INVISIBLE LIMBO

“All that is important is this one moment in movement.
Make the moment important, vital, and worth living.
Do not let it slip away unnoticed and unused.” – Martha Graham

· Cannot for the grace of God find yet the deeper significance of this sojourn of physical distancing and zooming into our private spaces, our homes, well beyond what was acceptable before the tremors of our working realities. You don’t know whether you are coming or going – for some, we are in perpetual motion – for others, it’s simply a matter of waiting until our number is called. What to do in between chambers of reason and seasons? Something or someone is trying to divide us even further, a friend told me.

· Maybe – but what could be the grandiose purpose for doing it? Inherit an incrementally damaged earth? Use us all as some magma to fuel the next spaceship odyssey out of here? I keep looking for the teachings of this moment, at times I feel numb, other times I can’t hear a thing. This morning lost track of time and space – become disoriented, are we going south, east, north? The Australian economy is going through a very tough time, the radio news reports; what about the Canadian economy?

· Just about then I felt overwhelmed with a deep sense of gratitude for how my country has dealt with COVID-19 and its reverberating ripples – sure, there are no saviours here, our leaders … humans striving to do better. Yet I felt a sense of privilege, a keen awareness that in-spite of it all, loss of income, clients and a very uncertain future, my country has not abandoned me or my fellow citizens in these severe times. There is not necessarily a particular self-righteousness, but can’t help think maybe divine intervention in between chambers and seasons have occurred; I pray the learnings, comes fall or winter, will be self-evident.

· Meanwhile, a pop singer has lost 98 pounds and some say she’s unrecognizable – good grief, does anyone cares besides her family and close friends? I am now looking at pictures of earth taking from the space station – remarkable clear. It’s a mystery earth hasn’t been this clean and transparent in decades. In due time and seasonal turns, all will be revealed – maybe the whole thing was a massive wake-up call to humanity? A shock to force us reassess our priorities, change our self-destructive path, and build a new, and better “normal”. For now, it’s back to hoping for the best possible outcomes, another zoom meeting, shifting through fake news, fake reviews and plasticity and truly hoping 2021 give us all a respite – I am like you, waiting for the next cloud to lift. –

© Leo Campos A.

Edmonton, AB (Canada)

Music: Recuerdos de la Alhambra © F. Tárrega

Performed by Isabel Martínez | https://youtu.be/ftrgOaT0YrQ

KEEPING QUIET …

Now we will count to twelve and we will all keep still

for once on the face of the earth, let’s not speak in any language;

let’s stop for a second, and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment without rush, without engines;

we would all be together in a sudden strangeness.

Fishermen in the cold sea would not harm whales

and the man gathering salt would not look at his hurt hands.

Those who prepare green wars, wars with gas, wars with fire,

victories with no survivors, would put on clean clothes

and walk about with their brothers in the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be confused

with total inactivity. Life is what it is about…

If we were not so single-minded about keeping our lives moving,

and for once could do nothing, perhaps a huge silence

might interrupt this sadness of never understanding ourselves

and of threatening ourselves with death.

Now I’ll count up to twelve

and you keep quiet and I will go.

© Pablo Neruda

Music: Duduk Music ©

Earth Is My Witness

https://youtu.be/Fw_0lE0G3NA

COVID-19 @ 4:00 AM

“Empathy is the faculty to resonate with the feelings of others. When we meet someone who is joyful, we smile. When we witness someone in pain, we suffer in resonance with his or her suffering.”Matthieu Ricard

His breathing is slow, broken, harsh – Que Pasa?!

His temperature is falling; but he shivers – Que Pasa?!

His body trembles; 3 blankets are not enough – Que Pasa?!

Emergency Response Team gathers – noises, voices, pain – Que Pasa?!

Michael; can you breathe? If something happens, do not resuscitate, you hear! Michael; can you breathe? Cold oxygen pumping through now –Nurse! Cold oxygen; night of many sorrows – Doctor! I wish for more warm blankets – Administrator! Roommate; you stay with us – you hear? Nobody is dying here, OK!? Care: Good grief; blood pressure dropping ominously – you stay here! Michael; can you hear me? Breathe deep now; in, and out | Breathe gently now; in and out | Breathe dulcemente now; in and out. Think of your beloved daughter; breathe in and out | Hope: Think about what remains to be done; breathe in and out | Feel the loving welcoming embrace of your closest friends; breathe in and out | Michael; can you hear me now? Can you breathe? Compassion: Your daughter is smiling at you; do you see her? People care about you and yours story, trust me. Stay with us; you hear?! No dying is allowed here, you hear!? Yes; breathe in; breathe out. Love surrounds you. I am here.

