Raw, adjective: 11. unprocessed or unevaluated: raw data.


Hello, blog.

Hello, world.

Hello, no time to post no time to breathe no time to sing no time to do anything but be in this moment, here, now, enough. 2011 chugs along and it seems though there are plenty of thoughts being thunk, there's little writing being written. And here's your old girl Rach to say, hey, whassup, look at all that's on the horizon, a little birthday here and a little Bali there and before you know it, it'll be spring.

So, in the meantime, teaching and writing and singing and trying my damnedest to hoist the old silver horn to get the lip back in shape and the piano keys grooving again and the manuscript-in-limbo not so much in limbo anymore. There was a heartbeat of sorts yesterday, this great moment of stillness bequeathed by the unexpected gift of well, feeling sick as a dog, which planted me firmly in front of this powerful piece from Tricycle [natch] which managed to draw together dukkha and the Harlem Renaissance and intellectual history and black art and Transcendentalism and progressive theologies and one big splash of Krishna blue,

and I sat and read it and felt academic again for the first time in a while and thought of Martin Luther King, Jr., and marveled at the fact that he was what he was, and felt my heart sink at the awareness of really how very little progress we've made in the years since those shots rang out, and felt breath swell my chest on realizing that a voice exists out there saying these things in these intelligent words and that in fact there is after all a cultural space for exquisite connections and keen minds and cross-disciplinary revelation,

and it was enough,

and so here I am telling you to please do read this, do it for yourself, for your children, for your neighbor, for that rumpled man on the street corner, and feel smart, yes, but also feel connected and know how the arts and humanities really do overlap and remind yourself that if you're going to be alive, well honeybaby, you might as well be an artist in the project of it all, and all that requires is really a little rhythm and a lot of blues and a fearless fondness for the empty and a few unapologetically wordless moments

in spite of the cultural and personal temptation [mandate] to fill every silence

and sit there and claim that sunyata space and call it yours and swell it with breath and song and words (your own, no one else's) and know it will all get done and the sky will soften into twilight and yet it will still get done

in spite of the moon rising

and so you breathe and then you check a few things off the list and then you turn around and switch the phone to silent and rustle the dusty pages of that old song and sit yourself down, deliberately, consciously, with every cellular intention, and your inhales slow and your breaths begin to match the rhythm of your heartbeat and you know

it will all be fine

and your fingers begin to instinctively plunk out that old melody and you remember that really every song is just a variation on the same few notes
("And now the old story has begun to write itself over there," said Carl softly. "Isn't it queer: there are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before; like the larks in this country, that have been singing the same five notes over for thousands of years." ~ Willa Cather, O Pioneers!)
and so you laugh at yourself for your foolish pretensions (aspirations?) at some sense of novelty and/or individuality and you revel in the undeniably comforting and reasonable fact that it really is all connected and nothing lasts and you are not alone

(and I am you and you are me and we are the universe; thank you, Tantra)

and that anatta, that non-selfness, that soullessness, that reminder of the ultimately liberating relativity of all selfhood, is really rather lovely on a Tuesday in January when the sun's begun to set and you've just spent an afternoon teaching and are due again for more in just a bit but in the meantime you have these precious few silent moments with sheet music and old-school jazz and a foot that taps and a forgiving soft pedal and a dishwasher that runs just loud enough to muffle your singing so the cranky neighbors don't complain and

really

it is enough

isn't it?

A Sangha By Another Name (Tricycle)

Comments

shjohnson said…
Amen, sister. I had a crazy week too, and this post was right on time. Thanks once again and God bless you.
Rach said…
And thank you for being here, my friend, and for getting it. May you be blessed with a few quiet moments of stillness and song yourself.

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