the muse apprentice guild
--expanding the canon into the 21st century




It's me, Richard, and I'm so happy to welcome you to my new dotcom! I love having my own Website because I can stay in touch with you so easily in so many different ways! You must visit me to read my new message of the day every morning, 7 days a week so that I can help you stay inspired and keep you movin' and groovin' in the right direction!
--Richard Simmons

Whenever the will is placed in opposition to itself, the result is a neurotic conflict. It is not that complicated to understand. One does not have to be a psychologist. Neurosis simply defined means 'split'. Whenever one declares war against oneself, the result is a conflict that guarantees defeat, demoralization, and guilt, which are the outcomes of all splitting of the self. Myself against myself is a lovely a condition to create. That is what the word "diet" means. I know enough about dreams to know whenever that kind of inner drama begins unfolding dreams begin reflecting conflicts of all kinds. The reason is simple; one is engaged in self-warfare.

All the self-love in the world, as if that were even possible, won't bring about change. In the equation of weight loss, the aspect that seems to elude explanation and exposure is the one of awareness of the processes in the psyche. Thus far many books have been written on the subject; there are thousands of them in every library across the country. Books have been written which seek to illuminate the psyche's role in weight gain, eating, and weight loss. They are the stuff of table conversations for academics; food for the soul as it is appropriately called, books to lay about the room on coffee tables, but they do little or nothing to bring the desired self-transformation being sought. Most imply the soul in compensation for something missing, seeks to satisfy itself with food. Is the soul that stupid? "I need love, but instead I'm going to eat six Big Macs or a gallon of ice-cream". The soul does not seek compensation for anything through food. New age idealism is too soft and not hot enough.

Many overweight persons are self-loving or the opposite self-effacing to the point of self-worship. Neither will advice, suggestion, criticism, exercise gurus, motivation sellers, or any other of the newest fads selling snake oil through the media induce self-transformation. You can be fairly certain when this kind of deceit is taken on as truth; dreams indicate narratives of deceit or betrayal. The betrayal is not outside it is internal.

There is an old axiom: 'do not judge your insides by another's outsides'. This is another method of self-warfare that can widen the inner split caused by 'dieting' sometimes into something worse such as severe depression. Just because someone is talking non-stop or maniacally pedaling away on the newest technological contraption does not in the least indicate they possess wisdom, presence of mind or awareness.

In this regard, the philosophies of self-help groups like Overeaters Anonymous for instance whose selling point is attraction and not promotion, is far more appealing and real. In the old days the snake oil salesmen pedaled their wares from the back of a horse drawn wagon. Today they do with infomercials. It is the same thing, just a new form only a little more dangerous. Those who are taken in may appear bleary-eyed with joy, but they often have dreams or daytime fantasies in respect to relationships of being betrayed where something is not what it seems. We all possess a part of the charlatan within us and no one is immune to its influence. What matters is to become aware when it is dominating. These kinds of infomercials about dieting are under the spell of the charlatan. Those who make them are just as spellbound as those who buy into them. This is not the way to enter into the process of self-transformation; rather it is the most expensive ticket to nowhere. They are in effect, the problem itself in one of its many disguises. It is like being lost in a labyrinth with many others with a few who are equally lost but are convincing enough, or else self-deluded enough to believe they know the way out. This essay is no pill and no exercise machine and there is nothing to buy with three easy credit card payments.

Why is weight loss so difficult even when it seems to succeed? I know plenty of people who have exercised themselves senseless into a new body image and they are as ostensibly one-sidedly neurotic about their body and health as they were about their fat and just as unhappy. Later the weight returns in an even more distorted compulsion. Trading one obsession for another is like trading in one neurotic stance as a down payment on a newer, improved neuroses; one sanctioned by the culture in which we live.

Weight loss is difficult because it creates an alternative image of itself externally, which has all the characteristics of the image it seeks to replace only in reverse. How this senseless drama unfolds is one the gods would certainly observe with laughter. As a brilliant colleague of mine once stated, "the way out is to know where you are." A little self-awareness goes a long way. The symbolic language of dreams is the surest way of discovering where one is at the moment. The way to begin is to first know where you are. And where that is, is different for each individual. It means knowing how to begin and what 'to begin' means. A poet once said every beginning is filled with destruction. He knew something about beginnings and about the therapeutic process.

