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Thread: Daily Bread

  1. #281
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Thank you dor this latest post, wsmith.

  2. #282
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    WS. I hope you're copying and pasting these posts into a personal notebook to draw on when you write your first book.

    Beautiful description of those moments that are both ephemeral and eternal.
    I never thought of it. There are so very few things Ive written that Id consider worth saving but I should for my kids at least. Thank you.

  3. #283
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    Thank you dor this latest post, wsmith.
    Thank you for reading it.

  4. #284
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    “A work of art is not completed by the composer or artist but by the listener or the observer so that it can change from one person to another. ”

    John Cage paraphrasing Marcel Duchamp

    My recent exploration of silence brought about a new consideration for the concepts of differences between a little or nothing at all and a lot. Or to express it in a different way, something blank and something filled to excess. In yet another, something bland and something brimming with taste. For example, as a child I watched my father take a blank piece of white paper and with some simple strokes of a pencil create a portrait. He was good at creating caricatures of politicians or copying cartoons from memory. At some point the creation was perfect and anything added to the drawing seemed to detract from the drawing itself.

    Another example was the first time I tasted salt and vinegar potato chips. The explosion of taste that the salt contrasting with the vinegar caused my eyes to close and my taste buds to awaken. But each chip thereafter seemed to be less salty and less vinegary until after a certain number of chips; probably more than should be eaten in one sitting anyway, the taste went away almost completely.

    Musically, this phenomenon struck me most vividly as I sat in a smallish dorm room accompanied by two other friends. The room was constructed of cement block and had just a few wooden furnishings and two small single beds. On a stereo player spun a vinyl disc pressing of Boston’s five man band of English-heavy metal and progressive rock and a song entitled Foreplay/Long Time. The song begins with a classical crescendo transitions to a walking baseline and back to a progressive heavy metal impression of classical music and then ......silence......but for one single note and then the Long Time beat followed by a lengthy standard rock and roll ....”Its been such a long time.... I think I should be going....Time doesn’t wait for me....It keeps on going.”

    Time and silence. Two ingredients to life. And two ingredients to death. In the ancient art of zen, there isnt much difference between life and death.

    The creation ,however one views it, then is reliant on the person more for whom it was created and not by the creator him/or her/ or itself. To have spun a lump of clay into a beautiful vase and to only be seen by its maker is not at all what it was created for. The real completion comes when someone else admires it in their own way, values it and places it in use where it can be seen.

    This is is how I think I have begun to understand that life does not just exist in material things that can be seen and felt and owned but in a great universe of unseen things that can only be experienced when we slow down and approach silence and look inward.

  5. #285
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    I came across a passage from Jeremiah 30:8. It is all about the hope that God will never disappoint us. I believe its true. Sometimes, we thought that its a burden but that leads us to something greater. Trust in God and have faith in Him, you can never go wrong.

  6. #286
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    WS, I really think that most of what you write should be saved for your kids. It is very insightful and interesting. Don’t underestimate your self.

  7. #287
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    You make me recall why I love theatre so much. People take a dark empty space and it becomes medium of transformation. You walk off of Christopher Street in NYC into a little dingy building, through a curtain into a room with a raised platform in the middle and folding chairs around it. Soon the alchemy of lights, actors, dialogue, blocking, sets and costume creates a suspension of ordinary experience, and if the alchemy works, you emerge a different person a couple of hours later. It's an amazing miracle.

    NOTE: The Christopher Street example was drawn from one of my experiences going to the theatre--specifically when I saw a production of Our Town (not my first by far). Our Town is quoted in my autosignature, and my experience of being in the play when I was young remains for me one of the most transformative experiences of my life. It's an amazing work.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  8. #288
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    As far as I know, the practice of “fasting” or abstaining from food and/or water for a defined period of time, is something that is a part of every spiritual tradition. Even those who are not claiming a connection to spirituality are sometimes found fasting in an effort to cleanse their bodies of toxins and perform a regeneration of sorts.

    With this premise, I think back to a time when fasting and meditation or prayer was a common part of life’s experience. Back when as soon as I was old enough to sit still in church, the princiciples Of fasting were pronounced boldly from the pulpit. But that verbal barrage would possibly not have had any impact on me had not my uncle and aunt modeled the practice on a regular basis.

    The same aunt and uncle who would certainly qualify as minimalists with their tiny house, home grown food and single car family. They practiced fasting as far as I know every Wednesday of every week and then attended prayer meeting from 7pm to 9pm. The same meeting I would attend and learn about group silence, kneeling in humbleness and approaching the very entity of God through praise, repentance and petition. These were serious practices to expose a young child to.

    Islam and Buddhism and a myriad of other religions have their versions of fasting but all necessarily involve denying oneself, recognizing moderation as a virtue and seeking a deeper understanding of ones relationship to creation. This Era Of Consumption seemingly would be unsympathetic to practicing fasting, a time when eating merely for the sake of enjoying gluttony is a goal over simply taking in what one needs and leaving the rest for others. Perhaps Buddhism addresses that “moderation” best in its approach to fasting.

    The number 40 is prominently found in religious accounts especially in Biblical characters practicing fasting. Forty days is an extreme fast but forty hours seems reasonably moderate. I am in my 14th hour of a 40 hour liquid fast. I would not give up my morning coffee even for the Almighty. I don’t expect to hear directly from God any life changing directions, although I kind of wish he would order me to move to South Carolina where retirees are not taxed and the weather is more on average more agreeable.

    Still, I do expect to be able to look a little deeper inward and perhaps find some goodness that has been sitting latent waiting to be exposed. And, I’m looking forward to a large twist on a cake cone in hour 41.

  9. #289
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    Now I’m, In hour 37 of my 40 hour fast. My wife was sympathetic enough to eat her dinner at my daughters house last night. There is a significant hole in your daily activities when the task of planning and then eating food is removed.

    “Now I shall be silent, and let the silence divide that which is true from that which lies.”

    Rumi

  10. #290
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Williamsmith View Post
    Now I’m, In hour 37 of my 40 hour fast. My wife was sympathetic enough to eat her dinner at my daughters house last night. There is a significant hole in your daily activities when the task of planning and then eating food is removed.

    “Now I shall be silent, and let the silence divide that which is true from that which lies.”

    Rumi
    Very remarkable, Williamsmith. Very remarkable.
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

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