Ye Olde Holiday Break

Hibernating Dormouse

We’re taking roughly a week or two off, friends of friends. That said, one of us might put up a piece here or there, so you might keep us in your periphery.

Enjoy the holidays if holidays-ing is something you’re enjoying.


  1. Yoga Whelp

    My daily affairs are quite ordinary:
    But I’m in total harmony with them.
    I don’t hold on to anything, don’t reject anything;
    Nowhere an obstacle or conflict.
    Who cares about wealth and honor?
    Even the poorest thing shines.
    My miraculous power and spiritual activity:
    Drawing water and carrying wood.

    — Layman P’ang (c. 740-808) Chinese Zen Master. who upon early retirement gave away his house for use as a Buddhist temple, then put all his money and possessions into a boat and sank it.

    “If I give it to other people, they may become as attached to it as I was. It was better to give it to the country of nothingness.”

    He and his family then earned their living making bamboo utensils.

  2. Yoga Whelp

    by Marge Piercy

    The people I love the best
    jump into work head first
    without dallying in the shallows
    and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
    They seem to become natives of that element,
    the black sleek heads of seals
    bouncing like half submerged balls.

    I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
    who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
    who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,
    who do what has to be done, again and again.

    I want to be with people who submerge
    in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
    and work in a row and pass the bags along,
    who stand in the line and haul in their places,
    who are not parlor generals and field deserters
    but move in a common rhythm
    when the food must come in or the fire be put out.

    The work of the world is common as mud.
    Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
    But the thing worth doing well done
    has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
    Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
    Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
    but you know they were made to be used.
    The pitcher cries for water to carry
    and a person for work that is real.

    P.S. Piercy, one of the most celebrated feminist poets of recent decades, struggled for many years to find her poetic “voice.” Now 76, she’s still going strong. Here is the very best biographic profile I have ever read of her:



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