Anyone who has attempted to loose weight will be familiar with the military style of self-attack with which the whole drama begins to unfold. It begins like this; tomorrow, Monday, or next week, I am going to change. That thinking in itself is loaded with fallibilities and fraught with frightful psychological complications. It is doomed to failure whether the plan of attack is pills, exercise, a guru, or self-imposed starvation. Certainly there exists the possibility that by dashing frenetically around the weight loss labyrinth trying each path, not knowing or remembering whether that path has been taken before, a lucky break might occur. But it rarely does and the labyrinth becomes more entangled, frustrating, and despairing. The way out is to first know where you are.

  The War Against the Self and The Call of the Sirens

Diets begin like sieges against a walled city and often last about as long as a thirty years war that ultimately ends where it began, in a stalemate. First there are the preparations for the war that is looming on the horizon. But who is the enemy and what is that thing which is going to be conquered? It seems innocent enough at the beginning, and there are many, many beginnings in which the charge is made onto the field of battle with cries of enthusiasm and newfound confidence.

It is surprising in the awareness of how different we are, that the diet mantra is chanted with such familiarity that it almost seems to be a cliché in the culture. That is because it is a cliché; an empty and hollow cliché with all the meaning and awareness of a television sound bite. Sometimes dreams appear at an early point in the diet drama, where one is fighting with a weapon but the bullets drip from the gun's muzzle without force or velocity. Something stronger and more potent must be added to the process other than cultural clichés.

Consciously there is all the bravado of a young man or woman going off to save the nation, but dreams come from a deeper, clearer place where the fallacy of inner warfare is quickly uncovered. The Ego, that Five Star General wannabe, has broken ranks and begins the run of its life to escape from the many-faceted self it naively imagines it will conquer. In dreams the body-self appears as an enemy who cannot be escaped. It is the deeper wisdom saying this is a battle that cannot be won because the guns drip bullets, the ammunition does not work, the enemy is all about, and the General in charge is naive, arrogant, and foolish. War with oneself is just like that, it is the ego gone off half-cocked senselessly challenging an enemy it can never defeat. At least not in the manner it naively conceives. If the struggle is to be successful, the ego will need some help from the therapist. Can the General receive orders, will he/she listen to the underlings.

In place of saying "I going on a diet" it might be closer to the truth to say, "I am going to war with myself and I will begin the war by splitting in two; ego versus body. And I expect shortly to find myself caught up in the most confusing emotional and mind boggling torturous affair to be imagined". Now that would be a better place to begin because it has a bit more awareness to it, less delusion, and a better appreciation of reality. At least there is some crude awareness of the goings on which clarifies, if only a bit, what is taking place or about to take place.

Sometimes the internal delusion is strong enough to forestall its outward appearance, but more often during the first day of battle a prolonged struggle appears in the fight against the lure of something as insignificant as a donut. "I mustn't eat it, but why not? Because if I do I would be a failure, but it looks so good and just one." The donut begins talking to you. "Eat me, just one. It will be worth it then you can start your diet tomorrow." Perhaps this neurotic dialogue is taking place silently within during a business meeting at work where someone brought in ten different kinds of Dunkin Donuts, or at the convenience store in the morning where you stopped for gas or coffee. It seems to be about resolve in the face of temptation. If the threatening donut were really that much of a problem then the solution would be as simple as stepping on it like a bug.

It is ludicrous to imagine a grown adult to be fighting with an inert donut much less having an intense conversation with it, but this is what happens. Just like Ulysses who is tied to that mast by his shipmates so that he might resist the allure of the sirens calling from the shore with promises of seduction and pleasure that he ultimately knows will lead to destruction, the alluring call of the donut that promised delightful satisfaction, has been resisted. A battle has been won; a donut has been overcome and a bit of psychosis has been successfully navigated through. But there is delusion present in these kinds of repeated episodes. The allure of the donut and it's false promise of satisfaction with the resulting sense of failure and guilt if the donut were to succeed, is really a part of the self being attributed to that little round devil. It has escaped the inner dimension and has now solidified in the outer one. Ulysses understood the destructive call of the siren was in actuality his weakness to resist, so he had his shipmates bound him to the center mast of the ship in order to experience that tormenting weakness in him so he could become aware of it. He was aware of where he was, and that awareness allowed him to become a bit more whole; to remain bound to the center mast of the ship and not act in a manner that would cause his destruction is similar to the therapeutic act of withdrawing a projection. It is tormenting. But it also brings relief and increased wholeness.

