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THE SEED CATALOG / July, August, September 2005

 

So long as we are loved by others I should say that we are almost indispensable; and no man is useless while he has a friend. –       – Robert Louis Stevenson               

 Expecting and accepting nothingness can be a valuable preparation for effective activity. Ordinary things we might dread doing, washing the windows or the dishes, for instance, become more possible and sometimes even fun when coupled with the silent acknowledgement that none of it need be meaningful or purposeful. Satisfaction comes along as the process is begun. The joy is in the doing. --  

     – BJ          

 

Ah, yes, THE CELESTIAL CAROUSEL (my masterwork), the production effort took a tumble just when the book was about to show up, so it’s on hold a little longer. Certainly by THIS Christmas, it will appear.

Stay tuned for further details in the Oct/Nov/Dec SEED.

Show me something now; I’ll begin all over again.

      – John Cage
 

Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.
     – Dylan Thomas


We have to do the best we can. This is our
sacred human responsibility.

     – Albert Einstein

 

I often think that we have nothing to fear but nothingness itself, that the source of our inertia and depression is largely the terror of being left alone. Leonardo da Vinci, by contrast said, “When you’re alone, you’re all your own.” And I heard the French actress Jeanne Moreau explain to Terri Gross on FRESH AIR that she needed to be single in order to have someone compatible with whom to share her solitude. Even darkness has it beams of light to remind of us of the brighter day. Yes, it may all seem to be essentially in vain -- this transient glory passing by – but love says otherwise. The immediate and eternal fact of love repudiates all despair; thus, “death is swallowed up in victory."
   -- Bill Joyner (6/6/05)

 

When you’re lost in the rain in Juarez, and it’s Easter time too, when your gravity fails and negativity won’t pull you through, don’t put on any airs when you’re down on Rue Morgue Avenue …

 -- Bob Dylan in “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues”

 

 Nothing Matters (It Really Does!) And Yet, Nothing is not Enough
After the advice of Soren Kierkegaard in THE SICKNESS UNTO DEATH, I have tried at times to sustain a prolonged meditation on nothingness. In a Zen or Taoist sense, nothingness is “where it’s at.” As John Cage said, “the highest purpose is to have no purpose at all.” Embracing the void can, however, be quite demanding, and can even set you up for depression, if you tend toward it anyway. So take every healthy precaution, stay on your medication and “keep on the sunny side” if you plan on lingering very long in the “valley of the shadow of death.” Even what you may regard as a positive meditation on the upside of nothingness has the risk of becoming a downhill trip.

Stillness and solitary reveries – such are the pursuits of monks, serious artists and security guards. Consumption, shopping, going – those are the pleasures we more normally pursue – the quest for something, anything, to dull our awareness of what at times appears to be the nothingness of existence. The monks and all who are essentially Buddhist seek to “make a medicine of the illness,” even to celebrate it, as in the movie COOL HAND LUKE, when Paul Newman says with a knowing smile when he’s apparently been dealt a bad hand of cards, “Yeah, well, nothing can be a real cool hand.”

I often think that we have nothing to fear but nothingness itself, that the source of our inertia and depression is largely the terror of being left alone. Leonardo da Vinci, by contrast said, “When you’re alone, you’re all your own.” And I heard the French actress Jeanne Moreau explain to Terri Gross on FRESH AIR that she needed to be single in order to have someone compatible with whom to share her solitude. Even darkness has it beams of light to remind of us of the brighter day. Yes, it may all seem to be essentially in vain -- this transient glory passing by – but love says otherwise. The immediate and eternal fact of love repudiates all despair; thus, “death is swallowed up in victory."

-- Bill Joyner (6/6/05)
 

Shutting my eyes contentedly, I used to hold out my palms and wait. God always came – as long as I remained a child, He never deceived me – He always came, a child just like myself, and deposited His toys in my hands: sun, moon, wind. “They’re gifts,” He said. Play with them. I have lots more.” I would open my eyes. God would vanish, but His toys would remain in my hands. – Nikos Kazantzakis in

Report to Greco

 

“Don’t sweat the small stuff,” the renowned cardiologist said. “And remember,” he added,

“It’s all small stuff.”

A saint is someone who has achieved a remote human possibility. It is impossible to say what that possibility is. I think it has something to do with the energy of love. Contact with this energy results in the exercise of a kind of balance in the chaos of existence. A saint does not dissolve the chaos; if he did the world would have changed long ago. I do not think that the saint dissolves the chaos even for himself, for there is something arrogant and warlike in the notion of a man setting the universe in order. It is a kind of balance that is his glory. He rides the drifts like an escaped ski. His course is a caress of the hill. … Something in him so loves the world that he gives himself to the laws of gravity and chance.

– Leonard Cohen

She shows you where to look among the garbage and the flowers.


There are heroes in the seaweed. -- Leonard Cohen in “Suzanne”
 

For one’s own benefit, if for no other reason, the effort should be

made to build self-esteem in the other, to confirm rather than to

assault it. This is achieved, not by flattery, but by a generous appreciation of the other’s strengths and a generous de-emphasis

of his weaknesses, by speaking to his good points and as rarely as possible

about his bad ones. People who are good to each other make each other good. 

   – Jo Coudert, in Advice from a Failure

 

If the mystery of the gospel is to be conveyed to those of us who have our being in THIS world and not another, it will be through what Tillich has termed “broken symbols” – those which speak of God’s loving deed in Christ not directly and confidently, but with refracted suggestiveness and glancing impact.  – Roger Hazelton in A Theological Approach to Art

 

The act of looking at one thing and sensing something else in it ,,, has to do with being embodied spirit and so not only seeing things, but seeing into them and through them. God uses this power as one of the ways to unite heaven and earth. -- Corita

 
 


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The Seed Catalog
William T. Joyner, Editor
THE SEED CATALOG is available by mail for an annual suggested donation of $5.00
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