The Journal of Glenn Currier|
on being pathetic (moved from library to journal)
04/19/2005 01:41 p.m.
The name of this website puts off some folks. "It is too negative," they say. "No one wants to be pathetic," Of course not. Nobody WANTS to be hapless, miserable, poor, or silly, but all of us are each of those at one time or another, aren't we? Some may wonder, "Yes, but why write about it, why celebrate it, why PUBLISH it?"
My answer is that my favorite poetry comes to me when I can be in the now. When I am now joyful, fulfilled, successful, or peaceful, I enjoy it. And sometimes my soul, full of gratitude, overflows onto the page. That may be pathetic in Webster's definition: capable of feeling. That is magnificent. But most often I do not need to write poetry at those times. When I need to write is when I AM miserable, when I DO "elicit contempt and pity" from myself or others.
When I spill my darkness onto these pages and they appear lighted on my monitor, it makes my pathetic, hurting, state seem more bearable. It makes being human more acceptable. And when those same words light others' monitors, it shows me and them that I belong… to the species, to the community. It removes me from the hell of my isolated, pitiable state if only for a few moments. And sometimes that is all it takes to help me, in my humanity, reach the divine.
Richard Rohr says that good poetry only works if the "words are an honest description of experience. Poetry either names the moment truthfully, and somehow fully, or it will not stand the test of time or the judgment of readers."
I have often said that writing and reading poetry is a spiritual experience for me. And in the hectic, stressful world that I and most others live in, those moments that awaken the spirit are precious and priceless. They are for me, as Rohr says, a "contemplative stance that teach silence, waiting, non-judgment of the moment, living in the now, egolessness, 'suffering the event,' getting out of myself, moving beyond words to find … inner experience" and Sonship.
One last quote from Richard Rohr and his article "Poetry and Prayer." He says of contemplation and poetry, "They are two different ways of describing how the always secret and eternal wisdom can become flesh in this space and time. The universal CAN become particular. It is the heart of the Christian mystery."
It is not in my glorious times, but in my brokenness and those pathetic moments that I reach for a higher power. In that sense, I guess I could say that this website is like a sacrament for me, it is a door to the sacred. Finally, Webster says of "pathetic," having the capacity to move one to... compassion..." What I read here on this website often does that. For the compassion and the moments of spirit I experience here, I am eternally grateful.
I am currently Thoughtfull
I am listening to my cat Chaser's meow
the golden mean
02/03/2005 04:49 p.m.
I wish I could find a poem inside. I have been pretty dry lately. But I have not been journaling too much either. This is what I journaling about this morning:
I have been listening to a CD series on Aristotle's Ethics. One of his big ethical concepts is "the golden mean." I think that term even came from him. It has to do with choosing the middle. The Way is always through the middle. That can be interpreted in at least a couple of ways.. THROUGH the pain and muck (not trying to tiptoe around it) and through the middle of two competing values, such as "pleasure" on the one hand and "health, love, and commitment" on the other. Aristotle seems to be saying that we need to be AWARE or CONSCIOUS of the choice. So when I want to order those french fries, I need to be conscious of the choice between short term pleasure and the long term gain of good health, living longer so I can love and be loved longer. It's like the Tao teaches, we live in both the darkness and the light. Too much of either is not the Way. Oh well, there ought to be a poem in there somewhere.
I am currently Bemused
I am listening to the central heat and the guys digging a hole in my yard ouside
My absence from pathetic
08/31/2004 05:02 a.m.
I feel sad that I have so seldom visited and lingered here at my pathetic.org home. I feel guilty too, of course, since that's my reflex feeling all too often. I have been concentrating on my work of training people at my college about conflict and conflict resolution. I am immersing myself more and more in this field since this is where I am meant to be. I am sure of that. But a lot of it is new to me, therefore I am having to spend a lot of time in preparation, practice, etc.
I am still a poet and I still love my friends here and miss you. It is just that I don't seem to have the energy for poetry or for visiting here, reading, commenting, etc. My creative energy is going into the conflict resolution stuff. There is such a need for it and people are just lapping it up and loving it. In a world marked by violence, greed, and aggression, I feel a special urgency about this work, being as old as I am and all.
Blessings to all of you, even to those who don't happen to read this.
Namaste! - [Sanskrit for: "I celebrate the place in you where we are one."]
I am currently Sad
I am listening to Windham Hill: America
Helen and I
01/11/2004 03:58 p.m.
