waking everlong

©2022 Michael Raven

trapped in waking
everlong
'lectric lines dancing
with blue fire
oktober skies fallen grey
a bad stumble
is all
before
drifting away like
a nameless stranger
on the wind, a
skittering russet leaf
over broken asphalt
in the distance
their hungry
screams

mushin || day 228: depth 深度

©2022 Michael Raven

it is said that water
seeks the low
the shadows
the depths

be water
was an old man's
advice

treasures
await below

This series of writing explorations that I call mushin are an attempt to grasp the concept of mushin no shin (mind without mind, 無心の心, often shortened to mushin, or “no-mind”). I am using prompts from 365 Tao, largely because they are Zen and Tao themes for meditation (which suits this exploration), not as an endorsement for the book from which they are derived. The daily prompts can be found in this table. Anyone wishing to participate is welcome to do so, either post your own response to the prompt below or post a link to your response in the comments.

Tree hollow

©2022 Michael Raven

A body won’t have noticed the hollow in the tree, had they just walked by, ambling as most folks do through forests, sticking to established forest trails. No. It wasn’t something that would have drawn attention at all, and that suited Stuart just fine. It was his secret hollow, a door to other places and times, something not given to being understood, especially by the old men and women.

If you were out of school, Stuart reckoned, you earned classification as “old man” or “old women”. Most people, he reckoned, and just by observation alone, were old well before that point, someplace and when around the age of thirteen by his estimation, but his judgments and proclamations trended to wide margins of forgiveness.

Stuart was quite content with the arrangement, being just shy of eleven himself and figuring he still had a good thirty years or more before he got old. He’d made a promise to himself, he did.

And so, every afternoon he sat in that hidden tree hollow with Bernard, the small red fox who lived nearby, and Hopping Joe, the crow who seemed to live everyplace and nowhere and they listened to the secret lives of the many people walking by. Bernard and Stuart asked many questions; Hopping Joe, well he seemed to have answers for it all. Meanwhile Lucas “Fuzzy Rat”, the local squirrel would shake his head in the branches overhead and make chirping noises in disgust at Joe’s answers. Stuart thought most of it was cow-pies, but Bernard accepted what Joe said, and that seemed to be enough. Every once in a while, Hopping Joe would tire of Lucas’ chirps and chase him off, but Fuzzy Rat never stayed away too long.

Perhaps he learned something about the world from Joe, in spite of his disagreeable sounds.

mushin || day 227: consistency 一貫

©2022 Michael Raven

a new approach:
contemplation
acceptance
deliverance

This series of writing explorations that I call mushin are an attempt to grasp the concept of mushin no shin (mind without mind, 無心の心, often shortened to mushin, or “no-mind”). I am using prompts from 365 Tao, largely because they are Zen and Tao themes for meditation (which suits this exploration), not as an endorsement for the book from which they are derived. The daily prompts can be found in this table. Anyone wishing to participate is welcome to do so, either post your own response to the prompt below or post a link to your response in the comments.

Take me dreaming

©2022 Michael Raven

I’m not gonna lie.

Along with the standard nightmare junk food in my normal dreamscape, I have started dreaming more — or at least recalling more — and some of the recollections have been pretty damn fricking pleasant, far outweighing the dark, brooding and gloomy material that normally fills my nights.

Some of it is so kind of groovy that I find myself recalling less of the ghouls, possessions and monsters of the normal content and recalling more of the good shit. As a result, I find myself craving, rather than merely enduring sleep. Add to it the fact that I am a chronic insomniac, and I have some serious Zs to catch up on.

I’m tired, friends. Tired to the marrow.

Unfortunately, real life gets in the way, as it is not very supportive of aspiring Rip Van Winkles. I’d seriously love to do away with cat daddy and people daddy duty for a week or more, crawl into a hole and catch up on the sleep, as well as the smile-inducing movies I get to watch.

It seems amazing to me that this all has come about by a simple choice to revert to a theme of thought. I don’t want to get into the details, as they are unimportant, but it was a bit of a mental homecoming, returning to a place I once came from, seasoned with a bit of surrender and acceptance. I simple realization and, while not everything is hunky dory by any measure, the place of dreams has shed off some of the perpetual night, stalking and anxiety it has been painted with for damn near as long as I can remember. A simple change in a very simple thought.

But my new conundrum is my addiction to wanting to sleep. Well, not exactly… “wanting to dream” would be more honest.