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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Ambiguity. Nothing characterizes death more vividly than ambiguity. Death is utterly ambiguous! And, we tend to react to ambiguity, as we do to anxiety, by trying to exert control, naively convinced that, in doing so, we can drive out
both anxiety and ambiguity. Not so, when it comes to death!

I think we need ambiguity in our lives. How else would we sharpen our attention, grow in courage, or deepen our ability to be present? Poetic perception arises out of the willingness to move in the swamp of ambiguity, where the ancient reptiles still abide. Of course, there is a great risk of being devoured alive, but this is unavoidable in life, anyway, despite our best efforts to survive. All of the great poets-- Pope, Shelley, Byron, Rilke, eliot, Thomas, Dickinson, Ginsberg, Tagore, Basho, Issa, Shiki and many others--died there in the swamps they waded into, but left immeasurable riches behind, for others to enjoy. Shall we too then?

deathbed evening
what's that sound
floorboards creaking

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