I am grateful that Helen and I are in education and we have a Christmas vacation. We sometimes take this for granted, forgetting that most of the adult population has maybe two or three days off if they are lucky. There were gifts… even the computer that I have wanted for months. Helen did not relent, but lovingly gave me her blessings to purchase it, letting go of her anger about not getting one of the big bills paid off. But the real blessing of the holidays is the time we gave each other to talk and listen. Helen asked me, what is the most painful thing for you to talk about? I replied, "Sex and money." … of course… and then we got really honest and vulnerable and had a long sharing about both. And since that conversation on our drive to Arkansas, amidst the low mountains of Oklahoma, we have had other deep and soulful sharings. We are reading Neale Donald Walsh's book, Friendship with God, together. We have had our eyes and our hearts opened to some truth that may actually change our lives and our relationship. It may not seem a major deal to others, but for us, we had not been taking time for this kind of "deep sharing" as I call it. It has been so creative and meaningful for both of us.
Yet I have not yet written a poem about it. Maybe it is too personal… I don't know… but I will be open to the possibility of turning this inner journey into a poem or two. One of the great quotes from Neale is, in the words of God… "If you don't go within, you go without."
I am currently Loved
I am listening to Helen opening a drawer in the kitchen putting up the dishes.
01/11/2004 03:47 p.m.
There may or may not be a poem in this, but I wanted to get it down before it left with the consciousness of the day…
This morning I woke up after having a dream. I am soldier alone. I am in a strange alley or small urban road, fearing what might be around the corner of the building whose wall I am hugging. I hear voices, one of them the voice of a child whimpering, afraid. I peek around the corner and there is a mother with her child, both in bedraggled clothing, the child in front walking down stairs or a steep decline concerned about their footing. The child pulls a door trying to get out of harms way, looking for a place to hide. It does not budge. They are getting closer. I retreat into a doorway to the same building. I hasten to try to find the door to let in the little girl and the mother. I open the door and when I look out they are gone. I am too late. I wanted to help these poor innocent people without further frightening them.
Now I am in a courtyard, once a monastery or boarding school or something, but now it tatters and ruin from the war. I am trying to piece together some camouflage from the detritus, to hide just off a sidewalk that runs between buildings. I am good at this. I am a professional. I stay awhile, pieces of old boards and debris stacked over and around me, but no one has come. Then I hear voices of men, I look down the sidewalk to my left and see a column of soldiers. I am not sure if they are enemies or comrades. I lurch and run to safer grounds fearing that the soldiers will see me, I find a low wall about 30 yards away and hug the ground. I see young soldiers, probably replacement troops, who are laughing and conversing with each other with ease. I am just 22 but I feel old and broken and sense the naivety of these novices who do not yet know the horror and futility of this conflict. I am smelly from my own sweat and filthy from lying in dust and ashes, I am part of the rubble around me. I feel alone and bereft and momentarily remember my girlfriend back home and the softness of her skin, the freshness of her smile. She is now in another world—fantasy—not memory. I am hanging on by my fingers about to fall into the bottomless pit of despair. Why did I enlist in this mess? Someone to take care of me, a steady income, promised funding for future education, what were the inane reasons they told me and I wanted to believe? I am bitter. Why are we here? Democracy seems an empty euphemism and a joke right now. I just want to save my ass. Fuck their asses. Fuck the politicians. Fuck the world.
I am currently Disillusioned
I am listening to the hum of the heater fan
02/26/2003 07:37 p.m.
This morning Helen and I were talking about reincarnation speculating on how it works. After you die, does your soul still keep aspects of your personality and if so when it transmigrates into another body what happens to the personality of that new individual – say an infant or newborn? Does the old one just meld with the new one – but as an infant there is no new one – yet – will that infant develop a personality of its own? Or will it somehow be an amalgam of the two?
I sometimes think I was a Cardinal in a previous life. This thought came to me in an American Indian-styled campout/workshop many years ago in which I was leaning against "my" tree meditating and heard a bird whistling at me… I KNEW it was singing to me to give me a message. It was then that I decided that I had been a Cardinal but I thought it was a Cardinal of the Catholic Church, rather than a bird. But who knows… maybe I misinterpreted it. Anyway, thinking of myself in that previous life as a big church Cardinal – I could visualize myself as pompous and powerful – without wit or art or giggles or smiles that didn't stop off in the mind on their way to my face. And maybe in my present life, I in my A.D.D. ness and impulsive Self, made up for that lack of authenticity of that old churchman, for the audacity of knowing THE truth—by knowing only A truth here and there when it chooses to settle into my soul after sifting through the chaos.