© Leo Campos Aldunez

Edmonton, AB (Canada)

Theme: Bombay |

© Ottmar Liebert & Luna Negra

> https://youtu.be/4EkM6FWzkNg

Album: The Hours Between Night & Day

TIRED of WEATHER WARNINGS …

1. This morning I got up hoping that winter was gradually disappearing and that the insinuating rays of spring sunshine and warmth seeing a few days back would sweep the land with resolve and intensity. I need something blossoming and spreading about just about now. Instead, I got another environment Canada weather warming text telling me that will have to wait a little longer. How about the road conditions? Listening to the radio updates – not looking good. Stuck between seasonal sales flyers, icy sidewalks, and treacherous roads, cars practically buried under white stuff and almost impassable back lanes, one could wonder, even if you were born here, where is the fun in all of this?

2. My brave companion has a different demeanour vis-à-vis wintertime in this latitude; she manages to smile to it, notwithstanding its challenges. I admire that quality and levity – I wish I could do the same and not feel crawling back to bed in a hurry. Two very distinctive personalities and world-views at times not quite on the same page – nothing inherently wrong about that – this is the territory of learning about each other, self-discovery, disclosure about phobias & fears; to some degree, of willful innocence.

3. Once you reach 65 you start a serious journey of re-examining what is worth doing, with whom, is it doable, how to make it happen. Long ago, in another century, literally speaking I had a few dreams & aspirations; one was of opening a café venue featuring a strong Zen of literature, music, poetry + arts|crafts. The dream persists, in different forms, and now I actually have a strong companion to share such a vision. Maybe, just maybe, we will make it happen before my 70th birthday. I know we will invite our dearest of friends to the big opening – enduring relationships, their presence and blessings would be as usual, essential.

4. Musings like this help me to navigate the so called “winter blues” – simple voicing and sharing, being convivial one could say, less fearful for what comes, spring just around the corner, letting go and embracing a new luminosity. Then having a hot chocolate and cookies with some friends at Tim Hortons could also be most uplifting – let’s see who should I call? You know; maybe this is the moment in which my loving companion simply holds me, holds me tight, quietly, a soulmate’s embrace.

© Leo Campos A.

Edmonton, AB (Canada)

Soundtrack: Indie|Pop|Folk Compilation, Feb. 2020

© Alex Rain Bird Music | https://youtu.be/aDosplFbugM

SUNLIGHT in DECEMBER …

SUNLIGHT in DECEMBER

What is the weather like this morning love? Let me see – cloudy and flurries – sun goes down very early, darkness unfolds – sometimes all is embraced by an amazing glowing moon. Let’s me get the coffee ready, yes, not to heavy, a bit of carnation milk and your roasted toast with honey coming right up. I kiss your forehead and bow to your presence with deep gratitude – asking the universe and its infinite manifestations to find a way of guidance and protection wherever you go. Your dreams about sands, cats and dogs and other humans can be unique for sure, what word would you choose?

Remember watering the plants at nigh – you are free my love, I made no claim on your life, know that what I feel for you is plenty, and yes, I cannot conceive life without you by my side. Cats and dogs you said? Yes, we shall have a little house, with a lovely garden, and a patio for our furry friends, we shall growth some of our own food, and have fresh eggs every morning. I do not want to be alone without you; least in the middle of a cold winter or alone driving downhill to the market. We can accomplish much, other men and women have done so, yes? Some of our dearest friends are shining guiding lights to the Promised Land.

Every morning I look at you while you sleep and I give thanks quietly for the blessings that come. Our way of rituals beating in our hearts – and we say “gracias” to the good friends we see regularly, (some) more than once a year, our guiding spirits, ancestors, brother sun, sister moon.

You are right; we are planting something beloved one, the roots tender still, a bit fragile, watering and fresh soil always necessary, well, essential – windows with sunlight. Look! The mandarin tree keeps growing; I surrender before you every morning, and yes, sometimes a tear of grace & honour falls onto your skin and mine. Living spirits awake. It’s very early still, I see some fog outside – would you like some more coffee sweetheart? …

Leo Campos Aldunez ©

Edmonton, AB (Canada)

Dedicated to: Carmen Gonzalez Miranda

Music: Incantation # 2 by William Lovelady

Soundtrack: https://youtu.be/KymGzomDDfQ

SUNLIGHT in DECEMBER …

SUNLIGHT in DECEMBER

What is the weather like this morning love? Let me see – cloudy and flurries – sun goes down very early, darkness unfolds – sometimes all is embraced by an amazing glowing moon. Let’s me get the coffee ready, yes, not to heavy, a bit of carnation milk and your roasted toast with honey coming right up. I kiss your forehead and bow to your presence with deep gratitude – asking the universe and its infinite manifestations to find a way of guidance and protection wherever you go. Your dreams about sands, cats and dogs and other humans can be unique for sure, what word would you choose?

