Archive for January, 2019

Sharad Kharé @kharecom interviews Bob Roth @meditationbob, CEO @LynchFoundation, on TM

January 31, 2019

Legacy documentarian Sharad Kharé interviewed Bob Roth, CEO of the David Lynch Foundation, and produced this impressive piece: In dialogue with Bob Roth, A gift of Meditation. Bob shares stories of how his journey started and what the David Lynch Foundation is doing globally for adults and children with TM. Below is the article with video of his visit posted on Thrive Global. Thank you, Sharad, for giving us permission to share your wonderful story with our readers. See his author bio for more.

sharad kharé and bob roth

Legacy documentarian Sharad Khare with Bob Roth, David Lynch Foundation

The idea that something so simple can help you and your entire life seems so unreal. But it is very real and its available to you right now.

When I started meditation a few years back, I found it tough, I gave up many times, but something kept bringing me back. Like anything in life, practice allows for growth and mastery. While I am not a master by any means, I now understand the strength of meditation in my daily because of many mentors and friends. Friends like Bob.

I first met Bob a few years back when my meditation coach introduced us. I flew to New York to shoot my first interview with him in 2015. He was welcoming, kind and totally candid. Since then I have continued to connect with Bob by updating him on my work and my practice. He has always had an open door to my ideas, and I thought it was time to update the world on what he was working on.

Bob had released his book “Strength in Stillness: The Power of Transcendental Meditation”, which is a guide that shares the power of how TM can calm the mind body and spirit.

In our interview Bob shares stories of how this journey started and what TM is doing for adults and children globally.

To learn more of Bob’s incredible work, please check out davidlynchfoundation.org.

See Sharad’s interview with Bob in the video below.

— Published on January 30, 2019

To learn more about Digital Journalist, Legacy Documentarian, Curator, and Curious Soul Sharad Kharé, visit http://www.kharecom.com.

See the result of their first meeting: Digital storyteller Sharad Kharé speaks with David Lynch Foundation executive director Bob Roth.

See more interviews with Bob Roth about his book, Strength in Stillness, posted on The Uncarved Blog.

Jerry Yellin laid to rest with full military honors

January 22, 2019

Jerry Yellin was featured prominently with a 2-page cover story in The Fairfield Ledger on Monday, January 21, 2019. ​​Capt Yellin was laid to rest last Tuesday, January 15, 2019, with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery (Air Force Pubic Affairs). Ledger News Editor Andy Hallman spoke with Jerry’s sons Steven and Robert, and Fairfield friends Jim and Ginger Belilove. ​​The result is an amazing report on the former Fairfield resident and war hero. ​Click the title to see 13 photos above the article on The Fairfield Ledger website: Full military honors.

WWII fighter pilot Jerry Yellin buried at Arlington National Cemetery

wwii fighter pilot jerry yellin

WWII fighter pilot Jerry Yellin

Former Fairfield resident and World War II fighter pilot Jerry Yellin was laid to rest with full military honors Tuesday at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.

Yellin flew the last combat mission of World War II, and achieved notoriety late in life for his advocacy of peace and reconciliation, and for raising awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder. Yellin died Dec. 21, 2017, at age 93. He was buried along with his wife of 65 years, Helene, who died in 2015.

“My father wanted to be buried with his fellow warriors,” said his son, Steven, a Fairfield resident, who petitioned to have Jerry and Helene’s remains buried at Arlington National Cemetery. “It was an incredible ceremony, very dignified and moving.”

To be buried with full military honors meant that Jerry’s remains were carried to the cemetery on a horse-drawn caisson, a wagon used to transport ammunition in earlier eras but which today is reserved for funeral processions.

“An American flag is draped over the caisson, and after the ceremony, four Marines take the flag off, and in perfect unison, fold it and give it to us,” Steven said.

Steven also arranged for the U.S. Air Force to perform a four-jet flyover, which he said was no easy feat. The A-10 jets came from the 23rd Wing at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia. They performed the “missing man” formation typically used to honor a decorated pilot or political leader, whereby one of the jets peels off from the group to signal the dignitary’s passing.

