Michael Pokocky’s: One More Day: support a friend


From the pen and type writer of my good friend Michael Pokocky if you like what you read go see the rest here >>> and don’t forget to vote hey.

ONE MORE DAY

If France had anything to offer it was this: Love. And as long as we were about that we could get through anything.
As it turned out, France became a catalyst for our love, and romance took over our lives right from the beginning. It was a happy time and the beginning of a lifetime love affair with the people, places and things of France.
It was a place where I found that love could hold off my demons just as my writing did.
And for Anna, her love affair with her camera, and with black and white photos, would now take her free spirit to places within herself she never knew existed. She had found the key to her inner world. She blossomed there in the landscape of the inner world, and the kids felt it.
Never had I been so sure of anything. France did that to you. Anna felt the beat of her heart and followed it; I felt the call of my inner voice to write another book. But before I did I wanted to experience France — I wanted to taste it; to embrace it; to know one thing for sure, before I wrote.
We lived for a while in Paris and it was a cold winter. When the spring came we made excursions to different regions of France, some for a day; some for a few days or more. Then one day we found a small village in Provence. Its name struck me like a bolt of lightning: Julliard; and I felt like I knew this place. I had dreamt once that I was writing in a small village café. It was just a dream, but now, standing there, I wasn’t sure anymore; it seemed to me that my dream was a premonition. I’d like to have thought that. Then everything would make sense. So I believed in this and I was the better for having done so.
How ironic. All my life I dreamed of going to France. Every time I saw a picture I felt so passionate; and when I saw a black and white photo of France I was exhilarated. The photos without colour were mystical, mysterious.
We found a pension which was quaint and inexpensive, but we liked it and would have paid anything to stay there. Our bedroom had a large window and a fireplace. We slept with the window open, which reminded us of our little cottage by the sea in Chester, and we were warm together under a large down duvet. The fresh air was invigorating, but we were tired, so it quickly filled our lungs with sleep, and we dreamed with our bodies locked together and our hearts at peace.
I got up quickly the next morning and pulled a small table in front of the window and then I wrote by candlelight in my journal overlooking a valley in the dark blue of dawn. I saw how the light played differently than it did on the ocean in Chester, and the mountains back home. I knew we had found something special here; that’s how I started the day and that specialness sustained me throughout our stay there.
We found a courtyard the next morning with an archway made of old stone and underfoot the ground was paved with cobblestones. There was a florist, a bakery and a café. The building had shutters for the windows painted in a faint weathered blue, much like the colour of Annabella’s eyes, and below each window was a coloured wooden flower box. In the early morning sunlight the place took on a luminous quality, which Anna found interesting enough to photograph.
The freshness of the place, the smell of coffee, flowers spilling out into the courtyard, and the smell of French pastries delighted our senses. We sat quietly at a small round table in the far corner of the courtyard where we could be shaded from the sunlight and have a commanding view of the comings and goings of the locals.
It was there that I realized that I had found home. Now whatever that meant to me at that time was purely speculative, but I would see that my early instincts, which I trusted, were in fact a reliable barometer of my state of mind. I could not see myself anywhere else; I was determined to stay and was looking for a way to broach the subject with Anna.
I wasn’t sure about Anna at the time, however she was taking pictures of the places we visited and talked incessantly about the place.
“I love it here. It’s wonderful, don’t you think Daniels?”
“Yes,” I said in an excited tone.
Neither of us were thinking of Marchbanks. We were thinking Julliard. Its calling was strong, and we let it get under our skin. By now we had made up our minds; we weren’t going back to Marchbanks. We went looking for a place instead.
It was a day of choices that would affect our future in a positive way – in an extraordinary way. We were young, and rich, and in love, and free. We had fallen in love with a place that would nurture us, take care of us, feed our spirits, and carry our imaginations on the wind. It was love that bound it all together; love of many faces, which I never forgot, and became a powerful theme and an inspiration for a novel.
The morning after we bought a home, I went outside on the terrace, and I felt for the first time a sense of belonging. My search was over; I was right where I belonged. I believe Anna felt the same way too.
It was dusk and I looked up at the sky; the same sky I looked up at when I lived in Chester; the same sky I looked up when I lived in Ste-Adele. There was a stillness that allowed me to hear my inner voice with great clarity and I lived my life thereafter by what I heard.