If this is the way it goes, then, as I see it I started out with a Mom who loved the Church and used it as an anchor in the dark underbrush of her own tangled psyche. The assigner of bodies-with-souls looked at her and said maybe I'll use this lost soul to create something that will throw off the shackled of dogma, take the kernel of goodness that is there, and, like a vagabond, search in his own jungle for pieces of the truth – never being quite as SURE as his former Self of what THE truth is.
So maybe that old soul, once it finds a body – or is assigned one by that cosmic triageator in the sky – eventually disappears into the new one – who will be formed by the souls who have Earthly custody of it – their Light entering him in the interstices of their own struggles.
Hmmm… maybe there is a poem somewhere in all of this.
I am currently Bemused
I am listening to Spirit Nation
12/06/2002 05:34 a.m.
The past two weeks I have had little inspiration or motivation to write. Work has been pretty intense but nothing unusually difficult. I am about to have some time off from the job, but there is a lot of household and family stuff to keep me busy. I WILL make time for journaling (in my private journal) and writing poetry. Gees, I don't like this feeling of numbness. Maybe I should write about that... like my friend Famida says.
I am currently Bleh
I am listening to the central heating... enjoying the quiet...
Ina Jackson Carmen
11/24/2002 05:01 p.m.
I such a pleasant experience last night, tired from having taught a divoce mediation class all day (last day of three-weekend course... yippeee!). Helen had found a 40 year-old letter from my mentor and piano teacher, Mrs. Ina Jackson Carmen. She was encouraging me in my poetry... inside the letter was a sonnet I had written and sent to her. She had shared it with a group of poets who met monthly and had passed around a sheet of paper for the poets there-gathered to write comments on. They were so affirming and positive about the poem. And to the left of their comments she had written in her own remarks: "he is a seasoned poet" "she has published" "he is widely known" etc. I was just blown away and felt so warm and loved as I went to sleep last night, already thinking about a poem I would write... finished it earlier... titled "Ina's Music."
I will write at least two more poems about Miss Kay, as I called her, and look forward to doing so.
I am currently Glad
I am listening to The heater percolating with steam
First Sonnet Done!!!!
11/05/2002 03:53 a.m.
After weeks of incubation and learning about the sonnet form, I finally finished my first sonnet just about five minutes ago. I have been searching for a metaphor to speak of the complexity of love in a longterm relationship where hurts and disallusionment sometimes cause two lovers to wall each other off. Beyond that, I wanted to express the the grace of intimacy that can occur when the two are willing to listen and set aside their own agenda and egos. But I didn't want to speak in such analytical terms. Sooooo I was looking for a methphor to get me into these ideas in a creative way. Texas has been experiencing an unusually rainy autumn. The skys are pregnant and birthing millions every hour - sometimes in the form of mist and drizzle, sometimes in nights of gentle rain, and then delluge after delluge soaks the ground, and run-offs cause flash flooding and havoc. So there it was Sunday morning... right outside the "sun" room... more rain and soaked dead leaves that get tracked into the house and cars. Then Helen and I started talking about saturation... I asked her what she thought of saturation. She saw it as a good thing. It means the soil (herself) is getting what it (she) needs. I saw it as an irritating thing... the soil has had enough! The inner ions are spent. Now let's go on to something else... sure, a little afterglow is wonderful, but enough is enough. I asked her where she think her conception of saturation cames from and she said... her family of origin... ten kids... they could never get enough! I thought it might have more to do with gender. Guys dip in and and then out... (generalization of course) and women want to savor and let the love saturate their being. So... there... I had my poem. But it took a day and a half to get the words in decent shape. Right now I am reasonably satisfied. I started out wanting to write an Italian sonnet, but it just wouldn't happen, and the poem insisted on leaving its Petrarchian germination and fly northwest to England and the Shakespearean form. I am sure I violated some of the rules, but this is my first effort and I figured folks would cut me some slack. I feel good. Now I can go to sleep and rest quietly. Horrraaaay!
I am currently Refreshed
I am listening to the soft hum of the computer and the clock telling me: IT'S LATE
11/01/2002 01:50 p.m.
I want to say this here because I want to commit myself to it. I am going to write my first sonnet this weekend.
I am currently Restless
I am listening to "Avalon" on Amethystium .. by odonata
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