Mardi Gras

This mambo line we've been dancing in all night -

I've forgotten where it started, your place or mine?

And who are all these whirling hipsters,

pelvis to pelvis like gandharvas in the lowest heaven?

Preening, prancing, behaving like democrats,

Pointing their tail feathers up at the sun?

Oh I admit, I’m one of them,

Bragging about my torrid love affair with God,

Drinking too much and shouting,

"We weren’t invited to this! We just showed up!"

O Jesus, you were a homeless poet once,

Eating leftovers from the lawn parties of the upright.

You know what it means to scavenge among the wasted seeds,

Looking for the sprouted ones, the ones with laughter in them.

We're like jostling crows on a live electric wire,

inebriated with the voltage: everyone looking for juice!

If one of us touches the ground, we're all dead.

But that won't happen: we're never coming down!

We only move in one direction now, upward

like black flames, so dizzy with midnight dancing

I can't tell which of us I am.

I've whirled from your hands and fallen

back into your kiss so many times,

I don't know if I'm Lover or Beloved...

I think I might be sober now

in the stillness before dawn.

I can almost remember your name.

If I do, I won’t tell the others.

I just want to know, last night,

Was I the wine or the cup?

The Silence Between

The most beautiful music contains much silence. Beauty is between the notes. Sound without silent places, chords without hollow intervals, is just noise. Is your life a Gregorian chant, or Musak? The chant contains spacious intervals, fourths and fifths. Elevator music fills in all the space.

Great musicians don't show you how fast their fingers move, or how many notes they can play at once. Likewise, the art of living is not measured in hours or dollars. Beautiful living, like beautiful music, happens in the silence between.

Is my day a clutter of tasks with no moments for resting in my essence? What is my essence? Not thinking or doing, but being: fullness of being in the hollow center of now. If I sense no silent core, my day is wasted, a tin clatter of noises. What I do and what I make are worthless without what I am, just as music isn't music without a silence between the notes.

Moments of being turn work into music. When I find my core of stillness, I find my rhythm and make a dance of doing. I do the notes, and rest in the silence between.

Silence shapes music. Stillness shapes the dance. In the end, they are one. The whole play of creation is like an echo in silence, and silence in the echo.

Do what needs doing, a breeze in the pines. Then stop, look, listen, and be.

1 + 1 = 0

The solution to every problem is to drop duality. Then peace is immediate and answers are intuitive, flowing as unworried, unhurried, spontaneous action.

Dropping duality means dissolving 2 into 1, and 1 into Zero.

I am my problem. I am the solution to my problem. Self, problem, and solution are all one mirage shimmering in the empty space of awareness. This vast clear awareness is what spiritual traditions call 'Oneness.' But if we want real peace, we must drop even the One. For the essence of One is Zero.

The universe is an ocean bubbling with zeros. We place a little 'I' before a string of bubbles, turning zeros into one hundred, one thousand, one million, shouting 'Mine! Mine!' But our little 'I' is just another bubble, another zero. The ocean itself is a Zero, a divine Zero whose circumference is infinite. Everything adds up to the infinity of Zero. So just subtract your 'I' and laugh, sing, dance, dissolve.