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The Spirit of the Lord is Upon me.

This is a piece I wrote several years ago during a time of my Soul’s ferment.  It is not a religious statement by any means.  It is quite the opposite.  While I was indeed raised in a religious culture and have degrees in theology, and philosophy, and depth psychology, etc., blah, blah, blah. (Not a big deal at all.  I just wrote a bunch of papers to get another piece of paper to hang on the wall.)  This was a search for Truth.

This is also an experiment with a new pulgin to automatically posts WP offerings to the blockchain of Steemit.  I found it at scottyeager on Steemit.  Click on scotty’s name and find the article.  Now let’s see if it works. 🙂

The Spirit of the lord is upon me.
Because He anointed me to preach the Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the Captives,
And Recovery of sight to the blind,
To set free those who are oppressed,
To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.
(Luke 4:18-19)

I believe in and receive the anointing to bring the Good News to the poor. But what message shall I bring? I have little use for a message worn and tattered by time and culture’s change in context. The Message, the Truth is eternal but the voices carrying it fade in the breeze. They lack relevance to my habitation and pattern. They lack a quickening resonance which sets the heart aflame.

The messengers are full of answers to questions I have not asked. They are either unaware of, or avoid that which lies dormant, a weight carried in the bowels of my being. But I am poor. How long since the yearnings of my heart have motivated me to action, either right or wrong? For the most part I remain stoic as the poor, smiling through teeth clenched in resignation. Resigned to the idea that dreams may indeed be just fantasy, That the “glorious” yearnings of my heart were merely the function of biology.

There are as many ways to be captive as there are to be poor. My poverty and captivity is that of the heart and mind. The stagnation that manifests on the material plane is neither hopelessness, laziness, nor fear. There is no dream to motivate and inspire belief and creativity. It has all been done before.

I am imprisoned within the trite, opaque walls of a stereotype. To succumb, to ride cynicism as a lover is the way many go. She is a loyal bitch, yet bitch she is. Or I could write out the story as a morality tale. Do this. Don’t do that. Perhaps the Law could help me regain my honor. Then I could write books and give speeches to the unwashed. I could become a hollow Wizard and refuse to face the Witch.

But, one is as much a prison as the other. Morality as rules, is a tyrannical pimp. To exchange one captivity for the other is vanity. To give one’s soul for the illusory comfort of the current zeitgeist is profane. Is there no other path? I would that I might find it and show it to my children. O’ that they might dwell in creativity, well outside the walls of stereotype.

But today my eyes are shut and the pathway eludes me. I am blind as well as captive. I see yet I do not trust my sight. Past visions once sharply defined on my horizon, shimmering in the heat of my want, were false. Some are easy to dismiss. Some were truly immoral. Some caused pain and loss. Others were “right” and “good” yet I found myself lacking in the midst of their abundance.

Surely it was I who lacked. Surely I am the mirage. The eyes through which I’ve seen have failed me. O’ for the eyes to see and the ears to hear!

But how am I oppressed? Do I not possess food, shelter, friends, and opportunity denied others? If I am oppressed it is the oppression of the mundane, the stereotype, and the false. It can take many forms. Religion, morality, achievement, addiction, and rebellion all can deaden the soul’s cry for life. They can oppress, smother, and wear down the captive’s capacity to live as if freedom were possible. It is the living “as if” that allows eternity to break into time and create an alternate plane of existence here. He said “the Kingdom is among you. Can you not see it?”

The captive moves between the polarities of good and bad, opposite sides of the same coin, the medium of exchange in the economy of the soul. But good and bad are deceptive propositions. The game of good vs. bad is a distraction. For there is none “good” but the Maker. The soul is neither good nor bad. It is either living or dying. It is either moving toward viability and life, or moving toward the impossible and ruin. The soul is addicted, bound to ritual, a particular morality, or it is free.

The Law is oppression and death. Creativity, Being, and Life are the Soul’s true habitation.

Just when is the favorable year? On whose calendar is it marked? Do the poor get a copy? Are the captives kept in the loop? Is there a braille edition for the blind? Do the oppressed have access?

Should then the stories prove true, time is an illusion and there is no favorable year or month or week or day. The Creator is either on our side or He is not. Perhaps the measurement has to do with our perception that time is made of the same stuff as eternity, that somehow eternity is endless time. Perhaps it is that we need some sense of perspective that measuring the stuff gives. But in the end all of eternity is for us and not against us. It must be. So that every year is the favorable year and every month is the favorable month and every week is the favorable week and every day is The Favorable Day of the Lord.

