|25 Aug 2004 @ 12:42, by Richard Carlson|
If we were not already Buddha, we could not bow to the Buddha. When the Buddha receives our bow, we become one with him. At that very moment the practice of the bow is actualized. The Buddha does not force the practice of the bow upon us, but that which has been offered is brought back to us.
Silence is as deep as Eternity; speech as shallow as Time.
Those who believe they have plenty of time get ready only at the time of death. Then they are ravaged by regret. But isn't it far too late?
For over 40 years I have honored my teacher, mentor, and friend, John Tagliabue. More recently he has retired from work at Bates College in Maine, relocated with his lovely wife Grace to Rhode Island, and encouraged me to distribute his recent poems on the Internet. He doesn't use computers himself, and a couple years ago wrote an elegy to his manual typewriter. When we returned from Canada yesterday, a small envelope of poems were waiting. I think I'd better get them to you right away.
The photo is of John last year at Bates with 2 students who just won the first John Tagliabue Prize For Creative Writing. [link]
"Aug 17, 2004
"Thank you for writing --- do all you can to take good care of your health & to keep you and our spirits up. These are especially dreadful times --- our tax money used for destruction & war! Here are a few of the many poems written this year. That's part of my health exercise & Continuing Peace Movement. We're hoping for good health progress --- for you --- for all of us."
In some way sing so as to Avoid Sadness
Not to give some delicate attention and response
to some possible object, and species, of love,
while you happen to be ( for how long ? )
on this earth, to ignore the mosquito
or the Moses so that you are not in
dialogue with it can let you die a
slow death. You want to bolster
the opera, giving possible singing
students a chance to surprise themselves
and others. Ignoring a possible duet
is very sad for young and old lovers.
A fragment...from one who loves the Olympics and the Greek classics
Certainly the gods did their jobs well, and they were
picturesque as all get out
and dramatic, precise, active, in many ways "human"
they were playful, desireful, trouble makers, some had
much beauty, power;
though immortal they had some human limitations. The
poets and others
seem to get along without them, I don't mean we're
better off; we
were not very wise when they loomed large and we are
certainly not wise now.
They too had their prejudices, their lusts, special
powers, their favorites.
If we seem to fully exist less is it because they seem
to fully exist less ?
hiding until perhaps we give their histories needed
novelty ? Mountain loving
Wordsworth also asked "Whither is fled the visionary
gleam ?" and not only
are we not a spiritual superpower but we have lost
many of our senses,
more or less lost the fabulous, we vestigial in a
in a wasted land we are consumed by machines. The
hiding until we find our own Olympian fulness ?
"Of course Naturally
as we grow older (now we are 81 & 82)
we have to make new adjustments, new attempts,
I just had a new pair of Reading Glasses
prescribed --- but even with these it is
sometimes not so easy to read."
For some it happens all at once --- for some
one at a time ---
losing the senses ! Of course I like to be sensible and
taste and see and
so forth. But mysterious unpredictable Nature makes some
sooner or later
lose their sense of touch ( I love to touch, to feel, to have my
hand explore, so
losing this is sad ). And this Controlling Nature makes some l,ose
their sense of
taste, ( I love the tongue and mouth and that they know of fruit
and people ! )
Sometimes it makes, as it did Beethoven, somewhat or very deaf
and this is
disastrous to those of us who love to hear poetry and music and
giving voices, not to be able to hear Beethoven or a folk song
this is definitely
tremendously sad. Also sad not to have the nosey ability to know
and enjoy by smelling,
this tragedy happens to people with fine long noses. And also,
blinding ultimatum of
a terrible kind ! to lose one's sight of the world, of light, of
Vermeer ! of all the
art of Italy, of all countries ! to lose the ability to see the
light and soul and
character of your eyes, the beauty messages revelations of your
body ! tragedies
multiply sometimes slowly. At any rate, I thank you forever,
body, for making me
capable for some time in many places --- capable of sensing
Needing to philosophize amidst the stars you laugh
You hope to feel mysterious and special (at least for a
realizing that you and the DUINO ELEGIES were both born
in 1923; but
then you realize that thousands of other nit wits,
likeable or not,
were also born in that year; you realize your "insecurity"
has gone on
for many years and that millions keep you company with
secure similies, comparisons, connections; also fear
with Kierkegaard and Hamlet; it's not the 1st time you
have many needs and relatives; affectionate readers will
you realizing that now you're about to put yourself in
turning little place in the large active mysterious
sort of accept the humorous fabulous Fact.
Here's more about John...and especially a way to buy a book! [link]
My previous selections of Tagliabue poems are in the list of archived entries here [link] Let me know if you have trouble finding them though. Things are not very clear at that site.