Monday, September 11, 2006

Three Angels

Three angels up above the street,
Each one playing a horn,
Dressed in green robes with wings that stick out,
They've been there since Christmas morn.
The wildest cat from Montana passes by in a flash,
Then a lady in a bright orange dress,
One U-Haul trailer, a truck with no wheels,
The Tenth Avenue bus going west.
The dogs and pigeons fly up and they flutter around,
A man with a badge skips by,
Three fellas crawlin' on their way back to work,
Nobody stops to ask why.
The bakery truck stops outside of that fence
Where the angels stand high on their poles,
The driver peeks out, trying to find one face
In this concrete world full of souls.
The angels play on their horns all day,
The whole earth in progression seems to pass by.
But does anyone hear the music they play,
Does anyone even try?

-- - - B. Dylan, New Morning

I was returning to poetry recently, after not reading much for a long time. And Robert Bly's A Little Book on the Human Shadow led me to The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart, also by Robert Bly with James Hillman and Michael Meade.

Before I go further I notice my blog has been getting a few comments. I thank my readers, and moreover thanks for leaving comments. Let me say I don't blog every day, so sometimes some new update to my blog might not happen for a few days. I note my posts have been political for awhile, but I did not start out to do a 'political' blog. The rubric of the 'Time Coast' has always suggested to me that I would comment on what washes up on the shores of 'Time' as I experience it. So if anything it is a subjective blog, and can be upon whatever I am experiencing at that crucial momentary instant that will call the 'Present', the thing itself occuring in the time that in a way we are all going through. But, we all likely experience the Zeitgest of our time differently with different shadings.

Okay that being said, the following passage I found helpful to me recently. I will try to limit it to 4 paragraphs. It is written by the James Hillman, noted for his extensive work in Jungian pyschology. And the reason for me posting Bob Dylan's lyrics to Three Angels at the beginning of the post, is that he refers to it among other poetry also.

This is from a chapter entitled, The Spindrift Gaze Towards Paradise:

"Moments come when we feel outside time, seized by longing, moved by an image, in touch with invisible voices. We realize we do not live in one world alone. As Rilke says "We are grasped by what we cannot grasp". And James Wright says, "The air fills with delicate creatures/From the other world"........Something beyond life lives within life and calls the soul. .......

The ecstatic traditions of Rumi and Kabir insist that transcendent joy and love, are immediately close." Byzantium" is right at hand, if you say yes quickly. (Rumi)" Those who hope to be reasonable about it fail" says Kabir. These schools teach the loss of work and surrender, a sinking that is also a lifting. Emily Dickinson, too, speaks of surrender. Surrender to what? First of all surrender to the yearning itself (which the Greeks call pothos and the German Romantics call Selmsucht) --- and this disciplines desire by not fulfilling it. We learn that this longing cannot be satisfied, is not meant to be satisfied, because the soul gazes beyond towards Paradise. So yearning keeps the soul "in growing orbits",/ which move over the things of this world" (Rilke), searching, asking, risking "even if we do not reach" (Rilke).

At some point, however, we furl the sails and let the questing come to rest. It becomes less a matter of seeking Paradise than of receiving gifts. Perhaps, this too is surrender. Instead of knocking on the door, it swings open on its own hinges. Or maybe you and the door both unhinged. No longer on a journey, you are simply at home waiting for guests. So the great mystical philosopher Plotinus, speaking of his relation with the figures of 'paradise', "said: " It is for them to come to me, not for me to go to them." I think he is saying," You don't will yourself upward and out of this world with ascetic struggle.Rather, keep alert for visitations. Even "this concrete world" is full of souls," sings Bob Dylan.

We would like otherworldly visitations to come as distinct voices with clear instructions, but they may only give small signs in dreams or as sudden hunches and insights that cannot be denied. They feel more as they emerge from inside and steer you from within like an inner guardian angel, who, as Rolf Jacobson says, puts its " mouth against your heart/ though your not aware of it". And most amazing, it has never forgotton you, although you may have spent most of your life ignoring it. Sometimes when you sink into yourself and listen or when you talk with a particularly moving or beautiful figure of your dream an utterly surprising window opens."

Okay, I have probably quoted enough. I hope whoever encounters this blog and this particular post, is helped in some way.

Peace, J.P.

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