Friday, September 16, 2011


Stendhal said, "One can acquire everything in solitude except character."

Character lives in the spaces between us. 
When plunged into the texture of faces—the smell of others—
our character is molded and carved;
is struck, stymied, woven, wondered.

In crowds we experience the numinous firsthand. 
No need to question the miracle of infinity: it is before you. 
No need to force gratitude from a miasma of loneliness— 
gratitude is on the menu at dinner. 

Separate universes—wholly other—
Friends may look familiar
but they bring us to our knees time and again.
They condone, condemn, digress and dismay.

They steal our gold, then donate their last dime.
They heal our wounds and sustain our hearts as we die. 
They slap us down and raise us up.
‘Midst them we are builded.  Gilded.  Filled with holiness.  Given life.



  1. If a hermit laughs in the woods, does he have character?

  2. Depends on if he's laughing hysterically, running around in circles and pulling his hair out; or sitting zazen and laughing at the great cosmic joke being played out before him. Different kinds of characters, I'd say. Having done both I'd also guess there were crowds of characters in their past.