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Consciousness

Age is not the Issue

I like the message that age in itself is not a barrier. No one knows how long we have to live (actually, not potentially) at any age, what matters is being fully ourselves in the present; for some this may mean throwing ourselves into entrepreneurship, for others it’s creativity or learning or adventure or whatever launches your boat, maybe all of it.

Sometimes it’s harder when we’re older because (usually) there is less physical energy and health, sometimes it’s easier because of the experience and resources we’ve accumulated. In any case are where we are and it’s the only place we can move from.

Being an entrepreneur doesn’t do it for me even though I’ve registered a company, but this evening I attended an Aikido class, on Wednesday evening I’m at a Tai Chi Chi class and on Thursday evening a Wing Chun class. It’s painful but it’s part of a path I’m drawn to and the pull to do it has become more powerful, and more of an expression of my being, than the resistance to doing it.

C’est le Souffle des Ancêtres

SOUFFLE DE BIRAGO DIOP
Ecoute plus souvent
Les Choses que les Etres
La Voix du Feu s’entend,
Entends la Voix de l’Eau.
Ecoute dans le Vent
Le Buisson en sanglots :
C’est le Souffle des ancêtres.
Ceux qui sont morts ne sont jamais partis :
Ils sont dans l’Ombre qui s’éclaire
Et dans l’ombre qui s’épaissit.
Les Morts ne sont pas sous la Terre :
Ils sont dans l’Arbre qui frémit,
Ils sont dans le Bois qui gémit,
Ils sont dans l’Eau qui coule,
Ils sont dans l’Eau qui dort,
Ils sont dans la Case, ils sont dans la Foule :
Les Morts ne sont pas morts.
Ecoute plus souvent
Les Choses que les Etres
La Voix du Feu s’entend,
Entends la Voix de l’Eau.
Ecoute dans le Vent
Le Buisson en sanglots :
C’est le Souffle des Ancêtres morts,
Qui ne sont pas partis
Qui ne sont pas sous la Terre
Qui ne sont pas morts.
Ceux qui sont morts ne sont jamais partis :
Ils sont dans le Sein de la Femme,
Ils sont dans l’Enfant qui vagit
Et dans le Tison qui s’enflamme.
Les Morts ne sont pas sous la Terre :
Ils sont dans le Feu qui s’éteint,
Ils sont dans les Herbes qui pleurent,
Ils sont dans le Rocher qui geint,
Ils sont dans la Forêt, ils sont dans la Demeure,
Les Morts ne sont pas morts.
Ecoute plus souvent
Les Choses que les Etres
La Voix du Feu s’entend,
Entends la Voix de l’Eau.
Ecoute dans le Vent
Le Buisson en sanglots,
C’est le Souffle des Ancêtres.
Il redit chaque jour le Pacte,
Le grand Pacte qui lie,
Qui lie à la Loi notre Sort,
Aux Actes des Souffles plus forts
Le Sort de nos Morts qui ne sont pas morts,
Le lourd Pacte qui nous lie à la Vie.
La lourde Loi qui nous lie aux Actes
Des Souffles qui se meurent
Dans le lit et sur les rives du Fleuve,
Des Souffles qui se meuvent
Dans le Rocher qui geint et dans l’Herbe qui pleure.
Des Souffles qui demeurent
Dans l’Ombre qui s’éclaire et s’épaissit,
Dans l’Arbre qui frémit, dans le Bois qui gémit
Et dans l’Eau qui coule et dans l’Eau qui dort,
Des Souffles plus forts qui ont pris
Le Souffle des Morts qui ne sont pas morts,
Des Morts qui ne sont pas partis,
Des Morts qui ne sont plus sous la Terre.
Ecoute plus souvent
Les Choses que les Etres
La Voix du Feu s’entend,
Entends la Voix de l’Eau.
Ecoute dans le Vent
Le Buisson en sanglots,
C’est le Souffle des Ancêtres

BIRAGO DIOP
“Spirits”
“Listen to Things
More often than Beings,
Hear the voice of fire,
Hear the voice of water.
Listen in the wind,
To the sighs of the bush;
This is the ancestors breathing.
Those who are dead are not ever gone;
They are in the darkness that grows lighter
And in the darkness that grows darker.
The dead are not down in the earth;
They are in the trembling of the trees
In the groaning of the woods,
In the water that runs,
In the water that sleeps,
They are in the hut, they are in the crowd:
The dead are not dead.
Listen to things
More often than beings,
Hear the voice of fire,
Hear the voice of water.
Listen in the wind,
To the bush that is sighing:
This is the breathing of ancestors,
Who have not gone away
Who are not under earth
Who are not really dead.
Those who are dead are not ever gone;
They are in a woman’s breast,
In the wailing of a child,
And the burning of a log,
In the moaning rock,
In the weeping grasses,
In the forest and the home.
The dead are not dead.
Listen more often
To Things than to Beings,
Hear the voice of fire,
Hear the voice of water.
Listen in the wind to
The bush that is sobbing:
This is the ancestors breathing.
Each day they renew ancient bonds,
Ancient bonds that hold fast
Binding our lot to their law,
To the will of the spirits stronger than we
To the spell of our dead who are not really dead,
Whose covenant binds us to life,
Whose authority binds to their will,
The will of the spirits that stir
In the bed of the river, on the banks of the river,
The breathing of spirits
Who moan in the rocks and weep in the grasses.
Spirits inhabit
The darkness that lightens, the darkness that darkens,
The quivering tree, the murmuring wood,
The water that runs and the water that sleeps:
Spirits much stronger than we,
The breathing of the dead who are not really dead,
Of the dead who are not really gone,
Of the dead now no more in the earth.
Listen to Things
More often than Beings,
Hear the voice of fire,
Hear the voice of water.
Listen in the wind,
To the bush that is sobbing:
This is the ancestors, breathing.”
–Birago Diop

First Birthday

zaharah1

Altogether a very busy weekend. Yesterday was Zaharah’s birthday.

Light and Shadow

I spent the day out with my mother. I see her three days ever weeks. I don’t write about her. She has Alzheimer’s disease. I find it painful to think and talk much about her condition.

Writing is important, whether anyone reads it, whether anyone understands it. It is useful creatively and psychologically. It is useful to share ideas honestly, openly, and engage in dialogue about how we change ourselves, our relationships and our world.

But there is much that is too personal to share and that should not be shared because the writer’s life is not just the writer’s story but also the story of those in the writer’s life.

Also, not all of our perceptions, feelings, opinions and choices can be safely shared. There is the danger of being misunderstood or of giving offence. Sometimes it is the shadow that has to be hidden, sometimes it is the light. It’s always good to examine our own light and shadow but not always good or safe to expose them.

I feel physically exhausted at the end of this week. I’ve run a little and gardened a fair amount, I’ve done Tai Chi and Wing Tsun intensively. I’ve taught and I’ve planned a little. I’ve driven a lot.. I’ve seen that Cider and Doritos in the evenings is not the best adjunct to physical training. Nevertheless it has been a good week.

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