Chiaroscuro in Pixels

It is very hard to write this way, beginning things backward…
– Hemmingway, The Torrents of Spring (1926)

Like a canvas, a tabla rasa, a fertile void,

I sit in front of the screen with a blank document.

The contents of my personal past, impressions,

stored in long term memory, surface upon reflection.

The neocortex bears its fruit, when searched at will,

for the pieces, fragments, and shattered images.

What is actually “recalled” may be newly formed,

especially if semantic memories mix with episodic.

In placing any of these reflections upon a blank page,

they are first filtered through perception.

Perhaps, an artist has more control with a brushstroke,

than a poet, taking liberty with shadows and light.

This is the question, how to present the puzzle,

in a way that best represents the truth?

Cascades

Ever flowing Spirit of Life,
cascades from one world to another,
emanations from Above to Below –
from Heaven to Earth.

Cascades from one world to another,
trickling Light down through the spheres,
from Atzilus, to Beriah, to Yetzirah, to Assiyah.

Emanations from Above to Below:
from Emanation, to Creation, to Formation, to Action,
mirroring the essential elements of divinity.

From Heaven to Earth,
the Light contracts, from Infinity to finite actualization,
where the Shechinah dwells in Malchus HaElokim.

Soulful Ingredients

A dose of discernment,
an ounce of wisdom.
Two pounds of knowledge,
plus a life time’s worth
of yiras H’Shem.

Grant light unto me,
from the stars above,
to shine in my heart.
And truth beyond measure.

From one end of heaven,
to the other end of heaven,
may all of my mitzvot
be like seeds planted,
with a great yield
at harvest time.

A dash of hope,
every morning
when I wake;
a pinch of joy,
to flavor each day.

Faith in abundance,
throughout the night;
and, an everlasting
supply of belief
in G-d above.

Off the Tracks: Steam Engine & Soul

‘“Raw steel tracks vibrate as they run across concrete at crossings, forming geometric bliss.” 

The steam engine, bringing life to vast land areas, sparsely populated, after tracks laid down, stretching for miles. This entire continent – spanned from Los Angeles to New York City – through a network of railway tracks, connecting coast to coast. Each spike placed in the right place; every concrete slab supporting the means for train cars, pulled along by the locomotive (engine car) in front. The tracks serve their purpose, waiting in silence for the next train; supporting tons of steel as the train grinds steel against steel, sometimes sparks flying upwards.

Freud’s entire model of psychodynamics was inspired by the mechanics of the steam engine, as well as the laws of thermodynamics. Freud’s concept of psychic energy was derived in part from, and analogous to the steam that is used to power an engine. The first thermodynamic principle, “energy can neither be created nor destroyed” also played a role in the formation of the conceptual underpinnings of Freud’s theories. Like steam, one of the three forms of water, psychic energy can also manifest in different forms, including neuroses.

Yet, human beings are not machines; nor, are we computers, even though some psychological theories today are based upon a computer model. Rather, like the soulful stirrings of the horn being sounded by an engineer, as a train passes through city limits, the soul itself sounds out against the realities of the world, led by an unseen Engineer. Inasmuch that human beings preceded any invention made by human design, it is reasonable to view the psyche (soul) as part and parcel of the overall design from Above.

Humility

Am I on the derech (path),
or have I not even begun the journey?
If I have already taken that first step;
then, why do I feel stuck in the mire?

The adage, there are no shortcuts
in life, seems to be ingrained in me;
yet, too often, I miss the moment,
distracted by my surroundings.

I do not know where to start,
in order to begin anew; perhaps,
by humbling myself to the L-rd,
for the penitent man kneels.

In this manner, redemption calls,
every day, at the first rays of dawn;
when inclined to hear His voice,
the soul will be refreshed.

For the journey has begun,
despite my misgivings;
only there has been as a test,
stumbling blocks on the way.

Blue Calling

Blue is the color of techeles:
sky blue, looking down from Shomayim.
The ocean, likened unto Torah
flows within our veins,
whether recognized or not,
sometimes, only latent.

Until some rich experience,
a wake up call orchestrated
from He Who sits upon His throne
in His place (makom) gestures,
in a way that the designated angel
understands, and makes its way
to place the holy intuition
within the mind of one
who will be born anew,
as if he always knew
his origin, roots, and mission.