Tom Bell

Review of Unhurried Vision by Michael Rothenberg. Albuquerque: La Alameda, 2003. $16

Unhurried Vision is a book of friendship, of sitting with, of loss, of contemplation, of beauty. It is not about those things: it is. It chronicles a year Michael Rothenberg spent sitting as Philip Whalen leaves us. The attention and care, the placement, and the humor equal Whalen's:
My secret agenda is
I want the reader to stumble on things
They don't know and want to find out more about.
The "I" here is ? But it doesn't matter in the final sitting.
If, like me, you are prone to visit daybooks and journals rather than making your own systematically, this book will give you whereof to consider and consider considerations (Rothenberg offers some considerations of Whalen 's considerations). At the same time the book doesn't sink under the weight of these layers. It is a beautifully and simply and carefully crafted piece that conveys Whalen's essence and his quirks:
Dharma transmission:
"another maniac unleashed, alas!"
Who is speaking here? Does it Matter?

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