Placement in the World

Buddha blessing our home

Living in the head

I think my mind is me

but all the heads,

Like Easter Island

enlargements of a self

facing outward

from a deforested land

largelips curled over words of the wind

blow back into flattened features.

We are erected by the culture

long lost to us

the history of DNA carved into stone

We think we are alone.

The eyes cannot turn

to see others

All Head-On Erections


lining our peripheries.

We are ungrounded of the ground.

The questions of Why, by whom and how

Are not asked nor resolved.

So much of my life has been a life of mind. Either living in my mind or in fear or mentally tumbling into the future. Like cleaning the next room and not the one I am in. Living with lists moving from item to item feeling only good when something is crossed off. For that thirty seconds there is relief until the flood of anxiety, fear and fury return to spur me on to do more. Each item on the list lifted up and off the agenda but the next floods in to take its place.

My eye travelling across the landscape of vision seeks imperfections. Weeds here, dust motes there, a picture not aligned, a splotch of sandwich on the corner of a mouth, a part in the hair which has departed from the line, one toenail longer than the rest, fluff on the inside of a sweater.

Like a spider, I move out into my day from morning’s support on one side to evening’s cessation on the other to weave busy lines and fill them in. If anything tears or destroys my vision, I will repair it after a period of grief, illness, sulking or laying in the dark cave of recovery.

It is a curse and a cure. It has kept me alive and almost killed me. It has kept me passionate and exhausted. It has created attention and deprived me of friendship. It has incited admiration, adulation, fear and envy in others.

Perhaps the best thing I have heard of late, while exploring the idea of metta sutta or loving kindness even unto self, is to realize that the self has a balance of cycles. It is just important to stand back far enough to see it.

Life might not be balanced hour unto the hour. The balance may be over a week or a month or a year. There is a pattern.

All each of us can do is gently try to teach outself, entice ourselves, reward ourselves to move from the place of compulsion into a place of compassion. Oh, and let the weeds growing under the flowers be. There are part of the landscape. Enjoy the shimmer of the rain on all of the leaves.