Archive for November 2011


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“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” – Meister Eckhart

Happy Thanksgiving

A cold and clear Thanksgiving morning in the Carolinas…with a lot to be thankful for…

view from the front porch

Happy Thanksgiving!

Written by Jim

November 24, 2011 at 9:06 am

Posted in Musings

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Where you left me

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Ten months today. I was reading that, with the combined motion of the Earth, the sun, and the Milky Way Galaxy, the Earth (and its inhabitants) is moving through space at a speed of between .5 and 1.5 million miles per hour. In ten months…that’s close to seven billion miles…

The place where you left me is long gone.
As the earth circles the sun,
as the sun tracks through nothingness
along the farther reaches of the Milky Way,
itself spiralling who knows where…
around who knows what.

I’m still here…looking at the space
where I think you left me.
But…how far away is that place now?

Written by Jim

November 22, 2011 at 5:34 pm

Posted in Grieving, Musings


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According to the veterinarian that I take Tinker and Belle (my pomeranians) to, ‘my world’ would have changed considerably…if not for a freshwater mussel called the Carolina Heelsplitter. The area where I live was under consideration for a very large housing development. The discovery that the heelsplitter, a critically endangered species, lived in a local branch of Cane Creek, about one-half mile down the road from where I live, took 400 acres out of the proposed development. So ‘my world’ got a reprieve for the foreseeable future.

I am so thankful…that somehow…we found this place. I like to think of it as my little world. Thoreau spoke of his beloved Walden as a place set apart…where he had his own personal moon and stars that belonged just to him. Today…I felt the same. This morning started out cold…28 degrees…with a white frost covering everything. This afternoon was a good time for sitting on the porch. The temperature in the sixties…feeling the warmth of the sun on my face. Tinker…lying at my feet…her eyes squinting in the sun…her nose wriggling in every direction, catching who knows what scents on the gentle, cool breeze that was blowing. Belle lying in the sun…a tiny lizard creeping up behind her, taking advantage of this wonderful sun to bask in…

I took Belle to the vet this morning to check on some blood work that was done two weeks ago. He off-handedly mentioned that she’ll probably make it to sixteen (she just turned eleven a few weeks ago). Hmm…five more years. I can remember the night Sharon and I bought her at a puppy shop down in Venice, Florida…and driving her back home to Sarasota…with Belle in a little cardboard box in the back seat of the car.

Now…we’re just sitting in the sun…our own sun…enjoying the breeze on an Autumn day that started out so cold…so dark.

Written by Jim

November 12, 2011 at 4:23 pm

A very short history of the Aleph

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I’ve always been on the lookout for evidence of its existence. The Aleph…its name taken from the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

The first reference that I stumbled upon concerning this strange object occurred while thumbing through the pages of a book by Jorge Luis Borges. He related the story of a friend, which involved a fantastical object that existed in the cellar of his house on Garay Street in Buenos Aires. On a visit, his friend leads him down into the dimly lit cellar, and closes the trapdoor, leaving him lying in a corner, alone in the darkness, perfectly positioned to witness this apparition…

“On the back part of the step, toward the right, I saw a small iridescent sphere of almost unbearable brilliance. At first I thought it was revolving; then I realised that this movement was an illusion created by the dizzying world it bounded. The Aleph’s diameter was probably little more than an inch, but all space was there, actual and undiminished.”

What he then saw astounded him…

“I saw the Aleph from every point and angle, and in the Aleph I saw the earth and in the earth the Aleph and in the Aleph the earth; I saw my own face and my own bowels; I saw your face; and I felt dizzy and wept, for my eyes had seen that secret and conjectured object whose name is common to all men but which no man has looked upon — the unimaginable universe.”

Further back, in the eighteenth century, there is also a somewhat obscure, but in retrospect, most certain, reference to the Aleph in William Blake’s Auguries of Innocence

To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.

Later, I was even more astonished when I came across a passage in the writings of Julian of Norwich, the great fourteenth century English Christian mystic who took her name from the Church of St. Julian in Norwich, where she was an anchoress and solitary. In Chapter 5 of her ‘Revelations of Divine Love‘, she relates a vision she had of an encounter with the Lord…

“He shewed me a little thing, the quantity of an hazel-nut, in the palm of my hand; and it was as round as a ball. I looked thereupon with eye of my understanding, and thought: What may this be? And it was answered generally thus: It is all that is made. I marvelled how it might last, for methought it might suddenly have fallen to naught for little. And I was answered in my understanding: It lasteth, and ever shall for that God loveth it. And so All-thing hath the Being by the love of God.”

Tantalizing as all this may seem…that’s all that can be said for now. I know…the evidence is far from conclusive. With further research, perhaps using hitherto unknown source material as it becomes available, this mysterious object will be more fully understood, and the timeline of the Aleph (or whatever its true name is) extended further back into the distant reaches of the past. We can only hope…and wait…

Written by Jim

November 6, 2011 at 8:13 pm

Letting go

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I’ve been having this feeling lately…that I need to let go…to release my grasp on things…on who I think I am…on the future. Ever since Sharon died, the future has been collapsing…like a telescope closing in on itself. Where once there was a road extending outwards…with plans and destinations…with a vision of what would be…possibilities…it’s now turning into a road that comes to an abrupt stop…with no way directly ahead. Have to let go of all that…and just let it be…just let it go.

I don’t pretend anymore to know what this is all about. I don’t have any grand, unified theories of everything…of the universe. I do know that it’s most likely greater…more unimaginable…than we can even think.

So…I throw another log of red oak onto the fire on this chilly Autumn evening…flames releasing energy that was stored up on a hot summer day years ago. While my fingers dance on a magical device that rests on my lap…that communicates to the rest of the world through a medium invisible to the eye…while I listen to ethereal music that originates on some other continent…moving the molecules of air that vibrate over the tiny drums in my ears. All the while pretending that I’m not ‘living in a land of make believe’.

Something…or someone…is telling me that I have to let go…have to let be…it’s as simple as that. And see what the future brings

Written by Jim

November 4, 2011 at 8:58 pm