Masks are everywhere these days... and not just because Halloween is just around the corner. Sometimes we don't even realize the masks that we've been wearing -- the patterns and themes and synchronicities that have been lurking behind the mask of random chance in our lives -- until someone else points them out to us. That's sort of what happened to me when, by sheer coincidence (or was it?), a curiously thematic bunch of my poems all were accepted for publication during the month of October.
I wonder what Jung would have to say about it, how for years now we have saturated the collective unconscious with stories of war, collusion and incest...
Are you okay?
I only ask because
your selections of late
have gone rather grim.
Not an ode to joy
not one kiss.
I am writing you this poem the way a gazelle must grow ever sleeker and quicker to escape the indelicate jaws of the lion.
The thing about puzzles is, there’s a moment between when you have all the edges done, and when you have enough of the middle filled in to see what’s missing, what’s left.
Why is everything I try to do coming out stilted and slow today? I blame you. The general, faceless you. The you who keeps telling me I need to be smaller, wittier, brief.
We might try to follow where the clown leads, but we cannot hope to pin him down. It is only when we stop insisting that the clown be just one thing that he is free to become the multiplicity of being that he really is.
Usually Starbucks incorporates a wide variety of anti-Christian imagery onto their winter holiday-themed cups, but this year the Seattle coffee company has completely capitulated to the growing pressure from right-wing fundamentalist Christian groups to "put the Christ back in Yule" by creating a holiday cup design that not only rejects all the Pagan symbolism of this blessed time of year, but actively promotes a Christian worldview. Don't believe me? Check out this breakdown of Christian symbolism...
A couple years ago I wrote 7 Ways to Enjoy a Sex-Free Beltane, in honor of all those single and/or disinterested folks out there who were looking to celebrate the reason for the season without necessarily having to "get down," "jump on it" or "funk it up." Weirdly, that post did not become the runaway viral sensation I was anticipating. This year, though, things will be different. If there's one thing people like more than having sex, it's avoiding death and thoughts thereof...
In light of recent events and discussions, I wanted to share this essay as a robust defense of the sacred value of art, poetry and satire within both our theological explorations and our political discourse. It is my view that ambivalence itself can be sacred, for it opens us to authentic experiences of others which may be unexpected or challenging, and so we can appreciate this ambivalence and the art forms that express it as powerful and meaningful aspects of our relationship with the numinous, and with each other.