"Lyin', cheatin', hurtin'—that's all you seem to
- Led Zeppelin, Your Time is Gonna Come
"Daddy is he a goodie or a baddie
Daddy can I be a warrior
Once upon a time there were cannibals
Now there are no cannibals any more"
- Mark Knopfler, Cannibals
I started this essay two hours ago, on paper, with four different quotations: The Moody Blues, EJ Pratt, Scott Merrit, Willie P Bennett. It's so easy to touch the subject of conscience!
But what does the digital have to do with conscience?
Well, it's handy to characterize our era as digital, for obvious reasons—pretty well any discussion, inquiry or debate these days can be settled with a quick browse on the net. On the other hand, conscience is universal in human development. If conscience is not currently something we bring to mind on a daily basis—if it’s too often “off”—then the juxtaposition of the digital with conscience may be fruitful, even meaningful!
In The Western Canon, Harold Bloom waxes gloomy over the threat of a pending Theocratic Age in literature (literature is “where cognition, perception, and sensation cannot be wholly disentangled.”1) C’est la vie, eh!? If religion helps us stay mindful of our conscience, theocracy may be a method of coping with the usurpation of universal, real conscience by digital conscience. If that makes you wince, be soothed by the wisdom of the Koran: “There is no compulsion in matters of faith.”
It’s time to get ready for lunch—lucky me!
May 12, 2007
1 Harold Bloom, The Western Canon (Harcourt Brace & Company, 1994), page 441.
- 30 -
The night is of the colour
Of a woman's arm:
Night, the female,
Fragrant and supple,
A pool shines,
Like a bracelet
Shaken in a dance.
Excerpt from “Six Significant Landscapes” by Wallace Stevens
A fine snow fell yesterday. A gibbous moon (waxing) is perfectly positioned for eloquent interaction with scudding or hazy clouds just when we’re scuttling home for dinner.
Jeff Warren (The Head Trip) teaches that we dream constantly and speculates the concomitant—we’re also conscious as we dream. “Thus water flows over weeds.”
Are we not created to create and thence to have a constant communal colloquy of consciousness? “Let your conscience be your guide!”
Dawn, November 17, 2007
"I have my books and my poetry to protect me..."
- "I am a Rock", Simon & Garfunkel
Listening to the quiet discussion of the elders sitting in the next room, around the dinner table—two married couples, relaxing before bed, keeping company til the last one finishes her bath—is calming. Such effortless attention to one another in this shelter from the cold and wet outdoors, such accustomed civility rewards the respectful listener with awareness of the possibility of future peace.
And where does the discussion lead? Laughter, tonight; memories later; a tendency to tolerate when fear threatens, perhaps. In using channels—body language, a look, a tone, aural magnetism—the channels are deepened, the connections established. See the towers straddling the valley, ask how the first wire was drawn across the gap!
My brain is failing with age: it often takes so long to think of a word as I speak that I have time to remind myself not to fret but instead to be grateful that the words come at all. This is my best excuse for the inordinate amount of time I spend looking for the right version of the song in my head, the song I want to add to the growing list of favourites I put on my YouTube channel. I feel as though I have grown up developing a playlist for my YouTube channel and I have a little time to pick them before I forget them forever.
Jane Jacobs must have had fun writing Dark Age Ahead: nobody would call her, even her—she who was so devastatingly detailed in her reckoning—to account for not making her last book longer with more evidence of mass folly, like conspicuous consumption and a naive fondness for the convenient. She'd be preaching to the converted.
"And for all the little piggies, life is getting worse."
- Piggies, The Beatles
A good sleep and pre-dawn meditation bring the sweet rejoinder: "Kiss the joy as it flies!" (Nin?)
February 14, 2010
“In the garden of
in fertile mind there lies the dormant seed.” One Voice, Smith/Daugherty
“Sometimes I wonder
about the road I’m on
When I feel like a stranger in my own sweet home
When happiness comes so easy, still I can’t be satisfied
There’s no rest for the wicked
And I feel so tired.” No Rest for the Wicked, Colin Linden
There will come a time when human awareness of the delicacy and preciousness of all life is acknowledged as the basis of all life—of survival, too.
The urgency of our hunger to know the meaning of life increases as more of us accept that our home will not sustain us much longer—we will die off—unless we respect the creative forces in it.
Average global levels of carbon monoxide exceeded four hundred parts per million in May, 2013. It has become realistic to pray for the survival of our species, a novel aspect of our relationships with our creator.
Will you bicker about what the creator asks of us? Our survival depends on our collective repentance and our openness to what happens when we turn from seeking safety, security and comfort; when we address our vulnerability with a matching humility.
We who have so much must let go. Our treasure lies elsewhere, as our hearts know.
September 12, 2013
Mother Earth and Father Sky We love and are loved
Hallowed be thy names! are fed by and feed each other
Thy consciousness be ours! as soil is rained on
Thy ways be ours! as water sifts sun.
In our minds as in our hearts.
Give us this day our Daily Bread
and forgive us our trespasses Our thoughts distract us
as we forgive them and our needs we neglect
who trespass against us. we breathe without thought
unaware of our frailty.
Do not reveal paths to destruction
but deliver us from our folly. Patience
For thine is the essence
the source and the sweetness Help us pause, connect,
beyond the measure of time. check our greed
respect our boundaries
Gratitude await and hold anticipation.
With gratitude we are fed Compassion
our relationship complete.
In gratitude we rest With compassion let us go then
and are renewed. riding a wave in the moment
aware and submissive
Joy engaged and inquisitive.
Joy too is due and natural Faith (devotion)
In stillness of joy we are held.
Dreamlike, delicate, a gift As we falter, as we doubt
in which we partake. in loneliness, in pain
your healing saves us
the darkness becoming promise.
(For Father Malcolm)
Christmas morning, 2014