The Aesthete

There’s an aesthetic pleasure

Awaiting us in every circumstance

In every human condition

 

In emptiness, in ambiguity

In the naive and the silly

In the silent and the unsaid

 

Even the repulsive

Is pervaded by a grace

Over and above its own character

 

Perception depends on the perceiver

Wisdom says

The seer and the seen are one

 

Truth by virtue, can belong only to the truthful

And beauty too, can belong

Only to the truly beautiful.

 

The aesthete is not simply

A cultivated man

He is a realized man

 

A man at first

With good sense

And therefore, with good taste.

 

He is beautiful

Because he is unconcerned

About how beauty ought to look.

 

A seeker of the true

He is attentive to every detail

But disinterested in crafting effects.

 

The aesthete can sense

Much before an average man can

The gifts that remain imperceptible to common taste.

 

 

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Work

All work is about facilitating…

Making easy…

Making possible…

Making a difference…

 

I look at myself…

Small…limited…

And confined

Within myself.

 

I wonder…

How do I make easy,

Make possible

My own freedom?

 

By what means will I make a difference to me?

Not Yet There…

I’ve read about people

Who have swum

The expanse of oceans

And experienced its dark

Murky depths

And emerged victorious

And grateful for being alive.

 

I muse about the aptness

Of its metaphor

For the experiences I’ve had…

 

I’ve plumbed my own depths

Straddled in a nowhere space

Neither here nor there

Neither up nor down

Chiming to an external rhythm

Of day and night

But swimming in a dark expanse within.

 

I still haven’t emerged victorious.

I wonder what I should do

With my aliveness.

We’re One

How strange

That love must have rituals

That elaborately and

With excessive pomp and show

Declare on a fixed date

Year after year

The design of our love.

Of course, this works beautifully

When one has to live up to the lie

Of words and sentiments

That were, in the first place,

Exaggerations of plain feelings

That would otherwise go unnoticed

And unheard

In the loud and garish spectacle

Of a theatrical world.

Love is essence, not feeling

It’s not a hope, or an ideal

Neither is it a needy prayer

It’s there in our midst

When we speak through silence

Needing nothing

To decorate our being

Or to celebrate our love

(It’s not an accomplishment)

We’re no longer together

We’re one.

It’s Not a Small Thing

To be given the chance

To learn something

Isn’t a small thing

It means that your heart and mind

Have qualified to receive

The gift of knowledge.

 

They’ve gone through

The treachery

Of phony knowledge

And paid a heavy price

For ignorance…

And survived it!

 

A humbling experience

At some point

Has earned you the merit

Of this moment

The realization that

Knowledge can only be received, not claimed.

 

That moment

When your receptive heart

Is sitting at the feet

Of a knowing preceptor

And listening intently

To words that make perfect sense…

 

That moment is not a small thing.

 

Lose It

Reality doesn’t necessarily abide in

The architecture the world has designed…

There exist men of high morality and character

Wearing the face of convicts in prison cells…

And there are murderers and rapists

In the guise of priests in places of worship…

The best teachers and students

Don’t necessarily sit face to face in elite institutions

But may be living in old, decrepit workshops, inns and shanties…

The best poet may not be found in between the hardbound covers of a book

But may be speaking his heart to an unlettered ear in a tavern…

The best art may not always be in elegant homes and galleries

But may be lying neglected in a corner occupied by a homeless man…

 

To know life then…

One must learn to do away with a contrived sense

To look outside of the shape and structure of things

And meet life bare and naked in mind

With the wisdom that understands

That knowledge gained

Must be knowledge lost.

Lateness

I know you see me live

And ask of me all that I can give

But I’ve always wondered why

We don’t see each other die

Things often taken a turn

When the last remains burn

So easily we let go

Of all unworthy sorrow

And see clearly through moist eyes

That death claims us

 

long before we actually die.