You are currently browsing the monthly archive for September 2008.

Summary Selections from “The Group of Thirty Verses” attributed to Subha Jivakambavanika from Poems of Early Buddhist Nuns

366. A rogue stopped the [nun] Subha as she was going to the delightful Jivakamba wood: Subha said this to him:

367. “What wrong have I done you, that you should stand obstructing me? For it is not fitting, sir, that a man should touch a woman who has gone forth.

368. This training was taught by the well-farer, in my teacher’s severe teaching. Why do you stand obstructing me? I possess the purified state without blemish…”

369. “You are young and not ugly; what will going-forth do for you? Throw away your yellow robe. Come let us delight in the flowery wood…

373. You wish to go without companion to the lonely, frightening, great wood, frequented by herds of beasts of prey, disturbed by cow-elephants, who are excited by bull-elephants.

374. You will go about like a doll made of gold, like an acchara in Cittaratha. O incomparable one, you will shine with beautiful garments of fine muslin, with excellent cloths.

375. I should be at your beck and call if we were to dwell in the grove; for there is no creature dearer to me than you, o nymph with pleasant eyes….

379. Just as a  blue lotus with beautiful blossoms rising up from the water is touched by non-human water-spirits, so you, liver of the holy life will go to your old age with your limbs untouched by any man.”

380. “What is it that you approve of as essential here in the body, which is full of corpses, filling the cemetery, destined to break up? What is it that you have seen when you look at me, being out of your mind?”

381. “Your eyes are like those of Turi, like those of a nymph inside a mountain; seeing your eyes my delight in sensual pleasures increases all the more.

382. Seeing your eyes in your face, to be compared with the bud of a blue lotus, spotless, like gold, my sensual pleasure increases all the more.

383. Even though you have gone far away, I shall remember you; you with the long eyelashes, you with the pure gaze; for no eyes are dearer to me than yours, you nymph with pleasant eyes…”

396. Removing her eye, the good-looking lady, with an unattached mind, was not attached to it. She said “Come, take this eye for yourself.” Straightaway she gave it to the man….

Please note that I have expurgated some of the many religious messages in the poem to suit to my own needs. But there is a chance they might have been integrated into the anecdote retrospectively to seduce recruits. Who knows.


Commentary Statistics & Data

Text Comments (10)

Wow, so that’s where all the rings in Sonic The Hedgehog come from.

On a serious note: Wow, I’ve never seen this behavior before. Pretty interesting.


And we claim to be the advanced species.


Until you can show me a dolphin that can make motorbikes and lasers, er… yes :0)

It is very cool though.

I get what you’re saying. However, they’re not destroying their environment or killing each other for a handful of pocket change to go buy crack.


No. Very true.
Although, come to think of it, I’d love to bee there when a dolphin flops up to a street corner to score some rocks.
“Are you 5-O?”
“Click-skweeee-clickety-click” .

yeah, that’s advancement! an apparent lack of conflict

Obviosly dolphins are a much more advanced species than humans. They are peace lovers.

thats amazing


Dolphins FTW : )

Wow..just wow

The OED word-of-the-day is Shiver. Which is perfect because it’s 89 degrees here at 8 pm and tomorrow there’s a 100% chance of hurricane. Finn and I made paper boats. His, a pink pirate ship and mine a yellow sailboat. At his request we named them after ourselves– a process he calls self-naming.

In the last week I have lost three people. It’s enough to scare anyone out of sight for awhile. There’s no such thing as a respectable amount of time that could pass before remarking upon the loss. Especially since, as my astronomy professor used to remind us, Betelgeuse could explode at any moment. There is only not-enough time and too-much time and reaching under standing water in the streets to wrangle whatever’s closest. At least this one is closer.

Apparently S didn’t know that NC and I speak/spoke. I understand her ongoing contempt for me more now. I’ve written about NC here regularly in the past few years because she has continued to be a friend. Believing we had severed contact, I’m assuming, before their relationship began, S must have thought I was obsessed or disrespectful or in denial or– something. Withholding the truth turned our friendship into something disrespectful, at least. But I really had no idea.

After my last post, NC texted to tell me I had destroyed her relationship. S had left her.

I don’t know any more than that. Either it’s over or it’s not and they’ve reconciled but NC and I certainly are done. Of course this kind of thing from a Kantian. Information management. Unfair chances. It’s down to 88.5 here and I’m still shivering.

I’ve been at Grad School Orientation for the past three days and for the school face book I’ve been asked to muster up a denomination to be printed under my name. The registrar apologized that the provided check list of denominations includes 47 different types of Christian and just a smattering of other things. As a partial remedy they’ve instituted an Other: _____. In addition to printing our denominations, the registrar will forfeit the information for certain governing polls and tallies. I don’t remember which. The Other _____s won’t be tallied but will appear under our faces. I am entertaining my options: gay jokes, structural linguistic jokes, other jokes, contrariness. I cross out my name from my sail boat and try on other things in Crayola.

Of its etymology the OED tells us:

It may be doubtfully suggested that the word may originally have had reference to the chattering of the teeth from cold (cf. to chevere with the chin, quot. c 1475 below), and that (with the app. synonymous CHIVEL v.) it is connected with early ME. cheovele, chefle to wag the jaws, chatter (see CHAVEL v.), f. OE. ceafl jaw (see JOWL). The ending -el may have been assimilated to the suffix -ER5, common in verbs expressing tremulous movement; cf. however MHG. kiver (G. kiefer) beside kivel jaw. The change of ch to sh may have been due to the frequent association with shake.]