“Sixteen squadrons in the Air Force wanted to do the flyover,” Steven said. “All Air Force pilots look up to my father as a hero.”

Extraordinary man

Steven estimated that 125-150 people attended the ceremony. Afterward, one of Jerry’s friends sponsored a dinner at a local hotel. People took turns speaking about how Jerry touched their lives.

“I lived with my father for the past three years in Orlando,” Steven said. “Living with Jerry Yellin was an extraordinary experience because he was so engaging, even at such an advanced age. His intellect was so sharp. For 2.5 years, he traveled two to four times per month everywhere in the country.”

Jim and Ginger Belilove were among a handful of Fairfield residents who traveled to Arlington to honor their late friend.

“Jerry really made his mark on the world,” Ginger said. “For the last five years of his life, he was extremely busy speaking on peace and reconciliation, and [about] Transcendental Meditation alleviating post-traumatic stress for servicemen.”

Steven said his father suffered from a severe case of PTSD. Of Jerry’s 32-member squadron, exactly half survived. Why did he live when so many others died? This question gnawed at him for years. Steven recalls his father telling him that, when he was flying missions over Iwo Jima, all he could think about was going back home. But when the war ended and he came home, all he could think of was returning to Iwo Jima.

In 1975, Helene and Jerry began practicing Transcendental Meditation. Jerry credited the technique with allowing him to live into his 90s.

Background

Since Arlington National Cemetery is the most well-known and coveted burial ground, being awarded a plot is a prestigious honor. In the biography of his father that he submitted to the cemetery authorities, Steven wrote about Jerry’s combat missions in the Pacific Theater.

Jerry enlisted in the military two months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. He graduated from his fighter pilot school in August 1943, and spent the remainder of the war flying combat missions with the 78th Fighter Squadron. Steven said his father strafed the island of Iwo Jima to assist the Marines in taking it in March 1945. Jerry participated in the first land-based fighter mission over Japan on April 7, 1945, and led the final mission of the war on Aug. 14, 1945. For his efforts during the war, Yellin was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with an oak leaf cluster and the Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters.

Meeting Jerry

The Beliloves came to know Jerry when he stepped inside their business 10 years ago. The Beliloves run Creative Edge Master Shop, and Jerry was there because he needed a plaque. When Jim asked him what it was for, Jerry told him it was destined for Japan, to commemorate an incident that occurred during the war.

According to Jerry Yellin’s official website, two American B-29s crashed mid-air during a bombing mission over Japan in June 1945. A local soybean farmer came upon the wreckage, and gave a proper burial to the 23 Americans who died. The farmer was given a prison sentence for giving counsel to the enemy, but after his release, he commissioned the construction of a shrine as a memorial to peace. He raised money from the neighboring city of Shizuoka, which the Americans had been bombing. Even after this farmer died, others have kept alive the tradition of honoring deceased soldiers from both sides at this peace memorial atop Mount Shizuhata.

When Jim heard this story, he insisted on giving Jerry the plaque for free. Jerry accepted, on the condition that the Beliloves attend the ceremony in Japan with him. They agreed, and it became the first of many trips the Beliloves took with Jerry and his family.

Reconciling with Japan

Steven said his father “hated the Japanese” in the years immediately after the war, but his attitude changed while on a business trip to the country in 1982. Somehow, on the trip he felt a close kinship with Japanese people and their culture. That kinship would grow in the coming years thanks to his son Robert.

Robert is the youngest of the four boys (Steven, Michael and David). He visited Japan for a few weeks during college, and liked it so much he returned to the country later to work in an English school. He fell in love with a young Japanese woman named Takako, but he ran into a problem with her family.

Takako’s father refused even to meet Robert for the first seven months. Finally, the family met Robert for dinner at a restaurant. Takako’s three older brothers grilled him with questions, asking him about his background and his parents. They wanted to hear about his father.

“Uh oh,” Robert remembers thinking. “I told them that my father was in World War II, and that he fought at Iwo Jima.”

