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andrew lovatt

listening to music
a duty of doubt
smoking fire cycle

smoking fire cycle

the old scottish druid, a doctor in a suit and tie, smiled as he entered the hallway. a big flashing greeting of teeth and eyes burning with joy and mischief. his hand came up from his jacket pocket with a white cigarette held between refined, distinguished fingers. moments before he had been talking to us about homoeopathy and levitation and breath, and here he was about to 'smoke'. I looked at him with a cheeky curiosity. he grinned and stepped into the moment with the ease of a zen master. "ah, yes. but really, I don't smoke. it smokes me. all I do is agree to burn myself in sacrifice. i'm a good lamb." and his eyes sparkled like a prankster, looking to see if his seed had taken root in me. I laughed and grinned back knowingly, as if I'd heard him say this many times before. like a familiar echo. yet it was a well posed youthful ignorance, the way we have of making sure not to look too stupid. it was years before his smoke gave its meaning. -- dulwich, london, 1971
golden sunset panorama newbridge co kildare ireland by andrew lovatt


drawing in this deep burning fire is re-enacting the dragon. the smoke contains microscopic bits of flaming heat that flash through thousands of portals, rushing into and scarifying the lungs. feeling that deep fire wound is a peak moment of satisfaction, a definitive point in the cycle of fire breathing. and then the exhalation like a triumph of passion, a heroic blowing out of the charred bits of self in a fine dusty smoke, a dedication to the mystery of all cycles of appearance and disappearance. and to life and death too, of course.

poised on exhalation, there is a moment of equilibrium. deed done, death contained. it is an unkeepable moment. an unstoppable motion already has momentum, a return of impulse pushing the cycle. and a giving in to this. a mighty exhalation of karmic smoke, a dry, hot desert air blasting into the light outer world. and moments of seeing it's fated curve and turn and tumble, spending its power in an inevitable blending with the other reality. informing reality and subtly changing it with its molecular messages.

this smoke speaks in a language of its own. a telegraph into the everpresent air soul we all breathe. if we saw air as our common connector, we might notice all the contributions to its character. foul air. sweet air. a curious atmosphere. airless. no air. no suck. this is death to us. gasping is life. we are drowning in our own coming death, terrified of breathing the truth.

if it were a presence encompassing the world and penetrating everywhere, air would have movement, moment and memory. it would be capable of carrying feeling and sensation, of holding or modifying time, perhaps bending fate to other purposes. all our intents and millions of lost moments mixed in with the joy and horror of plaintive prayers and desperate cries. air would carry our meaning into all creatures who breathe. and we would inhale the sum of all breathing creatures into us.

perhaps we miss the living meaning and fail to notice its message. we think it nothing to do with soul, just gases and atoms and molecules.

[ newbridge : 21.12.03 ]

panoramic sunset sky in newbridge, co kildare, ireland
by a.lovatt

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