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MARCH/APRIL 1999

Only he who attempts the absurd is capable of achieving the impossible.
--Miguel Unamon's epithet about Don Quixote`

 

The Movie Go Round

A Simple Plan is so stark and bleak and believable that at time you have to remind yourself that "its only a movie." You feel the chill immediately as the incredibly beautiful snowbound wilderness of rural Colorado comes into focus, you sense yourself to be one of the rather ordinary characters who stumble upon millions of dollars in a plane that had crashed unseen beneath the ever-descending showers of snow. And all at once you know how easy it would be to go along with a guilt-free, foolproof plan to maybe keep and use this money for the good of you and your folks. Suddenly we are these culprits, the moral chaos of compromise is an all too familiar landscape as events in this tragic human parable spin radically out of control.

This is not an easy film to watch, but if one is willing to go along for the ride with no hope of redemption and no respite from this most searing vision of personal corruption, it's quite a ride!

PREVIEWS: Payoff, for instance, a complete turn-off as far as I'm concerned, bombastic, juvenile explosions, monster-moments of ultra-violence. Meanwhile armies of children are being forced to murder each other in Sierra Leone. Haven't we had enough of this? Apparently not! The History Channel takes pleasure in presenting "Blood and Guts Sunday", and you can send in for the video called "A Century of Warfare". What fun!

I think we'd be far better off with previews depicting a world at peace, rather than the madness of mutual destruction that so fascinates our sub-human, reptilian nature. We are all here for so brief a time, and we are all in the same leaky boat we have created for ourselves. Why not rush to one another's side and build up the whole body of humanity, all for all! Could it be something just so simple that might create the ultimate miracle of universal salvation & peace!

Bill Joyner (2-18-99)

 

Life can be very painful. Everyone has the same burdens, and how ever much you can share those burdens makes life easier for everybody. It's lonely otherwise. Every moment that you share someone else's pain, feel what they feel, makes you more human. I went through a lot of pain in my divorce. It made me feel empathy
for people I don't even like, because they are going through it. I grant them all the slack I can.

 

--Bill Murray in PARADE

 


When I hear bread breaking, I see something else; it seems almost as if God never meant us to do anything else. So beautiful a sound, the crust breaks up like manna and falls all over everything, and then we EAT; bread gets inside humans. It turns into what the experts call, "formal glory of God". But don't let it worry you. Sometime in your life, hope you might see one starved man, the look on his face when the bread finally arrives. Hope you might have baked it or bought it or even needed it yourself.

--Daniel Berrigan, S.J.

 


Leadership is the ability to hide your panic from others.
--Anonymous


Sass is a colleague,
Risk is a loss;
He may wind up
As your next boss.
--Cecil Baxter

 


If you do not ask, the answer is always no.

--Owen Laughlin

 


The future is not predetermined.
... We should not allow either the literary form of prophecy or its misuses by Christian fundamentalism as spurious proofs of the Christian message to divert us from its main impact: seeing history as the field of man's moral responsibility for the future.

--Harvey Cox On Not Leaving It To The Snake

 


The Lord of Love is an artist, who knows the alchemy of parables and other oblique revelations.  The essence of divinity is the essence of reality, expressed androgynously, with all mysteries alive and intact, in the most subtle possible styles of infinite, loving grace.

--Bill Joyner


...Voyage...
And the days and the years flow by
as a river rushing to the sea...
What has remained of this voyage of life?
Someplace in that abyss of my mind
I pressed a forest of green fine trees,
captured a menagerie of red birds
and multi-colored butterflies,
preserved the ice-blue cold of
a mountain lake,
and admired the grey skyline
of a large city.
Like butterfly wings battling the wind
my soul resists the current
but in the end must be pulled to the sea.

--Victor M. Ellison
c2/10/71

 


START PLANTING!
ALL THEY NEED ARE THE SEEDS!
US COMMITTEE FOR UNICEF P.O. BOX 97294 WASHINGTON, DC 20077-7660

 

 

Kiki Joyner - Air Borne Creations
7365 Main St. Suite 111
Stratford, CT 06614 - 203-373-1353
keekstar@juno.com


 

Two curiously similar books were recommended by readers of THE SEED CATALOG, good friends Penny Rosel & Chrystalle DeLuca. Excerpts from each follow with my enthusiastic suggestion that both are well worth acquiring!

--Bill Joyner

 

START WHERE YOU ARE by Pema Chodron

I HAD AN INTERVIEW with someone who said she couldn't meditate; it was impossible because she had real-life problems. In the meditation we're doing, we're trying to bring home the very supportive message that real-life problems are the material for waking up, not the reason to stop trying. This is news you can use. Today's slogan is "Whatever you meet unexpectedly, join with meditation."

This is a very interesting suggestion. These slogans are pointing out that we can awaken bodhichitta through everything, that nothing is an interruption. This slogan points out how interruptions themselves awaken us, how interruptions themselves - surprises, unexpected events, bolts out of the blue - can awaken us to the experience of both absolute and relative bodhichitta, to the open, spacious quality of our minds and the warmth of our hearts. This is the slogan about surprises as gifts. These surprises can be pleasant or unpleasant; the main point is that they can stop our minds. You're walking along and a snowball hits you on the side of the head. It stops your mind. The slogan "Rest in the nature of alaya, the essences" goes along with this. Usually it is considered a slogan for when you're sitting on the cushion meditating, you can then rest your mind in its natural, unbiased state. But the truths is that when the rug is pulled out the same thing happens; without any effort on our part, our mind finds itself resting in the nature of alaya.