From one word, supplemented into an adjective. From that word: then sonorously associated into something else. So that at last we cannot see the origin unless we are bleary and educated in half a dozen colloquialisms from half a dozen dead languages.

(It may be doubtfully suggested.)

That’s what I tried to remember when I read a good-bye email from a stranger. To decipher it I look for other hints– some additional information printed under his final signature. I try to break him down and backward, make some sense with what tools I have. But I speak all the wrong languages, it seems. I tried to change the beginning of him back into other shapes and people— to take away his suffix. I wasn’t even left with a mouthful.

Tomorrow will be my first Hurricane Party since Tropical Storm Bill. I write on the back of my hand: this with suffixes. Things that break and things that hold together. I come up with more ideas for things that Finn and I can make out of paper

and tack the wall before they tremble away on Ike.

In which everything is inverted and then explodes.

I. The Internet reveals a merry apple-picking party in the works. NC and her fiancee, S, and JTE all together (I’m sure this was to be kept secret) to frolic in the autumnal bliss. NC does the harvest? NC does New England? NC does whatever ___ wants. Touching. In August, NC had expressed excitement about my new relationship but then I got to the part about how we’d be in NY in February. Finally, I thought, we could have dinner with NC and S according to everyone’s rules. NC and S don’t see their exes unless they are both present along with the ex’s new lover. But, “No,” NC revealed, S is empathizing with J right now, “about the break up.” I asked her how S knew anything at all and she lied and told me that S reads the blogs– all of them. But I knew there really hadn’t been enough blogging to empathize except in a generic way. I naively did not anticipate that S would have contacted J. What a way to discover the failed illusion of innocence. I’m busy contemplating a four-letter word for “where Truth is revealed.” And later or before she says “You not gonna, you know, blog about any of this, right?” I assure her: No. And will keep the promise.

II. According to my sun-burnt mother, the British Invasion consisted of three bands: The Beatles, The Monkees, and Herman’s Hermits. The Internet disagrees vehemently with her but she persists, ecstatically telling me about the Herman’s Hermits concert she went to in Denver. (For Free!) It’s hit her harder than Beatlemania and I can feel the joyous repercussions across the country as she wonders aloud which British group sang “Good Vibrations.” I tell her it was the Beach Boys. “Everyone,” she recalls, “knew all the lyrics to ‘Henry the VII!'” and begins to sing in a cartoonish British accent, smiling.

III. “Oh my god, I thought that was the real time and I was kind of freaking out,” she explains, pointing at my blinking alarm clock. I watched it go for a few moments, waiting for it to stop insisting on 2:37 and get on with it to 2:38. “But it’s blinking,” I remind her, “if that were the real time it would mean that I would have had to plug in the clock at EXACTLY 12:00.”

IV. “There was an even better dog there. He even barked my name. But he had brown hair and this other one looked just like you so I got her.” T explains his choice of a second-tier dog toward cheering me up.

V. I haven’t heard from you since July. Dad says you told him that I hate you or disapprove of your life or something. Which is the opposite of what I said. You know that, I think. I love you. I miss you every single day.

VI. For a moment the static dies down and I am talking to you again. “Did you get the thing I got you in Portugal.” And I tell her the truth: that it was lovely and touching. And for once we are talking to each other instead of violent characterizations and everything bad the other person’s friends have said. I want to picnic friendship know. The big words and mean things come crashing back down and I cover my head and cower for a moment. I wonder if the lapse was a chink in the armor, a slip back into the real, a mistake, a mixed metaphor. I do have a heart. I know you know.

VII. NC and I talked the other day about courses I should take at the Vard next year. She did not suggest the course on Irony.

VIII. After just a few minutes she slips back into the usual platitudes and tells me about the encroaching fall on the prairie.

IX. In the beginning she said she would fold the country in half if that’s what it took. I passed around a few Babe, the blue ox, jokes and helped her son plant cherry trees in the front yard by dutifully chewing all the fruit off the seeds. Finn Cherry Tree. We told him.

X. The drawback of a real family is that you realize how hard and how necessarily you were holding onto some other people. Now that you’re holding my hand, I think, it’s time to let go. Or, as the country kitchen sign above your kitchen door so eloquently puts it, Back Door Friends Are Best.

XI. This is not trivial to me. This thing that yawns between us eating all the time we promised, as children, would never be lost. The same way that Father has buried all that time with Brother. We should not. I know you’re here.

XII. It’s too late to stop the cherry pulsing. Maybe to you it’s all numbers and dots– our whole past rewritten as appointment times, reps and sets, dosages, portions. My parts have sprung out my back– the soft 9-volt back-up battery pad swinging unused on red and black wires. Everywhere, used and unused, I am red and black. I stuff it back inside like the ribbons for hanging up ladies’ clothing. I keep my open back to the wall, sliding from room to room so that I do not come undone. I have nightmares that always begin with a jolt and end with wondering why I’ve never bought a battery. If You Hate Resetting the Alarm Clock So Much. If I hate resetting the alarm clock so much.