Scraps

Do not torture yourself with what-if’s,
unknown to you now or in future times,
mind-blowing images the result
of imagination in overdrive, time to regroup,
redirect into something worthwhile;

Humans are creative beings who do not
do well when long sated, beacon-like rays
of mental anguish beaming fore and aft,
searchlights meant to discover what lurks
in the shadows of dissimulation;

We all go thence, mindfulness is telling,
indulging fantastical ruminations
in the lax moments of a perfect day;
Better to dwell upon beauty in unexpected
places, focus on wind and weather,
the wet noses of dogs and the crumbling
of fertile soil, bending palms in waning light
or perfectly veined golden birch leaves
dropping onto crystal-encrusted ground;

I will never cease asking questions
despite education to the contrariness
of Whys, neverending hamster wheel
of insanity yet still I query, Why this life?
To what purpose the suffering?
I have read abundant teachings,
there is merit in all wisdom,
little snippets meant for stitching, warp
and woofing into wonder meant to comfort
both our bodies on the coldest winter night.

33 thoughts on “Scraps

    1. David, if there is a worse torture than what-if, I would imagine it’s why-did-I. I mean perhaps it’s useful to the point that we learn something about prior motivations. Outside of that, there is little we can do – can’t re-live it, can’t relieve it. As a Depth Psych prof of mine at Vermont College used to say, why is a neverending mind torture to which there never ceases to be a perpetual emergence of itself in yet another form. Better to ask what and how, she said. Now that doesn’t mean I never ask why – I would be a liar if I said so. But I try and correct myself, because in order to forgive myself, I Must. Peace and love, dear man. ❤

  1. I do love the organic expression of the quilt … and your being, Bela. We are drawn back into old conditioning and the passed down concepts of right and wrong. Acceptable and unacceptable. How a quilt should look, how we should appear to be in the world. When we don’t seem to be up to scratch in the eyes of others or we feel unworthy, we get stuck in the judgments and the analytical why’s.
    We lose the sense of who we are.
    Thank you for shining a light into a new reality and way of being and quilting the world 💕

  2. Oh Bela…the ‘what if’s and ‘why’s!’ I constantly work on not needing to know the why…but I have a different take on the what if…instead of it being a question we ask about a choice or regret of the past, I look at it more as a question or wonderment of the future…like…what if we could figure out a way to foster world peace and everyone was kind and loving to one another??? Ah! A girl can dream…yes?
    Sweet blessings to you Bela 💜

    1. That is from ‘Iolani Palace in Honolulu – an old Hawaiian royalty-made quilt, constructed while Queen Liliuokalani was held captive in her own palace. Glad you like it – it tells a story. I only posted this one frame because it seemed to fit the poem. Though I do have other photos that show more of the historical side. 😉

  3. Bela, thanks for the wise words in this poem. I often struggle with “if only’s” and “shoulda’s” – regrets for past mistakes, or roads not taken. Even though I know in my heart we need to let go of the past, to feel the joy in the here and now beauty all around us, I slip back into the old pointless ruminations. Meditation helps – and reading reminders such as yours. 🙂
    Great poem – love the metaphor of the quilt – those threads of wisdom from various sources do come together to form a beautiful pattern.
    Have a good night! 😍💓💕

    1. Mahalo, Betty – I think if we were honest with ourselves, no matter how or what our spiritual/mindfulness practice, we find ourselves running on with the mindless drivel from time to time. “Pointless ruminations” sums it up perfectly. This poem seems to address the obvious, perhaps, though I do deeply wonder what this whole journey into extremes is about, save the experience of extremes(!) Aloha, dear one – enjoy the balance of your week! ❤

  4. Really like how you weaved in the themes of scraps and stitches into this poem about moving forward in life, Bela. And the analogy of a quilt too – don’t we all have that blanket we love 🙂 There is always so much uncertainty everywhere, at home and beyond. Thinking about something too long from one perspective won’t get us anywhere – unless we ask questions as you allude to at the end. The more we ask questions, the more we may find out and the more curious we may get.

    That’s how I’m feeling with writing at the moment, not getting anywhere and perhaps I have to shake things up and try a new style or genre 😀 Hope you have been well ❤

  5. “, Why this life?
    To what purpose the suffering?
    I have read abundant teachings,
    there is merit in all wisdom,
    little snippets meant for stitching, warp
    and woofing into wonder meant to comfort
    both our bodies on the coldest winter night”

    – I love how you have phrased this Bela! I think I’ve spent most of my life doing this and particularly in recent months. I think it would be a very strange human-being who did not question life/suffering. Many philosophers would be out of a job! :)) But I now take great comfort in the advice given in your first three stanzas. I wonder how it would be if we didn’t question, but accepted, and in acceptance tried to change things around for the better, rather than carefully, almost obsessively racking our brains to understand things which we can’t readily understand, such as cruelty and violence. That’s a rhetorical question btw! 🙂 Aloha dear Bela and thanks for another thought-provoking, skilfully crafted piece.

    1. Dearest Marie, I’m always struck by your thoughtful reading of my work here on wp. Seriously grateful to Hariod for connecting us, my sister by another mother 😉 And thank you always for your kind attention. It means a lot to me, it truly does.

      Most times I do accept life on its own terms, because really, what else can I do? But sometimes I also wonder what the living (fill in the blank) it’s all about. Passing suffering down from generation to generation, as if making another suffer will somehow unburden our own sorrows. But of course it does not. Behavior is too often automatic, and regrets mound up. My middle brother took his own life because of it – he said even God wouldn’t forgive him. (As he understood his Mormon god, I suppose.) Sad, but then he was a mean one. So was he mean because of how he was treated, or was his spirit just twisted and karma brought him under our family roof as though magnetized to a like spirit in our father?

