My soul always seems to flutter when the wind and rain and grass collect in myself. The skin of the tree, the nose of the fly, the apex of the undisturbed misery of drizzles, rain drops and smashed poetry. Call me an optimist. Or maybe an aesthete.
I sit on the grass often, and see through the sheaths of clouds and grassy leaves, and I see the red brick house. I see the way the water serves the sky as a mirror. I think of Seneca.
I see and think of Rumi, and wonder whether he was right? I wonder if love is the bridge to the soul, or if instead, in the weird strangeness of our little world if calm is the bridge to the soul? I wonder if instead the colors of the sounds of the splashes against the rocks of the muddy river are the bridges to the soul? I wonder if undisturbed spontaneity is the bridge to the soul? Or if we have souls? Or if they can even exist in our lives? I wonder whether we are human, or simply pieces of the puzzle of our culture: The imprisoning universe that shapes our thoughts and defines us as individuals no matter who or what we think we are. I love my culture by the way.
Yet somehow I always think back to red: the color of my generation. The red of the sand splashing in the dunes of the middle east, the red of the quarter of the collapse of the private investment bank, the red of the eyes of the mutilated child looking at his raped mother in countries we’ve only heard of that one time, when on the news some anchorman noted how a drought may cause a not-genocide. The red of the eyes of the veteran hobo sleeping in a garbage bag in the snow. The red of the American flag.
Do we have souls? Do we think about what we’re supposed to think about when we think about ourselves? When the nose of the universe touches my nose, when the nose of the stars touch my nose, when the icy tendrils of pain touch the skin on my fingers, when the lick of the tongue of fate touches my tongue do I think about what I’m supposed think about? Do I think like a good person should? Do I think like a just person should? Do I think like a human should? Or do I think like my culture of the busy bees of the urban metropolis? The culture that sees pain and joy side by side so often that too often we forget which is which.
Questions. With answers. But are the answers the right answers? Are the answers the answers of God if he exists? Are the answers the answers of myself if I exist? Are the answers the answers of the skin of the grass touching my skin? Questions are the soul. If the soul exists. Questions are the power to beat the wing of self against the bars of certitude and spread out the self in the wide vista of nature. Do I want to know the answers to the questions? I don’t know. But I do want to know if I want the answers
And I do want to know if maybe, in some strange way, the questions are the answers. Augustine in his confessions wrote of God: “ Have mercy so that I may find words.” And so I too write this. I too ask someone somewhere to have mercy so that I may find words, or in this case myself.
PS: the magic page that will always jump you to the latest poem is "http://www.saintannsny.org/depart/computer/poems.html"