November 29, 2010

The Imagination Game

I'm laying on the ground, and I see a small branch start to grow up my spine, out of my belly and through the top of my head. It's expanding into bigger branches and small, twiggy branches are popping out all over the place. Soon, there's just a tree, no more me, and I see broad green leaves and tiny gold leaves springing into existence. There are red berries and tiny, puff-ball birds of rainbow hues. The tree becomes a transmission tower, spreading sonic waves of gold, pink and turquoise blue through the air. Suddenly, a bark monster is attacking the tree, eating parts of it, and honey is dripping everywhere. The story has gone sour, so I crack the image like dry, brittle ground, and blow it away...

I see an upside-down triangle... I think it's made of chocolate. I'm gonna try to eat it; I like chocolate. I take a few bites and soon it's gone. But wait! I've unleashed a massive chocolate tornado, spouting down from the sky! Now it multiplies and the sky is full of nothing but chocolate tornadoes, and chocolate clouds, casting a brown shade over the landscape of rolling hills, houses and scratchety powerlines...

I see jellyfish, they become furry seeds, then they turn into comets, which become planets, then lightsabers, now they're tiny decorative light bulbs, which turn into wine bottles, beer bottles, then they become lightbulbs, and explode and expand into the entire universe!*

what do you see in your mind's eye?

*I am not high on anything but life :P

November 25, 2010

As far as I know

As far as I know, our houses turn into flying ships when we fall asleep, and float here and there between amorphous citadels and wandering, woven islands; traipsing in the dark.

Pastel drawing, Odilon Redon

November 23, 2010

Is there a way...

Untitled, detail, 2009, דבורה

"there are truly times when you are suffocating, as if in a flood of inescapable sadness. There are times when you feel as if you are under a deep dark ocean. You must learn to build an ark to protect yourself from drowning. Just as in the story, this ark is made with the specifications of wisdom, to be an ark that will float and not leak. And G-d said, 'make a window so the daylight can come through.'"
-Karyn D. Kedar

"Listen to me and my words will protect you." - Proverbs 1:33

And my heart, I'd say it was more
like a donkey sunk in a mudhole,
struggling and miring deeper.

But listen to me: for one moment,
quit being sad. Hear blessings
dropping their blossoms
around you. G-d.


November 15, 2010


Living takes time.

There's a time for Joy, and a time for a Loneliness so abominable it's as dark as death.

And the experience is priceless. "Sadness informs," said Rabbi Karyn Kedar. Take the time to experience each moment, because the things you rush through may linger. Until you fully live through them, find the divine Wisdom in the moment of experience, then they can be released and passed by.

Last night was sadness. and pain. And groping through a dark chasm. Sometimes all you can do is hug and cry, and hug and cry, and wait till the cloud ascends from the camp before you journey on.


I Don't Know

Sleeping Sun, 2008, דבורח

Trying to use words to describe G-d is like a blind man trying to draw a picture of his mother.

"He who (thinks he) knows, knows not;
and he who (thinks he) knows not, truly knows."
-Indian proverb

November 11, 2010

Excuse me, what's my motivation?


I dreamed I was in the house of a wealthy woman who recently passed away, and all of her possessions, jewelry, purses, were sprawled out through the various rooms of her house. I saw people taking items and putting them in their pockets, so I began to do the same, shoving back feelings of guilt. After all, she was gone, and had no descendants. I found dazzling gold rings, diamond necklaces. I shoved them all into a large Prada bag I found on the floor. But when I left the house, everything of value disappeared from inside the bag, leaving junky plastic jewelry, and candy wrappers. I felt disappointment, but at the same time I felt like I should have known that would happen...

"Cling to nothing, for all is fleeting." - Mishnah Avot 1:7

November 8, 2010

Move Outside the Tangle of Fear-Thinking


I went walking in the woods by my neighborhood, without realizing the lateness of the hour, or the soon-to-be-absence of the sun. I took a trail I had never taken before and soon became lost in the brambles. I had to make myself very small to come out from there, crouching down almost to the ground, under bushes and trees; I stepped through tall grasses and prayed that there were no snakes.

