Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Us Cats IV

Us cats rolling past.
Playing, fighting, biting me.
Ow. Biting you back.

Oleh Saya

Us Cats III

Us cats play and climb,
back and forth, top to bottom,
purring purring, purr.

Oleh Saya

Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Narcissist's View

Today on the phone you described your lack of success in developing a long term relationship (or unwillingness to do so) as a form of selfishness. You told me you could tolerate imperfections in others but not in anyone close to you. Fair enough.  But what you said provoked a memory for me. There was a story that I heard on NPR - perhaps it was one of those American Stories that you love, or maybe (more likely) it was fictional.  Anyway, I'd like to summarize it for you because I think there's a point that you should consider.

The story is narrated by a neurotic and narcissistic man in NYC - he's affluent so he's been going to a Psychoanalyst every week for over ten years. His analyst is a woman about our age. The narcissist prattles on about the various meetings with this woman, always interpreting any behavior on her part as evidence that she really loves him and wants him in her life.  For example when she loses weight and changes her hairstyle he interprets it as her attempt to make herself more attractive to him. In fact she's got cancer and is losing weight because she's losing the battle, the new hairstyle was a wig.

One day he arrives to be given a note in which she apologizes that she can no longer treat him, referring him to someone else.  It also says that her husband (who he had imagined did not exist) would stop by during his next visit with the new analyst and give him a gift from her to commemorate their long time 'friendship'.

He meets the husband and naturally fails to notice that he's subdued and downcast from worry. He tells her husband of how much he has suffered by not having his analyst there to serve him. The husband says very little and gives him her gift which he denigrates and ignores.

By the by she dies and the narcissist is invited along with a few other long term clients to her memorial service.  His narrative up to and during the service is a long series of complaints of how hard her dying has made his life.  He rages at another narcissist who had the temerity to write and perform an overlong and quite inappropriate song at the service. All about him.

But at the end the author shows the narcissist noticing (but without comprehending) how utterly devastated the husband is by his wife's death.  And through that device he ties all of the other pictures that we've seen of this woman that have been interspersed with the narcissist's rants.  And suddenly a picture comes into focus and we see this woman for who she really is: a deeply committed professional who sacrificed her domestic relationships to focus on helping those with psychological problems deal with their lives.  A woman who finally found deep and fulfilling love very late in her too short life and how that transformed her and gave her joy.

You see the story really wasn't about the narcissist at all. It was about his analyst and how her  years of sacrifice and commitment laid the groundwork for love and joy, if only for a short time.  It's an astonishing story and one that has a moral for you.  You talk about your selfishness but I don't see that.  I see someone that has refined her soul through sacrifice and the deliberate choice of difficult paths of service to others who just might find that all of that was just the prelude to the things that she thought she'd sacrificed for good.

Please don't read into this any self serving by me - although I am self serving.  I assume our relationship is at best quite episodic. But  I urge you to consider the possibility that one who is inwardly as beautiful as you will find someone or ones worthy of your beauty to complete your journey with.

And I Will pray that comes true for you.

Monday, August 29, 2016

A striking bloom

I spied a flower, a striking bloom
It shocked my soul and pierced my gloom.

But I can't keep it, nor make it mine.
Only love its grace, its soul, its life.

Oleh Saya

Sunday, August 28, 2016

You can't own hearts

All my life I've been searching for pebbles.
Some of them pretty,  some of them plain.
I picked them up all the same.

I'd peer at them and ask
"What are you to me?"
They'd tell me nothing that I wanted to be.

So I'd stick them in my pocket,
Or toss them in the sea
None of them meant very much to me.

Until one day a I found one that caught my eye.
I just had to have that pebble.
Or else I would die.

You can't own him and he can't own you.
Love is about giving, love is about truth.
And the only thing you can keep of any man,
Is the sweetness of his love and the touch of his hand.

So I picked it up.
I held it so tight.
This was the stone for which I would fight.

I took that pebble home
Said that it was mine.
Put it on a pedestal that was so very fine.

But I found that pebbles aren't owned.
(Much to my dismay.)
Or possessed or ruled in any other way.

You can't own her and she can't own you.
Love is about giving, love is about truth.
And the only thing you can keep of any woman born,
Is the sweetness of her love and the touch of her hand.

So she kept me In her pocket
And used me in her way.
Until the day I fit no more and she tossed me away.

That tossing created ripples,
great waves of pain.
I swore I'd never pick up pretty pebbles again.

But of course I lied
Because I can never look away
From all the many pebbles that come pebbling my way.

Searching for the special ones
that threaten waves of pain.
To see if it hurts when I hold them again.

You can't own hearts and you can't own souls.
Love is about giving, about becoming whole.
And the only thing you can have of any woman or man,
Is the sweetness of their love and the touch of their hand.

I've loved a lot and I've lost even more.
And the only thing I've learned,
Really the only thing I know. Is...

You can't own hearts and you can't own souls.
Love is about giving, about becoming whole.
And the only thing you can have of any woman or man
Is the sweetness of their love and the touch of their hand.

Yes the only thing I've learned, the only thing I know, 
is that you can't own hearts and you can't own souls.

Oleh Saya


Loved that poem,
lived that poem.

Oleh Anda

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Known and Knowing

For Megan.

It is a strange thing to know a person
and stranger still to be known.

Undressing our fears and faltering hopes.
Admitting weakness and selfish intent.

Stripping away all artifice,
all the perfumed unguents with which
we disguise our souls.

To reach out across the chasms that separate us.
Alone in our mountain redoubts, safely dead.

To touch, to grasp, to cling
For to slip is to fall and in falling we are lost.

Oleh Saya


I was surprised by beauty again, today.
Though I did not see you,
nor did I feel the press and warmth of your hand.
You are so very far away.

But the beauty in your voice
and the grace of your spirit
surprised me anew.

I'm not sure why you hold my gaze so.
Except that in a life of tumult and travail,
where no one is certain and nothing lasts,
you seem truer, more constant.

You shine brighter,
piercing the darkness with your spirit.
And surprising me again and again.

I am grateful that here and now I
know you and am known by you.
And in the knowing can be surprised.
And in being surprised, find joy.

Oleh Saya

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Us Cats

Full moon, us cats
watching, dreaming, letting
our spirits roam.

Oleh Anda

Hammock dream

In a hammock side by side,
Head to toe, toe to head
Watching you watching me.
Speaking of hopes, dreams, you.

Touching your foot, ankle, calf.
Your soft, sheathed strength beneath my hand.
You ask a question. I smile: "no".
It doesn't matter where we go.

Oleh Saya