Drew T. Noll © 2022, all rights reserved

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Life

It’s moving so fast, damn, sailing past me as I run to do its bidding the whole day long. It’s as if my head was not my own to hold onto, while standing in an alley in front of my house; where a conversation ensued about construction planning. With my head already hurting from trying to squeeze coronafied students into a form that had already come, the English with my wife was the most familiar thing to grab. Hebrew flew in hesitant spurts between the four of us, a Christian, a Muslim, and two Jews pretending to belong. Arabic poured out into cement bonding the air between them … and a plan was formed. But, my head was still flying overhead, not mine at all. So I left to walk to work through the ancient ruins left behind. Past the sparkling white tower, evil lurking inside, I kicked through the gate leading down. A new sewer had also been planned, so diggers pounded in step with each footfall descending, each step stolen from a world gone wrong. Guilty for leaving my wife home, I thought about how to mold young coronafied minds into healthy beings to lead the way into a future unknown. I thought about my own sons singing a life of their own. And, I thought about myself and the path that I’d shorn. I sang along walking until I found it, a place needing attention, a place to be born.

There’s a certain shape that speaks to me, a shape that elevates the world and defies gravity at the same time. It’s hard to give over the idea of what I’ve seen, but to try I could say that there are edges unworn. In everything we see, whether up, sideways, or down, there’s a pattern of being, and all at once being born. The rocks strewn about have been sewn by a heaven unyielding, with time filling in between and stretching out into our norm. A chip here and a roll-down there, dirt uncovering and then spilling out guts of the world, the stones tumble down. So on the path I move upon I stumble down, looking and waiting for inspiration born, on my path to work well shorn. Breathing deeply and stopping time, I find one or two stones. A base emerges from beneath the brush and then stones reveal themselves one at a time. Into my mind I eject myself as my ego rips out tendrils undone. I move silently into a realm without me being strung. Plucking my cords and tickling each string, my song then erupts into one. Time stops for a moment each time, and I lift my life up to gather up strength to sing down. For, the world beckons each moment and then it moves on. 

Down into the glen I weave my mind, stepping down with each grin I sing to the world all around. A fountain spurts out from the ground there, water living and moving down, sound all around; trickling down. Canals have been opened and dug in, letting the water move around, dropping into a world unknown, and eventually disappearing into mind. And, I follow it all back to work, where minds open wide to receive the next world coming down. Yes, coronafied minds only need moisture to bloom, and to blossom into one. We are all looking back as we think about now, but the future is growing always more young; everyday it becomes. The cacophonic cultures that I witness all around only inspire me to build. That’s the world we all know, a place where anything is possible and everything is undone. We live in a world where life lives in every moment but will never be won. We live to begin and to end, a life to be lived and a life forever worn. Like a coat with many colors or a grey one that shone, life is a gift from the heavens beyond. We live to have life and that is all that will come, nothing exists beyond. So live on and on, until 120; we believe will be won, until ... we all are witness with One.

For more cairns, click: doronoll.com/noll-cairns

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

The Shekinah, Corona, and the Tower of Babel

Iceland is melting. At the beginning of the summer my wife and I took advantage of living in Israel by traveling abroad as the coronavirus waned in our country. In Iceland they also had a lull in viral infections, so we hastily made an itinerary and quickly earned our vaccination post-grad degrees. Then we jumped onto a plane bound for Europe. Arriving in Iceland via (a very) German passport control in Frankfurt, we received our campervan and headed to the foot of an erupting volcano. Thanks to wonderful friends in Israel with connections to wonderful new friends in Iceland, we spent our first night near a pasture of horses across from the home of our neighborhood-volcano-guide for the day – such a blessing! This was the beginning of a two week trip "driving the RingRoad," finishing up with the Golden Circle. Our trip included cooling magma, exploding mantle, falling water, frozen trolls, melting glaciers, land dwelling puffins, extinct herring factories, turf houses, the real discoverer of the American continent, moss-covered craters, and even flying water! There was a lot of other stuff too, but we have a long way to go here, so…

Nimrod is known for his tyranny, probably the first of such in the history of all the land. Tyrants are determined by a check-list, but for the sake of expediency I would like to focus on one aspect of a probable tyrant’s resume – Me. When I have an idea it is totally mine, regardless of where my influences come from. And… that is what I want to say to the world – that it’s mine. We all get caught up in the idea of monetization of such and such, and of so and so, and of all the demerits therein; however, it’s only a temporary flux of evaporation in influence. What “Me” is really all about is MY opinion. What “I” think is what I want others to think; casting my opinion and collecting followers (wink, wink) is what builds MY world into something more than me… with a lowercase ‘m.’ Opinion builds the individual one at a time into giants of none, no matter, just … done. Referentially: “In my opinion…” as I raise my head above others… you get the idea. ‘Opinion’ is a reckless adventure seeking ‘luck’ when there was never really any such thing to begin with.

