Archive

Monthly Archives: July 2015

From certain upper vantage points in Boston’s Museum of Science, you get an excellent view of the Back Bay skyline. One time I was up there, surveying the towers, and it hit me: money is blood for buildings.

Every office in all those vast assemblages of square footage needs an occupant. If unoccupied, they start to go to seed; if a building starts to lose tenants, it loses the ability to attract tenants. Money is blood. Every office in every skyscraper needs a supply of money to support it, just as every part of every body needs a stream of blood to sustain it. An office without that lifegiving stream starts to rot. If enough buildings rot, the town starts to rot. I’ve seen rotting towns. They’re not pretty.

But for now at least, Back Bay in Boston has all the life-giving money it needs. Somehow.

The sage, states both religion & philosophy, disdains worldly pleasures and honors.

But is it that the sage, having proven they can attain worldly pleasures and honors, is disdaining them? Or is it that the sage is really a schmuck turning up their nose at what they could never have in the first place?

I love Marcus Aurelius, really I do. But it’s easy to talk about how the emperor and the beggar arrive at the same end when you’re the one who gets to be emperor.

People think too much of ideas. The archetypal question to an author is “Where do you get your ideas?”, but writers learn early on that ideas are easy, it’s execution that’s hard. Truth is, most writers I know get constant streams of ideas, so many that the real trick is, while trying to make something of Idea A, getting Ideas B-Z to shut the hell up.

So, like most writers, I have mental filing cabinets full of old, never-used ideas, stuffed so full that drawers won’t close, mouldering manila folders springing out in all directions. I’d like to use this blog as an opportunity to get out some of those ideas, in order to make peace with the fact that they’re never going to be used, and to be a memorial of sorts to those poor story hooks whose time never came and now never will.

“The Graveyard of Ideas” shall be the header.

I keep running into the Ajivikas

(In the books I’m reading. Not like, down to Stop&Shop or anything)

and I keep seeing the same response: they must not have been completely adamantly against free will, because how could you found a movement on that?

To which, speaking as a person who doesn’t believe in free will myself, I say two things:

-First: Have you met Reverend Calvin here?

-Second: Even if you think the idea of free will is utter birdshit, you still have to do something. And if that something turns out to be create an atheist ascetic religious movement, well: looks like that’s what you had no choice but to do.

Since you receive light from another source,

Since you rise high in the sky
while many people watch,

Since you receive life again
even though your body dies,

Since you remove the darkness of the world
with your light,

Since you conceal your vast form
in a round white shape,

Since you bear a blemish,

Since those who read stars seek you,

Since you are appropriate for supplicants/night blossoms,

And since the hero of my poem
the Lord born of a virgin
who is conceived through the Holy Spirit
is like you,

Moon in the beautiful sky
you should quickly agree
to play joyously and happily
with the one who is entwined with Tamil poetry,
flowing like a waterfall.

Moon, come to play.

Was reading this afternoon Religions of India in Practice, a chapter about pillaittamil, the Tamil poetic genre of addressing religious figures as playful children, and came upon this, written in the 80s by Tamil Christian poet Arul Chellatturai. It brought tears to my eyes. I found all the pillaittamil beautiful, but this one just pierced me to the heart.

I wish I could have seen this when I was seventeen. It would have been perfect for my spiritual state at that time. But it’s good to have things to discover in middle age, too.

(A explanation of the poem’s imagery can be found here.)

The world is terrifying.

So we must hope for God to stand beside us in defiance

Except that to the extent that God is the world, God is terrifying

So we must hope for a space between God & the world, a honey canyon where we may thrive.

God first appears as Ancient of Days, judge and geometer,

And then as Cthulhu, honest and annihilating,

And then as Dharma, quiet and pervasive,

And finally as God, God as God, unspeakable and loving.

Praise be to the honey space we are granted! Praise be to the nonday it shall be given to us! Madhutheodoros, let it fall upon us when we least expect it.

A joke from my old blog:

Two bears find a hippie’s tent in the woods and eat all the acid.

Some time later, one bear says “I am the rainbowI am The RainbowThe Rainbow arcs to the other side of the universeThe Rainbow recoils, ricochets, returnsThe Rainbow is eternalThe Rainbow is NeverThe Rainbow is deadTheRainbowisaliveIamtheRainbowIamtheRainbowTheRainbowIAMTheRainbowIAM.”

The other bear says “Oh wow, a talking bear!”