Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Why The Pain?

I walk in the forest. I come upon a brook. The brook is so silent and still. I look into the brook. The brook looks into me – it is like a polished looking glass. As I stare into it, captivated by its simplicity, I begin drifting to a place I’ve only dreamt about before, a place that knows no evil and feels no pain…

The sun never sets. The sky never grays. The grass never yellows. The tree never dies. The leaf never crumbles. The flower never wilts.

The man does not hate. The woman does not cry. The child does not hurt. The family does not starve.

The mind does not forget. The heart does not deceive. The lip does not frown. The hand does not slap. The face does not cringe.

The canvas does not discolor. The music does not stop. The words do not fade. The poem does not end.

There is no war. There is no loss. There is no regret. There is no enemy. There is no divide. There is no failure. There is no pain.

But then, as I drift deeper and deeper, I begin to see more and more, and I begin to understand…

The sun never sets…because it has never risen. The sky never grays…because it has never been blue. The grass never yellows…because it has never been green. The tree never dies…because it has never lived. The flower never wilts…because it has never bloomed.

The man does not hate…but neither does he love. The woman does not cry…but neither does she laugh. The child does not hurt…but neither does he feel. The family does not starve…but neither does it eat.

The mind does not forget…but neither does it remember. The heart does not deceive…but neither is it faithful. The lip does not frown…but neither does it smile. The hand does not slap…but neither does it caress. The face does not cringe…but neither does it glow.

The canvas does not discolor…because it’s painted in black and white. The music does not stop…because the song has never been composed. The words do not fade…because the letters have never been written. The poem does not end…because the poet does not begin.

There is no war…but neither is there peace. There is no loss…but neither is there gain. There is no regret…but neither is there pride. There is no enemy… but neither is there a friend. There is no divide…but neither is there individuality. There is no failure…but neither is there hope. There is no pain…but neither is there pleasure.

Now, slowly, slowly I begin to float back to the surface. And, as I walk away from the brook, I no longer question all the pain in life but am thankful for all its pleasures.

Monday, April 16, 2007

You Being You

Over the years and under the bridges waters flow like some people’s tears. It is a story known by many but a message experienced by few. So rare is its child that even the parent is unaware of its birth. Such is the case in most cases: life’s story tumbles on while its characters – we, the human body – remain ignorant to its unfolding.

When one arises and proclaims a lesson or two, a truth or three, to be gleaned from the seemingly drunken ramblings of a sober poet, he is called – by the crowd and the loud – a lunatic. When one stands up and tries to make a difference in an indifferent world, he is branded – by the masses and the asses – a homeless outcast. But, just because someone doesn’t feel comfortable in a home with a leak, it doesn’t make him homeless; and, just because someone doesn’t feel fine by bending to the status quo, that doesn’t make him an outcast.

And if it does, then so be it: I’d rather be a homeless outcast trying to make a difference than a homebody incast trying to live up to standards created by standard people.

They say that after we graduate from this world to the World of Truth, where one does not need HD to see things clearly and definitively, they will not ask us, “Why weren’t you this and why weren’t you that?” they will ask you, “Why weren’t you you?”

It is an unbelievable blessing – and, therefore, responsibility – to know that you can be you, to know that no one else can be you and no one else can do what you do. It is such a blessing that most people choose to shun it like the plague. It is damn scary, knowing you can change the face of existence. If you acknowledge the power and you don’t do anything about it, you are a failure; but, if you just choose to ignore it and make believe it doesn’t exist, you are off the hook. “Hey,” you can say, “I don’t believe I can change the world so I’m free of any yoke and responsibility.” Of course it’s denial, but denial feels so good.

So, what’s it going to be, a house with a leak but at least a house or a dream for a perfect home, where we may have to knock down a few strong walls but only to build stronger bridges?

What’s it going to be, easy-as-pie denial or tough-as-nails growth?

It’s you being you so you decide.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Purple Haze

Have you ever heard a wine connoisseur describe a wine? It sounds as if he is describing a human being – full-bodied, rich color tones, strong bone structure, sweet disposition – some of my best friends aren’t that characteristic! And if that is not enough to deflate an amateur drinker’s self-confidence, just watch the way a wine expert drinks the stuff – he caresses it like a long lost child, he stares at it like a smitten sixteen year old, he sniffs it like a firehouse dog, and he gargles it like a mouthwash. I don’t mean to belittle wine and its sommeliers, but what is going on here?

Wine represents the hidden dimension, the part of us that can work for hundreds of years just to produce a mere few ounces of pleasure. It is called Life. The soil, the vine, the cultivation, the grape, the squeeze, the process – all culminating in a perfect wine, a perfect universe.

My tongue is still purple from all the Passover wine, the four cups of freedom, so what better time to write of wine than now?

Drink responsibly.

Red flow, sparkling
Dark pools of purple
Ink, writing sacred
Words on



Hear the news on the

Walk through the vineyard
It looks like a graveyard
But it’s really a backyard
With three feet of lanyard
And the passion of a spanyard

I wish you could look through the
Into the burgundy depths –
wineAnd know my wine
winAnd not my whining.

This vintage is G-dly
If it weren’t such a pun
I’d call it:
The Grape of Divine

(We all want taste but we
Don’t want to wait for maturation)

It is dry but wet
Enough to whet my palette.
Semidry humor and semisweet

You can smell the bouquet
As you stick your curious snout
In other people’s business
(Which is fine if you don’t

Grapes of Wrath:

Trying to flag down a yellow cabernet
Don’t say I don’t pinot!
Muscat got your tongue?
David killing Goliath with a
Riesling shot.
The highest of the high
The merlowest of the merlot
Don’t chardonnay say
Lest it be champagneful.
My grape juices are flowing
Barreling through the casket
Out of the spout, unto your lips.

The silence is worse than the grape.

Time to climb out of the wine
winewinewinewineAnd into the message
winewinewinewinewinewineIn the bottle.

The sunlight hurts my eyes
I am beginning to feel heavy
And my head is starting to spin.
I guess I better put a
Cork in it.
Now unwined.

(Need a designated driver –
But the road I travel can only be
Driven by me
Such is the life.)