saint

We don`t really know who woman is. She remains in that precise place within man where darkness begins. Talking about women means talking about the darkest part of ourselves, the undeveloped part, the true mystery within. In the beginning, I believe man was complete and androgynous-both male and female, or neither, like angels. Then came the division, and Eve was taken from him. So the problem for man is to reunite himself with the other half of his being, to find the woman who is right for him-right be she is simply a projection, a mirror of himself. A man can`t become whole or free until he has set woman free-his woman. It`s his responsibility, not hers. He can`t be complete, truly alive until he makes her his sexual companion, and not a slave of libidinous acts or a saint with a halo.

Religious minds prefer skepticism. The true saint is a profound skeptic; a total disbeliever in human reason, who has more than once joined hands on this ground with someone who were at best sinners.

One cannot become a saint when one works sixteen hours a day.

I had a debate…with that great saint of the U.S. consumer, Ralph Nader. I posed the question of state laws requiring people who ride motorcycles to wear helmets.…That law is the best litmus paper to distinguish true believers in individualism…because the person riding the motorcycle is risking only his own life. He may be a fool to drive that motorcycle without a helmet, but part of freedom…is the freedom to be a fool.

The difference between a saint and a hypocrite is that one lies for his religion, the other by it.

A devil takes one and makes two, a saint takes two and makes one.

One must never be old, neither an old saint nor an old follower. Being elderly is a vice; a man must always renew, begins and begins anew.

I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.

If you keep on trying, you will improve. 'A saint is a sinner who never gave up.'

To have courage means to claim your freedom, to reconnect with your will power, to reach the source of your resoluteness and determination as a person ... Seizing that freedom, claiming that truth, actually living out our lives in the experience of our freedom means being wiling to face grave anxiety, uncertainty, and doubt. It means facing guilt, anger, and depression -- what Saint John of the Cross called "the dark night of the soul" and Jonas called "the belly of the whale." It means that we accept pain as natural to growth, as the actual feeling of maturation. We recognize that the meaning of life is to be deep rather than to have fun, to understand rather than be entertained, to see rather than to be blind. We come face-to-face with our self-deception, with how we deny our true nature. We discover the perniciousness of ignorance and the worthlessness of superficiality. And these become emotional insights and experienced confirmations.

The saint is not a sinless man, without weakness, a man who is not subject to temptation, but the saint, someone who knows how to take God's hand, has the courage really to look at themselves and see their imperfections, but also have trust in God, in His mercy, and manages, despite its own weaknesses, themselves drawn from all the hidden beauty that is just a mirror image of divine beauty. Saint walking on very solid ground, struggling with various problems, struggling with his weakness, and yet full of hope.

One must never be old, neither an old saint nor an old follower. Being elderly is a vice; a man must always renew, begins and begins anew

Be not the friend of one who wears the cloak of a saint to cover the deformities of a fool.

Without purity of heart, not only can one not “see” God, but it is equally impossible to have any idea of what is involved in doing so. Without the silence of the intellect and the will, without the silence of the senses, without the openness of what some call “the third eye” (spoken of not only by Tibetans but also by the disciples of Richard of Saint Victor), it is not possible to approach the sphere in which the word God can have a meaning. According to Richard of Saint Victor, there exist three eyes: the occulus carnis, the occulus rationis, and the occulus fidei (the eye of the body, the eye of reason, and the eye of faith). The “third eye” is the organ of the faculty that distinguishes us from other living beings by giving us access to a reality that transcends, without denying, that which captures the intelligence and the senses.

Suddenly, from all the green around you, something-you don't know what-has disappeared; you feel it creeping closer to the window, in total silence. From the nearby wood you hear the urgent whistling of a plover, reminding you of someone's Saint Jerome: so much solitude and passion come from that one voice, whose fierce request the downpour will grant. The walls, with their ancient portraits, glide away from us, cautiously, as though they weren't supposed to hear what we are saying. And reflected on the faded tapestries now; the chill, uncertain sunlight of those long childhood hours when you were so afraid.

I think the reason I choose the comic approach so often is because it's harder, therefore affording me the opportunity to show off. Also, a comic vision is my natural world view, but I've grown up in spite of myself and I can pass the comic twist if it detracts from what the characters need. Yes, the life of a saint is hard.

A man alone is either a saint or a devil.

