Literature, The Gift That Keeps On Giving   4 comments

Vessel II Blue Background blogVessels — Image by kenne

The things that happen to us in life do so because we act.
The more we act, the more opportunities we have upon which to act,
the more we connect creating a vessel filled with learning moments.
If we don’t act on the moments,
each will become an opportunity lost.
Even so,
it’s important to not think about what may have been left behind.

My vessel is an alchemy of acts
from which new opportunities are poured – acts attract acts.
Paulo Coelho wrote in his bestseller, The Alchemist, 

“There is only one way to learn,” the alchemist answered.
“It’s through action. Everything you need to know
you have learned through your journey.”

It was fifteen years ago that I first read Coelho’s enchanting fable.
It was in preparation for leading a group of four young professionals
to the state of São Paulo in Brazil that I learned of Paulo Coelho and his 1988 novel.
The book fits well into my philosophy
and set the tone for the trip and remains instrumental to my life.

I’m pleased to be reading this inspiring book fifteen years out.
The Alchemist is the gift that keeps on giving.
Some years ago after reading my poem Solstice Night,”
my brother Tom wrote me that my poem
 reminded him
of the first lines from Conrad Aiken’s long poem, “The House of Dust.”

The sun goes down in a cold, pale flare of light.
The trees grow dark: the shadows lean to the east:
And lights wink out through the windows, one by one.
A clamor of frosty sirens mourns at the night.
Pale slate-grey clouds whirl up from the sunken sun.

In turn, his reminding me of Conrad Aiken, and my return to The Alchemist,
that reminded me of the following from Aiken’s poem, “A Letter from Li Po.”

what’s true in these, or false? which is the ‘I’
of ‘I’s’? Is it the master of the cadence, who
transforms all things to a hoop of flame, where through
tigers of meaning leap? And are these true,
the language never old and never new,
such as the world wears on its wedding day,
the something borrowed with something chicory blue?
In every part we play, we play ourselves;
even the secret doubt to which we come
beneath the changing shapes of self and thing,
yes, even this, at last, if we should call
and dare to name it, we would find
the only voice that answers is our own.
We are once more defrauded by the mind.

Defrauded? No. It is the alchemy by which we grow.
It is the self becoming word, the word
becoming world. And with each part we play
we add to cosmic Sum and cosmic sum.
Who knows but one day we shall find,
hidden in the prism at the rainbow’s foot,
the square root of the eccentric absolute,
and the concentric absolute to come.

So many gifts that keep on giving.

— kenne

4 responses to “Literature, The Gift That Keeps On Giving

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  1. Beautiful post!
    -Jennifer

  2. Reblogged this on Becoming is Superior to Being and commented:

    First posted November 26, 2013. — kenne

  3. I absolutely loved this Kenne. Conrad Aiken was such a great poet, although formalist poetry is not as popular as it once was. I also like Cohelo’s The Alchemist. I must have first read it not long after you did. Thank you for this post, a wonderful collection of literature and thought.

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