The air I breathed was fresh and it filled my lungs and energized me. I went back into the house and wrote while Anna and Thomas slept. The sunrise came and so did the words for the story I was writing. I was writing about Ste-Adele, and it was a beautiful morning in the story; I was lost in the story and when I finished I was famished. I drove into the village to the courtyard where I went every morning since arriving in Julliard, and the bakery smelled of fresh baked; the florist was putting out flowers; and the woman who owned the café, was roasting coffee beans. The combination of the aromas was a sensory delight. It felt right; I felt happy; it was my life, and I embraced it.
Soon the courtyard café would be busy with people coming and going. I was always the first to arrive. There was that strangeness there too like in Chester, and in Ste-Adele, and it surrounded me and I knew instinctively goodness would come to me. I banked on this by now in my life; the strangeness was my friend. I came to trust the strangeness and the goodness that always came, and that made me feel extraordinarily comfortable. I knew the place; the place knew me. And this knowing sustained me. I lacked for nothing, but I needed the strangeness every day. It reassured me in the beginning, that I had made the right choices. And in the end it comforted me when I could not find comfort from my demons that I had brought with me.
But there was love in France, and even more love in Julliard, and I never suffered the pain of despair and loneliness I once knew in Chester and Ste-Adele. I had conquered my illness and thought of a line I once wrote in my journal: the warrior laid down his sword on the rock, and the rock turned to marble, and he said, “This is my home.”
Meanwhile, back at home, Anna would rise around mid-morning. Thomas was already up, and like his father and mother, had the good sense, and the free spirit, to explore and invent a life for himself. Anna knew I’d be home for lunch, and then I’d go for a nap for a couple of hours in the afternoon.
There was chaos in the routine of our lives. We – me, Thomas, and Anna – were free spirits and we trusted our instincts. Each of us were on our own paths in our personal lives, but we lived together in harmony.
Dinner at the end of the day was a ritual, where we all came together and ate and talked about our day. During coffee afterward along with a nice dessert, which I brought home fresh from the bakery every day, we talked about our dreams and the adventures we would have and our work. It was always tied together: the dreams, the adventures, and the work we chose to do.
It was an incredible environment to live in, with three incredibly unique individuals, each with a dream, each full of love and happiness. When we went to bed each night, there was no doubt, that the strangeness that found me at the courtyard every day and brought goodness, was now in our home as well.
We loved our home. It was an old farm house that was bought from an old couple who dreamed all their lives to live in Paris. When they were young, and in love, they visited Paris often. They were very glad when we had offered to buy the old stone farm house and move to an apartment in Paris. We were happy for them and happy for us.
Anna immediately made plans to renovate the place and that was her work every day. I came and went, each time being careful not to step on, or trip over, some workman’s tools. Thomas was always watching. This was a great opportunity for him. He especially liked the stone mason. His name was Jacques, and he had taught Thomas that each stone had a life of its own, and that to be a very good stone mason not only required a gifted hand and a good eye, but also a third eye.
“What’s a third eye?” Thomas asked in wonder.
“Well,” said Jacques “It’s the ability to see the uniqueness of the true life of the stone; not the life one imagined it wanted to be, but the true life of the stone, and to anticipate its relationship with all the other stones. It’s like putting together a happy family.”
He couldn’t wait to tell us that story after dinner that night. When I heard the story it made me feel absolutely wonderful. The gentle nature of this mason, with the big hands, and a heart for telling stories to children that fired up their imagination. I spent some time getting to know him … found out he had fathered 12 children.
Thomas’s story made me feel like crying because it made him so happy and because Jacques had taught Thomas something real in a way that only he could. It was this love I always talked about or kept to myself and wrote about. I knew now another kind of love, and because it made my son happy I loved it even more.
Anna was lovingly and caringly restoring the old farm house which we named “SandHill.” It was a good project for her and it kept her busy during her pregnancy and afterward. She photographed the complete restoration in both black and white and colour film. This made for a unique artistic experience for her.
When I looked at the weekly log of photographs, sometimes I felt compelled to write some prose to accompany the photo that moved me at that particular moment. When Anna caught me doing it one day, she came up with the brilliant idea of travelling around Europe photographing buildings – architecture – and I would add the narrative. This would be a book project she wanted to do after the restoration; said it would give her a break and we’d have fun doing it. Prophetically she was right. We took the trip and produced a coffee table book of the best cafés in the world. It made Anna an overnight photographic celebrity, and me, well let’s just say it made me a household name.
Thomas would be starting school in the fall. The summer we spent in Julliard went by swiftly, and it was time to return to Ste-Adele, and to our beloved Marchbanks.