Some may not believe, but for the sake of argument of MY point: God created the world using self-surgery to inflict a finite reality envelope sublimated within the ineffable Infinite. We understand this more readily when using the nomenclature: Mother-Earth (or Shekinah). The world we understand around us is filled with biology and physics, finite reality expressing itself with complete abandon. When God created our realm She split off from Him and She prospered, filling the envelope that They created with all that we know and that now is. We live here, in this place created, all of us, and we seek understanding and distinction, one and all. This is the nature of us in our universe, filled with notions of Me becoming One.

Then we got hit with a damn coronavirus and began to understand ourselves better. The virus stripped away the rough edges of our lives, causing some to pass over and others to mourn their loss, causing others to cling desperately to themselves as … um, what they understood to be themselves was slowly ripped away day after day. This is awareness of My reality experienced, felt much the same as those living and building for Nimrod, building a city to support him aloft, as he convinced us all that we were doing it to be closer to God. What more could we think at the time—that we were doing it only for him? And … if so … what was to become of Us, the royal We?! Our opinions became diverse, many views with One mind, and all because we stopped thinking of the present’s effects on the future, but dwelled upon, instead, the past – I think this because, “It was said by so-and-so (now deceased), so I will stick to my opinion because I know how to be.” But this is just perpetuating a tower built in the past by others, says Me. And that is just My opinion squirting again, you see…

In Iceland talking with locals, one of the explanations I heard about the idea that a troll once waded out to drag in a ship, only to be caught by the morning sun unaware, and subsequently causing the entire parade to be cast into stone for all of time, was that: Icelanders don’t necessarily believe in trolls and people hidden, it has just become relevant in ‘our time’ to attempt understanding of the traditions of old, giving them the respect that they deserve … and thereby keeping them going. This makes the most sense to me, with a small ‘m,’ because the idea is not necessarily an opinion. An opinion would be something like: “If you don’t understand what I’m saying it’s because you are lost and confused, maybe even evil-inclined and selfish beyond my interest in even interacting with you, ever. In my opinion you are beyond repair, flotsam and jetsam for all of time.”

The weather in Iceland was so pleasant that we were surprised. When asking others about it, since we expected to be cold and wet with most everything we did, the locals all agreed that it was not only unseasonable but obtusely perfect for the touring that we were all doing. We were happy in each moment thinking about how lucky we were, but all the time knowing that luck didn’t actually exist. It was only an opinion of those in a moment where things seemed to align, and not reflecting reality of any kind. The Shekinah is perfect, as God is, was, and always will be. All things in all of time have already been calibrated and seen. Luck is only an illusion of ignorance willing happiness or the reverse, building chemicals to inevitably squirt down the line. “Global warming is only a meme!”

While hiking a melting glacier with our guide, a Bahai man who once lived in his holy land (Israel), between mention of glacier trolls and locals of old that had fallen, but luckily survived, My opinion rose up unaware of my mind down below. I got excited after hearing about the epiphany that occurred by the leader at the time. I got excited about a group of people that all came together to understand that We are all One. But, when I expressed my excitement about it to our guide, he became surly and pained; he expressed thoroughly to me that: “It was not something from men, but from God!” stated all the while with a finger pointing above. And it was true. We all live in the same envelope, experiencing the same Me, so how could it ‘not’ be? In another conversation he said that man may have changed the climate in our land. We can see the record of days come and gone, and today we sit at a time when the current trend just may keep going … melting the world down one degree at a time.

However... an opinion is an attempt to build a tower of Me. Is this from fighting the edges of My known space, or is it an inherent desire to cling to the Originator of our realm? And then more questions are asked with answers not sung… We keep living forward without singing our footsteps; we live in the past. We live there because we knew not to wrestle with each step, while we skidded sliding in over marks made thousands of times—every-time. Looking back is an attempt to build a tower of Me, just like an opinion. Mine. And that is how I know that God is what I think She/He is, Me: the small one wanting to be BIG.

