Friday, November 30, 2012

Holiday Messages in Surprising Places

I found this poem written on the bathroom wall of the coffe shop near my house:

Grapple with the false self
Until it falls waywardly,
Like a sack mask of flesh.

Am I more myself
Than this tangle of limbs
And fur and oddly shaped teeth?

Who goes there
Beyond the lamp
Of perception?

How to accept the gift
Without the wanting.
Toodles to you
I'd like to say.
I imagine that place
Beyond preferences,
A train running out
From the real thing.

Arise mighty heart.
I pound my chest to wake you,
To stand there galvanized
With the gold in the field.

Failed metaphors.
I stitch shut my lips
With the sacred thread,
The only thread
Of my making.

Could it be that Swami Prajnaparamita is leaving me messages on bathroom walls these days?  His transcendental subtlety grows even as type this.  Either that, or I'm getting a little more receptive to the signs that everywhere point to our true nature.  One can only hope.

This week we took advantage of the cyber Monday holiday and got ourselves a Christmas tree. I looks nice. It's shedding needles like a mutha, but it's still very full and so perfectly shaped it almost looks fake.

That's what you get when you buy a tree from a store, I guess.  At home, we used to go up in the hills and drag one down through the snow.  They never looked like this tree, but it was still better that way.

We hung up some the ornaments that belonged to my family. Anyone else out there have a parent who was a Christmas junkie?  The day after Christmas my mom would hit the hallmark store right when it opened to get the best deals on wreaths and ornaments and holiday jujubes and gegaws. 

My mom always got a good deal. She knew how to do it. Me? Not so much. I wouldn't say I'm a spendthrift or anything but I'm not afraid to pay full price for something. I guess my fantasies revolve around never needing to buy anything at all rather than getting a bargain. I imagine myself some kind of Spartan hero (by which I do not mean a hero of Sparta). 

Happy Holidays everyone. I don't know when I'll find time to post this, but I'm sure I'll get it up there soon. It's funny trying to make peace with the holidays. I always get so depressed around this time of year. How much Christmas meant to my mom and the fact that they died on New Year's Eve.  It's exhausting, the entire month of December. Actually it starts around Thanksgiving. I realize I'm angry, and a lot of the time I can't figure out why. 

For years I didn't even know I was angry. Then I went to psychoanalysis. Turns out I have feelings and they're happening all the time. Don't laugh. You might be surprised by the things of which you're unconscious. 

It's dark now. Zoop is in bed and we're hoping it will stay that way for a few hours. We tried to get her down earlier but she was not in on the plan.  Here's a picture of her from her one month birthday, which was Saturday.

Who needs Christmas gifts?


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Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Writer Friends, Parent Writers, Friend Parents!

The Buy Buy Baby on Kingsbury in Chicago is finally open!  I know you're overjoyed.  I know you're flipping your basic wigs!  I know you can't believe you've finally got the opportunity to enter this veritable warehouse of baby buying bonanza, this consumerist temple of all things for humans of the tiniest stripe.

Baby Bjorns, Ergos, hundreds of strollers, thousands of car seats, millions of cribs, wipes of every degree of biodegradability.

For a week now I've been wanting to let you know that this place is open and waiting for you to shop from floor to vaulted ceiling but I haven't been able to.  I haven't hardly done any writing at all, and why?

Gwendolyn Eleni Bernice Driscoll
This very small person is my daughter.  She's two weeks old tomorrow.  Isn't she cute?  For my wife and I, she is perfect, and her perfection makes it very hard for me to go in my office and close the door.  It's fine.  It's all as it should be, in fact, but still there is that feeling I've work to do.  I mean, who after all will entertain the millions of readers who rely on this blog to brighten up their day, to gain a little literary insight into the mysteries of the human heart?

I know it's not that.  I know really it's about my own quest, my own karma, my own strange need to sit down and sink into the penman's trance.  So deep is this in me that I'm sure I won't be gone for long.  Integrating and balancing this new aspect of family life is the new challenge, and I expect the complexity will offer new opportunities for growth in all aspects of my life (once things settle down, that is).

Here's to you, Gwendolyn!  Everything to you now, my dear!


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