If France had anything to offer it was this: Love. And as long as we were about that we could get through anything.

As it turned out, France became a catalyst for our love, and romance took over our lives right from the beginning. It was a happy time and the beginning of a lifetime love affair with the people, places and things of France.

It was a place where I found that love could hold off my demons just as my writing did.

And for Anna, her love affair with her camera, and with black and white photos, would now take her free spirit to places within herself she never knew existed. She had found the key to her inner world. She blossomed there in the landscape of the inner world, and the kids felt it.

Never had I been so sure of anything. France did that to you. Anna felt the beat of her heart and followed it; I felt the call of my inner voice to write another book. But before I did I wanted to experience France — I wanted to taste it; to embrace it; to know one thing for sure, before I wrote.

We lived for a while in Paris and it was a cold winter. When the spring came we made excursions to different regions of France, some for a day; some for a few days or more. Then one day we found a small village in Provence. Its name struck me like a bolt of lightning: Julliard;

read the rest of the story here >>> and don’t forget to vote if you like it, and hey, spread the news!

journal entry 14.01.10 | Red Room


January 14, 2010, 11:26 am

my wife drops me off and does her thing. LUCKY l can            write anywhere.

my wife drops me off and does her thing. LUCKY l can  write anywhere: Cafe Fayette

I am going to try something new for me.  Write a journal entry from my “real” journal.  That’s what I do everyday and today I just cracked my 69th journal.  So here we go.

cracked open a new journal no. 69

And a beautiful poem follows, so go and read it

Posted via web from Dierckx & Associates

Further Talk on the Cross, Gifts an Calling: Mike and John Exchange Thoughts


Yesterday I posted Thought on the Cross, Gifts and Calling: the Journey Continues. In response thereof I received very kind responses, amongst others from Michael Pokocky, my good friend, writer, diarist, philosopher and retired business man. His blog can be found at the Red Room (http://www.redroom.com/member/michaelwpokocky) and is listed here as it is one of my favorites. Here you will also find links to some of his beautiful writings. Anyway, Michael and I have been friends for a very long time and ever since our first conversation we committed ourselves to being completely frank and open with our thoughts, which has over the years lead to thousands of pages of very interesting communications (email and skype) on virtually any subject and which I from time to time still draw upon. With his permission I was allowed to give the readers here a peak into some further thoughts after the post referred to at the start. I hope you will enjoy it as much as we did.

Initial post Thought on the Cross, Gifts and Calling: the Journey Continues.

Michael Pokocky’s Reply

I read [it] with great enthusiasm.
I found your writing clear and your proposition inspired.
Thus having been inspired through you sharing with me, I will share what I know in this moment.
It changes all the time as is the nature that the only real definition of a moment to me is the NOW.
When you read this it will be a new moment and I will be in another.
Here is my moment:

There is a saying I use to explain how one knows certain things: When you know you know then you know. And therefore no further thought needs to be put into anything.  If no further thought then what?  Action is the anti-dote to thinking.  If for example one is to give to give then the action of giving requires energy.  Thinking about acting requires energy too, but in my view it does not produce any tangible results.  The action of giving does however.

