William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

Tag Archive for ‘Belief’

Two Graves

On one hand, the familiar phrase, eternal rest, makes me smile: what effort could be so prolonged and great that it would require it? On the other hand, in the realm of human suffering, especially that inflicted by ourselves, upon ourselves, as in violent crime and cases of genocide, I can see where an eternity of rest would not be long enough. Both views seem narrow, though, when we remember […]

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Religio Medici

In the latter pages of his Religio Medici, Sir Thomas Browne mentions in passing that in addition to several regional dialects, he knows six languages. He does not write so to impress; it strikes me more as an expression of his generous, liberal nature: he sees himself not as the center of the universe as it was then known and understood, but as a fortunate participant in everything it has […]

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Wildflowers

We may believe a cataclysmic end of our world can be prevented by the enlightened understanding of a few. But is it true? Evidence thus far suggests the possibility; but blindness and wishful thinking are such close cousins that even on the very precipice, truth may go unrecognized. In every age, we have witnessed the dangers of our abysmal ignorance, the masses raging toward some imagined desirable end, which has […]

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Thirty-One Hath October

It was good to see the little row of pumpkins leading to the front door of our daughter’s house, one for each member of the family. In the cool, misty morning, without touching them, I knew exactly what they would feel like, their deep grooves, their dry, rugged stems, their warts and lumps. And I thought, ever so briefly, of what it might be like to be a pumpkin whisperer, […]

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Canvas 419 — I Wonder

Canvas 419 — August 23, 2014

  I Wonder After a long absence, they began to fear for him, and so they sought him in the cave where he sometimes slept. He was not there; but they found a striking image of him which seemed to have etched itself onto one of the walls, where at certain times of the year water would seep through and trickle down. They gazed upon the image for a long […]

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Maybe

I don’t believe in an afterlife — certainly not one in terms of punishment or reward, of safety, security, bliss, or pain. Neither do I believe that I’ve lived before, in the sense that I’ve passed through previous incarnations that have led to the one I’m living now. I don’t say these beliefs are wrong. I only say that in the sense in which they’re traditionally accepted, they don’t ring […]

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Novice

Yes — if I live long enough, I might believe anything — of this I am the proof. And if I die soon enough, I might believe one thing — this budding apricot, this eager rose, this frosty springtime — even truth. [ 660 ]

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Enlightenment Is

I don’t have a lofty idea of myself as something apart, say, from the workings of my innards, or the flexing of my tendons and toes as I crawl around the yard pulling weeds, while my ears are engaged in the harvest of birdsong. I once entertained the time-honored belief that I might be an entity distinct from my body, but that belief has since given way to an acceptance […]

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Necessity and an Ice-Water Bath

When we take more than we need, we take it from each other. And when we take it from each other, we steal. And what we steal, we waste, because it is more than we need. But the very crime is its punishment. It is poverty. It is war. It is a series of complicated political and religious beliefs that are no more than excuses. It is the unwillingness to […]

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Sweet Blue Smoke

Let me tell you, it’s no easy thing coaxing these out of the brambles. You’d believe me, if you could see the blood on my arms, and the thorns.   Sweet Blue Smoke Now, let’s say you aren’t here, and that what’s happening to you is what’s happening to everyone, and that they aren’t here either, and that this is togetherness, and that togetherness is another word for solitude, and […]

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