thoughtworm.com update

After years of languishing in neglect, my website has finally received a much-needed redesign.  It’s a wonder I ever received any orders for my zine based on the convoluted ordering instructions I used to have on there.  And let’s not even begin to imagine the number of broken external links.  I didn’t even bother to check; I just cleared it all off and started over.  It’s much cleaner now and I’m pleased with the result.  It will be easier to maintain, so maybe this time I won’t ignore it for another five years.

an army in the trees

Red sentinels watch over this wooden womb, as breaths taken in fill with sorrow and exhale to unkind frigid air. A hollow place in heart and mind, an empty space once full of life for so long. This weight, though, shall lift one day; this fresh wound will slowly suture shut. And always keep in mind, too: our lives all circles, never lines…there is completion, life will renew.

r.i.p. j.d.

And the giants keep falling.

the fog that turns people inside out

As I sit here staring out at the foggy woods, interrupted only by my compulsions to chase away the squirrels leaping from the house onto the bird feeder, I once again contemplate my general feelings of dissatisfaction. Yesterday, walking home from the park in the cool drizzle, I paused on the bridge over the interstate. I look down at this abomination: two strips of hot pavement running north and south, hardened abscesses cut into the Earth, supporting two-ton blocks of steel racing here and there, the blocks full of people (of all things!) going everywhere and nowhere all at once. I suppress the bile rising from my gut and walk on. I pass by the stream and stare at the trash floating in the water, the grotesquely shredded plastic bags hanging in the trees. I curse my sensitivity, my thin skin like a gossamer membrane through which I have no control over what passes in or out. But by turning away from the ugliness, by trying to dull the extremes and desperately seek out a middle ground (the Middle Way!), I only make myself sicker. The only times I come close to traveling on the middle path are while running or riding my bicycle for long distances. In motion, my mind stands still. When my body rests, my mind races without end. But I cannot stay in constant motion, so I continue in my struggle to find the right state of mind.

“Develop a state of mind like the earth, Rahula. For on the earth people throw clean and unclean things, dung and urine, spittle, pus, blood, and the earth is not troubled or repelled or disgusted. And as you grow like the earth no contacts with pleasant or unpleasant will lay hold of your mind or stick to it.

Similarly you should develop a state of mind like water, for people throw all manner of clean and unclean things into water and it is not troubled or repelled or disgusted. And similarly with fire, which burns all things, clean and unclean, and with air, which blows upon them all, and with space, which is nowhere established.

Develop the state of mind of friendliness, Rahula, for, as you do so, ill-will will grow less; and of compassion, for thus vexation will grow less; and of joy, for thus aversion will grow less; and of equanimity, for thus repugnance will grow less.”

~from the Majjhima Nikaya, translated by A.L. Basham

>saturday

>We went into the park. We found a golf ball and a large tree limb. We took turns pitching the golf ball and hitting it with the tree limb. Eventually one of us hit the ball too far so we gave up. In the middle of the field I found a stick. On the stick were two ladybugs. One was on top of the other; they were mating. We watched them for a while and then I placed the stick back on the ground. Buds are opening on trees; the birds are chasing each other. Spring has touched some, but it has yet to touch me. I’m still waiting for the warmth.

falling down the memory hole

>I often think that a good memory is more of a plague than a boon. With crystal clear pictures of the past, it becomes too easy to play those slideshows over and over. How much easier it would be to stay in the present moment if instead there was just a warm blankness backing up to the right now. There would be no comparisons to make, no regrets, no sense of lost time, no feelings of inadequacy, no hammering on the same old themes over and over. Everything would seem new and exciting.

Well, maybe having no memory at all would be bad. My friend posted an article on his blog awhile back about a guy who was in just such a position. It was kind of sad. But I often wonder how differently people’s memories work. Not everyone’s can be ready to project that detailed slideshow at any moment. Maybe I just wish I didn’t remember things so clearly and explicitly. I’d be satisfied with vague recollections, I think.

There was something else I was going to mention, but it was unrelated. Ironically enough, I’ve now forgotten what it was…

dialing in static

>I feel vaguely self-destructive. Flashes flood through the cracks in my psyche. I’m sliced down the middle, split in half, unable to walk on just one leg or the other. Not in the dark, at least. I need more sunlight. I need to not have what I don’t want. And then I need to want what I still have. And when I only have what I want, I should have nothing. Stitched up then, with two legs, and a psyche smooth as polished glass.

an army in the trees

Red sentinels watch over this wooden womb, as breaths taken in fill with sorrow and exhale to unkind frigid air. A hollow place in heart and mind, an empty space once full of life for so long. This weight, though, shall lift one day; this fresh wound will slowly suture shut. And always keep in mind, too: our lives all circles, never lines…there is completion, life will renew.

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