Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Reflections on the Passing of Brother Est.

Dog Poet Transmitting.......

You see something like this and you really have to wonder about possibilities. Our own seemingly limited capacities are only limited by our imagination and our reliance on the one who makes what is possible for us possible because, like dogs, we have our trainers too. We must be circumspect with what intelligence we align ourselves with. This is our sole responsibility. If we do not choose wisely the most likely result is that we are fools. All the programming of these times is directed at killing our faith in what is real and refocusing it on what is not. If you cannot see that then you are blind.

“You would know the secret of death.
But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.
If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.

In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.
Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?
Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?

For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?

Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.”

We lost a long time visitor here recently. The poet Est has gone onward to that far country. Knowing as I do that his heart was good, I do not grieve at his passage. This world is a land of constant sorrow, especially in times like these when the pandemic of Materialism is so widespread.

Est had trouble adjusting to this world. Like so many before him, he took his escape through something that has claimed many another sensitive soul before their time. We talked about this, he and I ...but he was adamant that it should be this way. I don't argue with people about their right of choice beyond what is acceptable to the other party. I myself have run far afield in the wrong directions for similar reasons and under the force of similar pressures. Poets are not like the rest of the world. Their sensitivity is very often their doom. They live, or seek to live, in another world; a brighter, more humane and more beautiful world, a world that can only be found within in these times, though many of us have desperately sought to realize that world... we are too few and they are too many. 'They' are the ones who consciously work to deceive their fellows and then there is the larger body that is composed of those deceived and willing to serve the darkness because they don't know any better or because what they are offered has consumed them to where they will consider no other options.

The last time we spoke he told me he had fallen down and hurt himself but not critically. I know that place. I've injured myself with excess more than once and also injured myself when there was nothing excessive about it and I was simply being tossed on the unruly seas of existence. Still... I understand the things that can happen when one is filled with an exuberance and zeal which they cannot contain or totally control. Thankfully, for myself, I have passed through the fire and these things no longer trouble me and I am no longer my own victim. We feel too much. Esteban felt too much and so have others among us. We weep for the seeming injustices of this world. We bleed in concert with the injuries that abound around us. We rage against our own helplessness and insignificant might. Some of us make it and some of us don't. Est has passed on to another opportunity, another lifetime of discovery and certainly a lifetime awaits him in which all that he dreamed of and sought after shall be accomplished in full. Of this I am certain, so I do not weep for Esteban. I celebrate that he is free at last and shall become ever more and more free with the passage of every moment to come; just as each of us who seek the light shall find the light and just as those of us who seek the darkness will find that too. In the end, everyone will find the light but... oh how different the road and the country passed through can be.

I have known Est for a long time. He was around before this particular blog was even in operation. He wanted to visit many times and I encouraged him to do so but he never did. We talked of music a lot. He played the guitar and wanted to make music with me. He even recorded some guitar solos to go with certain tunes.

I didn't realize he was so close to his end. I knew it was coming because he knew it was coming. That is one of the things we talked about. He could have gone in another direction with it all but for whatever his reasons, he did not. He seemed fatalistically inclined to this result. I have to imagine there was some suffering involved in this because I have experienced a measure or two of it in the past myself. I am familiar with that landscape. Sometimes we are given a powerful engine and we just don't know what to do with it; too much horsepower and problematic steering, not to mention the sometimes less than fully aware occupant in the driver's seat.

Those of us who have taken the trouble to read biographies know something about the lives of artists who were plugged in to the radio waves of the cosmic muse. Very often because of the force rushing through them they exercised less than optimum control over themselves. They were swept up in a passion greater than what is human and we have ample record of this, should one be so disposed as to inquire. This can often lead to deep,descents into the realms of sensory experience because large passions can generate large appetites and these can lead to all kinds of derangement and unfortunate acting out. We have ample evidence of this as well.

It can take a lifetime of struggle to finally obtain some semblance of command over oneself. Should one be lucky enough, or unlucky enough to survive the journey to that point, one has assuredly made the decision concerning who they will serve. It should go without saying that there is only one force, though it wears many masks. Some of these are welcoming and some of these are harsh taskmasters and some of these are both. Every one of us has a Karma and a destiny. We have peculiarities specific to ourselves. We are like snowflakes, of which no two are the same. Diversity is a fact and that is why the corrupt overlords make such a big deal of it at this time because they set our individuality against one another. It makes our world a place of conflict; a place of solitary conflict and a place of wider conflict with many a strange and temporary alliance among those who will later be fighting each other. The obvious truth which remains a mystery to so many is that we are then and now and always, at war with ourselves, for so long as this continues.

Est understood these things. This is the kind of perspective that comes naturally to poets, though poets have explained and defined the meaning of it all, to themselves, in a myriad of ways. Take Richard Lovelace (no relation to Linda Lovelace, I don't think) for instance. Lovelace was fabulously wealthy, owning vast estates and in possession of enormous resources. He squandered his entire fortune backing wars against his own country. He eventually wound up in prison, where he wrote, “To Althea, from Prison." This has often happened to poets that they find themselves in prison, some other form of confinement, or exile. This happened to Ezra Pound. It happened to Solzhenitsyn, Dostoyevsky, Oscar Wilde and others. One might not think of those first two as poets but they were. Robert Lowell was locked up for not wanting to go to war. Garcia Lorca was locked up and then later taken out and shot. The list of artists of all sorts who have fallen afoul of the ruling authority and come under the heavy hammer of the law is large.

One has to be fairly uneducated not to be aware of how difficult it can be for a 'real and inspired' artist to harmoniously integrate into the society and culture of their time. Very often their art is a direct critique on their times and very often it involves a direct opposition to the governments of the lands in which they reside. After they are gone, inevitably the state will build statues to them for the pigeons to land on. Poets and other artists are usually more widely appreciated once they are departed. They can make for less than pleasant company while they are still around. They have a habit of saying and doing undesirable things.

The most successful poet, financially speaking, was Rod McKuen, arguably one of the worst poets ever to enjoy publication. He died at the beginning of this year. I never even heard about it. He had pretty much fallen off the map. I think he made as much money as all the other poets put together in the last century. The only one to come close, I suppose, would be Alan Ginsberg and both of them were gay; not that that means a great deal, there have been some number of great poets who were gay. Neither of those two, however, should be numbered among them. I suppose Maya Angelou would also factor in. She became famous due to having Bill Clinton as a patron. Some poets, many poets, would be better served working for Hallmark Greeting Cards and I consider the last of those mentioned here to be a candidate for that. I don't expect everyone to agree with me, it's just my opinion. There are far, far more bad poets than good ones and a lot of the bad ones work in academia, teaching what they have zero inspiration for the production of. There is no gentle way to put it; Rod Mckuen's work sucked, yet he sold 60 million books and 100 million recordings of his equally horrible songs. This is the kind of world real poets have to live in. It's no wonder they drink themselves to death as many of them have.

Est was a good friend to me during his time here. Unlike some he was true of heart and noble of mind. I regret to say that I hadn't even noticed that he hadn't been around much, mostly because people come and go here all the time and I'm probably more self absorbed than I ought to be. I'm guessing he was preparing himself for departure and I am guessing he didn't say anything about it because that was the kind of guy he was. He was and remains, one of the more courageous souls I've met, albeit virtually.
Travel well my friend... travel well and may the ineffable unfailingly light your way.

“Do not stand at my grave and forever cry.
I am not there. I did not die.”

.....................................................................

“Because I could not stop for death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.”

End Transmission.

Sunday's radio broadcast...........................






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