How horrible but how true.
But here's another picture from the last pictures I ever took with Rachel:
It makes light of my choking her, doesn't it? And that's how she died, poor dear.
Curioser and curioser.....
I just finished my second Mendocino Circle of Men's retreat last weekend. If you care to compare it to my former experience, this link should deliver you to the general area where I blogged about my fear in being swallowed up by New Age nonsense a year ago at the same retreat.
Fortunately this time I was not depressed and participated fully in all the rituals and encounters. I must say it was life-changing. Rather than employ prose, though I know I swore off poetry, I'm offering two poems that describe one very important aspect of our spiritual exercises.
The theme of the retreat was a fourth Jungian archetype for the masculine personality: The King.
A key exercise over the weekend was to stare deeply in the eyes of another man. I found that extremely powerful.
I know I gave up poetry, but it is such a habit of mind to reduce experiences to shorthand that I could not prevent myself. I needed to make sense of the weekend. So here:
The difficulty, I think, is with the eyes.
Hold eye contact too long, the other blinks.
Christ called this portal “the window to the soul.”
We treat it casually while contact shrinks.
It’s hard for me to follow both your eyes;
My eyes go back and forth to follow one.
If I look at your nose in compromise
You think I see both pupils but I don’t.
After the Retreat
The angels swirl in orange sparks to heaven
In gyres and gyres and all the gyres agree
The redwoods set the naked dancers free
And all is judged and all likewise forgiven.
It is the age of seconds and degrees.
Life passes faster that we can absorb.
Here! There! Then! Now! Toward
the center? Is it there? Axle of peace?
What is a man that we should even care?
A bit of clay, some spit—yet brother to Christ!
I had forgotten the scent of regal spice
Until I dared to brave my brother’s stare
And scales fell from our suspicious eyes:
We saw the King in Full without disguise.
I posted one of these poems at the Alsop Gazebo Metric Poetry thread. I haven't posted to a workshop in a coon's age, but the indefatigable Pat Jones has finally pushed me into contact again. My chief objection to most online workshops is that they don't help you to be a better poet; they are more pools of self-justifying piranhas who scrutinize, with their razor teeth, any work whose disassembly confirms that their commentary is actually important. Per usual the critics are more interested in their own voice than the voice of the poet who throws his soul on ice.
Love to everyone!
Your formerly melancholic guide,
C. E Chaffin M.D. (MD) FAAFP