beyond iron man

there is this very empty feeling
right here right now
close to sadness,
different,
related

the marathon finished
the anger just after,
(xxx this word is not available in your country xxx)
too

but now long gone
resources have been refilled

and now I feel
the ground state
nothing – void

it is not silence
it is an endless sigh
(xxx this word is not available in your country xxx)

the ore
that all things
are made off
empty as they are
within and without


Picture by bvdb (whoisbert) july 2015 – @home – Nikon D3300 – x_DSC_2008

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33 thoughts on “beyond iron man

  1. I don’t miss those feelings much since my stroke. First, I just don’t feel as much, but second, not working means not going back and forth much between working hard and not. I have up and down times, but milder than before, and I have more control over them.
    I hope things continue to improve, Bert – and sorry for being away so much.

  2. Thoughts written before reading what prompted the poem:
    Marathon and then anger … and then sadness. The inevitable sadness, at least for me. I really try these days to remember that, certainly when I’m feeling passionate about some useless idea or another. I try and remember the importance of perspective in the face of a world filled with things and people I love.
    Cheers, Bert.

    • thank you, Bela. The sadness after yet another empty idea … I also know this all too well.
      In my case … June was a month loaded with 3 months of work … I have noticed that my emotional system reacts after the work, barely ever during. It is not exactly anger, but a ‘release’ that took a day to get rid of. And after that release there is nothing to do or feel or think … an emptiness that feels ‘sad’ even ‘broken’,
      … but it is perhaps my ground state of being.

      • “. . . my emotional system reacts after the work, barely ever during.” – Yes, it can work like that over much greater timeframes too Bert. Stress can appear with a ferocity at the end of weeks or even many months of psychological challenges, perhaps a few days after they subside, yet never appear during the challenging phase. In much the same way, our body can sometimes ‘allow’ us to get ill when it’s convenient, but not before.

  3. Strange and not entirely explicable. I guess that’s the idea. You manage that without the usual facile sleight-of-hand. What do you think is in the middle of all this, Bert? The dissonance begins with that unplaceable photo. Is it molecular? Floral? I’m getting the slightest sensation we see a similar wavelength.

    • Hi Jef. Thank you for peering into my cryptic ‘poetry’. You ask: ‘What [ .. ] is in the middle of all this’ … and I don’t know. I see that the not-knowing is the start of seeing more than is usually seen, mind being less intrusive conceptualizing and categorizing the otherwise seen.
      The picture was made on a late summer evening without much light; it is the flower of Valeriana Officinalis, a medicinal herb that grows wild in our backyard.

      • Thanks, Bert. I agree with your explication. ‘Not knowing is the start of seeing’. That’s a perfect capsule truth, and inarguable. I’m personally intrigued by the idea that there is an answer to the question. “What’s there?” That its pursuit is not just a philosophical exercise or a discourse about ‘the doors of perception’ (as Huxley wrote and Jim Morrison embraced). That’s a beautiful and strange picture.

        • The answer to ‘what is there’ might not be expressible in words. Even to describe the surface of reality, that we dare to conceptualize, words come short …

    • thank you, Jane. I didn’t censor. I could not translate the local dialect murmurations of my mouth … as there exits no adequate translating for it, certainly not the english 4 letter word combinations that came to mind first .. it goes much deeper than that 🙂

      • “What is the sound of an endless sigh?” I would imagine that to be what the Buddhists call ‘Dukkha’, not so much any overt suffering, more the very subtle yet on-going sense of discontent that any sensitive, self-aware human is bound to experience. It evaporates in not being identified with (one answer?), and it interweaves with representations of phenomena because of this same running identification. In more physicalist terms, we might say the endogram of consciousness – a meta-level gathering of phenomena into one representation and which is what we think of as our ‘life’ – has unavoidably to incorporate the knowledge of Dukkha. Why? Because all phenomena bear its mark.

        • … your answer contains a library overview … but what is this sound to you? Is it the howling of the wind through the winter forest, or is it an endless deep breathing …
          I have no idea what Dukkha meant to those who wrote about it, but I really want to know what it does mean to your scarred heart.

          • I could not place the sense of Dukkha within a poetic context Bert; I simply do not possess the facility. As I said, it is a subtle knowledge-feeling, borne of a deepening appreciation of our predicament. I have been moved to tears simply by being in the presence of a cow standing close to me in a muddy field whilst it rained. This may sound absurd, yet in that moment I knew the Dukkha of the cow, and of myself – the sense of stuck-ness, being trapped in a body/mind (cow, human) and the predicament this inescapably presents. It is a kind of insight, not something rationalised into existence. For example, do you ever feel that being a person is something quite absurd? This is the basis of most comedy of course. One cannot say quite why we are absurd, and all other human animals are too; it is just knowledge arrived at in a kind of intuited seeing, or insight. Dukkha is a mark of all phenomena, sentient or not; in this sense, it simply means the knowledge that no lasting satisfaction can be found in such things.

            • … thank you for lifting some of the protective layers … sometimes I think I’m talking to one of my future A.I. creations … you are a wonderful person

            • I’m not sure if that’s damning with faint praise or not, but I don’t mind in the least if it is, and if it’s not, then thank you Bert. We all have differing ways of expressing our thoughts, and what seems natural to some may appear cumbersome, or irritatingly formal (me, yes?), or frustratingly abstract and vague to others. I find shades of these with certain academic writers, and also with some flowery, emotively based writers at times, and most certainly with American writers of fiction, who always appear to be over-dramatising at every step to my very English sensibilities – à chacun son gout!

            • I thought you may have been saying I was rather robotic in my responses when you referred to ‘A.I. creations’, and wasn’t sure what you meant by the earlier comment ‘your answer contains a library overview’. It’s probably just me getting lost in translation, but it really doesn’t matter; I greatly appreciate the engagement with you Bert, as always. 🙂

            • it is only an observation that your mental engine produces a lot of words.
              … sometimes I feel as if they beat around the bush, but more often I think it is just you being yourself … creating heuristics around my often cryptic even hermetic writings …

            • It can be a struggle to be clear (not cryptic) without being long-winded. In brevity we may bring easy readability, but that may well be prone to misunderstanding. Blogging seems to encourage shorthand thinking, and of course commenting must be just that, so comprehension suffers as a result. In my opinion (and I may be wrong), blog readers are generally not prepared to make much effort to understand the author’s words, and this is usually revealed in the comments, or lack of them.

              I hope I don’t ‘beat about the bush’ too much Bert, and in fact am more inclined to stick my neck out and be controversial at times, as witnessed recently on my blog. Some philosophers turn to poetry and literature as a means of escaping this conundrum, but then I am neither a philosopher nor a creative writer. I like your style Bert; it is very different to mine, but I warm to it easily nonetheless. You are the complete opposite to my rigid formality; though as you say, I am just being myself. 🙂

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