Projection means to witness something outside of myself that is in actuality something within myself being mirrored in the external world. Psychologically it can be said Ulysses integrated what others had always projected: the allure to self-destruction. It is not necessary to be a psychologist to grasp this point anymore than it is necessary to be an automotive engineer to drive a car. A successfully integrated projection brings immunity from projecting it outward and then repeatedly acting on it or seeking it in the external world, which results in a loss or dissipation of energy and the emergence of what is commonly described as a compulsion.

I can imagine Ulysses could pass that way again without being affected by the call of the sirens because he found [integrated] that part of himself which could not resist the allure by having his own shipmates tie him to the mast as he consciously weathered through it. He did not split from his body (ship) but remained fastened to its center (self). A more foolish man or one who was less aware of where he was, would have done what thousands before him tried to do, which was project the inner desire into the call of the sirens, then jump ship in the overwhelming compulsive search which led thousands before him to self-destruction.

It may be appropriate to say a few words about psychotherapy in this regard. The better psychotherapies work in this manner. The office space whatever that may be, becomes the ship and the therapist is like the mast one can be tied to while listening to the call of destructive inner desires without actively pursuing them. Sometimes those cries are anguishing to hear and the desire to leap off the boat to go chasing after them has to be strongly resisted, but in the case of good therapy, action is replaced by awareness and awareness brings about a more coherent and peaceful existence with the inner parts of the self. Awareness rewards, acting out punishes. Holding a desire means to undertake the process of experiencing and exploring it consciously without acting it out. Then you have it, and it no longer has you. Then you have choice in place of compulsion. If you are entering therapy, make sure the therapist needs a strong rope and enough courage to resist the Ulysses' cries of the client to be let loose during the work. Good therapy is always uncomfortable but it is just here in the discourse with the discomfort, where the answers are to be found. Every good therapist is smart enough to know having made them selves dumb enough to recognize that they have no answers. One must weather the storm tied to the mast in order to achieve the satisfying reward of awareness. This is no infomercial with lurid promises of glowing happiness for three easy down payments on your credit card for whatever snake oil is being promoted.

3 How to Begin
The sage does nothing, yet the ten thousand things get done

The way to begin is not to begin. This may sound a bit paradoxical but it is practical body wisdom. At the precise moment when a commitment is made to begin, the will is at odds with the body and the body is objectified. This is what I earlier referred to as splitting. A house divided against it self cannot stand. In the body wisdom of transformation, the will or will power plays a small role and the smaller the better until the appropriate time and place for its participation is needed. The will when improperly used, can call forth a myriad of disturbing emotions such as guilt, frustration, sometimes numbing confusion and ultimately failure. A beginning implies an ending and to end something usually requires an act of destruction that paradoxically from fear, leads to increased holding on. As the poet Rilke says, 'holding on comes easy. We need to learn letting go'.

In the process of transformation, it is harmful to begin. This is counter to the insanity promoted by the weight loss industry, which always requires a conflict of some sort in order to hold onto its patrons. There is no conflict in beginning and there is no decision either. One simply stops and clears the mind.

Sometimes it is helpful to recall all the failed attempts at 'dieting' in order to notice what has been taking place. None of them ever worked and none ever will under those conditions of will power and conflict. And if they never worked before, obviously whatever has repeatedly taken place will once again replay the same drama. The ego becomes enmeshed in various tormenting conflicts and jumps ship. The word drama aptly describes the nature of 'dieting'.

To not begin may seem too passive an approach, however quite the opposite is naturally unfolding in this approach. To let go of fighting is not simple. To quiet the will in its relentless drive to 'make something happen' is an act of great courage, which releases the suppressed body wisdom, which ultimately will be the guide. During this process, and it is a process as opposed to an event, it is common to have dreams where a guide appears. It may be a dream where the driver of a bus offering directions somewhere. Perhaps there is something cooking in the kitchen where a stranger is present selecting the ingredients. Whatever the case may be, in the dream a figure will appear to offer advise and direction.

Beginning is not an event it is a process. The first ingredient to be placed in the cooking cauldron of transformation might be a thought or a momentary vision where the future seems a little brighter. It may also be the observation of many past resolutions and failures guided by the obstinate tutelage of the will in which case the first ingredient to be placed in the fire of transformation will be the dictatorial will. Sacrificing the old word frames that have imprisoned the body self is an ingredient. Transformation takes place not when cheese is replaced by non-fat cheese. Transformation is similar manner to cooking food only the cooking occurs in the psyche somewhere where the ego and will can be melded in the heat of observation. Psychologically it can be said the center of the self has shifted. The locus of power is not in the hands of the tunnel versioned ego and his/her whip master the will. Something tremendous is taking place, which is always the case when the process of transformation is beginning. Simply beginning without beginning changes everything which has been repeating itself over and over sometimes for many years. The desire for self-transformation sets the process in motion.