Upon hearing this, Takako’s father perked up. He wanted to know more. Robert explained that Jerry was a P-51 pilot.

“Once he learned that, the father was immediately in favor of the marriage,” Robert said. “He was a couple of years younger than Jerry, and was training to become a pilot, too. He said there are no enemies in the skies.”

The father said that anyone who flies a P-51 is brave, and that person’s lineage can be welcomed into the house. Robert breathed a sigh of relief.

Jerry and Takako’s dad, Mr. Yamakawa, met later on, and discovered they had much in common, becoming lifelong friends. The bonds of that friendship grew stronger with the birth of Robert and Takako’s three children: Kentaro, Simon and Sara. The decorated American fighter pilot who once hated the Japanese now had three Japanese-American grandkids.

Jerry’s legacy

The legacy of Jerry Yellin has been kept alive through his books, such as his autobiography “Of War and Weddings,” the tale of the final combat mission over Japan in “The Last Fighter Pilot,” his struggles with PTSD in “The Resilient Warrior,” and others. His official website is captainjerryyellin.com.

A documentary about Jerry’s life titled “The Last Man Standing” is in production. The director, Louisa Merino, met Jerry in Fairfield, and after hearing his stories, knew they must be made into a film. Steven said the documentary should be finished in the next six months, and that it will be shown at film festivals and eventually, he hopes, online.

###

Below are scans of the newspaper cover story with part 2 on page 7. Click here to see a few previous posts, and the Jerry Yellin Memorial Service last year in Montclair, NJ January 20, 2018.

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This cartoon is so unexpectedly funny

January 20, 2019

This fortuneteller cartoon by Gahan Wilson was published on The New Yorker Cartoons Instagram. Wilson is known for his dark sense of humor.

Fortune Teller - newyorkercartoons.png

Guess some of us don’t learn from our mistakes. Good to have a sense of humor about it though. Here’s to getting it right, sooner or later.

Reminds me of these funny New Yorker cartoons I included in this post about Coming Back For Love In Five Favorite Romantic Films.

The one on top is where we go to keep learning. The other at the bottom perfectly reminds me of Bill Murray waking up each morning in the brilliant little film Ground Hog Day.

Alex Gregory is astutely funny showing what social media is doing to us.

This funny cartoon tellingly depicts our obsession with the past and future while ignoring how to be in the present moment with meditation!

RIP: Mary Oliver. Thank you for sharing your poetic gifts with us. They are a national treasure!

January 17, 2019

maybe death
isn’t darkness, after all,
but so much light
wrapping itself around us–

From White Owl Flies Into And Out Of The Field by Mary Oliver

Jan 17, 2019: I received news this morning that Mary Oliver had passed. I was shocked. Strange how just two days ago I had posted and sent out one of her beautiful, wise poems, Sunrise.

Later tonight I checked and the internet was flooded with the news. A friend forwarded this email from Suzanne Lawlor: RIP Mary Oliver. I am very sorry to share this sad news about Mary Oliver, one of my favorite poets. This is what was sent out today:

Mary Oliver, beloved poet and bard of the natural world, died on January 17 at home in Hobe Sound, Florida. She was 83.

mary oliver photo

Poet Mary Oliver

Oliver published her first book, No Voyage, in London in 1963, at the age of twenty-eight. The author of more than 20 collections, she was cherished by readers, and was the recipient of numerous awards, including the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for American Primitive, and the 1992 National Book Award for New and Selected Poems, Volume One. She led workshops and held residencies at various colleges and universities, including Bennington College, where she held the Catharine Osgood Foster Chair for Distinguished Teaching until 2001. It was her work as an educator that encouraged her to write the guide to verse, A Poetry Handbook (1994), and she went on to publish many works of prose, including the New York Times bestselling essay collection, Upstream (2016). For her final work, Oliver created a personal lifetime collection, selecting poems from throughout her more than fifty-year career. Devotions was published by Penguin Press in 2017.

