turumba kidlat tahimik (1981)
Work in progress 7/13/14
Heaviness, bitterness —
syrup that must be dropped at last.
In times like these,
happiness is a decision
that needs no willpower.
You might blink a little differently.
Lightness is like this.
It demands nothing,
suggests only lightness
(and nothing else, in that moment)
to grant itself in eternity.
Left behind, the syrup, that tar river
goes on flowing
the only way it knows how —
in, over, under its weight,
swirling its way to some thing solid.
No matter; it will live. It too will go on. It is like that.
I would like to describe the simplest emotion
joy or sadness
but not as others do
reaching for shafts of rain or sun
I would like to describe a light
which is being born in me
but I know it does not resemble
for it is not so bright
not so pure
and is uncertain
I would like to describe courage
without dragging behind me a dusty lion
and also anxiety
without shaking a glass full of water
or to put it another way
I would give all metaphors
in return for one word
drawn out of my breast like a rib
for one word
contained within the boundaries
of my skin
but apparently this is not possible
— Zbigniew Herbert
, “A Study of the Object,” from Selected Poems
➜ Let Go: A Buddhist Guide to Breaking Free of Habits by Martine Batchelor
This is an understated book of great depth and practicality. Martine Batchelor reminds me of Ayya Khema - honest, firm, loving.
Some insights from it:
1. Meditation is about coming home to our body as much as to our mind. Being an idealist, I cannot remind myself of this enough! Peace, compassion, wisdom, etc., are not (merely) states of mind; they’re qualities we can embody in the present moment.
2. It’s important that we begin with the seed: the intention to meditate, to awaken to the preciousness of this life which, because precious, deserves to be lived in joy and with only what is truly necessary.
3. Hence: Intention + Attention = Liberation
4. Meditation aids both intention and attention by creating concentration, and therefore space to form and reform intention, which leads to attention, and so on in a virtuous cycle.
5. Concentration creates space. Inquiry creates creativity, fun, beauty.
➜ Kids' Films And Stories Share A Dark Theme: Dead Mothers
From the comments section:
Through reading stories of independent or orphaned child protagonists, child readers find a space to imagine themselves in such dangerous, challenging positions, and begin asking themselves “Who am I?” while still in the safe realm of home.
I do wish this piece would have included the perspective of scholars working in children’s literature and culture so as to better contextualize and historicize the author’s query, as well as promote further, informed discussion.