So… I think I’ll just focus on me, the small One. That way, in the end, I might just end up BIG instead. Now, it’s only MY opinion, mind you, but I think Nimrod’s tower may still exist today. Babylon has long since gone, but we babble about nothing day in and day out, all the time. Our voice just seems to have gone. We all seek the One, but in doing so stumble upon Me, or at least MY feet trip under blocks placed before … by me, with a lowercase ‘m.’ That’s how I know we’ll be okay, and that thinking this is not just another opinion. In every new year we have a chance to connect with the real ‘me,’ the One deep inside. If you’re still thinking it is luck, you’re wrong. The beginning is much the same as the end, and it is only time that stretches out between. Tyrants come and go and always will, but each is primed by Me stating MY opinion, again and again. Yes, I agree, this is a lame ending, but: to summarize: We should all just get along, and to do so WE must stop being Me for a moment long enough to be mine. That’s how to be One.

Happy New Year, and may You be written into the Book of Good Health, Long Life, and Pure Joy to come!

For More Iceland pics., click here

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Ravikum and the Multiverse


doronoll.com

Mishka Fet has an eye to the sky and sees a lone creature living on a floating fish scale swerving about in midair, dry, and hovering. The creature is Ravikum, who believes that the land he sees far down below him is really a giant fish swimming on the surface of a giant sea—so, our story is partially about how Mishka Fet is forever captured by the image of Ravikum, and our story is also about perceptional awareness, and dreaming of fish.

Our story begins here:

"In the beginning, in a time before knowing, there was a man who stood on the edge of a world. Mishka Fet looked up to the skies night in and day out, at the twilight of being, but he almost never saw anything worth mentioning. Up until once, when in a sharp little corner of vision, Mishka saw a scale flipping. From origin it must have been fish, but in reality it could not be so. For fish swimming most often occurred far down below. 

Mishka blinked and missed nothing as it passed overhead, “It cannot be that something else could only be and ‘then’ be said,” he thought. But, just then, he saw it again, a faint and small blink sparking out life as if something was actually there from the beginning. The scale flipping caught the light of the world under Mishka’s feet and shone it back down, calling for help, sailing on the wind, and quite possibly not minding. Involuntarily, Mishka’s mind erupted into thoughts—screaming—while standing upon his precipice of unknowing; and then … Mishka’s mind fractured back into knowing, which filled in everything, all the blanks extending back to the beginning.  

Mishka had seen something move, something to tell. A life was being lived up there all pell-mell he knew, so Mishka said it to everyone all around him. “There is a life up above, on something small, floating about on the wind, like a fish scale twirling, like a world unknown.” It cannot be that no one can see, thought Mishka, “A life up above with living to give!? My purpose is clear, and has been from the start, the time I spend dreaming is plainly more than it appears. “Someone is up there. I know it! If only you’d all listen to the sights unfolding! There is up there a being shaking, a being unable to steer, full of fear, and flipping end-over … completely quaking!” 

So, with care, gently, Mishka’s mind reached out with his hand and fingers clasping, like transporting daddy long legs’ by pinching, and then his mind placed the scale down with its world atop still reeling. 

“No, no way!” said the voice of reason. “There is nothing there and nothing worth seeing!” 

“Believe me,” said Mishka Fet, “I tell you sincerely that I see something big on that small thing. It’s not just a scale dried out, once attached to a fish somewhere about, there’s someone there I can see and quite likely there are more! Possibly there could be a whole world of beings just waiting to be seen!” said Mishka to the, oh so dour … reason. 

“I think you’re a fool!” laughed the voice of reason..." 

For the remaining pages, please click here to download the PDF from my website: 

https://www.doronoll.com/written-works 

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

The End of Being a New English Teacher

As a new English teacher I am required by the Ministry of Education to take a new teacher workshop for my ongoing training. It is bureaucratic business at best; at worst a sausage factory spilling out unknowns and just more mess. Oy, a student in 10th just now texted me that her Moed Bet was scheduled for another Gush, to which, having stopped writing this, I replied: My schedule shows Gush B - lessons 1 and 2. But, no matter, whenever you have English, you will be taking the Moed Bet—English Lit., tests… wow. I just finished grading the rest, from both Gush’s pupils a pile of damn tests. That’s the hardest part of my job, I can attest, grading and writing, commenting and scoring … that is definitely the worst and the best.

Actually, there ‘is’ that Zen that creeps in from the edge of the classroom, slinking in and only then becoming relevant—when students notice life moving in front of them, when they exert themselves into a realm of the living. Yes, there are other realms too, we know and understand. However this particular realm of the living produces movement beyond, and does so for all that can tell. This is why I teach. Watching a student grow over the years builds me as well. And, surprisingly, that growth can be seen even in the tiny bureaucratic business in which our world requires us to dwell. Posting the Tziyun Hagashot in 11th, haggling over English Lit. in 10th, grammar, vocabulary, and the English Bagrut, and dealing with a government under siege all at the same time from within and borders beyond … the chaos produced is always, somehow, ordered by my mind.