How we arrive at what we know before action is unique for all of us.  Cultural diversity is religious diversity or spiritual diversity.  Buddha, The Dali Llama, God, Christianity, Protestant, and perhaps hundreds more.  In my view all of these are in fact pointers to that place where one feels bliss.
So what is purpose?  It is what each of us feels at the core we must do.  How do we know our purpose?  We don’t as you say, but in my view if we align ourselves with that which we perceive as a deeper or higher self where we sense a knowing we will see our purpose is to evolve.  The cosmos is order and man seeks to find order out of chaos and suffering in life.  But the cosmos is infinite is it not?
Infinite order out of chaos.  This is a choice for the individual.  But what kind of choice?  Alignment of the self with the undercurrent of the vastness of the cosmos opens up the vastness of the self inside.  When this is realized then knowing who you are is not what one originally perceived oneself to be.  We will never know who we are nor will we ever be able to fully explain it without relationship to form and content by which we now use to think about who we are.  It is freedom of the thought forms and freedom from the material associations and freedom from all associations man made that allows us to experience the inner bliss.  That is our purpose and from that very bliss which I arrive at from detachment from form and content where I become conscious of an infinite vastness of order which has already been in place but not seen in full by anyone.  It has been glimpsed.  And people like Jesus, Buddha etc. were real men who lived and found this vastness and said,”Look over there and see it.  Is it not beautiful?”

John responds

This is really beautiful and I am amazed again and again how much similarities I see here.

When you refer to the journey to get to the point of bliss and how that is something that is there in all religious an spiritual diversities you are right. As far as I understand it that is because all those different religions, belief systems and philosophies have one very important thing in common, that is straightening out man’s inclination towards self-centered thinking and actions  and from that selfishness.

I can’t help but seeing that in all of them the ‘point of bliss’ and the journey thereto is one in which you stop putting yourself at the center of the universe, on the throne of your life. Where Christianity is different is in that it seems that it is the only only that requires the lead guy Jesus Christ, without him nothing is left. You can take Buddha out and you are still left with a beautiful philosophy, you can take Mohamed out and there is still a way to Allah, but once you take out Jesus, the way to Go is closed off. That is the the essence of Christianity, no one comes to the father but THROUGH Jesus.

My point was that as self-centered people we often times THINK we know yet at the same time we end up in situations or places and actions that are a source of continuous unhappiness. That place of bliss is where you end up using your talents or gifts and are doing things at near perfection, but what causes the ultimate bliss is not the fact that you are acting like that and using your gifts like that, you do that for a purpose with a purpose. And this means in my view that anything like that is NO LONGER ABOUT YOU.

Evolving as humans is in my view not a purpose but a means towards a purpose.

The cosmos is order and man seeks to find order out of chaos and suffering in life.  But the cosmos is infinite is it not?

Yes I agree that man seeks to find order and I would even go as far as saying that we are getting further and further in that. At the same time many of these advancements do not brings us relief in our suffering, in fact many of these advancements, as you pointed out yourself on so many occasions have only made the suffering worse. Where the quest is fantastic on many occasions we could ask ourselves for whom actually. “Connecting with the vastness of the cosmos etc” as you called it is somewhat of the Einsteinesque approach and in the end lead to magic moments and not necessarily to a life of bliss. That is what I now see.

“It is freedom of the thought forms and freedom from the material associations and freedom from all associations man made that allows us to experience the inner bliss.”

