The Stone Bearer

While roaming the roads of life, the man of middle-age reached a
stubborn standstill when he encountered a rapid stream. Not able to
amble forward and no other way around, he was unsure of what to do —
for he carried with him upon his back a sack laden with the myriad
stones and rock that he had throughout his journey amassed.

From a very early age and ever on, wherever he went and
whatever he did, the man added ever more to his pack —
some as wee as bits of sand, others as large as the whole of a man.
In time, his bag of fleck and flint filled fuller than full and
was as heavy as the house he had left so long ago.

To the folks that he’d meet in the towns on the streets where he proudly
passed, he became known as The Stone Bearer. For so long had it been that
he was christened as such, that he, too, came to know himself solely in this sense.
And over the scores of years since he pecked his first pebble, the title and
the role with which it entailed would come to define his very existence.

And so it was here, at this time and this place that he was unwittingly impelled
to contemplate his fate. How could he cross the impeding stream and be on his way, while lugging his stony load? The Stone Bearer considered this way and that, backward and front, yet forever concluded the same — He had no choice but to maintain his
course in the only manner mattering to him, with his burden upon his back.

Haltingly he lurched into the formidable flow, each footstep falling further
than the first. He sank in past his knees and hips, chest and chin, submerging
beyond his crown, his bale ever more anchoring him down. Holding fast to the
sack surely would he drown, so in an act of desperate dissolution, he released
his grip and off it slid, the rocks slipping onto stream bed aground.

One by one, the tumbling stones left him ever more light until he at last floated freely to the surface. Making his way to the other side, he stood easily upright, the first he had done so in years. Weightless, he felt, transparent even. He turned and peered to where his stockpile had spilled — strewn about in the current were all the rocks and stones that had once determined his past, and had compelled his foreseen future.

Original painting by Jason Weaver 2017

It was perfectly clear for him to see, that what had initially provided him purpose had eventually oppressed his progress. He realized that no longer could he carry the burden of expectation, to adhere to the limits of prescribed self-imposed concept. Indeed, he had no need to be the stone bearer any more.  “It is time to leave them behind,” he allowed to himself aloud, to the only one that could truly let it be so.

From that moment forth, he would just go, and be, and do — not disappointed by what he had lost (for he would collect no more rocks!) but stronger and wiser for the lesson he learned. In shouldering the weight of those rocks, he now had the fortitude for the travels ahead. And as for the rocks and stones themselves, they would remain forever where they toppled, a testament to the beauty of learning to live, and living to learn.

By Jason Weaver, 2017

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Thinkers and Dreamers

Foto by JasonWeaver 2017

“He goes about his life
with his head up in the clouds,”
they scoff and with a brusk
wave of their hands
brush him aside.

But where they are blind,
the dreamers and the poets,
the artists and the philosophizers
have the vision to glean from the sky
the secrets of life.

And in the end, when they see
that their zeal to amass ever more
has destroyed rather than made
the fulfillment and the peace
that they seek–

–the thinkers and the dreamers
shall point them to
the deep blue above and say
“Behold all the riches
that one could ever need.”

By Jason Weaver, 2017

In an instant

Foto by jason WEaver 2017

+++++++++++++ Imagine, if you will
this split-minute, still-
frame moment of time,
feel it on the fringe
of your skin,
sense it within
+++++++++++++ then
reduce it till
it is no more than a breath,
a blink, a beat,
a photon blast
at sunlit speed!
+++++++++++++ next
slow it down,
spread it out and let
it melt the defining lines
that separate self from the time
of perpetual planetary expanse

+++++++++++++ and now return
to the moment we are in,
perceive the flow
without and within, know–
Are we not changed
from an instant ago?

By jason WEaver, 2017
+++++++++++++

The Experience

foto by Jason Weaver, 2017

She wanted nothing more,
for there were no things
worth wanting anymore.
And as for wanting itself,
even that had become
a tiresome chore to her
as it grew and swelled, so
she let that go as well,
for it was taking up
too much of her time,
using up precious space
in her mind –space
that she needed
to think
and to be.

