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Course of Life

Buddha’s Buddha

Generally speaking, things have gone about as far as they can go when things have got about as bad as they can reasonably get. Tom Stoppard

I take comfort in knowing that for all but the last few millennia of our millions of years of evolving into the species we are today, humans lived from day to day, untethered to the past or the future. Our existence was entirely about getting enough food for today, avoiding larger animals who wanted to eat us, and caring for each other. We did not concern ourselves with saving enough money to insure a comfortable old age, for we knew nothing of money or old age. We lived vigorously and alertly in the moment, ever vigilant and curious and open to what Nature was telling us.

Vito composing

To a great mind, nothing is little.  Conan Doyle

Through persistent practice there will come a time when your playing is so clear and rhythmically consistent, and your voice and words merge so seamlessly with your music, you and your song will be one.

honey bee loving lemon blossoms

Whole Love

Every choice is always the wrong choice,

Every vote cast is always cast away—

How can truth hover between alternatives? 

Then love me more than dearly, love me wholly,

Love me with no weighing of circumstance,

As I am pledged in honour to love you:

With no weakness, with no speculation

On what might happen should you and I prove less

Than bringers-to-be of our own certainty.

Neither was born by hazard; each foreknew

The extreme possession we are grown into.

Robert Graves

When I was nineteen, I became a vagabond for some years, and carried everything I owned with me, including three books: a paperback edition of Collected Poems of Robert Graves, and the two-volume The Greek Myths, also by Robert Graves, also in paperback.

During many of the hundreds of hours I spent waiting by roads for good Samaritans to stop for me, and on many a night before going to sleep, I would read Graves and take solace in what I came to think of as his cautionary romanticism.

When I was twenty-eight and had just published my first novel, I was waiting for my editor in the plush anteroom of the Doubleday offices in Manhattan. I had never met my editor in-person. We had spoken on the phone many times, and from her voice and manner of speaking, I imagined Sherry was a young white woman raised in the upper middle class who had, for some reason, fallen in love with my novel about white and black people living together and helping each other travel through this world of woe and joy.

On the walls of the anteroom were displayed the newest books published by Doubleday, each book standing on a small shelf and spot-lit as if a work of art. I blushed when I discovered my newborn book thus displayed, and then gasped in delight at the book displayed on the shelf next to mine: a handsome hardback edition of the newly revised Collected Poems of Robert Graves.

Then Sherry emerged from the labyrinth of offices and I gasped again, for she was black and exceedingly lovely.

In my stammered greeting, I said something about the volume of Robert Graves. Without hesitation, Sherry took the volume of poems from its pedestal, handed the holy relic to me, and I felt blessed, a thousand times blessed. 

The Old Way Home

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