Grounding oneself to our physical world can shake us out of reveries and drive us to confront raw, immediate reality.
We hope that this issue drives home some intense, real, and elemental thoughts for each of you.
Because it is a Stone
Because it is a stone
the fire hits it, moves around,
changing shape like a wave.
Because grief is not a word
that counts footsteps or encapsulates
the butcher’s madness, just builds like
a deep stagnant pool of a pond – one drop,
one drop, rising.
Because all the vegetables have not been picked through,
and more people hold compassion than they do hate,
the tree can grow, the fountain can flow up and make
a statement of solidarity, a sound
peaceful to those who are near.
Because the robin keeps coming back
to sit on my lawn, stares at me and waits
for my greeting before moving on.
Because hope is red eyes stinging,
but sight unimpaired,
and the darkening shadows darkening
the day-to-day landscape drift –
sometimes far away.
Because there is early morning, peppermint tea,
and love abides in everything living,
I can walk another step, another day,
bury the corpse of a treasured friend,
and place something beautiful
(a stone, a whisper) beside the grave.
They probably have a dossier on you,
he told me,
they start with your high school record,
I told him I did not spend a lot of time at high school
so they might have a tough time.
They got everything, he screamed, EVERYTHING!
Everything you have ever thought, felt, done is in there.
I’d like to read that,
how can I get in touch
They get in touch with you, he warned,
and you DON’T want that.
That was the great thing about hanging around
nary a dull moment.
Especially when he was off his meds.
I’ve seen tornadoes with more sense,
though most of windy Kansas would likely
Hot painful tears found their way out of my eyes,
One by one they dropped,
Baring my soul and making it vulnerable,
To excruciating pain and unadulterated hurt.
If choices were given,
I would stand bold and bare,
Of any emotion,
But not much was given,
As tears became the only solace and release.
Drops upon drop,
Until they flood my heart,
And emptied my soul.
Is for the weak I’m told,
But as I stand shaking and feverish under rain of my tears,
I feel stronger and impenetrable,
a trip to Ostend
by: Norman J. Olson
I love 19th century art… of the few artists who survived into the 20th century who interest me, James Ensor (1860-1949) is my favorite and I urge anyone who is interested in art to make the trip to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles to see Ensor’s wonderful large painting, The Entry of Christ into Brussels…
Ensor lived in his parents’ house in Ostend Belgium, a small resort city on the ocean until 1917 when he inherited his uncles house nearby where he lived until his death… I have seen the famous photo of him playing his harmonium in this house… the harmonium is against the wall on which his very large (ap. 8×14 feet) masterpiece is hung… so playing the harmonium, Ensor’s nose is maybe two or three feet from the painting…