"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture
and, if possible, speak a few reasonable words. " ~Goethe

~ also, if possible, to dwell in "a house where all's accustomed, ceremonious." ~Yeats

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Rubato

ACCUSTOMED, CEREMONIOUS

Rubato: Rhythmic flexibility within a phrase or measure of music; the temporary disregarding of strict tempo to allow an expressive quickening or slackening, usually without altering the overall pace.

Rubatosis: The unsettling awareness of your own heartbeat.

A Great Yogi

In my travels I spent time with a great yogi.
Once he said to me:

“Become so still you hear the blood flowing
through your veins.”

One night as I sat in quiet,
I seemed on the verge of entering a world inside so vast
I know it is the source of
all of us.


Mirabai (1498 - 1550*)
16th - Century Indian Mystic

Translated by Daniel Ladinsky
*Differing dates
suggested by various editors.

These wise words from the poet - princess - saint Mira / Meera brought to my mind some excellent advice that I was given years ago by another wise woman, my undergraduate major professor Connie Holt Jones. I believe it must have been as we were discussing Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence that she advised us to listen to our hearts:
"He came to consciousness again, hearing an immense knocking outside. What could be happening, what was it, the great hammer-stroke resounding through the house? He did not know. And then it came to him that it was his own heart beating. But that seemed impossible, the noise was outside. No, it was inside himself, it was his own heart. And the beating was painful, so strained, surcharged." (from Women in Love, Chapter 20)
If it seems that time is rushing by too quickly, Connie said, find your heartbeat and it will slow you down. On the other hand, if time is dragging unbearably slowly, put your hand over your heart until you find the beat and you'll discover that, in fact, you are moving right along. Your heart will always provide a constant center in the midst of panic or gloom, over - excitement or tedium.

Countless times over the years, thanks to dear Professor Holt Jones, I have exercised this small discipline, which I have only recently learned is called "rubatosis: the unsettling awareness of your own heartbeat." Or to borrow from the world of music, rubato. In life as in music, flexibility will allow "quickening or slackening, usually without altering the overall pace."


"Only from the heart can you touch the sky."
Rumi (1207 - 1273)
Persian Spiritual Sage

More from Rumi

Summer Moons: June (above) and July

Summer Tunes:
1965: "Baby, baby, can't you hear my heart beat?"
1973: "When you were young and your heart was an open book . . ."

Summer Runes:
Thanks to Mimi
& Mindyana: Perfect Equanimity

SEE YOU IN TWO WEEKS FOR MY
Next Fortnightly Post
Sunday August 14th

Between now and then, read
THE QUOTIDIAN KIT
my shorter, almost daily blog posts
www.dailykitticarriker.blogspot.com

Looking for a good book? Try
KITTI'S LIST
my running list of recent reading
www.kittislist.blogspot.com

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Eagles is Freedom

ACCUSTOMED, CEREMONIOUS
Visiting the Bald Eagles at the Columbian Park Zoo
With my friend Nikki ~ April 25, 2016
Fly Like An Eagle
Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin'
Into the future
Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin'
Into the future

I want to fly like an eagle
To the sea
Fly like an eagle
Let my spirit carry me
I want to fly like an eagle
Till I'm free
Oh, Lord, through the revolution

Feed the babies
Who don't have enough to eat
Shoe the children
With no shoes on their feet
House the people
Livin' in the street
Oh, oh, there's a solution

I want to fly like an eagle
To the sea
Fly like an eagle
Let my spirit carry me
I want to fly like an eagle
Till I'm free
Fly through the revolution

Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin'
Into the future
Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin'
Into the future
Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin'
Into the future
Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin'
Into the future

I want to fly like an eagle
To the sea
Fly like an eagle
Let my spirit carry me
I want to fly like an eagle
Till I'm free
Fly through the revolution

Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin'
Into the future
Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin'
Into the future


~ The Steve Miller Band



Admiring the impressive eagles and measuring my own "wingspan" reminded me of a teaching anecdote posted by my friend Sandy's daughter Rachel a couple of summers ago:

July 4, 2014 · Bangkok, Thailand ·
Blech. I'm homesick. I don't want to be in Bangkok. I want to be in the States doing American things. You know what's weird? I haven't spent a 4th of July in the US since 2010 . . . weird.

Also, there was this conversation in tutoring yesterday . . . appropriate for the eve of July 4th? I think so. (Talking about carnivores vs herbivores, which led to a discussion about birds of prey. We were in no way talking about the US, the Fourth, or anything like that.)

Varit: What win when fight? Eagle or hawk?

Phonpisith: Eagle! Because it strength and FREEDOM.

Me: ??? Where did you even hear that? I never taught you that and your homeroom teacher is English and didn't teach you that.

Phonpisith: I know about freedom. And eagles is freedom.

[ellipses in original; emphasis added]

Could it be that these young Thai students had heard John Denver sing:
The Eagle And The Hawk
I am the eagle, I live in high country in rocky cathedrals that reach to the sky.
I am the hawk, and there's blood on my feathers.
But time is still turning, they soon will be dry.
And all those who see me, and all who believe in me
share in the freedom I feel when I fly.

Come dance with the west wind and touch on the mountain tops.
Sail o'er the canyons and up to the stars.
And reach for the heavens and hope for the future
and all that we can be, and not what we are.

These two songs are connected not only by vivid imagery of flying eagles but also by the mysterious passage of time. For John Denver, "time is still turning"; and for the Little River Band, "Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin' / Into the future."

Even more important, perhaps, is their shared theme of social justice:
LRB ~ "Feed the babies
Who don't have enough to eat
Shoe the children
With no shoes on their feet
House the people
Livin' in the street
Oh, oh, there's a solution"

JD ~ "And reach for the heavens and hope for the future
and all that we can be, and not what we are."
Come the Revolution! Happy Bastille Day!

SEE YOU IN TWO WEEKS FOR MY
Next Fortnightly Post
Thursday July 28th

Between now and then, read
THE QUOTIDIAN KIT
my shorter, almost daily blog posts
www.dailykitticarriker.blogspot.com

Looking for a good book? Try
KITTI'S LIST
my running list of recent reading
www.kittislist.blogspot.com