Her poetry developed in close communion with the landscapes she knew best, the rivers and creeks of her native Ohio, and, after 1964, the ponds, beech forests, and coastline of her chosen hometown, Provincetown. She spent her final years in Florida, a relocation that brought with it the appearance of mangroves. “I could not be a poet without the natural world,” she wrote. “Someone else could. But not me. For me the door to the woods is the door to the temple.” In the words of the late Lucille Clifton, “She uses the natural world to illuminate the whole world.”

In her attention to the smallest of creatures, and the most fleeting of moments, Oliver’s work reveals the human experience at its most expansive and eternal.

In her attention to the smallest of creatures, and the most fleeting of moments, Oliver’s work reveals the human experience at its most expansive and eternal. She lived poetry as a faith and her singular, clear-eyed understanding of verse’s vitality of purpose began in childhood, and continued all her life. “For poems are not words, after all, but fires for the cold, ropes let down to the lost, something as necessary as bread in the pockets of the hungry.”

When Death Comes

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox;

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

###

In this poem, When Death Comes, Mary Oliver, who was seriously ill at the time, seemed to be contemplating her own mortality. Her perspectives on life and time were changing: “and I look upon time as no more than an idea, / and I consider eternity as another possibility,”. This reminds me what Maharishi said on the subject: “Time is a conception to measure eternity.”

I’ve posted a few of her astonishing poems: The Journey, Wild Geese, The Swan, PrayingVaranasi, The Summer Day (aka “The Grasshopper”), At the Lake, One, White Owl Flies Into And Out Of The FieldSunrise, The Loon, Blue Iris, When I Am Among The Trees, Lingering In Happiness, At Blackwater Pond, Don’t Hesitate, Mockingbirds, and When Death Comes, which was included here in her obituary posted on Jan 17, 2019.

On January 21, 2019, Here & Now‘s Robin Young talked with author Ruth Franklin about award-winning poet Mary Oliver’s legacy: Remembering The ‘Ecstatic Poet’ Mary Oliver, Who Wrote About The Natural World. Ruth wrote a profile of Oliver for The New Yorker in 2017. Robin plays an excerpt of Oliver being interviewed by Krista Tippett: On Being, Mary Oliver Listening To The World.

On October 18, 2016, Fresh Air’s Maureen Coorigan gave a wonderful book review of the poet’s New York Times essay collection: Mary Oliver Issues A Full-Throated Spiritual Autobiography In ‘Upstream’.

Today, on the day of her passing, the 92nd Street Y posted their Oct 15, 2012 recording of Mary Oliver reading from her new poetry book, A Thousand Mornings, as well as some of her other well-known poems.

On January 22, 2019, The Paris Review published an In Memoriam from Billy Collins. He wrote about a time (“one evening in October 2012”) when he and Mary Oliver shared the stage for a poetry reading “at an immense performing arts center in Bethesda, Maryland.” What he remembers “best was the book signing that followed. … I couldn’t help noticing how emotional many of Mary’s readers became in her presence. They gushed about how much her poems meant to them, how her poems had comforted them in dire times, how they had been saved by her work.” Read When Mary Oliver Signed Books. His conclusion is revealing!

Quotefancy published TOP 20 Mary Oliver Quotes from her poems.

Marc Chagall’s paintings contain beautiful colors of love and a joyful floating lightness of being

January 17, 2019

Homage to Chagall

homage to chagallAs a young man in my early 30s living back home in Montreal, I remember watching a stunningly beautiful film on Canadian television called, Homage to Chagall: The Colours of Love.

It’s a 1977 Canadian documentary film about artist Marc Chagall directed by Harry Rasky of Toronto. This inspiring film was nominated for an Academy Award in 1978 for Best Documentary Feature. The Directors Guild of America awarded Rasky with Outstanding Direction of a Documentary.

Synopsis: Imaginatively utilizing over 300 mosaics, stained-glass windows, murals and paintings, plus an in-depth interview with the famous Russian artist himself, Homage to Chagall is both a tribute to and a celebration of a life of intense productivity that encompassed everything from primitive mysticism to cubist intellectuality.