When I came out, I cried with thankfulness and dissolved onto the pavement of the trail. I left myself in the tangles, met G-d on my way out and we melted into one. For a moment, I felt pure Love.

"Is the one I love everywhere?" -Rumi

November 4, 2010

Truth in the Innermost

"teach me Wisdom about secret things..." (Ps. 51:8)

Tree of Life, 2010, דבורח

If I'm really going to be honest with myself, I should admit that... I'm not always honest with myself. Like still, murky water, my insides teem with un-shared truths that take the form of dragons in the deep as long as they are unknown. Fear sinks it's icy talons in. The only way to be free of its grip is to come clean. Being honest between myself and G-d begins a kind of flow, which at first runs muddy and dark, full of negativity, until I exhaust my chewing the fat of the matter and can begin to release, from outside to in, and inside to out, all my bracing and reserving and gripping around the edges of anything.* "The more you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers." The water can run clear now, and my thoughts turn to Joy. My very being turns to Joy, as I begin to embody the reality of what is hiding in the very center of me, but is so obscured from time to time by the thrift-store, sedimentary junk heap of peat moss and Vogon paperwork in the backyard of my heart: G-d.

Then I write poetry.

milk and honey
sweetness sings
my food is to do your will
heavy with the pleasantness of you

you have rushed in sweetly to the empty places
within, saturating my heart in milk and honey
pouring from this stone

a sweet flow
let's explode
the very vessel keeping us from seeing
that I am you and you are me and we are all together

don't just love your neighbor
love the stranger
see G-d in your enemy

The following is a teaching of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, a 19th century Hassidic master (which I found at, on the subject of hitbodedut, which is a spontaneous form of prayer:

The only way to return to the roots of one's being and merge in the unity of God is through nullifying the self. One has to efface the self completely until one becomes wholly merged in God's unity. The only way to achieve this state of self-transcendence is through hitbodedut. By secluding oneself and giving voice to one's inner thoughts in the form of personal prayers to God, one is able to remove all negative traits and cravings to the point that one nullifies all materialism in oneself. Then one is able to become merged in the Source.

True hitbodedut is practiced in the depths of night, at an hour when everyone is free from their toil in the material world. During the day people are so busy chasing after the material world that it distracts the spiritual seeker from attaching himself to God. Even if he personally is quite detached from the material world, the mere fact that everyone else is then busy chasing after the vanity of the world makes it very difficult to attain self-transcendence at such a time.

Hitbodedut must also be practiced in a special place outside the city on a "solitary path" (Avot 3:5) in a place where no-one goes. For in a place where in the daytime hours people are busy chasing after the vanity of the world, even though they may not be there at this hour, it is still a distraction from hitbodedut, making it impossible for the spiritual seeker to attain the state of total communion with God.

For this reason it is necessary to go alone at night on a solitary path to a place where no one goes even by day. There one should seclude oneself and empty one's heart and mind of all worldly involvements until one attains the state of true self-transcendence and communion.

This is a step-by-step process. First the person should devote this solitary night-time hitbodedut to talking and praying to God at length until he succeeds in nullifying one negative trait or desire. Next he should devote his hitbodedut to working on nullifying a second trait or desire. He should go on like this night after night in this solitary spot until he nullifies everything.

Even then, something is still left of him, namely some residue of human pride and arrogance. He still considers himself to be something. He must persist with hitbodedut and carry on working hard until he nullifies this too, until nothing whatever is left of him and he is in a state of true self-transcendence. Then, when he attains true nothingness, his soul becomes merged in its root, namely in God.

Likutey Moharan I, 52

"better is the person who controls his own spirit than the conqueror of a city." (Prov. 16:32)

Nine, Ten, Begin Again, 2010, דבורח

*When I was in middle school, my mother, who homeschooled me, gave me the nickname "The Run-on Sentence Queen". In the ensuing years, it would appear that not much has changed. :P

If I Could Breathe The Real Air

Agnes Lawrence Pelton, The Primal Wing, 1933

Who looks out with my eyes? What is the soul?
I cannot stop asking.
If I could taste one sip of an answer,
I could break out of this prison for drunks.
I didn't come here of my own accord, and I can't leave that way.
Whoever brought me here will have to take me home.

-Jelaluddin Rumi