Back to Cloud of Knowing index



I have left
the beautiful land
and am walking once again
into the sea
and, yes,
I have to fear
drowning and,
I do not hope
or want
to find
another land.
I am done with living on an island.
I must embrace
that great empty space between
the islands, that
vast uniformity
that conceals/reveals
a formless, shape-shifting
I no longer want
a direction. I suppose
dolphins have a direction but they look
peaceful, taking
pleasure in the sea.
The last time I was in the sea I was
searching for land. Now I know
that we in our age of ignorance have to
always inhabit
and learn to love
the spaces in between.


Still, I should sing
the beauty of the land -
the comfort of
solid ground,
the shapes that change
certainly, but slowly,
as the trunk of a tree, more slowly
than ourselves, so we have time
to contemplate and love, to walk
steadily and wonder, yet
these islands are a décor,
a beautiful stage set, working
so long as we are
strong enough to believe, to see
the play behind the scenery, but we
can only see the past, can only see
cause and effect, and so
the whole becomes tawdry and
behind that tawdriness a great
emptiness. And that is where
we have to go -
into that emptiness, that is for now
the gift,
dancing and glittering,
that has been given us.


Where no shape assumes
solidity - that is our scourge
and our gift.
Here there is no
solid purchase, and we
cannot build, but we can
see through - so sad
to be seeing through everything, and yet
that is the gift - to see,
beyond the image,
the lights,
the sounds,
the rays - the matter
of all the images,
and this is where, either we drown
or learn
to swim.