All I really know is what is left when the day is all but done, the glowing awareness that I had an affect on my students, amidst pandemics and projectiles, riots, injustice … politics, tragedy, and extreme unrest—so yes, with this awareness I can now attest that I am no longer new.  

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Walking to Work

Through ruins from not too long ago, I descend into a glen daily on my way to teach. The way leads me past an Arab artifice now destroyed, Christians who built a mosque for visitors now gone. The way leads onto a path between cacti, grown to each side and interspersed with carob, straw, and incense. Oak sings down below, I always know, as I walk down step over step to the work I’m learning to know; but … this time was different. Tingles I felt from the sides of my path, tickling me along arms, cheeks, and brain. Something was different, something was wrong. Looking down I saw nothing, looking down there was nothing to see; just tingling in my mind. My sense and learning said spiders, but nothing was to be found. I wiped the sensations away each and every time, but remembered it to teach as I finished walking down to my new norm, that morn.

Arriving at school I met students willing themselves to learn, and spoke of my walk down to school and said more, or less, not too sure. For, I realized what it was that was tickling my head. In my educated mind I said spiders, but deep down I knew. I told the story to my students who all stopped to listen, and at the end of my spin I told the truth of what happened. I knew not what occurred based upon reason. I knew that what happened was a break from the norm and a step forgotten. What I found on my path helped me to understand about living, and it tore more. I told my students what it was that I felt, I told them and then stopped talking and looked all about. The class then paused as I revealed the truth of their wishes; the classroom stopped when in truth I said: fairies.

We laughed, one and all, of course, but each of us knew that a truth had been spoken. So, I left that afternoon wondering about many great things. And, the very next day I took the same path, down through the ravine. Walking, I wanted to see if it was only me or just in my mind from the beginning. The tingling started sooner, I noticed as I strode down, like they were all waiting for me to cross the same path—nothing to see, as was expected, so I questioned it all the way down to the very bottom—where ancient ruins abound. The longest active spring existing in the land, with water welling up from the ground, exists in this specific realm. I walked down, like every other day, to the bottom where I found a tiny beetle on my thumb. It looked up at me, I could swear, as I freaked and flicked it like a hitchhiking ghost never once being.

I kept this to myself, up until now. But, later that day I walked home from work on the path I felt from the morning. I forgot it all until I saw what reminded me of a new norm. Step over step I ascended from the Hellenist ruins at the bottom of the hill. I passed the cave that sprung the spring I drank from on occasion. I U-turned quickly on the stairs under a carob. I passed, after turning again, the skeleton of a stone bird cage in ruins. Columbarium drawings to show what was once there. Up the stairs. Then from the sides of unknowing, they came together in rows. A parade ascending with me over a path I now know, NO! But that little blip is only in my head—beside me on all sides fluttered creatures singing the way for us all. I smiled. I laughed. Smiling up the hill I watched from each side as tiny faces sang—flying with me up the hill. Flutter-byes sailing with me. A rainbow of living … with me up the hill. Fairies.

עין צור


Monday, April 12, 2021

Fish Bowl — A Poem of Love and Dirt

The water did not flow. It was too dry to play. So, we sat in the bowl all that hot and unhappy day. I sat there with Love. We sat there and stewed. And I thought for us both, “How I wish we weren’t on the menu!”

It was too dry to get out and too warm to stay in, so we sat in the bowl doing nothing at all. All we could do was to: float! Float! Float! Float! Love and I did not like it, a tidbit not even.

And then something went SQUISH! How that ‘squish’ made us flip! We looked! Then we saw it; we looked and we saw it step in with us! The upright walker! It stepped into the bowl with us, only to sink...
  
For a printable PDF download of the rest, click: doronoll.com/garden-stories

Monday, March 8, 2021

Generations

It rained from above and the earth gushed water from inside its depths for a long 40 days. When the deluge ceased, what remained of the human spirit continued 150 days more, sailing, and eventually disembarking from the wooden ark they isolated in and onto freshly formed land. There, a man named Noakh planted a vineyard into the earth and then grew it into wine. Having drunk, embarrassed, our tragic forebear retired into his wife’s tent as not to be found.

