Conscious Weavings

I have long pondered a curious dichotomy in nature -that organic compounds have a profound ability to organize, replicate and proliferate while inorganic ones get battered – and scattered – about by entropy and all the random forces of nature. Organic organisms, however, coexist resiliently within this chaotic, inorganic world, buffeted by many of the same forces. But the organisms themselves seem to have deeper origins that defy the laws of entropy, even if only for the syncopated rhythms of their short lifespans.

Ponder this –

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What do you see
In a tree,
Beak-crafted from loose findings
Woven into a protective vessel?

On first glance, you may see
A simple bird’s nest….
But I see deliberate strands
Of Conscious Weavings.

I wonder if we are
Too familiar
And lazy in our
Daily Observations.

That we no longer
See beyond the familiar;
To recognize and acknowledge
A more complicated reality.

A fertile abundance
Of cues and hints
That demonstrate
A magical complex at work.

When we see this nest
We think of a bird.
When we see a person,
Many accept the accident of selective evolution.

When I see a person, however,
I infer ultra-complex sophistication –
A bio-mechanical machine, so complex and willful,
That none appreciate or understand it.

Pathways to whose origins
Have so far completely
Escaped our ability
To discern them.

If molecules naturally organize,
Why only into complex, living, functioning structures?
Why do we not see this same level of organization
Across the inanimate world as well?

Thanks for visiting! Your thoughts and observations are most welcome – please don’t be a stranger. May be enjoyed for personal use. ©2017 by Bill Deuster. All rights reserved.

IMAGINE

I cannot speak for others, but life has proven to me that it has a way of creating noise that can be quite overpowering – even stressful at times. I am not talking about the obvious events like lack of money, health issues, divorce and death. I am talking about simpler stuff that can wrap around our consciousness like a damp towel soaked in rotten eggs – stuff that can make us mentally nauseous – enough so that we want to flee the room screaming and pulling our hair out. And usually it is stuff that we could and can deal with if only we stepped back and took a deep breath.

When I wander wilderness landscapes I can easily let go of all the nuisance energy. When I meditate, I can do the same thing. The poem that follows is one way I examine and describe this experience.

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Imagine,
For a moment,
A world
Free
From its legacy patterns.

A world
Where
Thoughts are
Released
From prejudicial energy.

Consider
A Mind
Made from
Opposites
With
A desire for
Resolution….

Ponder
Feelings
Of Love,
And
Of Hate…

Of Respect,
And Disdain.

Of Attraction,
And Revulsion.

Of Experience
Contrasted with Imagination.

Close your eyes;
Blank your mind;
Calm your heart;
Relinquish your legacy prejudices…;
And experience a profound moment
Of Peace.

Rest quietly, for a period.

Open your eyes,
Carefully.
Consider
This Reflective
Peace;
The Neutrality,
That this calm space provides.

Introduce your mind
To you heart;
Breathe in
The delightful scent
Your heart emits.

Temper your mind
With your heart
And coax your heart
With your mind.

Close your eyes again.

Bring forth
Images of beauty
From your memory,
And from your Spirit….

Enjoy, revel in them.
Celebrate the Beauty!

 

Beauty is a very big word. It is a word that honors and describes an infinite range of sensory and spiritual experiences. For me, the word”beauty” is a modifier – a gift that is offered by a divine power beyond our ability to fully understand the experience. We cannot ever fully define this gift with words, but we have a sense in our hearts that it is the most appropriate compliment for the experience itself.

Thanks for taking the time to visit. Your thoughts and observations are most welcome!! May be enjoyed for personal use. ©2017 by Bill Deuster. All rights reserved.

History, Ideals and Sacrifice

It was back in the early 1980s that I had a rather humbling experience. It would be one that changed me a bit, though I didn’t fully understand its importance until many years later.

My girlfriend at the time wanted to take a day trip and suggested Antietam, the Civil War battlefield in Maryland where, in mid September of 1862, General Lee decided to move out of Virginia and north into Union territory. The 17th was to be the bloodiest day of the war and, though many thousands lost their lives, it was a battle that decided nothing.

It was a dreary, overcast day on this, my first visit to Antietam. At first we drove around the battlefield with no specific intent as I really had no idea of the significance of what I was seeing. After about 30 minutes of driving the park driveways, we crossed a highway that runs thru the battlefield – then down and to the right and up into a very large field edged with aged, rough wooden fencing that I presume was authentic for the 1862 time period. At the top of the hill was a tall stone tower with a place to park. We stopped and climbed up into the tower to look out over the battlefield in all directions.

The moment I reached the top, I felt something quite overpowering and as I began to scan out over the fields, I wanted to cry. I could feel a surging energy of sadness and sacrifice. Of unbearable pain, fear and anguish. I sensed regret and longing that life was cut short by the carnage that happened that day. No one personality emerged, just a torrent of collective consciousness that made me aware of how many were lost and how much potential was exterminated.

While this experience stayed with me, I did not revisit Antietam until a number of years later. And I did not begin to photograph the battlefield until after 2000. I now try to visit a military cemetery every Memorial Day to send prayers of thanks to those who have done the hard, sometimes thankless work of military service, especially combat in faraway lands.

I did the commemorative posters for Antietam and Gettysburg back in 2009. I wrote the poem about Gettysburg National Cemetery in mid 2008. This is the first time I have posted any of them in public.

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Hallowed Ground

Battlefield valor and the carnage of war
Renders ground hallowed; and burial stones mark
This sacrifice with enduring tribute to those
Who died for principles greater than themselves.