Remember watering the plants at night – you are free my love, I made no claim on your life, know that what I feel for you is plenty, and yes, I cannot conceive life without you by my side. Cats and dogs you said? Yes, we shall have a little house, with a lovely garden, and a patio for our furry friends, we shall growth some of our own food, and have fresh eggs every morning. I do not want to be alone without you; least in the middle of a cold winter or alone driving downhill to the market. We can accomplish much, other men and women have done so, yes? Some of our dearest friends are shining guiding lights to the Promised Land.

Every morning I look at you while you sleep and I give thanks quietly for the blessings that come. Our way of rituals beating in our hearts – and we say “gracias” to the good friends we see regularly, (some) more than once a year, to our guiding spirits, ancestors, brother sun, sister moon. You are right; we are plating something beloved one, the roots tender still, a bit fragile, watering and fresh soil always necessary, well, essential – windows with sunlight. Look! The mandarin tree keeps growing; I surrender before you every morning, and yes, sometimes a tear of grace & honour falls onto your skin and mine. Living spirits awake. Would you like some more coffee sweetheart? …

Leo Campos Aldunez ©

Edmonton, AB (Canada)

Music: Incantation # 2 by William Lovelady

Soundtrack: https://youtu.be/KymGzomDDfQ

TAO TE CHING MASCULINITY

Again and again

Men come in with birth

And go out with death.

One on three are followers of life

One in three are followers of death

And those just passing from life to death

Also number one in three.

But, they all die in the end

Why is this so?

Because they all clutch to life

And cling to this passing world.

I hear that one who lives by his own truth

Is not like this; he walks without making footprints in this world.

Going about, he goes not fear the rhinoceros or tiger

Entering a battlefield, he does not fear sharp weapons

For in him the rhino can find no place to pitch its horn

The tiger no place to fix its claw

The soldier no place to thrust his blade

Why is this so?

Because he dwells in that place

Where death cannot enter.

© From Two Suns Rising

A Collection of Sacred Writings.

Soundtrack: Pat Metheny|Toots Thielemans

© Always & Forever 1992 | https://youtu.be/wcAkEl6AV5Y

MAY DAY 2019 …

Born harshly, like a strong hammer – predetermined to strike constantly, seeking justice and reaffirming identities. Hands were opened and extended, arms offered strength & empathy – he waited, and waited. Echoes from long struggles would remind him to be careful, not everything is what it seems, a little voice kept repeating. His father before him had been born tough as well – around cats and dogs in the neighbourhood, hard breads, and bitter harvest – a childhood of shaken earth, broken dreams, and shattered promises. Indifference walked by; hot asphalt melting, men and women behind the plough – people at a distance, steering, childhoods disappearing – walking over the stones. They persevered, harsh faces, serious talks, wanted to be someone – painfully barefooted – internal shame because other kept falling through the cracks and kids were forgotten. They look to the old guard – and a new regime takes over – what would happen now? A poet in the corner observes – for sometimes they had celebrated hope, felt as if they mattered to political leaders, policymakers and the choir of civil society voices. Could the old union be counted upon? Is the food bank in the barrio the new statistical unfolding – does “cutting red tape” could also means falling further behind? Hard to tell; his wife and kids were now looking at him, worriedly wondering …

Leo Campos A. ©
Edmonton, AB (Canada)

Soundtrack: https://youtu.be/DwrHwZyFN7M

Fast Car, by Tracy Chapman © ELEKTRA Records

AFTER SILENCE (for Rachel Carson) …

By Neil Gaiman © | Seasons on seasons. The spring is signaled by birdsong coyotes screech and yammer in the moonlight and the first flowers open. I saw two owls today in the daylight, on silent wings. They landed as one and watched me sleepily. Oh who? they called. Or how, or how who?Then they leaned into the trunk into the sun that shone through the tight-curled buds, and vanished into dappled shadows never waiting for an answer. Like the sapling that buckles the sidewalk and grows until it has reached its height all of us begin in darkness. Some of us reach maturity. A few become old: we went over time’s waterfall and lived, Time barely cares. We are a pool of knowledge and advice the wisdom of the tribe, but we have stumbled, fallen face-first into our new uncomfortable roles. Remembering, as if it happened to someone else, the race to breed, or to succeed, the aching need that drove our thoughts and shaped each deed, those days are through. We do not need to grow, we’re done, we grew. Who speaks? And why?

