“. . . if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen.” ~ Joseph Campbell, interview with Bill Moyer



A thing too perfect to be remembered:
stone beautiful only when wet.

* * *

Blinded by light or black cloth—
so many ways
not to see others suffer.

* * *

Too much longing:

it separates us
like scent from bread,
rust from iron.

* * *

From very far or very close—
the most resolute folds of the mountain are gentle.

* * *

As if putting arms into woolen coat sleeves,
we listen to the murmuring dead.

* * *

Any point of a circle is its start:
desire forgoing fulfillment to go on desiring.

* * *

In a room in which nothing
has happened,
sweet-scented tobacco.

* * *

The very old, hands curling into themselves, remember their parents.

* * *

Think assailable thoughts, or be lonely.

~ Jane Hirshfield


Music by Antony & Bryce Dessner, “I Was Young When I Left Home”

4 thoughts on ““. . . if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen.” ~ Joseph Campbell, interview with Bill Moyer

  1. an amazing writing…amazing, amazing, amazing. And Joseph Campbell; if all he said could be summed up, I think this hits it perfectly. From the wells that we hide form the world we will find a true life..

  2. Hope all is well.

    I’ve always been curious about Joseph Campbell. What does he mean “If you have a sacred place and use it”? Something will eventually happen whether or not you have a sacred place. Tell that to people starving in Africa? Tell that to people struggling to feed their children on a Walmart salary… Ho hum. Do you ever wish you could go to someone like Joseph Campbell and say, “What? I don’t get it. Show me!” I need to go lay down at the feet of a Buddhist monk and ask for direction. I’m afraid I’ll get those ghosts from Christmas past, present and future…

    Lost myself in “The Lower River” by Paul Theroux for a day. I think I read the first chapter 3 times and wasn’t pulled in, but I persisted… There’s a lot to think about in this book… Finished it today.

    Overcast, raining on and off. The kind of day for a teapot of tea and a pile of books. There is a stray dog: I am trying to stay out of the drama…

    Now I’d like a bowl of soup and some good bread. Ah, those lucky folks who find a replacement for their mother…

    1. There is something to be said about fresh bread and butter and tea . . . My mother was never a baker.

      I think that the sacred place can be lots of things: that thing inside that won’t let you give up, that thing inside that makes you keep going back to work at walmart for peanuts, that thing that will not die. Perhaps I’m overreading. The thing that will eventually happen is not the same as something always happening. If you dig deep within yourself and are able to find that quiet spot, that still spot, perhaps you can use it and create something. I was looking at it from a writer’s point of view. But I understand what you’re saying about things happening no matter what.

      And I think the Buddhist Monk might just say keep walking. They tend to talk that way.

      Bad week.

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