Sunday, August 15, 2010
Last week a Google manager on Public Radio said that he has found that about 130 million distinct books have ever been written. All of these are made up of a small number of vowels, consonants and symbols. In our society only 26 letters have blossomed into tens of millions of books and billions of poems. Each one of these works is a literary universe in itself.
When I feel a lack of resources at hand, when I'm scared, I remember the miracle of words. Only 26 letters and 10 numbers make up anything I can write on this earthly plane. Zeros and Ones make up every pixel you now see flickering on this screen filled with news of the universe and songs from every mind connected on the web.
The elements of life are precious and mostly unrecognized miracles because they appear so ordinary. Yet the possibilities and unique combinations are infinite.
Is your bank account ebbing? Is your love tank drying up? There is still enough remaining to create from. One alphabet, one vision, one spark of hope can create a whole new universe... or even healing in your particular world.
I try to remember the basics of creation when I write from the heart, when my longing seems thwarted or when my world is crying for relief from suffering.
A few elements can join and make a miracle. You have a unique combination of building blocks that make up your essence... and your gift to life.
I remember today that who I am and what I do is adequate and miraculous in the ordinariness of everyday living. It's a privilege to play within the letters and songs that well up from the deep ocean of our world.
The act of creation,
not necessarily the outcome,
is what's important to me.
Creation is happening all around us,
even on this very screen.
We're made to be ourselves...
elemental and unique.
(c) Richard Sievers, August 2010
Monday, August 9, 2010
Four days after putting the cat down:
Junior was an innocent and trusting soul, and very sweet. He was happy until last Thursday when he suddenly began great suffering physically. I had a choice of either allowing the suffering to continue, fruitless surgery or to euthanize him. I made am impossible decision. I held him as he died. I found myself aware of his simple presence still within me even after I cradled his little lifeless body and wept. I have thought about Kali, a goddess that strips away illusion, one who is fierce and ruthless with an intention of creating harmony and enlightenment.
Why must destruction come with creation? I am speechless as a corpse, yet angry and demanding like a newborn child. The world is shoving at the light of love with pitchforks and sickles. Must I love the destroyers as much as the creators? Why does life take such a push and tug to make anything beautiful? I sit and write to you from the Zen garden we created as a peaceful retreat. The moles tear up the yard beneath your statue in our sanctuary.
Can’t there be place that is a refuge? You answer “Yes, but it is not a place.” You push back my hair gently before you sever my head. Why must you kill to enlighten?
I have become death for my little friend who was suffering. Now I suffer remembering my kitty's cry and plaintiff shudders. He knew death was coming at the end. Our prized golden cat knew no real danger during the life he shared with us. He knew no fear until the final moments of a life I tended… then ended. The vision of the needle became my recompense. I became you, Kali.
Now you hover beside me and ask: “What else must die little one?” Must I give up everything I bought so dearly to save my flowing life from becoming the sea? A shudder surges in and out of my flesh. I am the one who has hardly known anything But fear.
A ruthless truth wells up from deep within me: I must become a truer aspect of myself now or my soul will shrivel and die.
Inside I hold Junior and cry, remembering the happiness of love even in the severance.
(c) Rick Sievers, 8-2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
If a poet does not seduce a poem, s/he lives lonely.
I wait at the window's edge. I see the cat and her work and my own death scampering about in the tall grasses.
For a moment a breeze ruffles the green sea prairie. And I am floating upon this very page, crossing to an island full of voices in caves and eternal twilight forests. Then the moment passes. The winds fall back to calm earth. A still small whisper says: "Good. That is a beginning. Now wait. Soon enough, I'll be in your arms."
I write now because it's all I really can do as work that's worth much to me. I've prepared my whole life to create poems and colors for my field of earth. Everything I love has revolved around the blank page... solitude, Spirit, surprise that life ends and begins again, beauty everywhere.
I notice these things with my whole being.
I'm ready to begin falling into this page. I put the pen upon the paper. I wait, and then hear a rustle in the grasses. My whole body becomes alert.
(c) Rick Sievers, August 2010.
Monday, August 2, 2010
Yesterday, I sent my first published book of poems off to the publisher for review and a proof copy. I wrote my first humble book. And another is on the way. But before I start another process of doing and spiraling in the creative process I pause. I come back to the mid line of my breath and vision.
This morning I sit with the cat purring. I do the work of observing the trees flocked in mist. I see the garden bent with dew. The sun is polishing the granite of sky, turning it soon into pure lapis and shining gold. I am a cloudy day full of words and colors. Soon I will be a poem. Soon I will shine.
This morning is a reset for my creative life.
I rest my back upon the milestone of my yearnings.
After you put in the fire of effort where do you return to?
Is there a sustainable cycle of burn and rain, growth and production, fallow time and reflection in your life?
PS The book is called Earth, My Body. I'll let you know when it is ready for the public.