She was killed by her breasts, by tumours in them: A clump of cells that would not listen to orders to disband no chemical suggestions that they were big enough that, sometimes, it’s a fine thing just to die, were heeded. And the trees are leafless and black against the sky and the bats in fatal whiteface sleep and rot and the jellyfish drift and pulse through the warming waters and everything changes. And some things are truly lost. Wild in the weeds, the breeze scatters the seeds, and it lifts the wings of the pine processionary moth, and bears the green glint of the emerald borer, Now the elms go the way of the chestnut trees. Becoming memories and dusty furniture. The ash trees go the way of the elms. And somebody has to say that we never need to grow forever. That we, like the trees, can reach our full growth, and mature, in wisdom and in time, that we can be enough of us. That there can be room for other breeds and kinds and lives. Who’ll whisper it: that tumours kill their hosts, and then themselves? We’re done. We grew. Enough.

All the gods on the hilltops and all the gods on the waves the gods that became seals the voices on the winds the quiet places, where if we are silent we can listen, we can learn. Who speaks? And why?Someone could ask the questions, too. Like who? Who knew? What’s true?And how? Or who?How could it work?What happens then?Are consequences consequent?The answers come from the world itself The songs are silent, and the spring is long in coming. There’s a voice that rumbles beneath us and after the end the voice still reaches us; like a bird that cries in hunger or a song that pleads for a different future. Because all of us dream of a different future. And somebody needs to listen. To pause. To hold. To inhale, and find the moment before the exhale, when everything is in balance and nothing moves. In balance: here’s life, here’s death, and this is eternity holding its breath.

After the world has ended; after the silent spring into the waiting silence another song begins. Nothing is ever over, life breathes life in its turn. Sometimes the people listen; sometimes the people learn – who speaks? And why? … © Neil Gaiman | https://youtu.be/JbUz3XxAy4Y

LAST SUPPER …

I am a man of many imperfections; fallible. Yet, I had thought what while struggling with the challenges of aging, keeping healthy & dealing with the uncertainties of the “gig economy” and “income vulnerabilities” I was still worth of being loved. A close friend kept telling me “of course; you are” – he is a good man, with seemingly an infinite well of love and kindness … Sometimes I wonder though. It’s funny how our subconscious plays games with our realities, or what we perceive as “reality” – today you are up, tomorrow down and in a week from now, you may not even remember your name.

No matter my fears, constant worries about how fragile it all seems to be, the scary thought of a new surgical procedure coming up, I confess, I still love, debate, sometimes sing, play my guitar, do some creative writing, seek more work, prepare a basic meal for my loved-one, be present (at least virtually) to my friends as a “pastoral worker” so to speak, and enjoy the simplest of walks, indeed, the surprising ice cream flavours of a popular antique mall, while remembering kids, former lands, my childhood, toys, times with less uncertainties, holding my spouses’ hands to keep me grounded in the here and now.

[There she goes; planting her aguacates –
remarkable how these seeds can in fact growth in this northern latitude – I listen
to her voice, see her smile, then watch in wonder her playfulness with the
soil. She is no doubts an alchemist of some kind.
]

Corn; sweet potatoes; camotitos; salsas; taquitos; agua de Jamaica. I enjoy all of these – with deep gratitude, as if it was the last supper; maybe the sunset for my time is near – who knows; creditors may push me over the edge, irremediably falling. Mail arrived yesterday – official forms, timely I noted – OAS|GIS. Indeed; macho man has long disappeared; today he enjoys green tea and the gentle, passionate political|cultural conversation with friends sharing a meal at home, or going to the art house cinema to see a magnificent film such as ROMA, or just watching my loving spouse being a hostess of the highest caliber. I must say I have always thought of her as a healer of sorts – sometimes I call her my fairy, “duende”, in Spanish. She smiles; I know her grandchildren will see what I mean.

© Leo Campos Aldunez

Edmonton, AB (Canada)

Album: https://youtu.be/8q-HCzDA32E

By: Peter Pearson © A Blissful Journey