Sherway Academy Arts & Sciences recently posted the Chagall Documentary on YouTube for students to learn about this great artist. Read their description of his artistic bio included there. It concludes with this quote by Pablo Picasso from the 1950s: “When Matisse dies, Chagall will be the only painter left who understands what colour really is.”

The Colors of Love

This short YouTube video on Marc Chagall is a beautiful slideshow of his colorful paintings of love with an equally beautiful soundtrack, Serenade to Spring, Songs From A Secret Garden. Click on Show More to read a short biography posted there after a quote by Chagall that sums up his philosophy of life and painting: “In our life there is a single color, as on an artist’s palette, which provides the meaning of life and art. It is the color of LOVE.”

“In our life there is a single color, as on an artist’s palette, which provides the meaning of life and art. It is the color of LOVE.”

Art History’s Greatest Love Story

Sotheby’s was going to auction off one of Marc Chagall’s paintings, Les Amoureux (The Lovers), which depicts Bella and Marc mid-embrace, masterfully capturing “the beauty of life.” Simon Shaw, co-head of Impressionist and Modern Art Worldwide for Sotheby’s, interviewed Chagall’s granddaughter, Bella Meyer, who recalled vivid memories of the artist speaking about his love and muse, Bella Chagall. She said she never saw her grandmother, who had died before she was born.

When the painting was made in 1928, it was bought and kept by one family, and never shown to the public until this recent auction. Shaw says, “It’s very hard not to feel happy in front of this picture. It’s a work that exudes peace and happiness.”

Bella responds, “Peace, as you said, it’s most important.” For her, the painting is “a very tender yet forceful kind of celebration for the essence of life, the beauty of life.” Enjoy this informative video with closeups of the painting, Art History’s Greatest Love Story: Marc & Bella Chagall.

The image on the DVD cover at the top of this post is of Chagall’s 1915 painting, L’Anniversaire, also mentioned in the Sotheby’s video.

Creating from the heart, not the head

For a comprehensive biography of the artist, see Marc Chagall, which includes an animated slide show. A quote shown there describing how he worked as an artist says it all: “If I create from the heart, nearly everything works. If from the head, almost nothing.” — Marc Chagall.

I know what he means. I had an experience of creating intuitively from feelings instead of mentally from thoughts during a first art class. Surprised, I wrote a poem about the creative awakening called ArtWords.

“If I create from the heart, nearly everything works. If from the head, almost nothing.” — Marc Chagall

The Fiddler

homage to chagall-kultur dvdChagall’s painting of The Fiddler was also used on the film’s DVD covers.  My grandmother loved that painting because it reminded her of her earlier years growing up in Russia. She was a creative person who liked to cook, crochet, and paint.

I asked an artist friend if he would outline a copy of it on a canvas for her to fill in. I brought him to meet her first and they hit it off. When he offered to sketch the painting for her, she was delighted. She did a wonderful job of reproducing it. Unfortunately, after she died, by the time we went to her apartment, a new tenant was already living there, and the painting was gone.

Michael Braunstein shares his fascinating story of how he learned #TranscendentalMeditation

January 15, 2019

Michael Braunstein wrote a great article for The Reader’s Heartland Healing Magazine in Omaha on Jan 13, 2019. It’s a fascinating story of how he learned about Transcendental Meditation when he worked as a recording engineer in a studio where famous musicians like Paul McCartney and George Harrison showed up. But more specifically from a meditating musician some of you may remember from the early days at MIU. Enjoy reading Meditate. Your Mind Wants To.

Let’s get something straight right out of the box: You do not have to sit funny in order to meditate. All that is necessary to meditate is to learn it correctly then apply it. Since learning Transcendental Meditation in 1984, I have meditated in airports, hospital waiting rooms, sitting in the stands at soccer games, in the lobby of a busy Manhattan office building, on mountain tops and in quiet, darkened spaces wafting with incense, all with unequivocal success. Meditation doesn’t require special needs. Look, meditation is a natural state of mind that the mind craves. It’s healing. It’s transformative. And it’s easy. All you have to do is learn it correctly.