Gettysburg is such a place of honor.
Its fields and cemetery – quietly, serenely beautiful –
Assert a powerful homage to the efforts of so many
Who cried, bled and died for the betterment of others.

When I ponder the sacrifice, I consider this
Pain and suffering in a larger context of ideals
To which our inner voices persistently allude;
As though linked to an ever present source conscience.

What invisible intelligence renders our transient bodies
With a longing for justice, goodness and equality?
What hushed voice whispers such powerful ideals
That a human being willingly endures pain, even death?

hallowed-ground

©2017 by Bill Deuster. All rights reserved. For personal use only. Thanks for looking. Comments are welcome!!

The Definitive Psyche

Sometimes my mind catches a small wave of inspiration that sends me down a pathway that defies definition. This poem and its accompanying image is just such a journey. Sometimes if I am unable to meditate enough, I discover rough wrinkles of thoughts that create their own voice. I hope you will ponder this with me. Thanks for looking!!

 

Looking skyward elicits a sense of freedom
That begins in the eyes,
Journeys to the heart,
And rests fulfilled in the soul.

There is a quality of infinity
That opens the mind,
Expands the imagination
And rivets a sense of possibility.

I ponder a birds flight
That looks so playful and curious
So high up in the ethereal blue,
But is more likely task and duty bound.

Then I notice the intruding fence;
A symbol of boundaries,
Restrictions and limitation,
Of oppression and slavery.

I think of the history of the fence
And contemplate the duality of its purpose –
Protector or rejector
Enslaver or provider of safe harbor.

Then I reflect on the nature of the mind
And its ability to live within blurry boundaries;
Cordoned off by invisible ropes
That imply a certain sanity.

Denial and falsehood
Are hallmarks of a properly adjusted modern mind;
Wisdom and truth
The by products of wrestling with lies.

It is the fence and the sky
That symbolize a duality
So important to the battle
Between opposing opposites.

Truth is a lie
In the eye of the non-believer
And a lie is the truth
In the mind of the empirical slayer.

There is no resolution between
The sky and the fence;
Just an uneasy truce
That humbles even the wisest mind.

thedefinitivepsyche_j7a7968

All content ©2017 by Bill Deuster. May be used for personal use if so desired.

 

Winter’s Hibernation

 

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Winter is the hibernation of life energy;
A period of latent consciousness
Carefully burrowed from the cold…,
Dreaming, perhaps, of its re-awakening.

Winter is a time of striking graphics –
Black, white and muted color palettes –
Wide stretches of grayness enhanced
With white flakes and glossy coats.

Winter is unpredictable, slow and cold –
Challenging those who engage it
With humbling circumstances and
Life-defeating conditions.

Winter confronts both the mind and body
Forcing the spirit to adapt and learn.
Winter’s cold is shocking, sobering,
And surmounted only by Spring’s Sun.

 

With the the days growing shorter, the shadows longer and colder temperatures once again upon us, I have been feeling like winter is ready to pounce. As I prefer a more temperate climate, winter often makes me reflect on its challenges and the opportunities it affords. Before I know it, though, Spring will announce its arrival and I will once again enjoy its warmth. Don’t be bashful – share your thoughts on winter, the seasons, sunshine – any of the natural elements that can affect your mood or influence your ponderings.

©2016 by Bill Deuster. Contents of the blog are for personal use only – I hope you enjoy what you read here!

Simple Pleasures

Sometimes the simplest moments can provide the deepest satisfaction – the subtlest details, the greatest pleasure and joy. I know that it can entirely depend on the mood, state of mind, at the time; but I ponder over how much our modern life gets in the way of simple joy. The image/poem that you find below describes such a moment – the image taken and the poem written about two years ago on an early December evening.

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The poem itself –

It is calm, cool and peaceful
As the sun stoops
Below the fiery horizon.

Deepening dark blue skies
Expand as the light
Subsides to night.

A young branch grips
The few remaining
Leaves turned vibrant red.

Each leaf is curled inward
By desicant forces,
Drawing leaf shoulders into a cone.

A soft breath
Of rustling wind
Creates gentle motion.

Sounds of leaves remaining
Scratch across the path
Against the rolling rush of water.

As the day draws to a close,
Soothing sights and sounds
Exude serenity and joy.

 

Thanks for taking the time to look and don’t be a stranger! Feedback and discussion is always welcome.  ©2016 by Bill Deuster. May be used for personal enjoyment.

The “virtual” life series

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I am guessing I am not alone, but cannot find a comfort level with the idea of our lives becoming more and more a part of a virtual existence. I am not going to debate the pros and cons of the technology – my professional world would be far more limited without the digital revolution – but I don’t want to cede technology more power than it seems to demand from us either.

The two pieces above are part of a series based on the idea of a digital existence. I will let them speak for themselves. If you have a question or want to experience more, please let me know. Thanks for looking!! The text of the two pieces can be found below:

I Have Been Virtualized

I flicker
and roll
with static
thoughts
like scattered
bands of
noise
on my
computer
screen.

I am neither
color
nor
the absence
of color;
being nor
non being.

I have been virtualized.

 

Nothingness Cubed

Modern life
is lived as
a digital pixel
streaming through
glass fiber.

It is
X_es and O_es
streaming;
pretending
to be consciousness.

Reality falls
into a
virtual trap;
an abyss
infinitely deep.

No joy or sadness,
no pain or pleasure,
no connection or separation –
nothingness cubed.

All copy and imagery is copyrighted by the author but may be enjoyed for personal use only.