This month is almost over, and I wonder how you are doing so far. I told you there would be food sacrifices along the way. Well, what have you sacrificed? You haven't decided yet? I'll help! It's time for some lay offs! This month is almost over, and I wonder how you are doing so far. I told you there would be food sacrifices along the way. Well, what have you sacrificed? You haven't decided yet? I'll help! It's time for some lay offs!
Lay off the pizza! I'm surprised they never made a room freshener spray that smells like a pepperoni pizza! Nothing's like that first whiff when you open the door and Megan hands you that hot pizza. You don't need all those layers of cheese. You don't need all that pizza dough full of grease. Make your own pizza and save a lot of dough! On an English muffin or tortilla or a piece of French bread, spoon some fat free marinara sauce. Add some chopped mushrooms, peppers, and onions, whatever. Sprinkle a little fat free cheese of your choice and a few spices, and pop it under the broiler. You will be satisfied.
Lay off your weaknesses, and lay on me the success I know you are capable
--Richard Simmons

Unless there is change in the psyche, there will never be change in the body since they are so intertwined that their relationship defies description. Is a thought a molecule or is a molecule a thought? Richard Simmons has the right idea. It just needs tuned up a notch from the concrete to the symbolic where something real can happen and the right sacrifices can be made.

We already noted that beginning requires a sacrifice but not one of cheese and pepperoni, but of elements in the psyche. Richard Simmons reminds me of the ancient alchemists who in their attempts to turn lead into gold unknowingly were pointing the way to a language that describes transformation of the psyche. Your weight is your lead. Your weight is ultimately your gold. We just have to find the way to the process that will transform it from lead into gold.

Chapter 4 The Alchemy of Change

The light of attention itself promotes healing and change. It often is the fire that cooks the elements. Even as I write a process is occurring within me that began with a desire to illuminate this issue of transformation. I am going along without notes, previous preparations, corrections or drafts. It has lead to a valley.

Having lived a childhood with parents who struggled with being over weight, I am curious as to where this is all going and a bit troubled. It takes its own form without too much interference from me. Occasionally I set it aside to let my dogs out or in as welcome distractions from writing. Today I do a word count with the word processor to see how many words I have written so I can set a goal or time limit on the work. I wonder why that is? Lately I have begun feeling depressed. Last night I dreamt I was being accused of something I did not do. Later in the dream a swarm of biting bees offers me a chance of escape. I meet a woman who knows how to fly in the air just by holding onto the faith it could be done. It is not easy to begin differently with weight changes.

As a child of ten I knew the calories for almost every food. I went on a diet not because I was overweight, but to emulate my parents. I even tried their diet pills and laxatives. At one point at the age of nine I stopped eating bread concerned about too much starch. Traveling along with them through childhood, I ate only protein for six months, drank ten glasses of water as they did, and took their amphetamines and appetite suppressants without their knowing. I came to know their diet doctors. Their weight issue complicated our lives in a most negative way, and though they tried every means proffered them, nothing ever really changed. It was a kind of madness that created an atmosphere as think as pancake syrup and as hard to move though. This writing is beginning to feel the same way. I am finding myself having an uncontrollable appetite, which is unusual for me along with destructive fantasies.

Spending some time focusing attention on where you are is not time limited nor is it an exercise or an assignment. Looking can be very distressing. It is very similar by analogy to cooking up some stew. Attention without condemnation or judgments, is the pot in which the ingredients will be placed and cooked. One ingredient may be the present new-age penchant for sweetness, gentleness and calm. A bubbling cauldron is hot and steamy and not too easy to approach.

The process of cooking and eating is similar to the processes that occur in the psyche. Leave something out and the food is changed. Cook it too fast and the nutrients are dispersed. Take off the lid and all the heat escapes. Attention can be a gentle flame heating up the contents, or a cold fiery one leading to inner distress. This is the beginning of the alchemy of change and often the therapist's dilemma. Just how much heat should be applied? Too much and the food is ruined, too little and the elements do not combine so nothing happens.

The alchemists were much like our present day chemists mixing substances and elements with other elements to bring about a change in the nature of things. Take water for instance, heat it over a flame and it changes in nature evaporating into the air. Cool it to a certain temperature and it solidifies. These are the same processes that take place in good therapy. A conflict is encountered for instance, and when held in view and given attention, the process is one of evaporation. On the other hand something just below the surface of awareness is brought forward and seen and then solidifies into a new attitude or outlook or its opposite. In one instance the alchemical process is one that solidifies whereas in the matter of conflict, the heat of it changes its nature to something more nebulous and flowing. These are things the therapist must keep in mind throughout the process.

