The answer to most dilemmas in life often turns out to be ridiculously simple. But in order to see and understand the simple answers, we must first wade through what seems like overwhelming complexities in order to organize, prioritize, and unify them so that simple solutions can emerge. – May 2011
Sacred wind sings a song
About the beings it has traveled upon.
Who unawares are connected within
Ancient grace and truth carried in the wind.
It carries the song into our ears
Of a thousand voices throughout the years.
Manâ€™s actions are now in the winds of time
Recorded and carried with accurate rhyme,
And sang once again after travelling afar
To our hearts all the memories of peace and of war.
welcome to taipei
smell the wet air
thick with car, motorcycle, bus fumes
step into the subway
feel the thick heat of thousands of bodies that have pulsed through
look away from the eyes
there are too many of them
but they are all differing degrees of bright
once upon a time children
now shadows of children that are hiding
hiding behind make-up and heels,
suits, vests, and bags
hiding behind poverty stricken grime and loud begging cries,
prostitute women shy yet brazen leaning against the bridge
welcome to taipei
raise your arm above your head
hold on tight as the bus rattles over the bumpy roads
stopping often to avoid hitting the thousands of reckless fast others
biking, motorcycling, walking, and driving
feel the bodies pushing and pulling against your own
and hold your breath when the door opens
and someone steps in smelling like cigarettes
the smell of the wet pavement rising up behind him
well, might as well step out now then
and smell this wet pavement
rich with too many years of too many feet and vehicles
wonder about what lies beneath the pavement
raise your head to look beyond the buildings
and watch the clouds reaching and pulling towards and away
from the tall mountains
some soft some jagged
so far, too far in the distance
imagine the echoes of monkeys howling
close your eyes yes even on this dirty street corner and
see ancient spirits living in holes in rocks in caves in mountains
mountains so old that even here in this city
there are shrines honoring the mountains spirits and earth gods
say yes to the grandmother that offers you some incense
she gives you three sticks of incense
one for the sky god, one for the earth god, and one for the god of the present moment
smell all the years of incense trapped in this one little room
all the smoke wafting and billowing up into the red rafters coloring them a dark blood red
closed eyes again, seeing the blood of my own body coursing through into my heart
feeling the pulsing of my feet hard against this cement-layered earth
feeling lava pushing way down below my feet
so far below
but it once created this very island we stand upon
welcome to taipei, taiwan
sit upon these old stone steps with me now and watch the sun rise
it first hits that tall skyscraper over there
and then the light bounces over to that other skyscrapers over there
until eventually we can see the reflection of big red circular mister sun himself reflected on that skyscraper far over there
and the birds will sing louder and louder
until eventually they all get drowned out by the motor vehicles’ songs
welcome to taipei
watch the faces of the thousands of people passing by and listen to their little songs
the gate guard sings a native american chant as he bikes to his post
a customer returns day after day to a shop. they are friends now
the schoolboys walk fast and chatter even faster. something is so very exciting.
the women’s voices are high pitched, their skirts even higher pitched.
an old couple walking hand in hand, him carrying her purse and umbrella, her laughing at his jokes.
couples at night all over the old temple, watching the lights of a city that doesn’t quite sleep.
faces with scarves that show only the eyes. walking fast. going somewhere incredible.
browned farmers at farmer stands everyday with loud voices and fresh fruits.
bus driver that says peace be with you, and you are blessed. gentle eyes in the mirror.
old women dancing all the same dance in the park, saying come join us, and welcome.
the eyes of a baby in the subway, shining, laughing, innocent, curious, and amused.
welcome newborn one, welcome to taipei.
here, enjoy this cup of fresh tea.
There is a chipmunk that lives in the same trees I am camped under. And for some odd reason this little forest fellow loves to chirp and bark and squawk all day and night every hour or so. He does this so often, and frankly wakes me up so many times during the night that I have revoked my “no-kill” policy on wild life to seek out the destruction of this little wilderness prick. This article is dedicated to expressing (and maybe dissolving) my animosity with that chipmunk:
I tried to hurt you today, I admit it.
I threw those rocks hard and missed you 100 times before giving up,
Wish you would die so I could sleep peacefully at night.