All About the Bass. You can’t start a tracking session without the bass player and the bass player was late. So I was on my knees in the studio dressing cables and doing busywork as we waited. A bass guitar case plopped on the floor right in front of me. I looked up. I stammered, “You must be the…  bass… player.” The hesitations came because the “bass player” was Paul McCartney.

It was back in my LA days as a recording engineer. During the next 14-plus hours of cutting a track, McCartney’s demeanor impressed me. Accustomed to over-amped and often crazy rock ‘n’ rollers in those days, I will never forget his gentle presence and the restrained command he offered the session. The details of the recording session are unimportant but the impression he made on me as a person remained powerful. A few months later, working on a different record with George Harrison, I observed the same sense of centered-ness and clarity.

Another musician I worked with had a similar demeanor in the studio. Readers wouldn’t recognize his name but he, Harrison and McCartney share a common link. This third musician had an even deeper effect on my life. He was the ultimate catalyst that made me decide I wanted to learn how to meditate.

My Two Cents. Ron Altbach was executive producer of a major live concert album and television broadcast I engineered. It starred the Beach Boys, America, Ringo, Hank Williams, Jr., Julio Iglesias, Three Dog Night and a host of others. It was a complex project and required a lot of technical expertise both on the day of recording and in post-production. Some of the problem-solving techniques of the day included me standing around in the control room with my techie assistants mulling solutions. As we geniuses would banter about which way to proceed, on more than one occasion, from the back of the room came a quiet and unassuming comment, usually along the lines of, “What if you…? Would that work?” The speaker was Ron. And each time he was right.

After two or three of his successful suggestions, I said to him, “Ron, you’re not an engineer or tech. How are you coming up with these solutions? Where’s that coming from? You seem to see things in a clear overview.” His answer was simple: “I think because I meditate, I’m able to assess situations more clearly.”

We talked about the meditation he learned, Transcendental Meditation, and it stuck with me. Three months later I learned TM at the Beverly Hills TM Center on 3rd Street. It took four sessions over 5 days and was easy. It wasn’t free or even cheap to learn. But it may go down as the most valuable thing I ever spent money on. Extrapolated over the 34 years since, it’s worked out to about two cents a day. And it’s becoming a better deal everyday.

Read the rest of this article in Heartland Healing at The Reader.

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Mary Oliver’s poem, Sunrise, gives us a larger, wiser perspective on life

January 15, 2019

Mary Oliver is the high priestess of poetry. She translates Earth’s wisdom through her own way of looking at things. I love her insights. They sneak up on you. I smile every time I come to the end of this poem with it’s wise conclusion.

thehillsriversunrise

Sunrise

by Mary Oliver

You can
die for it–
an idea,
or the world. People

have done so,
brilliantly,
letting
their small bodies be bound

to the stake,
creating
an unforgettable
fury of light. But

this morning,
climbing the familiar hills
in the familiar
fabric of dawn, I thought

of China,
and India
and Europe, and I thought
how the sun

blazes
for everyone just
so joyfully
as it rises

under the lashes
of my own eyes, and I thought
I am so many!
What is my name?

What is the name
of the deep breath I would take
over and over
for all of us? Call it

whatever you want, it is
happiness, it is another one
of the ways to enter
fire.

(From: New and Selected Poems)

Photo of The Hills in New Zealand at sunrise found on Photography Begins.

This wonderful conclusion reminds me of a poem by another great female poet: We have reasons to be sad, but happiness cannot be pinned down, explains poet Naomi Shihab Nye.

You can see more poems by Mary Oliver posted on this blog.

Mary Oliver is definitely in touch with her muse, is at one with her. It reminds me of a line in this great little poem by William Stafford—When I Met My Muse.

Thanks to Joe Riley of Panhala for sharing Mary Oliver’s poem Sunrise. To subscribe to Panhala, send a blank email to Panhala-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

David Whyte’s poem, The Journey, describes a leaving as a new beginning, as did Mary Oliver

January 15, 2019

Having read The Journey by Mary Oliver, I found a poem by David Whyte with the same title. Oliver’s poem is about leaving her suffocating home to live her own life, breaking away from other voices to discover her own.