Getting back to dieting, sooner or later the will simply flattens from exhaustion.
This is what repeatedly happened to my parents. They became locked in a conflict with food. No matter how many times a diet was undertaken, and there were plenty, the result was always the same because they continued to act out something that was within them. Perhaps food was merely a prop in this drama. Does this make sense? My wise analyst once told me, I was doomed to keep meeting 'out there' in the world the same people, situations and circumstances until I could see them within myself. Her favorite saying was, 'then you have it and it no longer has you'.

It is an axiom in alchemy that everything holds within itself its opposite. Another axiom is this: like cures like. A simple example is one I recall of a young woman who was struggling to loose weight. She could not give up the behavior of eating cookies and potato chips throughout the evening. One day we began talking about her mother. She recalled how her mom was an especially good cookie maker. She remembered too Mom hid potato chips in the cupboard, which she would steal at night when Mom was asleep. As she talked more and more about her mother, she experienced an uncomfortable anger that surprised and distressed her. Thus cookies and chips were both problem and solution. The problem of chips and cookies gradually disappeared without effort. Whatever the connection was, it was dissolved. I felt just talking about her mother changed something within her internally, because I suddenly felt less tension in myself with regards to her. Bringing the heat of attention to the matter changed it. She was able to dissolve what had for so long become an unconsciously solidified problem just by sharing about her mother with someone who was attentively heating and stirring the pot. She looked within.

Beloved, gaze in thine own heart.
Gaze no more in the bitter glass
The demons, with their subtle guile.
Lift up before us when they pass,
Or only gaze a little while;
For there a fatal image grows
That the stormy night receives,
Roots half hidden under snows,
Broken boughs and blackened leaves.
For ill things turn to barrenness
In the dim glass the demons hold,
The glass of outer weariness,
Made when God slept in times of old. [WB Yeats]



We are always just hanging there,
Just being here ever so slightly,
Or not ever enough--not yet strong
Enough at letting go--painfully enduring
The too tightly grasped outcome of desire.

It wants to fall and disappears
While you are left clinging to an image,
A memory, an illness as a dream.
It is so little, that it is nothing,
Yet takes so much to sustain it,
For fear of it's falling and
Your being swept away.



Weave about me your web
Of silken mothering tying silky threads
About me unseen holding in balance
The bounce or urge to shoot loose
On the way to nowhere

Weave a web of wonderment
Smoothly silky where I can relax untended quietly
Within your woven web of woman
Something other than men
Their spins braking and brailed for what wasted use?

Weave me into something like you
With threads of silver silkiness
Beneath the moonlight dew
Attached to you in every unimaginable manner
And let the sun shine through.



Could I inhabit that place of love I experienced with my mother in the hospital? She made that ultimate sacrifice of a mother's love and gave her life for me to live and in so doing fixed my world. She is gone now with scarcely a trace of her anywhere. She gathered it all together and seeing the angel, became entranced, scattered it over the lovely fields, and parted without remorse.

What lived here after her first birth into beauty became tired and wretched in its silent, unheard longing for her home. Perhaps she was more of the poet than was apparent, for isn't it the poet who sings of home and remembers, holding the invisible trailing flame of the spirit's hope for transformation. Bound to this body, she detested it. Though at one time by all accounts of those who knew of her, she was described as 'the loveliest of them all.' To her it meant little or nothing to be called beautiful.

In your time of transformation, everything you kept in the way, as if protecting a precious secret, parted and disappeared as if it were nothing, because you had directed your energy inward. I saw it in your face and in the gentleness of your limp body. I could not withhold my lips from kissing your lovely face again and again, caught up in that sweet gentleness for which I suffered and longed for all my life. Now it was happening, yet strangely within the paradox, your treasure of love now opened to me was closing from view forever.

As with everything precious mother, you kept it secret and hidden, only occasionally allowing something to slip into view, as when you decorated your towels with yellow flowers, or when you stood enraptured over the kitchen sink looking out into the fields and let slip the words "so beautiful". You hid it all from us; from me especially knowing how much I longed for it. What was your purposeful knowing concerning this: that I might only achieve myself by inhabiting your withholding and the space it created? You could only give the word of love while withholding its precious honey gathered in your inner being, saved for what future exchanges? Perhaps even you yourself were unaware of the hidden treasure you possessed and could only visibly appear as emptiness and posture, as too much concern and worry. When the angel appears, everything achieves perfect clarity. You mother, in your precious moments of transformation, permitted me a glimpse of the angel come for you. For that, I fell in love with you again.