He was discovered by Kham, and as Noakh had exiled himself where he couldn’t be seen, Kham, the father of Canaan, doomed his offspring for all of time. For Kham imparted to his brothers the story that was uncovered, employing a zeal born from tragedy; to “say” is one thing but to “tell” is quite another.  From Kham descended two nations: on the one side Mitzraim, a place born of social limitation, a class system with narrow design. And, on the other formed the people Canaan, whose world disintegrated along with their view as each new generation was born.

The remaining sons of Noakh went on to build the world as we still struggle to understand. Shem became our leader in deed and in name; Yafet as well, who joined Shem and respected their dad inside the tent of their mom. From these deeds we learn of the fifth commandment to come, that: when children regard their parents in the way their parents attended to a child’s welfare as they began, honoring their spiritual essence born through blood passed down, all of mankind will flourish propelling life forward—much as a tree might, growing roots, branches, leaves, and fruiting into a wondrous future forever unfolding and never undone.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

My Megilah

Rubbing my eyes, using the knuckles of my hands, my vision exploded into purple irises blossoming between grains of sand. The moon, as we know, is full of this knowledge as it swings overhead. It fills my eyes with vision and laughs down on me, as in another new profession I stumble within. It’s seen it before, the moon overhead, full and boasting—and again it will no doubt occur. My mind hears the laughter often as the vibrations descend down, with smiles all around. This is my very own megilah, heard as of late, causing some angst but mostly most profound. The purple irises were meant for an oil painting that I’m currently making, but instead or at least inclusive of, the irises spilled out here if only to shed.

This place that I consider home is both small and once large, contained within a space no greater than a skull, but singing out praise vibrating room in which to tell. The telling goes like this: Upon a time once mentioned, the story unfolds in a pristine dimension. In the cradle of love expansion occurs, new professions keep moving forward and to each comes a wake; a moment of love of excitement that careens full force into a wall. And the pattern begins—born, lived, then died, then born again. In each cycle stems another, growth set in patterns and continuing to know. That’s why the irises spilled out now, no doubt a cycle of love caressing the sores developed from a new profession.

Last week I had had enough. I finished testing the sprouts growing down low, but other invigilators began to hit the same wall. We sparred briefly before all was deleted and we moved back to our corners, where neither was seen, or for that matter until now heard from again. All that I could come up with at the time and still now, is that this is the edge of the cycle as each tends to grow, circles in a pond, irises in my head, and all that it tells me has already gone. I can hear it grating at the edge of my mind still, my skull is vibrating with the patterns all around. I rub my eyes to try and see it again, but the edge only lets me hear—bur, a pseudo-palindrome confusing my mind once again.

Purim sameakh!

Image: Tumuli in a Canaanite Graveyard with a View towards the Smoke Stacks over Caesarea - over 6,500 years of history 

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Strange New Land


Static Zoom — 
It’s a strange new land, having become quite small, but living in it … um, I just can’t put my finger on it. Is it shrinking, or am I growing? Like trying to hold a tiny pin-nail while hammering to connect one piece to the other, my thumb and forefinger, the extremities of me, always take the brunt of my exploits into the unknown. Seeking adventure in life doesn’t help either—walking and riding the desires I wish for with almost total abandon. So, it goes to reason that the far reaches of what I consider ‘me’ must take quite a beating. This is the fringe of my existence, this place where I begin to blend with my surroundings. Maybe it’s also why I keep changing my professional aspirations—my desire to be something more—or … yeah, it’s probably just me exploring something else.

I began teaching because I thought it would be a great way to connect with real people, and not just the social presences that haunt the internet. Then Corona hit. So, I scrambled to recover the path I’d been building, like everyone did, between bursts of anxiety and apathy. But, all we were left with was the facsimile of us, a picture on a screen with broken words intersecting across the internet, again—my students now all forced to stare at their crack dispensers, watching my talking head bobbing up and down, instead. Now the apathy is setting in, now the anxiety is spiking, and now I take a breath in order to recover myself from the inside out. I’ve got to get out!

With my left arm throbbing, having received my second shot, I walked into the woods to work it all out. I thought of my students, the ones onscreen and off. I thought of the school admin meeting with all the teachers as well. We were all isolated into tiny boxes with our personal environments in tow. Some sat in front of bookshelves, others with art on a wall. Some had fancy backgrounds showing their inner being, while others had a camera tilted away towards the shadows across the hall. I listened to their words, giving kavod to the leaders, and smiling as if we all didn’t know. I felt it too, you see, seeing each of their faces was something good—even though it was behind a screen. Seeing them all, even in some disjointed way, was a tiny light, an illusion filling my soul.

Blessings for a Healthy New Land soon...