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“Archaic Torso of Apollo”

We have no idea what his fantastic head

was like, where the eyeballs were slowly swelling.  But

his body now is glowing like a lamp

whose inner eyes, only turned down a little,

hold their flame, shine.  If there weren’t light, the curve

of the breast wouldn’t blind you, and in the swerve

if the thighs a smile wouldn’t keep on going

towards the place where the seeds are.

If there weren’t light, this stone would look cut off

where it drops so clearly from the shoulders,

its skin wouldn’t gleam like the fur of a wild animal,

and the body wouldn’t send out light from every edge

as a star does … for there is no place at all

that isn’t looking at you.  You must change your life.

                                             –   Rainer Maria Rilke   
                                                                       (transl: Robert Bly)




If our lives should get better, it will NOT be because of some change in our surroundings … it will be because WE change.


Personally, I am not satisfied with my life … as it is.


How about you?      You done?       You tired?       Satisfied?


In the film ‘16 Blocks’  (2006 – Bruce Willis, Yasiin Bey, David Morse)  an aging alcoholic cop is assigned the task of escorting a witness in police custody to the courthouse sixteen blocks away, where he is expected to testify before a jury – in regard to police corruption.


The viewer does not realize (at first) that Jack Mosley (Willis) was CHOSEN because they believed he could be counted on to “do what he always does” –  look away. (He was a drunk, and was considered spineless) Nor do we know (at first) that Mosley himself had been a participant in the corruption.


But that’s what makes it a good story … because (in the middle of the 16-block transfer) Mosley has a change of heart.  He ‘changes his mind’, and decides NOT to cooperate!


So, you see  – it’s a story about “doing the wrong thing” (and getting used to it), but then changing.


[so – it’s not just a good story … it’s an important story.

We LIVE, after all, in a society actively involved in a program of pursuing self-genocide … and  whose laws support planetary destruction!  (Culture ALWAYS trumps Law … Does it not?)]


Also – in the film ‘The Last Castle’ (2001 – Robert Redford, James Gandolfini, Mark Ruffalo) a (three-star) General Irwin (Redford) finds himself in a military prison.  (He had made a decision, in a battle situation, which resulted in the death of eight American soldiers.)

“The only difference between you and me,” he says to some other inmates, “is that I know I’m guilty.”  

But twice in the past year, Irwin learns – the warden, Col. Winter (Gandolfini) gave an order (a hand signal) to shoot certain prisoners in the head, which, even with rubber bullets, is likely to be fatal … and was fatal.

When it becomes clear to Irwin that Winter is abusing the power of his situation, he cites to him the pertinent sections from the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and (technically) relieves him of his command.

The warden does not comply.


Without seeking leadership (among his inmates) the other prisoners respect him, and, increasingly, look to him as their leader.

And, with the warden refusing to resign his position, Irwin decides to take it from him.


But the reason this is “not just a good story, but an important one as well” is because of the character of Yates, one of the prisoners (Mark Ruffalo).  Yates is smart and capable and (if my memory serves me right – a West Point graduate)  But the prisoners know – that Yates takes bets (on whatever) happens there in the prison.  (He makes no attempt to make life better for himself or for his inmates)

And one day (when no one else is around) Irwin says to him – “I know who you are, Yates.  You’re hiding.”

The moral struggles  that Yates goes through (after those few words from Irwin) make Yates the main character of the story.


[A main character is NOT the same as the hero of a story.  The main character is put there (in the story) as a proxy for the reader.  We’re meant to understand that the choices that the main character is struggling with… are essentially the same choices that WE need to deal with.]


I think I will NOT tell about the decisions that Yates finally makes, but they are crucial to the battle (as Yates knows how to fly a helicopter)


There is more than a little chaos …  but it’s a satisfying story.


I recommend you watch both these films.


(keeping in mind … that there may be changes WE need to make)




“Casida de la rosa”


La rosa 

no buscaba la aurora: 

Casi eterna en su ramo 

buscaba otra cosa. 


La rosa 

no buscaba ni ciencia ni sombra: 

Confín de carne y sueño 

buscaba otra cosa. 


La rosa 

no buscaba la rosa: 

Inmóvil por el cielo 

¡buscaba otra cosa!

                                    –   Federico García Lorca



Casida of the Rose


The rose

was not searching for the sunrise:

almost eternal on its branch,

it was searching for something else.


The rose

was not searching for darkness or science:

borderline of flesh and dream,

it was searching for something else.


The rose

was not searching for the rose.

Motionless in the sky

it was searching for something else.


                     –    Federico Garcia Lorca
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