Being an idiot I…detest the I…
Who knows it all…
Know nothing has knowledge thinks otherwise…
Too stupid… sees the dazzling happenings… immured…
Like the I'd been instituted…
Took too it like a dog to a bone
Only worse, much was right there
But dam looking away blinded by an older light
Into this darkness called light only worse…. much fucking worse....
This can't be happening…
I believe too much it is…

Except the shock of a young woman
What gives off some scent sweetness more real than?
Suddenly startled out…from sleep centuries old…
…You don't grasp it…
That pretty face of yours that you cannot stand the sight of…
Queerly understood by me...I let it go…
This can't be happening to you and me
I saw on the street…

Oh the wispy wail of something beyond the beyond
Took hold of me so tightly
A groan… went up to… was it heaven…doubted… but groaned and you,
How could, how dare you hate the face I'm willing to die for...
If only it were true…now there's something a man…
Like me could hold onto… heavenly all around… atmospheric…
You're blind to it...
I walk on…in manner fucked greatly
Which comes from stars interstellar…could it be me…
No … too asleep to produce interstellar…
Like you are so pretty, angel!

The girl I saw was panty weird for centuries…
How the hell did I know…panty weird explains it all to me?
Man oh more like Eve and the apple...
I love your panties and what's treasure hidden there…
You don't know what it means…
I long for the old days sleeplessly every night…
Before this fucking nightmare...speechless now...waiting...

… About what was it pretty panty?
I'll take it maybe true …
That face could destroy this history fabricated…
In truth it is hidden there lusciously like apples…
Eve yes, …and now God…
How could she write like that I asked Him…
Like those words were apples?
Ate sinfully… God let it be …
She writes like the apple…is the apple…Adam could not resist…
Eve wrote poetry…
That's snake speaking…
I'm fucked well that way too Father.



But will you come visit my grave
When I am gone
Even though I am not there
Just underground with something
Going on to that flesh and bone
Which I can no longer feel
Nor you.

Will you come from wherever you are?
Not on the other side of the mountains
But there in you heart
Where once I was
Now no longer there
Just something going on underground
Which I no longer feel
Nor you?

Why bother when I am not
One to linger, not even now
Here where it is like this:
So indescribable
I cannot even hold my own in words.
Just something going on above ground
I cannot feel
Nor you.



Weave about me your web
Of silken mothering tying silky threads
About me unseen holding in balance
The bounce of urge to shoot loose
On the way to nowhere

Weave a web of wonderment
Smoothly silky where I can relax untended quietly
Within your woven web of woman
Something other than men
Their spins braking and brailed for what use?

Weave me into something like you
With threads of silver silkiness
Beneath the moonlight dew
Attached to you in every unimaginable manner
And let the sun shine through.

The Sound of Leaves

Pristine are the days flowing with clarity
So clear, there are the fish swimming in clear view
And reflections of leafy trees in the watery looking glass
Pebbles and stones in that element content.

The dog by the stream for an infinite moment
Sees her own reflection
And I see the reflected moment
Through the light air of effortless delicateness.

These are the times of immortality
Where time does not exist
What exists is the sound of leaves
Flowing down a stream.



Those two or three mid morning hours
Were all the painter could handle
Before the alcoholic hand began shaking
No longer able to cut the edges
Like a god, and even hero to me then.
The man who could paint houses
Could cut the edge into a window
With a stroke, no taping
Or caution in that hand- pure and perfect-
Hand, brush and edge
He taught me coherence
Before the alcohol began to sicken him
And the hand become unsteady
And the painter inside him died
But he kept painting
The houses in our town
A true genius
Who painted houses like Picasso could canvas
With all the doubts and uncertainties.
He found solace in alcohol
And now those painted houses
Are aluminum sided
While underneath the work
Of a true master moves into timelessness.



Pristine are the days flowing with clarity
So clear, there are the fish swimming in clear view
And reflections of leafy trees in the watery looking glass
Pebbles and stones in that element content.

The dog by the stream for an infinite moment
Sees her own reflection
And I see the reflected moment
Through the light air of effortless delicateness.

These are the times of immortality
Where time does not exist
What exists is the sound of leaves
Flowing down a stream.