Sunday, 15 April 2012


All things appear and disappear because of the concurrence of causes and conditions. Nothing ever exists entirely alone; everything is in relation to everything else. – Buddha
Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it – Confucious
One must love everything– Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room

Lately, I have been contemplating the word 'Everything'. Over the years as 'belongings' have diminished to only so much and nothing else, everything has become a well-worn word. Everything is disposable. We don't need everything. Everything isn't important. Everything must go.

3 suitcases, 2 checked in bags. 20 cartons of books and household goods. That is all. But is all everything? Einstein said, 'Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted'. Now you see what I mean? How do we make sense of everything?

The shape, the size, the feel of everything, as certain as the seasons, shifts and changes. And often slides into nothing. Yesterday what was everything, today it's nothing. Nothing. Always following everything. Like the shadow following the form. Till the inevitable moment in time when they merge to the point that it becomes almost redundant to separate nothing from everything. If you have nothing, you have everything.
Cleaning an Attic
By Brent Pallas

The day had finally come   
when everything there   

seemed misplaced or out of place   
as an ex's box of things. The unused   

beside the irreplaceable, the easy-   
to-assemble uncomplicated now   

by disuse. Some hand   
of randomness leaving behind   

its lampshades stained   
like ancient maps, its ladders   

still climbing upward, and enough   
old tools to restart a world.   

Every drawer filled   
with the other half of things.   

Everything care embraced,   
and held once as new,   

left too ragged for another winter   
to wear. Its ring of keys   

dangling by a nail   
for rooms left long ago. And whatever   

I said I'd never forget   
found, just as it seemed   

completely forgot—all its letters   
beginning with Dear....

By Fanny Howe

Infinite nesting
pushes all matter
towards emptiness:
with a root element of null.
None is always included
in every cluster
of children.

Nothing in nothing
prepares us.

Yet a fresh light was shed
on immortality
for me climbing the stairs
firm foot first.

Everything was in the banister:
crows on branches, crickets,
architects, handsaws and democrats.
Red moon at 3 am.

Hold Everything Dear
by Gareth Evans, from 'Hold Everything Dear' by John Berger

As the brick of the afternoon stores the rose heat of the journey
as the rose buds a green room to breathe
and blossoms like the wind
as the thin birches whisper their stories of the wind to the urgent
in the trucks
as the leaves of the hedge store the light
the day thought it had lost
as the nest of her wrist beats like the chest of a sparrow in the turning air
as the chorus of the earth find their eyes in the sky
and unwrap them to each other in the teeming dark
hold everything dear
the calligraphy of birds across the morning
the million hands of the axe, the soft hand of the earth
one step ahead of time
the broken teeth of tribes and their long place
steppe-scattered and together
clay’s small, surviving handle, the near ghost of a jug
carrying itself towards us through the soil
the pledge of offered arms, the single sheet that is our common walking
the map of the palm held
in a knot
but given as a torch
hold everything dear
the paths they make towards us and how far we open towards them
the justice of a grass that unravels palaces but shelters the songs of the searching
the vessel that names the waves, the jug of this life, as it fills with the days
as it sinks to become what it loves
memory that grows into a shape the tree always knew as a seed
the words
the bread
the child who reaches for the truths beyond the door
the yearning to begin again together
animals keen inside the parliament of the world
the people in the room the people in the street the people
hold everything dear

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