Whyte said he secretly wrote The Journey for a friend who’s life had come undone to give her hope for renewal. She was going through another kind of leaving, from a long-term marriage. He describes it in the introduction to this poem, which you can hear him read below.

Above the mountains
the geese turn into
the light again

Painting their
black silhouettes
on an open sky.

Sometimes everything
has to be
inscribed across
the heavens

so you can find
the one line
already written
inside you.

Sometimes it takes
a great sky
to find that

first, bright
and indescribable
wedge of freedom
in your own heart.

Sometimes with
the bones of the black
sticks left when the fire
has gone out

someone has written
something new
in the ashes of your life.

You are not leaving.
Even as the light fades quickly now,
you are arriving.

From House of Belonging by David Whyte

I’ve posted two other poems of his: David Whyte describes the mysterious way a poem starts inside you with the lightest touch and What To Remember When Waking by David Whyte.

Chris Hardwick in conversation with Bob Roth @meditationbob on #TranscendentalMeditation

January 13, 2019

What you are about to listen to is not necessarily an interview, but a mutually engaging and intelligent conversation between podcast host Chris Hardwick and guest Bob Roth. This 81-minute balanced discussion was recorded on Dec 21, 2018 for ID10T. You can listen to it here.

Chris chats with Transcendental Meditation teacher and head of The David Lynch Foundation Bob Roth to discuss the foundational aspects of TM, why it’s important to calm the chatter in your mind, and how his non-profit work at the Foundation is paving the way to help at-risk youth. His book is entitled, “Strength In Stillness: The Power of Transcendental Meditation” and his radio show “Success Without Stress” on SiriusXM Indie.

A selection of press, television, radio, and podcast interviews with Bob Roth about his best-selling TM book are posted on The Uncarved Blog.

My haiku response to Billy Collins’ poem, Japan

January 3, 2019

I love the poetry of Billy Collins and have a few favorite poems, readings, and interviews posted on my blog. They’re so accessible and humorous.

His poem, Japan, is about a favorite haiku. He wrote each of the 12 stanzas to look like a 3-line haiku. The imagery in the last half of the poem unravels in the most mind-bending of ways as he interchanges perspectives! You can hear Billy Collins read Japan on YouTube.

I remember first reading it in his collection, Sailing Alone Around the Room, I bought over 15 years ago. Today, I found my two-haiku response written on a napkin among scraps of paper. It was also on the back of the receipt, bookmarking that poem! It inspired me to post both.

Today I pass the time reading
a favorite haiku,
saying the few words over and over.

It feels like eating
the same small, perfect grape
again and again.

I walk through the house reciting it
and leave its letters falling
through the air of every room.

I stand by the big silence of the piano and say it.
I say it in front of a painting of the sea.
I tap out its rhythm on an empty shelf.

I listen to myself saying it,
then I say it without listening,
then I hear it without saying it.

And when the dog looks up at me,
I kneel down on the floor
and whisper it into each of his long white ears.

It’s the one about the one-ton
temple bell
with the moth sleeping on its surface,

and every time I say it, I feel the excruciating
pressure of the moth
on the surface of the iron bell.

When I say it at the window,
the bell is the world
and I am the moth resting there.

When I say it into the mirror,
I am the heavy bell
and the moth is life with its papery wings.

And later, when I say it to you in the dark,
you are the bell,
and I am the tongue of the bell, ringing you,

and the moth has flown
from its line
and moves like a hinge in the air above our bed.

###

My humorous response to the moth and temple bell in the poem.

Haiku for Billy Collins’ poem, Japan, by Ken Chawkin

The weight of a moth
on a one-ton temple bell
excruciating

The sound of the bell
all hinges on the moth’s tongue
tapping the surface

###

On a more serious note, using the imagery of a tower bell, read a profound poem by Rainer Maria Rilke posted in my Response below: Sonnets to Orpheus, Part Two, XXIX.


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