Blog picks of the week

1. Marin Outings, the brand-new blog by Maria of alembic, looks promising. It features photos matched with finely-wrought poems or prose poems. Start at the beginning.

2. Suzanne’s Sapphodes are not so much spacey as they are holey – maybe even via negativistic.

3. From the guys this week, metaphysical wrestling with the Big Questions. (You know how much we guys obsess about the size of our questions!) First, Chris Clarke wondered about Worship:

In an old edition of the Whole Earth Catalog, someone once responded to the Spaceship Earth metaphor as like being out in the New Mexico night, looking at the stars, and gasping “it’s just like the planetarium!” Church is like going to the Oakland Museum, looking at the wonderful diorama of Joshua tree, Tegeticula moth, loggerhead shrike, and Mojave green rattlesnake, all artfully preserved and decorously posed.

Reality? Reality bites.

Then Grace and other curses came in for some sharp questioning at the vernacular body:

Fortunately, grace doesn’t require belief of me. In this, it is like many of the wonders of our world. No belief required. A thing is what it is, regardless of what I might choose to impose on it. My believing or disbelieving is immaterial.

This at least is my explanation for what happens in that precisely callibrated moment (precisely callibrated: look at me talking like a believer!) when I encounter the work, or when the work encounters me.

Finally, Kevin of Big Hominid entered the ring (three-way matches are allowed in metaphysical wrestling, right?), guest-blogging at Ditch the Raft on Zen and Postmodernism.

As Korean Zen master Seung Sahn says, if you want to “attain watermelon,” you have to cut a piece and eat it. “BOOM! Your experience!” Seung Sahn cackles. You and the watermelon are not-two, of course. In a deep sense, you don’t really “attain” watermelon any more than you “know the taste of” watermelon. Nothing to attain; nothing to taste; no you. Think of the watermelon as your dharma talk, a sermon about the nature of all things….

4. But my favorite single line of the week appeared in a diatribe by Natalie at Blaugustine last Sunday:

But, like many people, I go to hell sometimes because you can find bargains there.

Sad but true.

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