      Of course this is just a snapshot of my mind, but I somehow know you understand. There is simply no reason in any of it. I just wonder if I’ll know, in the end, ‘why’ the human experiment. What was it really about? We seem a truly damaged race of beings which is fully capable – and often demonstrates – the most abundant loving kindness.

      And so on we go! Crazy, crazy world. Sending you big hugs, Marie! ❤ Aloha.

      1. Oh Bela, thank you so much for your opening comment – so lovely! Yes, I feel very drawn to you too, sis – perhaps it’s because we’re both air signs? :)) Seriously though, I too am more than happy that we have connected in this way and that the lovely Hariod formed part of the triangle.

        Suffering? mmm … maybe one day it will all become apparent why. I was reading something on another blog that seems to suggest that as souls, pre-birth, we choose what we want to experience in this life. I need to get my head around that one! And my heart goes out to you for the loss of your brother in that way and how you have sought to try to make sense of that. Do we as soul families really opt to suffer so in order to expand our consciousness? There is so much we do not know – so I guess we just have to muddle along as best we can. I’ll leave that there, although there is so much more to be said. Perhaps this is something to should put on the agenda when we meet on the ‘other side’.? 🙂

        Big hugs back dearest ❤

      2. Yes, I certainly know the pre-birth choice theory – and actually think there is merit there. In the continuum of eternity, why wouldn’t we have had some choice in how we incarnated here – though the question is what part of us this alludes to. Pre-earthly existence, I cannot imagine we were discrete entities; more like part of a greater consciousness that chose to individuate into us, the humans, to express/work through/work out various strands that needed refinement. That we ‘chose to suffer in order to expand our consciousness’ once again presumes we were discrete entities as we know ourselves to be as human beings on planet earth. Yet I think we were/are so much more, lest we forget. And the suffering is/was simply a precondition of life in a body with emotional values. Some say ‘suffering is optional,’ though it would take a superhuman to elude suffering altogether. That statement is a little bit too new-agey for me.

        As for agendas, you never know, sweet Marie. We might yet meet in this life, either you find yourself in Hawaii or I in the jolly old. I do have friends there, though there are many places to see closer to home. But one never knows. Meanwhile, enjoy the balance of your week, and until next time … Love! ❤

      3. Have you ever seen the film ‘Random Hearts’, Bela? Starring Kristen Scott Thomas and Harrison Ford, where she says to him at the end: ” Now wouldn’t that be that something…?” in response to a suggestion from him that they might meet up again soon in (I forget where!:)). So, all I’m going to say re Hawaii etc is: “Now, wouldn’t that be something …?” :)❤ ❤ ❤

      4. Haven’t seen the film, though we like Scott-Thomas (Ford’s sneer gets under my skin, but I will check it out!). And the rest is not so out of the blue – Hawaii is The most visited place in the world, I think … if I’m not mistaken. So you nevah know! (As dey say here …). Would love to see you if ever! 😀

      5. Good morning! You’re commenting just as I’m thinking of turning in for the night. Sorry about Ford’s sneer – please don’t ever watch it – I hate to think of you being disturbed in any way. lol

  6. Beautiful Bela.. You are right, no amount of pondering on the hamster wheel will we exit this merry-go-round of victim, predator and rescuer .. Until we detach from the Game at hand.
    Doing so requires discipline and travelling deeper into the realms of self discovery.. This patchwork of life we see in fragments and fractals is really one great bedspread in which we are all laying in, held together by the threads of our choice..

    Your words dear Bela are a magical weave of insight and clarity.. I hope we all take a piece of your cloth and hold it up to the light for further inspection..
    🙂 For within its weave is pure Wisdom..
    Love and Blessings dear dear friend xxx ❤

    1. Aloha, Sue – thanks so much for your kind comments. As always. And yes, stepping off the revolving wheel of suffering (I also like your victim/predator/rescuer), it requires a great deal of discipline, though not the kind we usually conceive of! If hard work would earn me a ticket off that wheel, I would have moved into a state of eternal bliss long ago. But it’s not that simple, and the world keeps getting loonier. I think rather it’s mindfulness and lack of expectations that works best for me. And still I grow weary from time to time when I am beyond tired. And so on we go, into another blessed moment of living This life on This blessed earth! Perspective is everything 😉 Big hugs, sweetie ❤

      1. Yes I agree, I am far from stepping off the wheel, but I hope I am slowing it down, ready to jump off LOL.. 🙂 Mindfulness I agree.. Disciplining ourselves to see how our thoughts are taking us along those merry-go-round wheels.. I am guilty of.. Hands up, full stop to those as we are subject to the Loonies of the world. Which is why that link made more sense than anything I have read before..
        May we learn to grow and grow as we learn.. For like you the wheel is very tiresome.. ❤
        Much Love my friend xx

  7. I love the way you close this piece out, Bela, in such a gently knowing way. I was reminded of the great Buddhist monk Acharn Mun, who would talk to his monks for hours on end without break, reminding them as he went, “Whatever you do, don’t try to understand what I’m saying with your rational minds.” It seems nonsensical (and funny!), but what he was acknowledging was how life teaches us beneath the level of conscious interference. Actually, I was just commenting on Marie’s blog about how creative our subconscious minds are, mentioning a little book by a chap called Jacques Hadamard which I found a fascinating examination of subconscious ‘incubation’ resulting in great discoveries — not recommending you read it, just mentioning it. Be well and happy lovely Bela. H ❤

    1. Aloha, sweet one – and many thanks. I do know this subconscious (subterranean?) level you allude to in your comments. It’s like living in ‘soft focus mode,’ not taking anything too seriously and keeping the mind open to what is beyond current understanding. Keeps life interesting, for sure. ❤

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