It is surely true that our poverty, captivity, blindness, and oppression are all of our own making. It can be, but it is not necessarily acts of volition, but rather our ignorance and immaturity in tension with the innocent and fierce Soul’s longings for Life.

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Fried Catfish (Audio) Have a Jazzy New Year

Many times we look to the coming year with hope that it will be different somehow. Perhaps this year, this time something radical might occur. Perhaps in this moment we might be made new. And the year will morph around the newness that we are. If we would change the world it will happen from the inside out.

“If you would enter the Kingdom of Heaven you must become as a little child.”

Ten year old boy
Slowly carefully, ankle-deep in the water
Cool mud holds his bare feet
The smell of sunshine, and oak, and hay, and red worms, and water, and fish
The familiar sounds of Central Louisiana envelop him, crickets, crows, doves cooing and frogs
He is intent, focused, peering beneath the water’s surface seeking out the places they might be
Predator stalking predator
He is hunter, tan, lean, carrying his primitive tools
Cane pole cut, trimmed, line, hook, can of worms dug from the hill
Worm sacrificed, pierced through with hook
He swings a practiced, perfect arc
Dlop. . . the worms sinks before his prey
His heart pounds, excitement, an eye for any sign
At one with his tools, the cane and line and hook now a part of him
It extends him, makes him powerful, he now can reach into the water where they are
The slightest bump and movement of the line
Wait . . . wait . . . he tells himself, a lesson hard learned
He must succeed
He told his mother that he would provide
His hopes and his still innocent pride hung on that promise
Blood rushing he grips the cane watches the line straighten
Now quickly and with an authority beyond his years he sets the hook
He feels the fierce undulating weight at the end of his self
Cane arched, line stretched, tension but not too much
Give, take, don’t force it, she will come if you are patient, he told himself
The battle raged until she weakened and surrendered
She was glorious
His little heart soared at the conquest
His excitement, his trembling hands claimed her
He turned toward home, quest fulfilled
As he entered the kitchen the fragrance of frying potatoes and onions and pickles filled his lungs
He grinned as he held up his prize to Her
She smiled loving the boy and he was in rapture
Lifted up, hints of manhood pulsing through his veins
She was his world and she believed in him

Peace and Love and Liberty – Plato

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Getting Away (Audio)

It had been a good day. She was so beautiful, and attentive, and interested. His hope had been kindled on her laughter. He had not felt much of a man for such a long, long while. He had only known her for three months but it had been a whirlwind. He felt thirty again, no maybe forty, that was his prime. He laughed thinking that he had not awakened to that particular stiffness in a long while. His back, his neck, yes stiff every day, just from sleeping. But this was a familiar friend he thought long gone. He felt alive again.
They had traveled to the city on a whim. They could do that now, freed from the obligations of younger folk. And they had eaten the best food and seen the best sites and were alone together in the rich buzz of the city. He never thought that a smile would again ever cross face. Cause, she had died ten years ago suddenly, just as the kids were gone and they were just about to live the life they had talked about all those many years. Travel and freedom! They had saved and they had planned, sacrificing much along the way for the now grown babies they loved so dearly. And just as the new life was about to begin, there came the diagnosis, the disbelief, the panic, the treatment, the decline, the death. Almost overnight it seemed. His world shaken, foundations overturned, numb.
And numb was how he stayed for a long, long while. He went through the motions, pitying his children’s concern. “Why worry about a dead man,” he used to wonder. And to all accounts he was dead, at least the walking dead. Smiling face, dead eyes, keeping up social convention, but more and more reclusive, disconnected. He was lost somewhere between here and there, unable, unwilling to bridge the gap. He replayed the dreams they had shared with each other during the hard times and the good. Dreams of exotic people and places and sunsets and of growing old together. God he had loved her. It was a true and fierce love that had given her a place to rest and grow and nurture the ones they loved so much.
She had knitted each child a little blanket. A covering that saw them through their first six months or so. And each unique blanket had followed each child through Christmas, and Easter, and birthdays, year after year. Upon their leaving there was a special ceremony she designed for each baby that included a blessing and a passing of the blanket. But there was one blanket which had followed them all. It was still waiting with no place to rest. A little red blanket with a white T embroidered on it. She was the youngest, the brightest star whose light had been taken from them. He had discovered it one day going through “the chest” where she had kept all the things that belonged to the future. He wept that day for the first time. Long and deep he grieved, and in utter solitude. But that day was different. On that day he began to make a turn. It was that day he began to let go. He began to finally lift his head.

And it was not long after that day that she suddenly appeared in his life. Bright, full of life, no expectations other than he be fully himself. It was different than they had been. They had grown up together and had overcome and learned much together. The children born of them created a bond that could not be shared with another. He still missed her, and would at times wish for her company and conversation. But she was gone, and she is here and alive and interesting and maybe, just maybe there was some life left before it was over. Maybe just maybe, he could be alive before he died. So as they walked the streets that day, hand in hand, hope was their friend and their guide. They strolled in the park and came upon an elderly lady knitting. Knitting a small red something. A blanket, or a sweater, he did not know. All he knew was the white hot grief for his child who was not. All the hope and disappointment and the triumph of the life he had lived coalesced in that moment. The pain and the joy somehow coexisting. He remembered a line from a song “There are cracks in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” He thought he finally understood, or at least was beginning to. And as the tears ran down his face light broke from his eyes. He muttered “hallelujah” and “amen.” His friend, silent and watching, pulled him close, kissed him sweetly, and sighed in thankfulness for a man with a soul.

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What’s the Difference (Audio)

Image result for image pebble falling through water

Good morning my Soul, my Beloved

I have a question for you
It was put to me, now I lay it at Your beautiful feet
In quiet expectation and trust I await Your response

From my lips to Your heart I cast it
“What is the difference?”
Does it matter
What does it mean
And like a pebble it breaks the surface of the Deep
Fluttering, slowly sinking, falling into the silent Unknown

Quiet, unmoving I remain
The surface of the water now still, a mirror
I gaze un-blinking into Her eyes
Green, brown, and golden windows
Falling like the pebble I sink into the Unknowing
Silence . . . Senses forsaken

“Nothing . . . and Everything,” She says
You have given all and you have also received back
Yet I needed not
You have scaled the heights of the exquisite and ridden on its golden light
And you have been flayed and spilled out by grief too terrible for words
But I am here
You have sought Me in exotic far off places and the adventure it brought
Even in the familiar paths within your reach your steps sought Me out
I never moved
You have dreamed, and built, and created magical things
And you have seen it all laid low in the dust
Yet I remain
You have chased the ancient knowledge, gathering together secrets of the Ages
But in the end only learned of your ignorance
I have watched it all

You ask what is the difference
I tell you there is none
The meaning you seek is fleeting like the Spring flowers
What matters is still beyond your comprehension
You ask what is the difference
I tell you all is changed
You have come to Me
You now sit by My still waters
You know the I Am
We are and shall ever be – One

So go my Love, seek, climb, create, and learn
Explore the world of the senses, the playground of the body and the mind
Thrill yourself with new adventure, people, and places
Walk the barren paths of solitude and grief
Exult in your victories and feel the pain of your failure

Fear not, cast it away from you
You are mine and I am Yours
My Love for you is all that has ever really mattered

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Her Home (Audio)

Image result for boy small town image

A vignette – Young boy from a small Southern town.  Raised in a culture which hovers just above poverty. Necessity can breed genius and skills passed on from earlier generations still link him to the land.  Making do with what is available is the “redneck” way.  While he may never know the “sophistication” programmed into the larger culture, he carries in his blood a wisdom and frank view of the world that many will never fathom.  He laughs at “City” folks who would starve to death if they closed the grocery stores and cut off the water.  He wonders at their ignorance.  What follows is told in the language, inflection, and accent of that world.  A word of advice, if the world falls apart you better know some rednecks. 🙂

 

Yeah, I seen them pull up and stop outside her house. They seemed important, or like they wanted to be anyway, walking like they do, like they own the damn place. It was the cops and a guy in a dark suit, the man from the bank. I seen them knock on her door and wait. They talked to each other like they were making a plan or something. One of them had some papers and started shaking them at her when she finally did open the door. She just stood there, still like that big rock we played on in her backyard.  They were talking to her, but she wasn’t listening. She looked right past them, through them.  And I watched her.  She looked up and down the block then she seen me. She smiled at me and nodded as if she knew, like she was telling me goodbye or something. Then I seen her look up, past everybody to something in the sky. And I looked up too, to see what she was looking at, but all I seen was clouds. Then this dove landed on the telephone wire in front of her house. She grinned.  Her eyes lit up and her mouth moved like she was talking to somebody.  She raised her arms and took a step out the door on to the porch and then she fell down dead.  A couple of the cops got all excited and started talking on their radios and shit, and another started doing that CPR stuff on her. The banker man, he just watched like he was bored, like it was all just getting on his nerves. I saw him look at the cops then he looked at her.  Then that bastard stepped over her like she was a mat at the door. Guess he got what he wanted, but so did she. She’s finally home.

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