I went looking for words 28 x 22″ oil
Know for a fact that mountains are fond of wise people and sages.
I am learning trees have grown in stranger situations than mine, and to trust what I know, which is that trees want to grow. It’s just what they do. The growing tree is itself 100% on my side in my project of growing a tree.
Who knew the tree could grow so big, in that little pot.
The first time I cross dressed, it was Halloween. I wasn’t an especially attractive man. The clothes I had were not what I would have chosen: a pair of jeans that were too big and a baggy t-shirt. I spent a lot of time applying my beard. It looked scraggly, but real.
Dried spirit gum pulled and cracked under the pube-like crepe hair it secured to my face as I smiled at myself in the mirror. I looked like a dork, my long hair back in a ponytail with a ball cap over it. I was short and I had no style.
There was something thrilling about it anyway. I didn’t look how I wanted to look, and yet, there was a part of myself I could see that had never been seen before. My heart beat a little faster under the elastic bandages that dug…
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What is a saint? 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 a 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 the caress of the hill. His track is a drawing of the snow in a moment of its particular arrangement with wind and rock. Something in him…
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If you find some difficulty in your practice, that is the warning that you have some wrong idea, so you have to be careful. But do not give up your practice; continue it, knowing your weakness. Here there is no gaining idea. Here there is no fixed idea of attainment. You do not say, “This is enlightenment,” or “That is not right practice.” Even in wrong practice, when you realize it and continue, there is right practice. Our practice cannot be perfect, but without being discouraged by this, we should continue it. This is the secret of practice.
–Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki, page 59
This feels a little awkward to be writing, but nevertheless I want to give it a try.
Almost twenty years ago, I took a holiday in Zanzibar. In Stone Town, I spent some time with a local guy, Hafidh, who pitched himself as a guide. I didn’t really want a guide, but he was pretty laid back, so we did a few things together, hampered though we were by limited common language. One evening we went to a football match at the local stadium; I think it was part of a regional tournament. What I remember most distinctly is that in the excited and joyful crowd of maybe ten thousand, I saw only perhaps a dozen white faces. I had a sudden strong sense of African skin as the original and natural colour of humankind, and that I, and those who looked like me, had had the colour drained out of us by some process of loss.
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