Learning to Listen

Clouds and wind
mountains and rivers
are speaking

*

A couple of years ago,
I had entered yet another round of suffering quite heavy symptoms
This time it expressed itself in a hypersensitivity to sound and accumulations of people,
I had no idea what had happened, but the symptoms were severe.
So severe that most of the time I was no longer able to be with more than one or two people, let alone maneuver in subways, go to supermarkets or keep on teaching, which was how I supported myself.
The situation felt more than alarming.

One afternoon, while meeting a friend, I suddenly heard myself state that I had ‘absolutely no interest in this society’.
It was not that I did not like people. It was their ways that I had no idea how to relate to anymore.
The whole thing and the whole outcome.
And so sometimes the sense of alienation and isolation felt unbearable.

Already I had spent extended times of inquiry and listening.
Times of trying.
Hard. And in many ways.
It did not seem to work.

My friend seemed to be very touched by the depth and intensity of my expression at the time.
‘That is a very strong statement.’ she said.
I finally decided to leave the urban context for another time.

*

They plow the land again
Tear it open,
big chunks of earth have been flipped over
I can’t help it, I am crying
In the beginning these feelings felt strange, compulsive and overwhelming

With the time I knew it was a most natural response


*

A subtle, yet very clear and simple sensation had appeared time and time again
There was an urge to look for a good place to set up a camp, raise a family, maybe
And I mean set up a camp, not renting an apartment
For a while it was there
Forget all you know
and listen, it said
There is a sensation of wonder while making out a convenient place, install a shelter, explore the surroundings
The activities then take shape naturally
Various different tasks and necessities, just as occurring creative impulses, eliminate the question of having a career of some sort
There is a flow
a day, a place, things to be done
manifold
The concept of work does not exist like that
There is so much so say
There is nothing to say

*

I have met many
Mostly it’s the sensitive ones
Quite some of them already died
either through sickness or through themselves
It’s not you who is wrong!
Sometimes I said it
Sometimes it just did not feel adequate
There is nothing wrong with you!
It’s in the ways
Even in the language
They are utterly misleading
I guess some of them knew
but just couldn’t bear it any more

*

Little was I aware that with the perception of great purity comes the perception of great sufferance.
Alas, you have to be wise. Original cultures know that. I did not.
Prepare body and spirit. And know where you roam.
Otherwise an orphan from a different world will speak a tongues and nobody will understand.
With clear-sightedness also abuse will be detected, its effects experienced.
So will wonderment and joy of the most subtle nature.
However, the sensation of alienation will prevail, mostly amongst animals walking upright.
Birds and undomesticated animals show their support.

*

Living for Beauty.
That is what it burns down to.
That is a core sensation.
Since most likely there are as many worlds as there are people, I will not bother to define that term.
I guess there are some who will figure, maybe others who are curious, and many more who could not care less.

*

All is ‘things’ in the world they would like me to get into.
And since all is things, one can collect and order, and accumulate and sell them.
And that is where the cruelty and ignorance towards life begins.

*

It is autumn and the day is about to end.
Writing in a small notebook, I sit in a train that goes to the sea.
I walk through the city, down to the shore.
It is a strange place.
It is as if nobody really lives here anymore.
However, there are a lot of them. All around. And again it feels very busy.
The waves of the sea seem gentle.
I hear the cries of seagulls and parrots.
And then there is a constant undercurrent of human activity with varying density.
They eat ice cream, drink things out of colored plastic bottles, they take pictures of the sun set and of themselves.
Everywhere are shops where you can buy things, and I wonder what most of these things are good for.
I take another train and leave the city.
It is packed. Everyday it is packed.
Through the train window I see masses of cars entering and leaving the city.
Inside the train nearly everyone is busy with a telephone or has passed out.
It feels very strange. I don’t want to stay here.
I sense a sort of nausea, a tension in my guts.
Again there is the sensation that there is a profound insanity. Something really off. Most of the behavior I encounter seems to be deeply driven and compulsive.

And then you look again, and you see that they are all animated by the same force.
Breath is happening. Smells and images are being registered. Thoughts are being followed.
How mysterious it all is.

You switch again and you note this endless, desperate devouring, conquering, pretending.
All over, changing colors with different cultures.
This restless agitation, passed on and on throughout a perceived childhood, adulthood and old age, that might be called search for happiness.

Raging like a forest fire, nurtured by the winds it generates.

*

How graceful!
The life of the arctic duck