17th Century Mongolian Bronze, photo courtesy of the curator of The Buddha Gallery

17th Century Mongolian Bronze, photo courtesy of the curator of The Buddha Gallery

2014 IS THE YEAR OF THE HORSE IN CHINESE ASTROLOGY, which promises adventure. (Okay, I made that last bit up, but where is it written we can’t hope?)

I’ve adopted Horse as my guiding spirit. In the ethos of the Chinese people, the spirit of Horse is marked by unrelenting effort. It is characterized by intelligence and ability. The ancient Chinese thought of an able person as Qian Li Ma, a horse that travels a thousand li a day, about 360 miles or 500 meters.

A thousand li according to Lao Tzu writing in the Tao Te Ching is the journey that “starts beneath our feet.”  We would say the journey begins with a single step. My first step is this: my first post of the year and my current re-reading of Isaac Asimov‘s autobiographies, In Memory Yet Green (1920-1954) and In Joy Still Felt (1954-1978). They present the opportunity to re-experience a time and place I have in common with Mr. Asimov (the ’50s onward) and also to immerse myself in  Pulp Era of Science Fiction (magazines, 1920s/30s) and the Golden  Age (“Hard SF”- linear, 1950s) and New Wave Age (“Soft” – artistic, literary, experimental, 1960s/70s). One cannot live by poetry alone.These books also provide the chance to observe the skill and absorb the wisdom of one of the finest, most versatile and most prolific of American writers. Some say his life was dull. I don’t agree. Isaac Asimov had many adventures in life but his adventures were of the mind.

“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak”. Epictitus

Another way to express my plan is that this will be a year of listening (reading) more and talking (writing) less. My father – not unlike Epictetus – used to say, “You have two ears and one mouth. That’s God’s way of telling human beings how important listening is.”  So this year – my sixth blogging – there will be fewer of my own poems posted here, far fewer posts, and significantly more reviews of books and collections.  As Stephen King said:

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”

I’ve posted a small poetry collection on the Home page (My Poetry Sampler).

225592_347930165315583_165440687_n-1

… and thus the journey continues …

May this be your best year yet for intellectual and artistic adventures.

© 2014, Jamie Dedes, essay and the rose photograph, All rights reserved

Advertisements

The Bardo Group opened the new year with a series of tributes to Nelson Mandela meant to remind and inspire us to carry on his tradition on behalf of the poor of the world. Today in wrapping up the effort our Sunday Chaplain, Terri Stewart says, ” I have decided to combine the traditions of President Mandela and the gleanings of the Bardo Group with the ancient prayer practice of Midday Prayer. I am relying on the ancient rhythm but substituting readings from our authors and from President Mandela.”

In gratitude for this beautiful piece, I share it here with you today and tomorrow – the Feast of the Epiphany and the end of my holy day time out, I’ll start posting again. Until then ….

Jamie

THE BeZINE

Nelson Mandela

This post is complementary to a post created at http://beguineagain.com/. I encourage you to read this and then read that post.

Today is the wrap-up in our recent series about President Nelson Mandela. As I was pondering how to close out the thoughts and hearts of our community, I remember that President Mandela was a deeply spiritual man who relied on the African theology of Ubuntu to carry the day. Ubuntu, which I have written about before, is the idea that “I am because we are.” It is deeply rooted in Africa with not only Mandela but Desmond Tutu subscribing to Ubuntu as core beliefs. Ubuntu is described below by Mandela himself.

“A traveler through our country would stop at a village, and he didn’t have to ask for food or for water. Once he stops, the people give him food, entertain him. That is one aspect…

View original post 1,244 more words

The Bardo Group just posted their monthly newsletter and I wanted to share it with everyone here. Meanwhile, Happy Holy Days and 2014 and I’ll see you on January 6. Jamie

THE BeZINE

800px-Rafael_-_El_Parnaso_(Estancia_del_Sello,_Roma,_1511)WE CLOSE THE YEAR WITH KUDOS ALL AROUND for prodigious bloggers of every ilk with their plans for 2014 and their successes in 2013. So many of our readers and writers rose to the WordPress challenge of a post a day. Others took on special challenges related to seasonal changes or holiday events or their own personal sense of adventure. To name just a few:

  • From November 28 on, Terri Stewart (Slow Down, Begin Again: Spiritual Practices in Context) incorporated the work of many bloggers into a creative and joy-filled Advent Light event.
  • Instead of counting down on an Advent calendar, Priscilla Galasso (scillagrace) has been counting the free gifts we all get every day in a series of Advent essays that are beautifully written and both thoughtful and though provoking.
  • John Nooney (Johnbalaya), a faithful reader here, successfully incorporated his prodigious works from several…

View original post 970 more words

Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.

Native American prayer

Best wishes to those who celebrate holidays at this time of year and a happy new year to everyone. I’m taking three weeks to rest, recoup and regroup and spend time with family, as I know many of you are as well. Meanwhile, there is a rich bank of posts here on poetry and poets and I have left five or so recent poems up. The Bardo Group will continue to post through the holiday season. Thank you all for reading here and for your “likes” and kind comments. I hope you enjoy this beautiful and inspiring holiday video.

See you on January 6, 2014. 

Warmest regards,

Jamie 

 

%d bloggers like this: