Sunday, October 29, 2006

THE OLD DISPENSATION

The old dispensation has come again;
The placement of time has been realigned to its origin.
What was saved or conserved these last months, really,
When divisions, boundaries, and placements of time
Are all arbitrary?

Not just with Prufrock’s measuring spoons
Do I lay out and measure my life.
The egg timer’s old-styled workings,
Its affected fa├žade of accuracy,
And, above all, its smallness of scale,
Are all for me,
To measure out my time in thimblefuls
While pouring it away elsewhere in torrents.

And so, the daylight close comes one hour earlier,
Whether measured by clock hands shoved backward,
Digital watch buttons pushed and pushed and pushed,
Or atoms of cesium arbitrarily renumerated.

Nothing is saved;
Rather, the human mind is slaved,
Enslaved to the idea that an elemental dimension
Can somehow be tweaked and bent to our convenience
And put to work, like a six-month summer CD, to earn interest.

Nothing is saved;
Rather, the human mind is slaved,
Only to be jarred out of its Platonic cave
As the human body feels the one-hour shock
Every fall anew.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

To heck with the Fine Arts Chamber Players as well as the DSO

After seeing that the Dallas Symphony Orchestra was doing nothing special in either last year’s or this year’s concert season for the Shostakovich centennial, I held out hope for the Fine Arts Chamber Players. In fact, I requested the group do a Shostakovich-heavy first concert.

Did it? Hell, no. Look at the schedule.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Wasn’t that a nice sunset yesterday?

Including some thought provoked about atonement

It sure was here in Dallas, for the start of Yom Kippur. (I had Kol Nidre playing on the stereo at the same time.)

It made me think that if I weren’t already an atheist having sprung out of a conservative Protestant background, I wouldn’t mind being an atheist with a current Reform Jewish heritage.

How do you ask forgiveness if there’s no personal deity? It’s possible; obviously, Theravada Buddhists have been doing this for thousands of years. I, in the past, worked through how one has an “attitude of gratitude” when you believe there’s nobody to whom to be grateful.

First, if you approach this from a communal point of view, there’s other people from whom to ask forgiveness. Beyond that, and not to sound New Agey, maybe you do need to ask forgiveness from yourself. After all, if prayer is really a heart-to-heart talk with yourself then atonement is on the same line.

So there you go.