Blur Circle

Steve Yost's weblog

April 30, 2004
Golf in the Kingdom

Golf in the Kingdom by Michael Murphy

April 29, 2004

A little coincidence as a segue: A couple days after the kite image appeared in my poem, I read the following in Golf in the Kingdom, a book I found recently among my father's molding golf magazines in a basement corner. In this paragraph Shivas Irons, the mystical Scottish golf pro protagonist, says, after deeply meditating and scaring the wits out of the author, who think's he's dead:

"Do you na' ken ye're flyin' heer like a kite -- wi' nai mair than a threid holdin' ye?"
The book is written by Michael Murphy, co-founder of the Esalen institute, and is neither a "real" golf book nor a very deep metaphysical discussion, but sort of a lite Teachings of Don Juan in a grand Scottish golf setting rather than the Sonora desert, with Shivas as the likely-fictional vehicle for the author's thoughts on Big Stuff. The written Scottish accent sometimes gets in the way and the scenes can be contrived, but overall it's a nicely packaged expansion on some things that golfers may begin to grapple with as they work on their own inner game. Was Murphy trying to reach a wide audience with esoteric ideas?

Dumbfounded by love

From the Rumi list today:

Dear soul, Love alone cuts arguments short,
for it alone comes to the rescue when you cry for help against
Eloquence is dumbfounded by Love: it dares not wrangle;
for the lover fears that, if he answers back,
the pearl of inner experience might fall out of his mouth.

Mathnawi V: 3240-3241
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
"Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance"
Threshold Books, 1996

April 28, 2004
lower church

Went to another church recently, one with a distinctly different approach than our usual. Despite my conscious attempt to just participate in worship, reminding, and learning, I found myself internally criticizing many of the aspects of the service, and saw in this mental drifting how far I was from the attitude I'd like to have. A higher church has to start here in me.

April 22, 2004
New Seeds of Contemplation

New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton

April 20, 2004
through us

On a good day, I remember the impression of life as this incredibly unlikely gift, not just personally but flowing through us all. I think of how we're sometimes isolated, sometimes bouncing off each other, sometimes interacting in a more involved way, but always in the rushing stream together for the short time we have here. When this remembrance happens, it doesn't eliminate worries and pains or make me instantly one with my neighbor, but there's a tangible shift in perspective.

It does call into question any sense of direct competition or self-denigration in light of others' relative "success", or the little half-conscious stories of self-worth. How can two people showered with unbelievable gifts even consider counting who has more?

When I think of people who seem endowed with a certain selfless, un-selfconscious grace, I think they must be remembering something like this all the time.

April 13, 2004

In my fevered dream
I see my body flapping
uselessly beneath a cerebellum
like a stickless paper kite.
Until the fleshy corpus is restored
I wander stranded in serpentine aisles
of a jammed antique shop
where precious thoughtly detritus
has washed up, jostled by some
idiot urge of gathering.

April 08, 2004

Ah, there goes someone to admire. What confidence. Obviously hasn't a clue about her insignificance in the grand scheme of things.