Visiting the neighbours

On the scented tree
four orange butterflies rest –
and now, six, seven …

(09 March 2015)

Some weeks ago, striped caterpillars stripped bare the swan plant one of my neighbours had planted. We thought the ravening gluttons must have been eaten by birds. Somewhere nearby, however, certain of their relatives must have survived, pupated, then hatched.

Could it be? Yes, it could

West Side Story: The New Broadway Cast Recording (2009) – record cover

West Side Story: The New Broadway Cast Recording (2009) – cd cover



Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. (Carl Sagan)

Something fabulous is out there taking shape, emerging, peeking, and calling your name. (quoted in Seed of Fabulosity on Soulseeds)

My parents were not scientists. They knew almost nothing about science. But in introducing me simultaneously to skepticism and to wonder, they taught me the two uneasily cohabiting modes of thought that are central to the scientific method. (Carl Sagan, quoted in Carl Sagan: A Biography, by Ray Spangenburg and Diane Moser) .

Could be! Who knows?
There’s something due any day;
I will know right away,
Soon as it shows.
It may come cannonballing down through the sky,
Gleam in its eye, Bright as a rose!

Who knows?
It’s only just out of reach,
Down the block, on a beach,
Under a tree.
I got a feeling there’s a miracle due,
Gonna come true,
Coming to me!

Could it be? Yes, it could.
Something’s coming, something good,
If I can wait!
Something’s coming, I don’t know what it is,
But it is
Gonna be great!

With a click, with a shock,
Phone’ll jingle, door’ll knock,
Open the latch!
Something’s coming, don’t know when, but it’s soon;
Catch the moon,
One-handed catch!

Around the corner,
Or whistling down the river,
Come on, deliver
To me!
Will it be? Yes, it will.
Maybe just by holding still,
It’ll be there!

Come on, something, come on in, don’t be shy,
Meet a guy,
Pull up a chair!
The air is humming,
And something great is coming!
Who knows?
It’s only just out of reach,
Down the block, on a beach,
Maybe tonight . . .

(Lyrics: Something’s Coming from West Side Story, Book by Arthur Laurents
Music by Leonard Bernstein, Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim)


Spangenburg, Ray; Moser, Diane. 2004. Carl Sagan: A Biography. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group. 

Crash! tinkle tinkle

Several times recently, I’d cautioned myself about the risk. A week or so ago, I’d knocked the tallest of them, set it teetering …

But the row of vases had remained on the shelf.

The shock was nothing more than the shock of spectacle. I felt no sense of disaster, no pang of loss.

Spectacle? Not literally; I didn’t actually see the glassware tumble. But the dizzying beauty of the sound conjured a brilliant image – as if an enormous pane of glass had burst.

The vase that fell and broke dates back to a phase of my life long past, long abandoned … and it had cost comparatively little anyway.

Had I paid more attention to the risk, I would not have broken the vase … would not have heard that glorious cascade of glittering shards.

Declaring a new world

A page of a copy circa 1503 of the Diwan-e Shams-e Tabriz-i

A page of a copy circa 1503 of the Diwan-e Shams-e Tabriz-i


Do not be satisfied with the stories that come before you.
Unfold your own myth.

Speak a new language so
that the world will be a new world.

The work is always inside you.
This knot does not get untied
by listening to the stories of other people.

Everything in the universe is within you.
Ask all from yourself.

(Mawlānā Jalāl-ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī).

The text of this post has been assembled using quotations from poetry by Rūmī. 

The image depicts Shams of Tabriz (Rūmī’s spiritual master) as portrayed in a 1503 painting in a copy of Rūmī’s poem dedicated to Shams.