Two Vessels — Computer Art by kenne
(First posted December 22, 2009)
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 not to 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 ten 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 Sáo Paulo in Brazil that I learned of Paulo Coelho and his 1988 novel. The book fit well into my own philosophy and set the tone for the trip and remains instrumental to my life.
Again, one act leads to another when at this past Sunday’s Society of the 5th Cave reading club meeting, The Alchemist was selected for the March reading. Once again the concept of alchemy is front stage, this time from a different perspective, which will create many new learning moments.
I’m pleased to be reading this inspiring book ten years out. The Alchemist is the gift that keeps on giving. Just today I received an email from my brother Tom, reminding me of someone I have also not read in recent years, American poet, Conrad Aiken, which my poem “Solstice Night,” reminded him of the first lines from 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 the return of 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.
Life has so many gifts that keep on giving. Become a part of the act.
SCVN Friday Hike, Blackett’s Ridge (November 4, 2016) — iPhone Images by kenne
With morning temperatures in the 50’s & 60’s, our Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists Friday hikes are now off Mt. Lemmon and back in the canyon. Today’s hike was one of my favorite, Blackett’s Ridge that runs between Sabino Canyon and Bear Canyon.
The 6.3-mile hike begins at the Sabino Canyon Visitor Center and is relatively flat for the first 1.5 miles before the trail becomes very rocky, turning into a series of 36 switchbacks, with an elevation change of 1800 feet for the next 1.5 miles.
The trail hasn’t changed much over the six years I have been hiking Blackett’s, and I would like to say the same for me, but my old body is beginning to signal that it might not be willing to hike trails with this much elevation change in such a short distance.
Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity…
Autumn Maple Leaves — Computer Art by kenne
As nature changes,
I seek a balance
between acting and
being acted upon.
“So sinks the mind in deep despair
And sight grows dim; when storms of life
Blow surging up the weight of care,
It banishes its inward light
And turns in trust to the dark without.
This was the man who once was free
To climb the sky with zeal devout
To contemplate the crimson sun,
The frozen fairness of the moon —
Astronomer once used in joy
To comprehend and to commune
With planets on their wandering ways.
This man, this man sought out the source
Of storms that roar and rouse the seas;
The spirit that rotates the world,
The cause that translocates the sun
From shining East to watery West;
He sought the reason why spring hours
Are mild with flowers manifest,
And who enriched with swelling grapes
Ripe autumn at the full of year.
Now see that mind that searched and made
All nature’s hidden secrets clear
Lie prostrate prisoner of night.
His neck bends low in shackles thrust,
And he is forced beneath the weight
To contemplate — the lowly dust.”
— from The Consolation of Philosophy, by Boethius
Click on any of the tiled images to view in a slideshow format.
The People and Their Canyon — Images by kenne
For some the canyon
the people’s national park
to be shared with all.
For some the canyon
should have limited access
For some the canyon
can be both shared and preserved