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A rare visitor rounds the bend of the driveway below my house

The screech owls gave me another chance to listen more closely to their calling the night before last, so I was able to revise the poem I wrote in answer to Zweig’s “Listening to Bells” the other day. Take another look – I think it’s a little less “In lieu of,” a little more of a genuine listening now.

I also want to draw your attention – for the benefit especially of readers who might have been grumbling to themselves about the dearth of prose here lately – to some truly inspired writing by recent contributors to the comment strings. There’s a longish and delightfully chaotic kite-tail of comments helping to keep the Chant for the Summit of the World Body aloft. Two of my favorites in that string include one from Jean:

…[T]he world body doesn’t need a rest. None of these is about the world body doing anything, just about what people would like it to do, or think they would like it to do. In fact, the world doesn’t have a body, only a shadow, a reflection indicating the presence of body that actually isn’t there. It talks a lot about wanting to have one, but no one can agree about what kind of animal it should be, and Bush is determined it should not come alive, wants a robot or nothing.

Farther down, Rexroth’s Daughter – one of the pair of inspired misfits who call themselves Dharma Bums – added this:

Thanks for poetically revealing the myth perpetuated by google. The world body is like an urban legend. Repeated enough it becomes evidence of its own existence. The google bomb of self: A desperate need to believe in the reality of our own skins writ large.

Google bomb – the willful multiplication of incoming links with uniform wording or naming, in order to increase the attraction of a place or position by its sleight-of-hand substitution for the results of otherwise unrelated searches, using a god-like logarithm of our own invention – has to be one of the most accurate analogies for the formation of self I’ve ever seen. As the Wikipedia article points out,

Google bombs often end their life by being too popular or well known, thereby attaining a mention in well regarded web journals and knocking the bomb off the top spot. It is sometimes commented that Google bombing need not be countered because of this self-disassembly.

In a different, more animist vein, Beth left a vivid comment after the aforementioned “Listening” post:

…I dreamt of an owl last night, a big one – like a great horned – seen in the dream first through trees, and then flying over the roof of the moving car and then ahead of it, down the road and off into the trees again.

It was blue.

Thanks to everyone who comments and to all who visit here, whether with words or with the gift of silent presence. It’s never quite the quiet of a tomb, though I must admit, sometimes I feel that I ever stop chipping away at my epitaph, I’ll have to go lie down under it and mind my manners. And then it’s nothing but cut flowers – no gardening allowed! So gather ye rosebuds and all that. Or rose hips, really, by now…

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A pasture rose, New York aster, and the light above my writing table visible through the dining room door

UPDATE: Bloggers are invited to enter their favorite comments from among those left at their blogs for the 90 Great Comments Contest, hosted by Glittering Muse (and inspired in part by this very post, for which I’m honored).

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

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