Having to start somewhere

//Having to start somewhere

Having to start somewhere

According to our accepted and utilitarian convention, this is Day 1.
I have to start somewhere.
So I open at random Francis Ponge’s Le parti pris des choses, a Christmas gift from my son, to page 92. It says:

Le Galet (The Stone)
Le galet n’est pas une chose facile à bien définir. (The stone is not an easy thing to define well.)

How fine! What else is there to say tonight?
Not a thing can be defined easy and well. That’s the best definition.

By | 2015-10-02T14:45:40+01:00 janvier 1st, 2009|Textes|9 Comments

About the Author:

Enseignante Zen et poète, Sensei Amy “Tu es cela” Hollowell est née et a grandi à Minneapolis, aux Etats-Unis. Arrivée en France en 1981 pour étudier la littérature et l’histoire, elle y est restée, s’installant à Paris, où elle élève ses deux enfants et gagne sa vie en tant que journaliste. The Zen teacher and poet Amy “Tu es cela” Hollowell Sensei was born and raised in Minneapolis, but came to France in 1981 to study literature and history and has lived in Paris ever since, raising her two children and making a living as a journalist.


  1. João 24 janvier 2009 at 13 h 17 min - Reply

    I used to joke with anarchist friends saying «I know how governments everywhere could destroy you: they would pass a law making it mandatory to breathe; just out of stubborness, spite and unwillingness to obey, I know you would immediately cease breathing for good».

    I suppose that, in whichever way you define your non-self, it will continue doing its stuff as it non-exists.

    You will do just fine without definitions, you will not start doing random nonsense like dancing naked on the subway or become a part of a suicide bombers organization, and you’re not supposed to.

    You will do just fine with definitions, just as long as you don’t make them rocks tied to your neck: use them as tools to do some things you might need to do and don’t make your life depend on them, don’t swear by them. Are you assertive and nice, lazy and worrysome, a six-fingered blue venusian or a green martian with antennae? Just as long as you harm none and breathe free, why bother building a tower of names and explanations or why suffer absurdly denying/fighting them? Can you create a cloud by describing it? Would you fight it?

  2. tu es cela 8 janvier 2009 at 10 h 43 min - Reply

    If not then, when?
    There is no other day.
    Everyday is the first day.

  3. miacravo 5 janvier 2009 at 0 h 16 min - Reply

    Why to start on the 1st of the year?
    After all conventions are in more minds than I suposed to
    The first of the year
    when it HAPPENS.
    Let´s wait, no pressure, let´s respect our beings and see what happens.

  4. little lake 3 janvier 2009 at 15 h 38 min - Reply

    "Not a thing asks to be defined"
    "Not a thing needs to be defined "

  5. little lake 3 janvier 2009 at 15 h 36 min - Reply

    "Not a thing asks to be defined"
    "Not a thing needs to be defined "

  6. Ting 3 janvier 2009 at 11 h 40 min - Reply

    "Not a thing can be defined"
    And our certainties are merely notions we never dared to question.

  7. little lake 3 janvier 2009 at 0 h 49 min - Reply

    Is it so easy?
    Yes it is!
    and no it isn’t!

    in the end we all stand face to face to our most essential fear(s(s(s(s(s(s)…
    this is the endgame – when all the other games are played
    no where to hide…

    I put it rather static and dramatic isn’t it?
    while it is rather apearing like a bird that is flying much to quickly before your window so you cannot properly see it …
    A shadow of it turning around the corner…
    Just a felt glimpse
    Guess who makes the bird flying so quickly?……
    After a while you start wanting to see it – There is this longing growing to see it completely – even more ‘to face’ it completely – even ‘to embrace’ it ompleytely…
    ‘to enter’ it completely… to be it completely

    We have to take care of our fears, as for a run away child that we want to come home again…
    There is no bigger love than this …
    When we can do this for ourseles – we can do it for the others to – this is the fundament of real compassion…
    Here we see we are all in this togheter…
    And it is not easy to me…
    i am struggeling every day…

    As Rumi (Souffi) said in his poem "the guesthouse": "…invite them like the most honourable , most important guests…"
    becouse… they realy are…

  8. Tomas 2 janvier 2009 at 18 h 08 min - Reply

    Anxiety? Why not jumping right in into ‘structurelessness’? It may be the way that the gateless gate is presenting itself at the moment! It just may be an invitation for being blown away into 10,000 pieces…again, it may be not!
    There is only one way to find out…being anxiety!!!

  9. Claire 2 janvier 2009 at 16 h 05 min - Reply

    This self.
    This self is not an easy thing to define well.

    With no definition where can I get my structure and remain stable?
    Definition helps me to organize, calm down and move on.
    No definition makes me very anxious

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