Oh, the things I’ve done to secure love and happiness outside myself! Waking to the folly of it all, I can’t help but to laugh out loud. And in that laughter, something relaxes. So let us not take ourselves too seriously, lest we lose the thread of wonder and laughter. May you find inspiration in these musings on identity, intimacy, love, peace, happiness and the truth the Heart knows, which never fails us if we only pause long enough to listen.
Image: Marc Chagall
Kissing is certainly not reserved for Valentines only. Heaven forbid! So, for Kissy-Poo month, I’m honoring the vast diversity of essential smooches in which human lips have engaged. As is stated from the outset, this is a Brief Survey and not meant as an exhaustive list. Certain Kisses are missing (i.e, the Dream Kiss – in a class all it’s own) while some would surely have sub-categories (i.e, the Family – this should be obvious).
Your own Survey of Kisses could prove invaluable in expanding current reference material about this activity. Feel free to share your findings. Please note: the French Kiss is assumed in the Deep Throat. Thank you. xxx
A BRIEF SURVEY OF ESSENTIAL KISSES
Think wet, searing heat. There’s no part of the lover’s breathless
body one’s moist mouth doesn’t want to devour.
Dry lips lightly applied to the top of the head, forehead or cheeks,
while quietly chanting “There, there, it’s ok, honey. Shhh, it’s ok.”
The Public Greeting
A quick peck-peck on one cheek, peck-peck on the other. It’s significance
often downplayed, the Public Greeting has been a lubricant
for social intercourse through the ages.
Unsullied, virtuous swooning, as in one’s mouth pressed
to a baby’s neck, belly or toes. Almost too sweet to bear.
See “The Deep Throat.” Note: if meeting in public, the clandestine heat of savvy Affair
kissers can be camouflaged by a combination of the Public Greeting and/or Family,
making this Kiss difficult to read.
Puckered lips contact cheeks, accompanied by warm full-bodied
yet chaste hugs. Or, cold air kisses, which may or may not be accompanied
by the A-frame hug. Both are telling.
The Michael Corleoni
Passionate and lightning fast. Damn, dude, you are so dead.
By K. Castelbaum, reprint with permission only.
The Shape of Eternity is a poem I “found” in a poem by Terrance Hayes. Allow me to say a bit about found poetry: this form playfully and intentionally uses existing source material as a departure point for the creation of original work. Such shameless appropriation of innovations by writers/artists/performers is a generative renewal process that births new forms into existence. This is not a new phenomena. Some of the most famous “playgiarists” (a term coined by author Raymond Federman) include Homer, Shakespeare, Diderot, Rimbaud, Proust, Beckett, Annie Dillard, Tom Phillips and a gazillion others.
The playgiarism in found poetry (as in all the arts) is not to be confused with mere plagiarism, which isn’t playful or creative at all. Make no mistake about it. But hold on! Playgiarism is a process that goes way beyond art-making.
Playgiarism is a way of living creatively: we take the raw materials of our lives, including what’s been thrown on the reject pile, and begin remixing, reusing and recombining those elements. Bringing curiosity and fearless engagement to the work with said materials, the horizon lines of our lives expand and evolve from this brilliant synthesis. Inner riches are illuminated, then reflected back to us by the world. This is the refreshment of a new beginning, versus the tiresome attempt at a do-over. Plagiarism, by contrast, is a dullard that can make no such claim. It amounts to a withdrawal of the creative impulse, not an expression of it. So, there’s that.
As for the poem itself…ain’t much to add. It speaks for itself. The question is right there in the poem if you’re ready to take it to Heart. We live in “wild space shaped by Love” the moment we drop everything (yes, everything) that limits us via perception. Anything that weights down our wings and cages our senses has gotta go. I can find nothing more worthy of my attention. May it be so for all of us!
* Suggested music to accompany you on the way by J Dilla. Dilla was a phenomenally inventive “playgiarist.” This mesmerizing, hauntingly beautiful tune, Life, is based on the composition Blue In Green, written by Bill Evans, and made famous on the Miles Davis album, Kind of Blue (third track).
* Image: by Krayna Castelbaum, The Shape of Eternity, mixed media, 11×17. All rights reserved.
“Sorrow is deep, yet joy is deeper still.”
One reason I’m so drawn to poetry is because it can bring home the truth of this quote. Poets have a way of speaking to the dark and the light; to sorrow and joy. Clear-seeing poets simultaneously urge us to praise the mutilated world. Some lift the veil and affirm the indestructible light and silence we carry within, no matter what the state of affairs.
Poetry gives me pause, within the matrix of this incomprehensible, crazy, beautiful existence, to look deeper. Like you, no doubt, I’ve had long, hard visits with sorrow. While not negating that experience, I can say I’ve found it’s true: joy is deeper still. This is the joy that has no story, no conditions. It is the joy of pure being minus opinions.
As this tumultuous 2017 winds down, it’s essential to remain clear, especially when, as poet William Stafford wrote, “the darkness around us is deep.” What enables you to see clearly? How can you, in the Buddha’s words, “Be a lamp unto yourself,” even in the midst of sorrow?
Reading, writing and sharing poetry is one of my ways; it opens and restores me. Recently, I wrote a version of Psalm 1. I offer this prayer-poem as a blessing: May you sink into generative stillness, may you be moved by intelligent action, may you be wowed by the wonder of it all, and may you bow low in astonishment and joy.
Psalm 1 – Blessing for Clarity
Those who have seen
beyond greed, hatred,
vanity and illusions –
Their compassionate Hearts
are open day and night,
delighting in the way things are.
They are nourished
like trees planted
alongside flowing waters
that yield fruit in due time.
Their leaves do not wither
nor are they blown about, scattered.
Rooted in the Heart’s
they live and act without fear,
and know true prosperity.
K. Castelbaum, 2017
Image: Don Farrell, Piercing the Darkness (digital print on canvas)