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Life Arts    H4'ed 6/9/22

Someone's birthday followed by note

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Message Gary Lindorff
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Your story of course is very interesting
How when you were a young man
You were advised to travel to India
With your spiritual questions
That couldn't be answered by science

When you arrive at the ashram
You are shown where to stay

It is early in the morning
You head for the big temple
And the great hall to wait for the others
And while you are waiting in zazen
You are picked up and flung through
Your entire life up to the moment

You entered a talent show
Becky Nevers is in the front row
You recite the first 175 digits of Pi
Then a middle schooler plays Johnny Be Good
On his sax
And blows the audience away

There was the smell of your grandmother's gingerbread

There were lots of smells

You said your first encounter with a snake
Was a smell

Cut to your trip to a forest in Alberta
You were on a vision quest
You were seated on a mostly flat stone
Trying to meditate
And you felt yourself become weightless
First your arms began to float above your head
And some force took over
And danced your body
For about half an hour

You went to Kiev
To meet with some Russian scientists
They were all waiting for you
When you arrived
Passing a bottle of vodka around
What happened in India? they wanted to know
When they heard they got all giggly

We've read about levitation
It happens in meditation
But not in science You said
They all grew silent

Not in Western science
Someone said

And then they showed you their mystical library
With endless volumes on everything
From Absinth (The Green Fairy of Bohemian Paris)
To the visions of Zosimos of Panopolis

I wanted to talk about my experiences
That changed my life
But your eyes glazed over

Your eyes said:
You're a poet
Poets are supposed to have visions
I'm a scientist, so it means more

I thought you were going to cry

And then someone said There is one more present!
It was some porcelain praying hands
Those will look great on the well-head
Someone said and got a laugh

Especially in the snow I thought, all pink

And when you wind up the little key
It plays Amazing Grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now I'm found
Was blind but now I see

So maybe it is just a big talent show after all
There is a standing ovation
For the little kid playing Johnny Be Good

And then it all ends
With Michael Jackson leaving the arena
In Bucharest
Strapped into a rocket chair

And everyone goes home


Life, a talent show? If so, then Michael Jackson would have scored first place in October, 1992. But this poem is about a scientist questing for spiritual answers, not first place for his scientific achievements. What is real spirituality? It it something we might reasonably quest for, pilgrimage for? Vision quest for? That coterie of Russian scientists who fall silent and then wax all giggly when the subject of this poem relates his experience of levitation during meditation, can't let it in to their world view, which is old-science-based. Instead they fall back on showing off their library which is tantamount to admitting that they are inmates of the frontal lobes of their scientific brains. The subject must resort to seeking solidarity with poets (such as myself) who are open to spiritual realities. For the poet, life is not a big talent show, but for those who are lost somewhere in the Darwinian universe, where the smartest and the strongest (and the most popular) prevail, maybe it is just that . . . a talent show.

(Article changed on Jun 10, 2022 at 10:59 AM EDT)

(Article changed on Jun 10, 2022 at 12:18 PM EDT)

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Gary Lindorff Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Gary Lindorff is a poet, writer, blogger and author of several nonfiction books, a collection of poetry, "Children to the Mountain" and a memoir, "Finding Myself in Time: Facing the Music" Over the last few years he has begun calling (more...)

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