I have to fully agree with that but what I found is that man is too imperfect or in Christian terms “fallen” to ever realize this without the help of what you would call the ‘cosmos’ and I would call God, a God that wants to be known and moreover wants to have the relationship with you. In my case this means going through Jesus Christ and with the help of the Holy Spirit. However beautiful terms we come up with, in the end it all boils down to who are you going to have in the center and who is supposed to be in control. So, we THINK that we may be able to connect with that “vastness of the cosmos etc…” but that is not how things work in my view. That vastness that Einstein refused to label is what I would call God and it is the other way around, we don’t connect to this vastness, that vastness is looking to connect to us and we can if we let it. This is the whole shift in paradigm that comes, with the New Testament, with Jesus.

I did not want to create an impression that we do not know our purpose. God’s provision of the Holy Spirit comes in here as the vehicle of inspiration or communication. Aligning ourselves with that whatever you call it is still departing from a human perspective with ourselves in the center. That is what I found in the last years, is simply not going to work, or better yet, not for me.

I wanted to convey that out purpose is pretty clear, be a child of God, be what He wants you to be, be in a relationship with him through Christ: a relationship with a God who wants to be known, personally. A year ago I would have said that this is a load of crap, I now KNOW and have EXPERIENCED the reality of having a relationship with a living God, and I have come to the conclusion that this is the God of the Bible, speaking to me and guiding me through the Holy Spirit.

That is our purpose and from that very bliss which I arrive at from detachment from form and content where I become conscious of an infinite vastness of order which has already been in place but not seen in full by anyone.  It has been glimpsed.

You are right, it has been “glimpsed” (that is what Einstein is referring to),

And people like Jesus, Buddha etc. were real men who lived and found this vastness and said,”Look over there and see it. Is it not beautiful?

I think indeed that Buddha could have said that that and yes Jesus said that for sure in words of similar meaning. Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied:

“The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17: 20, 21).

I loved your reply and I love this exchange, as it forces me to have my thoughts clear. Thanks again for getting the better out of me. I love you for it.

With your permission I would like to get our exchange out on the blog (with all full credit and links to wherever you might like them). This was great stuff Mike you served up for me and I think it makes such a worthwhile read and forced me to go back in again myself.

Michael Replies

Yes your idea to post these conversations on your blog is fine by me.

Name: Michael Pokocky
…  Right now when I said in my comments I am actually aligning myself with the spirit and this allows me to connect deeply inside with my true essence which is slowly being revealed to me little by little the deeper I go through being consciously aware of it at all times.
In reading recently A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle — who is just an enlightened man like Deepak Chopra and other quality individuals like them and whom all convey through their writings the telling of their own personal journeys towards awareness or consciousness of God as I would call it while others call it the higher self or the inner self — I found three things that I practice from Eckhart’s journey and explanation of it to help me effect a deeper connection with myself and thus with God:
  • nonresistance — Is that so?
  • nonjudgmental — Maybe
  • nonattachment — This to will pass
The whole idea which I thought would be useful to me is that rather than use pills to numb me and prevent me from suffering I use this as a tool in living moment to moment to handle just about anything that comes at me from outside during the days.
In fact I think this is kind of a mental detox from my bipolar because there is less suffering all round and am able to keep at 5 pills from 16-18 a day quite easily.
Am I seeing results?  Yes and I can measure them by the way people — my family — are around me now.  PEACEFUL Laughter smiles connection and at moments the experience inside of total bliss or the totality of Gods love passing or living within me.
I don’t think ,”Oh what to do now?” anymore.  I just here my deepest voice speaking to me and follow that.  Action on what I hear.  I know this deeper voice is the re-conncetion I had to the Blessed Virgin Mary which I seemed to have lost for awhile.  Now I have re-connected once again.
I know that what I am suppose to be doing will be revealed after some time in this peaceful existence where the only thing I want to do was conveyed by that photo I sent to flickr or FB you commented on–the one writing at the ski resort while my kids ski.
As a matter of fact Nathalie just drove them and I am leaving soon to grab a coffee and bring my journal and books and will be sitting there again tonight.
I have been in the house since Sunday and only go out at night when after a day of rest from the cold I got I venture out into the vastness of the night stars and feel blissful knowing I will be near my kids in a short while.
Three people have given me idea without me asking of what I should be doing.  I liked that.
  • One__interviewer
  • Two__social worker with delinquent kids for rehabilitation
  • Three__a poet
I have felt the desire to live a intelligent life of sort of all three combined. We shall see and when I know I know you will know I know.

