale
Home now the concrete jungle.

I will find God here, too,
amid the traffic and the trash
Overcrowded cities can
team with spirituality
as manifest in Mother India,
satsangs to the barking dogs,
insistent horns
streets full of homeless.
Here, too, a camp
one block away
reminds one of the blessings
of a dwelling and food to eat
and humbles one
amid serenades
not of crickets
but of sirens
and the cooing of pigeons
or the sweetness of a sparrow.
T’is true the Divine
is manifest in nature,
easy to see there
everywhere
but He dwells here, too,
in the rat filled streets
among the humble
somehow majestically in
the lowest of the low,
I would I could see Him in
the Sadhus of New York City.
His mighty kingdom
lies within the Self
bursting within the heart.

Have mercy on me, oh God,

and please open my heart

to the Compassion within!

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