 

STAYING PUT by Scott R. Sanders

The Taoist book of wisdom, the Secret of the Golden Flower, speaks about a condition of utter clarity and selflessness as "living midnight". I don't know a word of the original Chinese, and I might well misread the translation, but I am haunted by this phrase. Living midnight: to face oblivion, to drown in the annihilating water, to dwell without fear or fret at the still center. Hardest of all is to live through midnight, to accept the knowledge of one's own private extinction and still return to daylight charged with passion and purpose. Earth is sexy, just as sex is earthy. Each of us is a landscape of plains and peaks, valleys and thickets. I speak in metaphors. As through a garbled phone line, but what I mean is plain and simple: body and land are one flesh. They are made of the same stuff. Their beauty is one beauty, their wounds the same wounds. They call to us in the same perennial voice, crying, come see, come touch, come listen and smell, and O come taste. We explore them alike, honor or abuse them alike. The health or sickness of one is inseparable from that of the other. There is no division between where we live and what we are.

BEACON PRESS, BOSTON

 


 

 

The mind covers more ground than the heart but goes less far.
--Chinese Proverb


You have got to do something about it to make it count.
--Carl C. Conway

 


"I have lived; it is your turn now. It is in you that my youth will be prolonged. I pass you my powers. If I feel that you are my successor, I shall resign myself more easily to dying. I hand on my hopes to you.

The knowledge that you are brave and strong enables me to leave life without regret. Take my joy. Let your happiness be to increase that of others. Work and strive and accept no evil that you might change. Keep saying to yourself, 'it lies with me'"

 

- Andre Gide

 


Sass is a colleague,
Risk is a loss;
He may wind up
As your next boss.
--Cecil Baxter

 


If you do not ask, the answer is always no.

--Owen Laughlin

 


The future is not predetermined.
... We should not allow either the literary form of prophecy or its misuses by Christian fundamentalism as spurious proofs of the Christian message to divert us from its main impact: seeing history as the field of man's moral responsibility for the future.

--Harvey Cox On Not Leaving It To The Snake

 


The Lord of Love is an artist, who knows the alchemy of parables and other oblique revelations.  The essence of divinity is the essence of reality, expressed androgynously, with all mysteries alive and intact, in the most subtle possible styles of infinite, loving grace.

--Bill Joyner


...Voyage...
And the days and the years flow by
as a river rushing to the sea...
What has remained of this voyage of life?
Someplace in that abyss of my mind
I pressed a forest of green fine trees,
captured a menagerie of red birds
and multi-colored butterflies,
preserved the ice-blue cold of
a mountain lake,
and admired the grey skyline
of a large city.
Like butterfly wings battling the wind
my soul resists the current
but in the end must be pulled to the sea.

--Victor M. Ellison
c2/10/71

 


START PLANTING!
ALL THEY NEED ARE THE SEEDS!
US COMMITTEE FOR UNICEF P.O. BOX 97294 WASHINGTON, DC 20077-7660

 

THE MOVIE- GO-ROUND:

Shakespeare in Love was so disappointing to me. It is superbly crafted, all the actors shine in it.
And yet, it seems such a trite, shortsighted, hot-bodied perversion of what pure love might possibly be. So much for one more futile attempt to domesticate & trivialize "the real thing", which, if you want to find it, go check out the video of Franco Zaferelli's Romeo and Juliet.

--Bill Joyner

 

Perfect love exists between two people only when each addresses the other with the words, "O Myself!"
--a 9th century Mohammedan Mystic


...salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed: the night is far gone, the day is at hand.
--Acts 13:11
 


"It's pretty hard to tell what brings happiness. Poverty and wealth have both failed."
--Kin Hubbard


"MY LITTLE PARK AND ITS PAIR OF SQUIRRELS, A POSSUM, THREE HUNGRY ALLEY CATS. SOME DAYS THE HUNGRY - CAT AND POSSUM - SIDE BY SIDE. RED CARDINALS WITH THEIR TEEN-AGE OFFSPRING, COOING MORNING DOVES, SOME DAMN GOOD SINGING PURPLE HOUSE WRENS, AND MY FUN BIRDS / RED-WING BLACK BIRDS. AND ONCE IN A GREAT WHILE, THE CROW DROPS IN."
--Ronald E. Stefanik

The above saying was sent by my perfect friend, Ronald E. Stefanik in Cleveland. Ron has the spirit and the presence of an urban monastic saint. He has the gift of creating laughter! His letters are classic, down-to-earth signals of living hope.

 

 


Religion will be revealed to us through absurdities. ... Facts will speak in a loud voice.  Truth will no longer reside in lofty words, but will be present in the bread we eat.

--Louis Pauwels & Jacques Bergier (quoting Blanc de Saint-Bonnet in The Morning of the Magician Stein & Day, p. 309

 


Warriors of Love

We are foot-soldiers of love
in God's unending war of peace
Rainbows of refracted light
across the darkening sky,
we cast our long shadows
of sure grace and disperse
all traces of doom and despair.

We are life's perpetual advance upon
the frozen void of death
agent provocateurs
in the service of
love's all-conquering
ever-regenerative realm.

--Bill Joyner

 


For love is strong as death... 
Love no flood can quench, no torrents drown.

--The Song of Songs 8:16


 


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Email: wmnf@wmnf.org


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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