We Live In Exile, Not From Paradise But From The Present


The milkings continue to pleasure. Nobody leaps the line. Before it was a chore but now a meditation, the Hebrew Ameeda. Silence the most important part. During my morning milkings no one talks. The animals like their routine. They won’t tolerate noise or visitors or novelty. The only sounds a song or breath and the squirts of milk and the clank of the gate being closed. The calmer and more focused I become the clamer grow the goats. ‘What is important,’ wrote Basho, ‘is to keep mind high in the world of true understanding, then, returning to daily experience, seek therein the true and the beautiful.’

We live in exile, not from Paradise but from the present. How often do we dwell there? How often does a wind bring us back?

— Brad Kessler, Goat Song, p. 131


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