Final Comment

Whilst this exchange could go on for much longer I just want to highlight that where there is love, rules of engagement can go overboard and things are taken without any egotistic issues cropping up. This is an example of a very friendly and open one, there are others that are less friendly and way more blunt. But as always, what is being said is said on the basis of friendship, love, compassion and a deep mutual respect.

In more biblical terms: if you love your neighbor in the way it is meant to be, we can throw overboard all the rules of engagement as it is in the love that room for open honest communication is created.

I suggest finally that we all go and have a good look at the fantastic posts of Michael Pokocky:

http://www.redroom.com/member/michaelwpokocky

and check out the beautiful Sainte-Adele, Canada here >>>

And if you are in the neighborhood, take him out for a coffee and enjoy the company of a profound but very down to earth intellectual and loving human.

Thanks Michael Pokocky for being such an incredible friend.

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When Jonathan Galassi president of Farrar, Straus & Giroux speaks everybody listens | Red Room


The distinguished publisher Jonathan Galassi contributed an Op-Ed Contribution in The New York Times where his main argument is,”A publisher selects, nurtures, positions and promotes a writer’s work, while an e-book distributor is a purveyor of work that has already been created.” [ There’s More to Publishing Than Meets the Screen ]. 

When Jonathan Galassi speaks everybody listens.  There was a wave of reactions and tweets and retweets by a lot of people ranging from the newbie Twitterer through to the highly influential. [ Twitter Trackbacks for Op-Ed Contributor – There’s More to Publishing Than Meets the Screen – NYTimes.com on Topsy.com ].

A great read for those interested in the latest developments in the publishing world.

Posted via web from Dierckx & Associates

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Michael Pokocky


Ever since I found out that my good friend Michael Pokocky has this thing with blue in general and blue flowers in particular, I seem to be extra alert on blue flowers.

Some of the more recent ones were uploaded to my flickr photostream with blue ones as a special gift to my good friend and writer.

One of the pictures was this one taken at Monavale of which I reported in a previous post.

What was most beautiful was this comment.

we artists can only look in wonder
at what no mortal can design

I guess it so relates back to my own sentiments when it comes to the existence of a creator. I could read a library of apologetic, agnostic or atheist literature and still, looking at nature makes me so sure that this all cannot be just the result of random and purposeless chance.

Thanks Michael for this great comment!

And for those who would like to get to know Michael better here are some places where he can be  found online:

Book #1 Took Off. Who’d a thunk it?


My first book (my 37th comes out in Spring 2010) was a thin, but mighty photo-driven tome titled Driftwood Whimsy: The Sculptures of the Emeryville Mudflats. I had lived on the fringes of the San Francisco Bay Area town of Emeryville since 1971 and had marveled at the sculptures people surreptitiously constructed in the Emeryville Crescent, a wedge of swampy land nestled between busy Interstate 80 and the Bay Bridge. Locals called the area the Emeryville Mudflats for obvious reasons. I was a budding photographer and would often tramp down to the mudflats, usually under cover of darkness to photograph the odd and whimsical constructions. Eventually my photographs wound up illustrating a feature article in Smithsonian magazine. That was all good and wonderful, of course, and it did boost my flagging photographic self-esteem.

Then some well-intentioned friend suggested that my photographs of the sculptures would make a fine glossy photo book.

Read the whole amazing story and not just this excerpt.

This story was suggested to me by my great friend Michael Pokocky, a great writer (unsigned so you better hurry up if you are a publisher) himself and a man of unconventional wisdom.

More on Michael can be found here:

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=53390913406&ref=ts

Or his website at the Redroom at
http://www.redroom.com/member/michaelwpokocky

Posted via web from John Dierckx