A priest’s daughter asked him
where he got his ideas for his sermons.
‘From God,’ he replied.
‘Then why do I see you scratching things out?’
asked the girl.
…Father Anthony DeMello
We’ve reached that time of night when repetition
starts to look like the best kind of argument,
so I keep insisting it was wrong- meaning
what they did to the remake of Cat People.
No, my friend replies, just different,
more attentive to the worries of the moment.
But I prefer the old worries: rustling branches,
footsteps in the fog, the hiss of the bus
that wasn’t a panther, but will be.
Why do we need to see so much?
To know what we’re afraid of, he says,
and since it’s late I tell him this is like
the beginning of philosophy all over again-
one proposition, then another,
and after a few thousand years we’re back
to what’s true, or only seems to be:
flickering light on the wall, that confusion
of shadows. How still the room becomes.
A little rain touches the windows, and both of us
mention other movies in which not even love
could repair the past. Then the snow
mixes in. And yet, my friend says,
by morning all this could change.
No nagging doubts, no secret afflictions-
as if the light had burned them away.
And a man might find himself
wondering about the sky instead.
Why is it so blue? Why do we feel
different when the sun grabs hold of us?
Why do we need to be sure of anything?
we are mythological, illogical, contradictory and full of fierce courage in spite of our fear…..we cannot separate what is not meant to be separated…..and when we take our commitments to heart, we learn about deep humanness….we easily distort this precious life into something too tight……and when we release our hold, the heart moves again….
Only our own searching for happiness prevents us from seeing it. It is like a vivid rainbow which you pursue without ever catching it, or a dog chasing its own tail. Although peace and happiness do not exist as an actual thing or place, they are always available, and accompany you every instant. Waiting to grasp the ungraspable, you exhaust yourself in vain. As soon as you open and relax this tight fist of grasping, infinite space is there- open, inviting, and comfortable. Make use of this spaciousness, this freedom and natural ease. Don’t search any further. Don’t get into the tangled jungle looking for the great enlightened elephant who is already resting quietly at home in front of your hearth……Gendun Rinpoche