This is a picture of orcas in Antarctica. (That actually might be a good Potential Band Name: Orcas In Antarctica.) The water is cold. The ice is cold. The orcas probably aren’t cold, because they have blubber, but I am cold today because I wore the new spring leggings-and-skirt-combo. So we have a cold picture.
(noun): A state of extreme drunkenness.
Origin: mid 17th century, from late Latin crapulentus ‘very drunk,’ from Latin crapula ‘inebriation,’ from Greek kraipale ‘drunken headahce.’
No, I did not make this up. The blog was getting a little too Buddhist. We needed a crapulent* entry today. (Here’s a good site to learn more exotic–but not necessarily crapulent–words.)
*adjective: of or relating to the drinking of alcohol or drunkenness.
Firstly, I must apologize if the Chairman scared anyone. (Sorry, Anonymous.) Thinking about it, nothing’s more vaguely threatening than a cat head on a famous Communist’s body. I’ll stick to the cute cat pictures.
A work project has had me researching various mindfulness/peace-promoting/Buddhist/hippy/Chicken-Soup-
-Thank-You-Anyway websites, including Salt Lake’s own Kanzeon Zen Center. And I apologize if any readers are members of the Kanzeon sangha (see? research!) who might be offended, but 1.) they have a trademarked path to enlightenment and 2.) every step on the path to enlightenment comes with a suggested donation. And while 1.) I understand that the center operates with donations and 2.) I really don’t know enough about Zen Buddhism to argue, it just seems a little, well, grasping.
Which is why we can all turn to Better Living Through Literature and get free quotes from the Buddha, scary cat pictures, and misremembered bits of poems! (A lot are in my head, but there are some I have to find at home in the evenings.) Here’s today’s:
Alone with yourself,
At the edge of the forest,
Office Snack Of The Last Two Days That I Just Finished Eating This Morning: lemon-ginger cookies.
“…subtle as the memory of hyacinths which perfumed the darkness.”
And I found a new favorie blog to read every day. It criticizes celebrities’ outfits, which doesn’t sound very promising, but the writing is wickedly funny. I’ve narrowly avoided choking on my coffee in the mornings, reading it.
It turns out I misremembered yesterday’s poem (not the haiku, the other one). It’s by Ginsberg (in the middle, above; Neal Cassidy is second from left) and I first read it in The Little Zen Companion. Yes, I own The Little Zen Companion. I’ll admit it.
What’s this little brown insect
across the sunny white page
of Su Tung-po’s poem?
Fly away, tiny mite, even your life
I lift the book and blow you into
the dazzling void.
We have a catch-and-release policy regarding insect life at the apartment. (And, although I have a feeling that my roommate disregards this policy when I’m not around to enforce it, it’s usually pretty well-observed. With the exception of earwigs, who get no mercy.) It’s exactly what you think–if we see a spider, for instance, out comes a glass and a magazine and we try to trap the spider, get it in the glass, and then release it, all without letting the spider touch us or get squished. It makes life exciting.
Years ago I read this poem and it stuck with me, popping into my mind every time I killed a spider, which is why I catch and release today. I don’t remember the source–I think Gary Snyder, via some Buddhist hippy quote collection–but I will find out tonight.
…fly away, tiny mite, even your life is precious.
I lift the book and blow you into the dazzling void.
Which of course echoes the Issa haiku from 200 years before:
Don’t kill him!
The fly wrings its hands,
(Yes, there is even a literary take on killing bugs.)
I never had a chance to post yesterday, so I’ll make up for it today with some real highbrow literature. This is Virginia Woolf, from the middle section of To The Lighthouse, titled, appropriately enough, “Time Passes.” I think of it whenever, well, time passes.
But what, after all, is one night? A short space, especially when the darkness dims so soon, and so soon a bird sings, a cock crows, or a faint green quickens, like a turning leaf, in the hollow of a wave.
Never made it to the demolition derrby over the weekend. However, there will be chariot races this Saturday and Sunday, at the same arena (Golden Spike). Why we don’t all move to Ogden, I don’t know–they have derbys, chariot races, refineries, trains.
I mean, really. A pirate would knock a leprechaun silly, steal his pot of gold, and go drink rum.
Which would you rather celebrate?