This and That

Some people may see it this way
some people may see it that
it doesn't matter how simple
because this is as simple as that.


My youngest daughter penciled "This and That" years ago at our kitchen table. When I asked her what it meant, she grinned, exposing her missing front teeth, and said, "It's simple."

Twenty years later and I think I've finally realized her innocent, and profound wisdom.

It came to me while reading about an off-Broadway musical called, "Now. Here. This." Its play-on-words title calls attention to something very simple. And it's that life is about what's happening right here, right now.

This. 

John Lennon, among others, wrote, "Life is what happens when you're making other plans." Other plans are... that!

This and that.

Chaos and order. Presence and productivity. Possibility and self-preservation. Adventure and achievement. Freedom and control. Being and becoming.

Now and later.

This and that is simple. It's THE essential human tension called "living." Some people see it this way, and lose themselves in the moment. Others see it that way, and get lost in a struggle for an imagined future.

This and that.

Feeling and thinking. Self and other. Spiritual and rational. Keats and ColeridgePhil and Peter. Me and you.

This and that is simple, because it doesn't matter how long or hard you think about it, or work to change it, it will never be this or that. It will always be this and that. 

This is as simple as that.

Our challenge is to accept this reality and learn, for ourselves, how to deal with that tension, ours as well as others. And then to connect with each other with the one thing that we all so desperately long for... the simple remedy for all of our suffering.

And I could never describe it as well as another innocent poet, so I won't even try.


With That Moon Language

Admit something:

Everyone you see, you say to them,
"Love me."

Of course you do not do this out loud;
Otherwise,
Someone would call the cops.

Still though, think about this,
This great pull in us
To connect.

Why not become the one
Who lives with a full moon in each eye
That is always saying,

With that sweet moon
Language,

What every other eye in this world
Is dying to
Hear.

I once asked a bird, how is it that you fly in this gravity of darkness? She responded, ‘love lifts me.’
— Hafez