What part of evolution gave you that piercing bark,
And why do you feel the need to torture the air with it this wasteful shrill?
In the world of tree-rodents are you a minstrel of peace?
Or have the other chipmunks left the trees in spite of your constant pinging in their ears?
Just as you do to my ears, and to my nerves.
And now my nerves petition to my brain – to kill you now.
Bark all day if you will, bark ALL DAY.
But STOP when the sun goes down.
Stop making noises at 3am, 4am, 5am, 6am…
12pm, 3pm… WHAT’S THE POINT!
Are you mad that my tent has been under these trees all Summer long?
Sorry, I’m not going to move it.
You have one thousand trees to go to, I have only one campsite I’m allowed to stay in.
That’s just the way it is.
Go away stupid chipmunk.
Squirrels are much better than you.
I don’t care how cute that stripe is down your back.
I’ll take a mono-colored gray squirrel ANY DAY over hearing you make your dastardly shrieks.
So go away, or face death.
When at first you do not see
The person that might be.
Make no judgement sure
Only friendship is the cure.
You may find out in the end
They can become your friend
I took this picture the other day while sitting on the riverbank next to where I live.
I’d like to share this poem with you. It’s one of my favorites:
One cannot stay on the summit forever –
One has to come down again.
So why bother in the first place? Just this.
What is above knows what is below –
But what is below does not know what is above
One climb, one sees-
One descends and sees no longer
But one has seen!
There is an art of conducting one’s self in
The lower regions by the memory of
What one saw higher up.
When one can no longer see,
One does at least still know.
It is truly amazing to go into a new experience with the attitude that every action taken is going to be a learning opportunity.
On this boat tonight I look for a new experience by myself in “The Vortex” – a dance club on the 12th deck. I’ve chosen a remote seat near the middle of the room, choosing to be ignorant to my singleness. Meanwhile, other couches in the room host drinking couples who now have vacation-tainted personalities motivating a friendly attitude.
For me tonight it’s just water. I don’t drink. Everyone is coupled up, over 30 (or even 50) and dancing playfully round the room. Coming my way right now, actually… (at this moment I was franticly coaxed to stop writing and get up and follow the dance train as it passed me by. Which I did. I followed the dancing train to the dance floor, where I stayed dancing for a few songs).
I learned that having fun is sometimes just as easy as acting the part, and letting anything happen that comes your way.
Later I walked around the deck by myself and I couldn’t help but to take in the scenery: There was a reflection of moonlight on the dark blue water. The movement of the boat crushing any still waters in its path and adding waves behind it. During the day the water is a light reflective blue, but now turned dark from the night and frosted by moonlight.
Tomorrow we go to Haiti… or at least some island that only cruise tourists will be on.
Wind on the seas
Climbing up the trees
A 2-Liter pocket of change
The sunsetâ€™s very strange
You see the orange winter shine
Will you be my valentine
I was yours a day or so
Count the days I do not know
Sit me here before you go
Tell me stories of long ago
The raven takes my head
A hand of honey and bread
Give your soul to live a day
Death shall go another way
Pick me please my friend
Red lights flash and you pretend
But I win because of you
You count three and I count two
Let me go to see a rose
Bend my eyes and straighten your toes
And when nobody knows
Iâ€™ll be sleeping
your tease is a taser to my heart
like a shock from above
you put my chest in a shopping cart
i live a while longer
and you tease again
like a cruel cat who plays with a half-dead mouse
yet enjoys every moment
i am not in a house
i love your teasings
they caress my soul
with electricity and feathers
i’m feeling whole
to tease. to play.
to ease. to pray.
This rock by the river. Once blanketed by thick and rushing water, now exposed and dry. Leftover residue on it’s sides. Jagged lines. Straight edges. Broken corners into new angles. Who knows how long it has had its place there. Where is its origin? It has seen its own surroundings through time â€“ which I was not present to see. Yet, I have seen all around the mountain â€“ which it may not have ever been to.
What knowledge do I have to gain from such a statue?
Does the gift of time outweigh the curse of being stationary? Only this rock knows; Statue. Divine. Imperfect. Perfect. Time enduring. An example.