So glad that one of our great American poets has finally tackled the mystery of that sweet American horror….
Fruit Cocktail in Light Syrup
Rocket-shaped popsicles that dyed your lips blue
were popular when I was a kid. That era got labeled
“the space age” in honor of some longed-for,
supersonic, utopian future. Another food of my
youth was candy corn, mostly seen on Halloween.
With its striped triangular “kernels” made
of sugar, wax and corn syrup, candy corn
was a nostalgic treat, harkening back to days
when humans grew, rather than manufactured,
food. But what was fruit cocktail’s secret
meaning? It glistened as though varnished.
Faint of taste and watery, it contained anemic
grapes, wrinkled and pale. Also deflated
maraschino cherries. Fan-shaped pineapple
chunks, and squares of bleached peach
and pear completed the scene. Fruit cocktail’s
colorlessness, its lack of connection to anything
living, (like tree, seed or leaf) seemed
cautionary, sad. A bowl of soupy, faded, funeral
fruit. No more nourishing than a child’s
finger painting, masquerading as happy
appetizer, fruit cocktail insisted on pretending
everything was ok. Eating it meant you embraced
tastelessness. It meant you were easily fooled.
It meant you’d pretend semblances,
no matter how pathetic, were real, and that
when things got dicey, you’d spurn the truth.
Eating fruit cocktail meant you might deny
that ghosts whirled throughout the house
and got sucked up the chimney on nights
Dad wadded old newspapers, warned you
away from the hearth, and finally lit a fire.
The difference is only in degree and not kind. The amoeba and I are the same.
The difference is only in degree and from the standpoint of the highest life, all these differences vanish.
A man may see a great difference between grass and a little tree, but if you mount very high, the grass and the biggest tree will appear the same.
So from the standpoint of the highest ideal, the lowest animal and the highest man are the same.
If you believe there is a God, the animals and the highest creature must be the same.
From the highest to the lowest to the most wicked man, in the greatest of human beings and the lowest of crawling worms under our feet, is the soul pure and perfect, infinite and ever-blessed. In the worm, that soul is manifesting only an infinitesimal part of its power and purity, and in the greatest man it is manifesting most of it. The difference consists in the degree of manifestation, but not in the essence. Through all beings exists the same pure and perfect soul.
I dreamed that the leaves refused to turn in Worthington, Massachusetts.
Many of us long to return to that original love that we once had for our art. As we get older, our excitement and delight that is often eclipsed by over-thinking, comparing, worrying, procrastinating and countless other forms of resistance.
Writing is always going to be challenging work, but it is possible to completely revolutionize your process by re-thinking your relationship to your work & learning a few quick and easy techniques that can help dissolve your blocks and make your writing/creative process way more joyful and productive.
Check out these two mindful writing workshops I am offering in September:
SATURDAY SEPT. 20 1-4: Introduction to Mindful Writing
Drawing from literature, contemporary psychology and Buddhist texts, this class will explore how:
The concept of “no self” can revolutionize our relationship to writing.
Simple mindfulness meditations and techniques can calm fear and neutralize negative self-talk and perfectionism
Mindful writing can give our writing and our lives a deeper sense of purpose and pleasure
SATURDAY SEPT. 27 1-4: Maintaining your Mindful Writing Practice
Using simple 3-minute breath and yoga techniques, this workshop will give writers valuable tools to:
Maintain a mindful writing process by shifting focus from thinking to breathing
Create purpose and momentum in the artistic process
Generate creative energy and increase mental clarity and intuition
Quickly overcome creative blocks
$35 per class or $60 for both
4949 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, California 90027
Sign up or Just Show Up!
For more information contact:
If you ever feel like this man when you sit down to write, mindful writing workshops can help.