Wednesday, February 24, 2016



I'm nearly to the end of a book entitled The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen. It chronicles his expedition through a remote region of the Himalayas (maybe that's redundant?) with a fellow scientist. He also goes into detail about his concurrent spiritual/meditative journey. Highly recommended for anyone interested in eastern religions, presence, and nature. I've gotten a little bogged down in some of the history (true confessions: I've skipped about three pages because I just couldn't handle the dry facts and the change in pace). Right now I'm reading about his descent back to civilization, which isn't going very well. Mood swings and culture shock that have shaken the equanimity he built during the expedition's stay at a remote monastery village high in the mountains. There's a sense of futility that I can relate to. The throw your hands in the air why bother kind where you try to so hard to build a skill (like patience), and then when the shit hits the fan, you react in the knee-jerk way you always have. It makes you question the point of trying, but maybe the explosions get a little smaller or they take more kindling to provoke. I'm sure there's some incremental change that is just too hard to sense when you're in the throes of reacting while simultaneously feeling like a failure. The more I learn about therapy (both giving and receiving), the more I realize that change happens in the increments. You can't hold out for some sudden transformation because it doesn't work that way. Movement happens when you keep showing up in whatever little way you can manage. Sometimes I use the analogy of filling a sink: it will happen even if you're just adding one drop at a time. Granted, you have to make sure the plug fits, but that's a whole other metaphor. And now for the other exercise of the day:

i stood in the rain
listening to the chorus
of puddles filling


that burned bridge may not
be the only way to cross;
build another one

picture: a bridge in Portland, OR (sorry, can't remember which one), October 2011, cross-processed slide film, Canon Tlb 

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