My poetry, family, and past.
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March 29, 2016
By Michael Erlewine (Michael@Erlewine.net)

A quote from Facebook friend Donna Riley. As the great Bokar Rinpoche said at his monastery in Mirik, West Bengal, when I said goodbye to him: “Tomorrow or next life, Michael, whichever comes first.”

After a certain age, we make elaborate plans for the future at our peril. It does not take much to sideline us in the health department (or with the death of a love one) to send us rearranging our priorities, post-haste. Building castles in the air of the future comes to a sudden halt as reality sets in, and it is humbling, to say the least. There is also a snap- back-to-reality response to such untoward events, like in the movie “Bambi,” “Wake up, Wake up, Friend Owl.” We should have more wisdom than that by now.

I am not suggesting by this that our only alternative is to wait to die. Hardly! However, we might want to circle the wagons at least a little bit. In my own case I have made considerable effort to sort out my physical things, so that my kids and wife don’t have to guess what I had in mind. I also have a lot of stuff. Period.

With my intellectual property, I have only lately begun to seriously consider it. Lucky for me, one of my daughters, Iotis, was trained in enterprise-level web development by my own company many years ago, despite getting a degree from the University of Michigan in other things. Iotis has worked for a large company as webmaster for years and more recently as web manager for the whole thing, so she is ready, willing, and able to take over my main web site (SpiritGrooves.net) (which is tiny) and keep it running. Things like that would worry me otherwise.

I can tell one story that I find interesting. As you know, I photograph nature, lately mostly plants and flowers, and in winter, indoors at that. I have written many articles (in photography forums) about how I value the “process” of photographing more than the resulting photographs. After all, it was through photography that I had one of my greatest breakthroughs with dharma practice.

Anyway, as part of my recent health problems, I have to keep a journal of my blood pressure through each day for some weeks. I record my blood pressure as I perform various activities, like exercise and what-not. Well, the amazing thing (to me) is that when I finish up a photography session my blood pressure is the lowest of all things that I do in a day, including sleep! That tells me something. It must be that I do photography meditatively.

Revising my priorities, thanks to my health scare, I have gradually (over the last years) had to abandon some of my more grand projects, like it or not. Instead, I have built smaller castles in the air than before, but still castles, some projection into the future. By

nature, as future oriented as I am, I don’t think that I project the future as much as I help to womb or birth the future to a real degree. I see myself as much a midwife as I do a projector. In fact, the clearer my mind gets, the less I project the future and the more I just help the future to be born. That idea.

I learned years ago to mine the future, which is no different than searching in the mind. I am sure that you can understand that the truth being what it is, the “Truth,” by definition has to be the future. It is the only thing that will last until them. This is problematic for me, because I have a lifelong habit of casting my net into the future and pulling it into the present. However, it’s like raising a newborn child at my age. I don’t have time to do that. I am already too old. I have to stop fishing the future. It’s just a another habit. Make sense?
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