Every life, in every age, has had to find its way: discovering a foundation, a self from which to meet others and the world, only to open beyond the confines of a single self, so we can receive meaning from everything that is not us.
This is the inspiring lesson of Beethoven's Opus 131: It mirrors the nonstop demand of life to have us make music of what we're given, not knowing what will happen. Inevitably, having to play seven movements without pause, the instruments will go out of tune.
We are here to love the light out of each other. It's not something we can plan or build, only ready ourselves for. My wife Susan is one who sees the light in my darkness. This is what relationship that endures can do. This reflection explores such grace.
One of the wonders and rewards for being open to life is that we chance, through our authenticity, to experience the essence of all those who ever lived. When we love completely, we chance to feel everyone who ever loved.
At 93, my father is failing. He's in between worlds, close to both life and death. We've slipped into a time of presence more than conversation. At times, he surfaces like an old whale, offering bits of this world and the next. This poem comes from that precious time.
Sitting on a bench in Central Park in New York City, I was watching an ancient oak whose roots were woven into massive stones. It wasn't long till I began to reflect on how those stones let the roots in and how the roots found their way into all that stone.
A writing retreat could be just what you need to start that novel, finish your chapbook of poetry, or revise the short story you've been meaning to send out. So how do you manage a writing retreat, especially if time and money are scarce?
Just as the guild structure was socially conservative--and hence easily superseded when the more progressive market system, flourishing along with the industrial economy, came along--so is the present MFA credentialing system.