“You see,” she will say–
but only if you ask, since
she has no desire to sway or
convince, in fact,
no desire at all does she have
but simply to exist,
to live in the moment
to which she’s been offered–
“I am the experience.”
And then she will end
with nothing more proffered
for there is nothing more!
as even every day words
which she once
so adored become
inextricably
inexplicably
meaningless.

By Jason Weaver, 2017

Participating in OpenLink Night at dVerse Poet’s Pub! Come see!

Śramaṇa Rising

Foto by Jason Weaver, 2017

Foto by Jason Weaver, 2017

 

(To hear the Blacksmith Tree Frog please press play)


— The day prior to a New Moon compels total abandonment and complete surrender,
a release from all fears; by becoming an empty vessel, we can be reborn in purity —

The Shaman, dressed in his intricate fine-thread garb, has lit the
sacred flames ensconced within the ornamental shrine, festooned
in floral garlands and feathery plumes, around which they all gather,
chanting mantras and prayers, echoing his verse; later he reads
to them from the ancient texts, his sacramental words.

It is a ceremony of separation — one of death and birth,
of creation and destruction, of mothers and sons, of water and stone.

— And out of the primeval murk he was born, the strands
that once connected them shorn, as man arises from earth —

In attendance is the Seeker, who sways hypnotic to the reverberate
thumps and rings, enchanted at the ritualistic flourishes of his Master’s
lashes of sacred waters, at the intoxicating scents of mystic incense.
He knows that this ceremony is as much for himself as it is for them all,
for tonight, he has shed his doubt, arriving prepared to emerge.

Abruptly, he feels a split, the is a severance, and one by one, like strings
being snipped, the Shaman’s words begin to lose all meaning and sense.

— Bearing down in a grassy field near a passing creek, a mother
delivers
her newborn son, cutting the umbilical cord with her teeth —

Opening his eyes he finds that they have all gone. He is alone in a forest clearing,
a passage, surrounded by bog, the sounds he is hearing now like so many drums
are the tympanic mating calls of male blacksmith tree frogs resonating across
the water. Where once was a fire-lit altar, he sees a patch of grassy stalks
jutting from the murk, the scents are of night-blooms, of algae, of damp.

It is done, the cycle is complete. Cleansed and unbound from his corporal and
temporal ties, he must forge a new path of unification. But for now, he must rest.

 

By Jason Weaver, 2017

Although I took artistic liberty to re-create this account, an actual ceremony was performed by my good friend and mentor Afonso Domingues on the evening of February 25th, 2017, on New Moon’s Eve. Some details in the poem are truth, while others are embellished or simply created. In this story I call him the Shamen to instill an atemporal feel to reflect that which we all surely felt. The photo was taken earlier in the evening before the ceremony. Later, I returned to this spot just as it began to get dark, and the chorus of tree frogs (Hypsibaos Faber) left me without words. It was within this context that I wanted to share with you what happened to me that evening, and how I prepared myself for the next phase of my journey. The Title Śramaṇa Rising refers to a seeker in various Indian religious movements, and among other things, fits in with the concepts of birth and death cycles, and ultimately, finding liberation from those cycles through ascetisism.
Credits:
Audio of Blacksmith Tree Frog (Hypisboas Faber) by Rodrigo Dela Rosa, accessed from amphibiaweb.org
Lunar cycle legend retrieved from http://www.lunarplanner.com/characteristics/1-New.html
Information on Śramana I retrieved from 2 sources:
http://www.wisdomlib.org/definition/%C5%9Brama%E1%B9%87a
https://www.boundless.com/world-history/textbooks/boundless-world-history-i-ancient-civilizations-enlightenment-textbook/early-civilizations-in-the-indian-subcontinent-4/religion-in-the-indian-subcontinent-25/the-sramana-movement-108-13209/

invisible / invincible

Foto by Jason Weaver, 2017

Foto by Jason Weaver, 2017

i will make myself invisible
disappear into the thin
leave behind ego and self
abrogate virtue and sin

transcend duality
this divisible quality
of other and i

i will remake myself invincible
reappear and reside within
inhabit every leaf and stone
emerge as all creatures known

transform to one
this singularity forgone
whole and complete

i make myself invisible
vanishing infinitely
i make myself invincible
vanquishing all uncertainty

By Jason Weaver, 2017