Feet Song

My feet hum when I see you. My feet play the symbols while at work. They try to hit the sky when we play.

My feet dig the earth in the summer. The feel the tree’s low base. My feet feel the leaves fall in the autumn. They sing a cord for each within their place.

My feet sing a song while in the shower. They have better words than I. Sometimes they will strain on the high notes. My feet they wear pajamas in the winter. The warmth they hold is the rhythm that we danced to.

The clompers are not just the single twilight.
The trill is not the only bird.

If we sing of the sad swamp forever,
our feet will sink until we reach the bottom.

Our knees will follow not long after. My feet will feel the tickle of the worms. Our bellybutton will quiver at the coldness.

Our necks will strain to keep our heads above the alto. My feet will try to find an end. Only some of us will know how this was started. But the trail dips our of sight–right along that bend.

Once we sink we’ll know that we’re forgotten. The shallow song will fade into the wind. If we could run forever my feet wouldn’t get tired, but my lungs continue to be just on the mend.

My ears are filled up with your singing sorrow.
My lungs up with all the sludge we’ve made. Now I see what you’ve been singing lately, and sometimes we’re making the grade.

MUSIC: Prompt

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Philosophy of Solitude

I told you about a book a while back called, “A Tale For The Time Being,” by Ruth Ozeki. It’s a novel about two people, the author, and a young girl in Japan who is contemplating suicide. Don’t be alarm, it’s fiction–or at least that part is.

The two dominant religions of Japan are Shinto and Buddhism. Shinto has been around as long as Japanese culture has, while Buddhism came from mainland China. Instead of warring, like most religions, Shinto and Buddhism actually complement each other in many ways.

Buddhism promotes solitude like few other religions. I mean, think of the founder of the practice, Gautama Buddha. He achieved enlightenment by sitting under a tree by himself, for ages. Or for seven days. The interesting thing about Buddhism, is that it’s solitary roots translate directly into not only the practice of meditation–in which you aren’t really in solitude because you have the whole cosmos to keep you company–but also in it’s dissemination.

Think about it–there are no proselytizing Buddhists. Buddhists don’t have the “true faith” rhetoric. Because, what would Buddha do? Nothing.

Have you ever seen those pictures of Buddhist monks during the Vietnam war? They believed so strongly in the wrongness of that war many were willing to burn themselves alive in protest. Talk about solitude. Sure, they may have had some other monks to do it with. But committing that type of suicide, that type of demonstration–to believe so strongly against an unjust war–I can only imagine how alone those people felt.

So, yeah. Solitude is built into the very bones of the Buddhist philosophy. When we sit, we sit alone. When we eat we do so also. For Buddhists all life is pain. And while misery loves company, pain is something everyone is alone in when they feel it. But don’t worry. If you’re still enough you have the whole cosmos for company.

An Unhealthy Fascination With Masks

I’ve been obsessed with masks in the past. I mean, not obsessed. That’s taking it a bit far. But I remember the movie, The Mask, with Jim Carry when I was a kid. That was one of my favorites. I still remember Carry talking like Ben Stein in front of the mirror holding up the magical mask. “That’s right, Wendy, we all wear masks, metaphorically speaking.”

Of course it’s true in a way. But I think now our masks are more digital than metaphorical what with Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, etc. But the obstruction of our most identifiable characteristics is something our society is obsessed with. The super hero thing is part of that. The concealment of identity by way of a hidden face is something we are fascinated with. I think it’s because lots of people, myself included, would love to leave ourselves behind sometimes. Be someone else.

How iconic is the mask, say, of Darth Vader, or now, Kylo Ren. Star Wars, there’s no doubt, has given us some wonderful masks. As has Marvel and DC Comics.

The construct of a mask, the meaning of a mask is much more ingrained in our society now than it once was. I mean, think of a tool you can use to make people see what YOU want them to see, rather than what you are. Social media is a constant mask or filter others perceive you through, it’s a self tailored image. But it isn’t you. It’s the you you want to be seen. Everyone has guilty pleasures. Mine are fantasy books. I just love a good adventure sometimes. One that’s a real page turner. But I like delving into a real literary tome as well. I usually set up my reading lists so it alternates one pulpy book with one literary, so I don’t get burned out on either.

But then my writing doesn’t reflect this guilty pleasure much. I like to think I’m more literary then fantasy novels. But I’m not, because, to be truly honest, a good fantasy or SF novel is just as literary as a non-genre piece of fiction.

What I’m trying to say is this: Why are we all so eager to convince people we’re someone we aren’t?