Back out of all this now too much for us,
Back in a time made simple by the loss
Of detail, burned, dissolved, and broken off
Like graveyard marble sculpture in the weather,
There is a house that is no more a house
Upon a farm that is no more a farm
And in a town that is no more a town.
The road there, if you’ll let a guide direct you
Who only has at heart your getting lost,
May seem as if it should have been a quarry—
Great monolithic knees the former town
Long since gave up pretense of keeping covered.
And there’s a story in a book about it:
Besides the wear of iron wagon wheels
The ledges show lines ruled southeast-northwest,
The chisel work of an enormous Glacier
That braced his feet against the Arctic Pole.
You must not mind a certain coolness from him
Still said to haunt this side of Panther Mountain.
Nor need you mind the serial ordeal
Of being watched from forty cellar holes
As if by eye pairs out of forty firkins.
As for the woods’ excitement over you
That sends light rustle rushes to their leaves,
Charge that to upstart inexperience.
Where were they all not twenty years ago?
They think too much of having shaded out
A few old pecker-fretted apple trees.
Make yourself up a cheering song of how
Someone’s road home from work this once was,
Who may be just ahead of you on foot
Or creaking with a buggy load of grain.
The height of the adventure is the height
Of country where two village cultures faded
Into each other. Both of them are lost.
And if you’re lost enough to find yourself
By now, pull in your ladder road behind you
And put a sign up CLOSED to all but me.
Then make yourself at home. The only field
Now left’s no bigger than a harness gall.
First there’s the children’s house of make-believe,
Some shattered dishes underneath a pine,
The playthings in the playhouse of the children.
Weep for what little things could make them glad.
Then for the house that is no more a house,
But only a belilaced cellar hole,
Now slowly closing like a dent in dough.
This was no playhouse but a house in earnest.
Your destination and your destiny’s
A brook that was the water of the house,
Cold as a spring as yet so near its source,
Too lofty and original to rage.
(We know the valley streams that when aroused
Will leave their tatters hung on barb and thorn.)
I have kept hidden in the instep arch
Of an old cedar at the waterside
A broken drinking goblet like the Grail
Under a spell so the wrong ones can’t find it,
So can’t get saved, as Saint Mark says they mustn’t.
(I stole the goblet from the children’s playhouse.)
Here are your waters and your watering place.
Drink and be whole again beyond confusion.

A Faint Music -

Maybe you need to write a poem about grace.

When everything broken is broken,
and everything dead is dead,
and the hero has looked into the mirror with complete contempt,
and the heroine has studied her face and its defects
remorselessly, and the pain they thought might,
as a token of their earnestness, release them from themselves
has lost its novelty and not released them,
and they have begun to think, kindly and distantly,
watching the others go about their days—
likes and dislikes, reasons, habits, fears—
that self-love is the one weedy stalk
of every human blossoming, and understood,
therefore, why they had been, all their lives,
in such a fury to defend it, and that no one—
except some almost inconceivable saint in his pool
of poverty and silence—can escape this violent, automatic
life’s companion ever, maybe then, ordinary light,
faint music under things, a hovering like grace appears.

As in the story a friend told once about the time
he tried to kill himself. His girl had left him.
Bees in the heart, then scorpions, maggots, and then ash.
He climbed onto the jumping girder of the bridge,
the bay side, a blue, lucid afternoon.
And in the salt air he thought about the word “seafood,”
that there was something faintly ridiculous about it.
No one said “landfood.” He thought it was degrading to the rainbow perch
he’d reeled in gleaming from the cliffs, the black rockbass,
scales like polished carbon, in beds of kelp
along the coast—and he realized that the reason for the word
was crabs, or mussels, clams. Otherwise
the restaurants could just put “fish” up on their signs,
and when he woke—he’d slept for hours, curled up
on the girder like a child—the sun was going down
and he felt a little better, and afraid. He put on the jacket
he’d used for a pillow, climbed over the railing
carefully, and drove home to an empty house.

There was a pair of her lemon yellow panties
hanging on a doorknob. He studied them. Much-washed.
A faint russet in the crotch that made him sick
with rage and grief. He knew more or less
where she was. A flat somewhere on Russian Hill.
They’d have just finished making love. She’d have tears
in her eyes and touch his jawbone gratefully. “God,”
she’d say, “you are so good for me.” Winking lights,
a foggy view downhill toward the harbor and the bay.
“You’re sad,” he’d say. “Yes.” “Thinking about Nick?”
“Yes,” she’d say and cry. “I tried so hard,” sobbing now,
“I really tried so hard.” And then he’d hold her for a while—
Guatemalan weavings from his fieldwork on the wall—
and then they’d fuck again, and she would cry some more,
and go to sleep.
And he, he would play that scene
once only, once and a half, and tell himself
that he was going to carry it for a very long time
and that there was nothing he could do
but carry it. He went out onto the porch, and listened
to the forest in the summer dark, madrone bark
cracking and curling as the cold came up.

It’s not the story though, not the friend
leaning toward you, saying “And then I realized—,”
which is the part of stories one never quite believes.
I had the idea that the world’s so full of pain
it must sometimes make a kind of singing.
And that the sequence helps, as much as order helps—
First an ego, and then pain, and then the singing.

When everything broken is broken,
and everything dead is dead,
and the hero has looked into the mirror with complete contempt,
and the heroine has studied her face and its defects
remorselessly, and the pain they thought might,
as a token of their earnestness, release them from themselves
has lost its novelty and not released them,
and they have begun to think, kindly and distantly,
watching the others go about their days—
likes and dislikes, reasons, habits, fears—
that self-love is the one weedy stalk
of every human blossoming, and understood,
therefore, why they had been, all their lives,
in such a fury to defend it, and that no one—
except some almost inconceivable saint in his pool
of poverty and silence—can escape this violent, automatic
life’s companion ever, maybe then, ordinary light,
faint music under things, a hovering like grace appears.