Secular, or No-cular?

When I was five, I found out my best friend, Felicia, was Jewish. I was a WASP in the first degree, able to trace my roots back to Captain Miles Standish and the Mayflower (though I didn’t know that at the time). But I had been told about my privileged place on this earth, as one of the Saved. I had been baptized, and I would go to heaven when I died. When I found out that Felicia was Jewish, I asked whether that meant she would not go to heaven. I was told that she would not, unless she accepted Jesus as her savior.

At the tender age of five I faced my first conscious existential crisis. Unable to abide such injustice, my heart closed to a god who would shut his door on my friend. Thus began my wandering life.

Goodwill Hunting

Warm weather has me searching for clothes~
Loose, cool, natural fiber,
Cotton is best.
I walk in slow meditation,
Hand outstretched,
Gently playing duck, duck,
duck, duck, duck
Through the whites
I smile at azure, cerulean, indigo,
Eyes drinking in the shades.

Green Tags 50% Off Today.
I have in my hand a find:
A blouse,
Gauzy cotton,
Made in India.
Tiny green butterflies hover among tinier leaves,
And I can feel their breath on my skin.
Fifty percent off for perfection.

I can’t stay here too long;
I am sensitive to the atmosphere.
It is the last stop before oblivion,
Harbor of the unwanted.
Sorrow sings through my veins~
The resonance of recognition.

I can’t stay long,
But I return every few weeks
With my faith in redemption intact.


What does the bear carry on her back?
Me.  She  carries  me.

We are looking for my soul.
We     are     gathering     bones
And watering them with blood and tears.

Grandmother carries me on her back,
Out my front door and to the stars,
Into the cold northeastern night

Where four brothers dance
And the world is remade.


Bartleby the Scrivener

“I would prefer not to.”

We’re in the bathroom performing bedtime ministrations–he’s brushing his teeth, I’m sitting on the toilet. I wonder aloud, “Has anyone ever written a song about Bartleby the Scrivener?” and he grunts, talking toothpaste like I understand.

Then I’m brushing my teeth and he’s on the toilet, and he says, “Barbeque This Prisoner?” and it’s lucky I just spit because I start laughing uncontrollably. I manage to say, “No, Bartleby the Scrivener!” and then we both are roaring.

April 2 (2003)

Yes, I’m breaking out my handmade shoes, and they are patched together from many things.

 ∞ ∞ ∞

Nothing to it but to do it.

So many thoughts pouring through my consciousness, the way the streams are flowing across the land.

Watched Waking Life, a film by Richard Linklater, last night and again today. It is

Waking Life Poster

I’m definitely going to send money to Wikipedia.

wonderful that our library provides us with free mind-altering substances. This movie is intense; I sat leaning forward, the better to follow what all these interesting people were saying about communication, evolution, corporate totalitarianism, free will, and the nature of consciousness. Today I watched the version with textual notes and, after a ride on the World Wide Web, came up with a reading list.

Robert C. Solomon: Not Passion’s Slave: Emotions and Choice; Existentialism; and Spirituality for the Skeptic: The Thoughtful Love of Life. What interested me about what Professor Solomon says in the film is that existentialism is not nihilistic. It is not a philosophy of despair but rather urges freedom from the tyranny of paradigmatic structures. Individuals do make a difference, simply by making conscious choices instead of giving over their decision-making and meaning-making power to an ideology.

Rupert Sheldrake: Chaos, Creativity, and Cosmic Consciousness; A New Science of Life; The Presence and the Past: Morphic Resonance and the Habits of Nature; and The Sense of Being Stared at, and Other Aspects of the Expanded Mind. Sheldrake is not in the film, but his ideas are. In particular the notion of human beings participating in our own evolution. Again, through conscious choices.

These titles call to me from my dreams, promising to open them so I’ll walk through to another world in which all possibilities exist.

A Poetry Reading in Honor of the Right to Protest As a Patriotic and Historical Tradition

Manchester, VT
February 17, 2003

The people here are weathered and beautiful. There is a man in a maroon wool cap, big bushy eyebrows, gray beard, well-worn corduroy slacks. He carries a book of Emily Dickinson’s poems. People’s faces are open and excited. A feeling of community pervades the atmosphere; we are smiling at one another, listening to the conversations around us, feeling free to comment on what someone in the pew behind you says. The church is crowded–we got here an hour and a half before they were going to open the doors but it is so cold outside they took pity on the early birds and let us into the community room downstairs, where we gathered in increasing numbers, beginning to press against one another, breathing the same air.

The poets are reading for peace. Ruth Stone, from Binghamton University. Jamaica Kincaid. Galway Kinnell–I remember Fergus Falling, writing for Arthur Clements’ class. The poets are reading for peace and we are here to let them know down in Washington we don’t support this war. We don’t want to kill people over oil over what? Political and economic concerns. We are all human we are all equal all precious none of us more so than another.