03 May 2016


I don’t know if things are the same where YOU live, dear diary, but here in the Land of Plenty we have just two “major” political parties. We also possess a few “major” religions, or “organized” religions… I wonder why. I mean, why did religion and politics congeal into great big groups in this fashion? What about all of the minor religions, those that are dis-organized, and the political parties that have only one or less members?

Deer walk upon our mountains. That statement appears in the final section of the poem “Sunday Morning” by Wallace Stevens. The park where I was walking the other day was more hilly than mountainous, but I did see deer there: four of them came out of a natural clearing in the woods and hastened across my path in single file; but one fine instant before they decided to risk this maneuver (I gather, from their apprehensive way, that anything deer choose to undertake is a risky maneuver), the leader of the quartet halted at exactly the same distance away from me as the deer remains from Officer Duke at the end of Wrong Cops (2013) (still my favorite ending of any film ever, by the way) and faced me with the identical stock-still gaze.

Though I waived my chance to startle us out of our special moment, as soon as she broke the spell on her own and went bounding away, I could not resist shouting after: Write a book about what? (Let those who are in-the-know about this feign amusement.)

Yet may I, by no means, my wearied mind
Draw from the deer, but as she fleeth afore,
Fainting I follow.

(That’s from a poem by Sir Thomas Wyatt.)

Anyway, last night I attended a birthday party. I was worried that I’d be nervous at the event, because crowds of people make me feel like a deer in the forest; so I practiced my own homegrown-hack version of Transcendental Meditation, and it really helped. I understand that there are foundations—“major” authorities—who teach the “official” techniques of meditation, and I respect their work (maybe someday I’ll approach them to learn their way); but I didn’t have time to seek out trainers at that juncture, and I also trust my own mind in this regard. The realms of religion, spirituality, etc.—they don’t scare me: I’m very comfortable trusting my own thoughts and instincts.

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