what life means

to be daggers-drawn —
locked face-to-face with my own
inadequacy
— an infinite series of
partially met challenges

I guess if that’s what life means to me, then that’s what life means to me. It’s certainly the feeling I get time after time, once I’ve written out my notes on the night’s dreams, and, somewhat reluctantly, start turning my mind to what they ‘mean’. I had quite a lot of notes this morning — too many dreams to mention here — but the main one involved a horse who wanted to be galloped. Quite early on during the night, I woke with a verbatim sentence in my mind which I’ve now forgotten. It was something like advice how to transcend the feeling of being two halves (‘this thing and another thing’). I would guess this must connect with the website of Richard Sylvester I was browsing last night. There is also a connection with phenomenology, which seeks to look beyond ‘mind and body’ dualism. I’ve been vaguely interested in phenomenology for nearly 20 years, but Vedanta is relatively new to me. Quite clearly, my poem reflects these interests. The image of being locked face to face with my own inadequacy presupposes a ‘me’ and another ‘me’. The horse-riding image too, is probably a memory of being taught as a teenager that learning to meditate was like learning to ride a horse. The mind has to be ‘gentled’.

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