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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Neomarica: The Color of Love

 

Original painting by Jason Weaver, 2017

In the garden she sat upon a stone,
taking a rest from her daily devoir
to ponder her purpose in the world about her.
She closed her eyes, as she so often did at times like this,
her face turned toward the morning sun,
and ruminated on all that she was not
and all that she would never be.

She remained for a spell in still repose,
when at once a sense a joy took form far within.
It filled into her breast and then out to her limbs,
whereupon it seeped beyond the very limits of her skin.
It was a feeling of deep and intense love,
a love of life and self that she had never known before,
a feeling that shone with the color of love pure.

As this epiphany poured through her
integrating her wholly, inside and out,
she was transformed, from all that she was not
into all that she would ever be –Neomarica,
a radiant garden beauty who had found her true intent,
to illuminate for all the world to see
that a love of life and self is an essential way to be.

By Jason Weaver, 2017

Neomarica Caerulea is a flower species in the Iris family native to the South Americas; The name is derived from ‘neo’ being Greek for ‘new’ and Marica being a Roman nymph’ or ‘fairy’. The tale portrayed in the poem is of my own creation based on a personal experience which occurred during the process of painting this particular flower, which as it happens, grew in my garden.

Original painting by Jason Weaver, Neomarica (2017), acrylic on canvas 100cm x 70cm

 

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
+++++++++++++

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/

Iteration

Foto by Jason Weaver, 2017

Foto by Jason Weaver, 2017

He’s been here before,
he’s almost sure; it’s nearly the same
although some details have changed;
what once was up is now down,
left has become right,
and something in the core
has shifted slight, but the rest appears
familiar, too familiar in fact,
and that is what has tipped him off.

“Aha! a test,” silently he speaks in his head,
“now just to remember… ”
Yes, he is convinced he knows.
Well, best not be too cocky, go slow,
more than once egotism has led to strife.

“See it for what it is,” he reminds himself.
As the scene plays out before him,
he seems to watch it all externally —
from over his own left shoulder,
he sees his hands, hears his voice,
they are his, and yet somehow
…ethereal…

And almost as soon as it begins,
it ends, each voluted turn drawn
tauter, denser, quicker as
minutesdaysmonthsyears
collapse in on themselves.

Iteration–Extinction–Inception

Yes, he has been here before,
this time he is certain; it’s nearly the same,
of course some details are changed;
He sees it for what it is, an experience
sees every step he must take
on an elliptical path of existence,
every birth, every death, and
every life to be had within.

By Jason Weaver, 2017

 

When I grow up…

Foto by Jason Weaver, 2017

Foto by Jason Weaver, 2017

You rolled your eyes at me,
said I was lazy
just standing there,
slack-jawed;
told me to
get my head out of the clouds,
get out,
get a job, get a life —
called me a dreamer,
a fool, a loafer, a user, a
good-for-nothing-vagabundo-loser.
You sighed and you scolded,
clucking your tongue and
wagging your finger,
you shook your head
and you warned me,
“I WARN you!
You’ll regret this!
You’ll be sorry!
You’ll be lonely and
you won’t
make any
MONEY!”

At last, is it any wonder why
all that I aspire to be
when I grow up is
a tree.

By Jason Weaver, 2017