Swimming with the Helix in Laughter

A belated discovery of the intricate workings of a friend…dig deep!

Creative Thresholds

by J. Celan Smith
Images by Melissa D. Johnston

I. Others: with

They are there, with us, creatively marauding our solitude. We carry them like extra hearts or like a bowl of sour fruit. It depends. Yet focus on the precious and everyday. From outside, where they meet us, we absorb them. Their forms, their words. Interiorized. We enter, joining them to our twisted strands. From then on, we are intertwined.

Maybe just an inner blimp of memories, their existence cruises in and out, never leaving our cardial space. Our lake grows full with their water. Not just any other: the important ones. Thin or plump, jocose or reticent, tough or tender. Often we swirl with them, eddies coyly dancing. Gradually, sometimes, they shadow away, tides leaving tiny caves like crab-peck in our sands. Where? We wear their skins as our own, cloak upon cloak of other lives placed in…

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Mechanics and Meaning



I suspect this is an emotion with which we are all familiar.  It connects to longing and sorrow like Siamese siblings sharing bodies.

Evidently I am able to conjure it at a moment’s notice, on a whim.

How we initiate suffering.  Designate and signify it.

  • Creating separations and distinctions in order to perceive
  • Attempting to maintain stability, regularity, balance and order
  • Envisioning opportunities and instinctively avoiding threats (real or imagined)

While what we have collectively learned about our world, its fluidity of matter and energy, its processes – subatomic to galaxian – would seem to infer that

  • Everything is connected
  • Everything keeps changing
  • Opportunities routinely lose their luster or remain unfulfilled and most true threats are inescapable (aging, death, loss, etc.)

Metabolizing Change

“Grief,” “longing,” “sorrow” and the like seem often to highlight where triggered survival mechanisms (boundaries, maintenance of balance or stability, and bias toward perceiving dangers or threats) ratchet and crackle, kink and stumble in the flow of change.

I would like to open to the inferences.  Soothe and calm survival mechanisms, more effectively metabolize connectivities and change.  Participate in life’s process from smaller and larger perspectives of mechanics and meaning, measures and movements.


ideas stimulated by Rick Hanson, in – Hanson - Buddha's Brain