I woke up this morning and Got It, I mean, kinesthetically in-my-bones to-my-soul Got It. All was perfect, the heaviness the damp brought about was gone, and in its place, an incredible lightness of being;
Of course the mind stepped in to save the day, or so it thought, to analyze, compose, order this new awareness, as it were, to card catalog it under A for anomaly, or perhaps label it enlightenment, something it thought it had defined but clearly had no idea, No Idea. For this had little to do with that, leaving the mind floundering, as it were, on the shoals of its lonely self importance;
But you Can be useful, I said whilst mopping its tired, beaten brow, but give it a break just now, I am content; as something deeper recalled the voice of Dorothy, I have traveled all the way to Oz, seen the Wizard, cringed in fear at the flying monkeys, All This Way! Only to discover, Auntie Em, there’s no place like home!
There is a pause, before the rosy light of evening blinks her last, as fragile hummingbirds cease their whirling dance around feeders and the incessant cackle of jays, the waterfall trilling of blackbirds, retreat to the deep arms of the forest as night creatures emerge from hiding to seek sustenance;
Can they comprehend, these young progeny, how invisible luminous threads connect us, one to the other, in the busyness of the everyday, illusions that prop up economies, small dramas of striving toward loves we sustain patiently without question, the push and pull drawing them toward consciousness or away from the light?
Coyotes howl in the distance, owls softly hoot in snags across the road, insects scurry about seeking their own forms of shelter and it is so simple, these rhythms of the cosmos, the silent grinding whirl of planets in orbit, moon and sun taking turn in the daily business of living, the opening and closing of days and lifetimes.
Some things are not meant to be, though I still save space for them, not knowing divine timing or even my own mind sometimes, and what is this compulsion to occupy perceptual emptiness, is it simply creativity seeking a natural outlet, the crashing surf carving out caves on Mt. Desert’s rugged shoreline or the smoothing of lava rock at the base of Halawa’s thundering waterfall?
I can wish, and in wishing place my desires on the altar of possibilities, then forget them if I am wise, releasing attachment to outcome, opening time’s parachute upside-down, the beggar’s empty cup yawning with space minus the desperation of those truly in need of wish fulfillment;
Meanwhile the two empty chairs sitting next to and caddy corner from mine leave room for those yet to arrive, and even they do not know, anymore than I, what seats will be occupied when and where in the near or distant future;
Imagine my surprise then when, one day and least expected, the fulfillment of those forgotten desires returns to gladden or to haunt, depending (be careful what you wish for); the unexpected visitor materializes, and I am left to wonder at which juncture I might have yearned for such an encounter, prepared or not.
When the spin slows down to a pin-drop lull, and time moves forward, collapses, telescopic Trickster demonstrating the folly of what most consider solid; When accepted illusion no longer holds sway, capturing the monkey mind in sticky spider web trappings of its own making;
All synapses point click to Now, as perhaps they always have done, and what can be said? How can this finger snap in time be configured into sentences, concepts, a thing written down and shared, how can word forms be crafted, steps away from that immediacy (as they are bound to be), concept wired to mind controlling hands on keys, eyes riveted now on print moving?
One day, perhaps, telepathy will become accepted, sweeping elephantine humanity into a prismatic jet stream, speed of light transmitting what is now thus laboriously midwifed into being.
There are confusing encounters leaving one gasping for breath, the mind grasping for understanding; such is the nature of life and death, the latter being more recent in my world of experience;
I eschew addictions, just as they are sought to resolve what seems unfathomable to others, and I know in this life I am meant to demonstrate more understanding than my petulant inner child might conjure; still, it is the most natural direction in which to gravitate these days, the world being as unknowable now as it was then, and who am I to judge?
Thus when I see this precious one, once strong and vital, now weak and yellow and skeletal and all this happening in the span of a year in a life too short to be terminal, feelings arise, and more and yet more questions on the meaning of existence;
This time last year, we were wrangling with thorny bushes that had become trees, both cursing, he more ardently, as this was not his first rodeo in these mountains, and yet there was laughter, good humor, companionship of then-strangers taking the measure of the other’s character;
Loved ones gather now, and I feel not at all out of place in this tiny trailer amidst people of a culture I don’t need to understand; the old man’s body the main event in the living room, surrounded by photos of the past, and who could know fifty years ago how fate would hold them now in its thrall?
Two weeks ago, he seemed empty of life, yet his spirit still felt strong; today that spirit had its due; jaundice had receded, and flesh had mysteriously begun reassembling on his bones, and once again I marvel at the same sorts of questions I have asked all my life, how does the journey begin to make sense in the face of what we are dealt?
I am but one minute speck on the face of this earth, the same countenance reflected back to me in field and forest, in the shriek of bats as well as the sonar they emit, the whistling and bellow of elk as they descend from higher ground for the winter, the piñon jays, sapphire blue bodies so different from their indigo Stellar relations, gliding in for their morning seed;
When I peer into a body of water, I see not a mirror, but a plethora of faces of untold numbers of creatures that dwell in the depths as do I, in my own element;
Yet what is this element spoken of? Is it the air I breathe? The earth walked upon, the blazing fire of the sun, cool slices of moonlight or the quarter-sized drops of rain that splash upon my forehead?
What am I, if not an assemblage of all these components, sheathed in the thinnest veil of skin, so transparent that I can glimpse blood coursing through a busy network of veins, necessary waters of my body, invisible synovial fluid keeping joints in motion, bending and lifting to the billionth degree, work I have happily performed since my youth, preparing for winter, spring, summer, fall;
It’s all the same, here on the mountain where life at altitude is as unpredictable as nature can be anywhere, anytime, only here it cannot be ignored, and the garden thriving in the heat today can be frost-encrusted by tomorrow morning, who can predict?
This time last year, birds were falling from the skies, a freak storm that bent trees over double, and some we lost while some grew back, and isn’t that life? Is that not, at its root, the existential distillation of our existence?
On the opposite side of my heart lies an echo chamber of silence where tiny bats dive and swoop, clearing invisible pathways in the open skies for those who fly by day; this pitch black of night finds deep comfort within me;
As light emerges from shadows, sweeping them away as dust from corners of a vast room, the heart engages, pumps greater volumes of life force, stretches out to encompass all the eye surveys, holding it close in order to enfold fully as might be, before all is compromised by those who suffer from lack of beauty and seek to destroy what is sacred;
And obvious to any who treasure this earth so, is the magic beheld in the space between spaces, the cracks in the fabric of accepted reality, eyes that see beyond daylight into the soul’s frontiers, a dimensional shift where beauty is all there is, gazing deeply into everything where others may perceive nothing, a deep river of potentialities and a place where all is possible in the realm of grace and pure love.
It’s a new day, and I awaken tired, having not slept much; perceiving the fear of the collective, the hum of impending doom, as a worldwide virus continues to mutate, according to a greater plan than we can imagine, and the vaccinated among us may actually be more culprit than cure, causing an explosion of variants to proliferate;
We are a world accelerated beyond any means possible, faster is better, internet warp speed lives, packages replacing hands in earth, chemical drinks in cans replacing pure water, food sources separated from our bodies by poisonous fertilizers, distance and desire, fresh tropical fruits delivered in winter, shipped green to ripen by gasses in warehouses, and how can this offer nourishment to strengthen our immunities?
I watch sick native people in our community, addicted to alcohol and worse; soda, canned food and the hypnosis of television, vulnerable to viruses, partisan news and soul sickness, shamans of old far from their rightful place as healers in the scheme of things, bowed and beaten into submission by priests, bent into homogeneity by the white man’s schools, forced into dubious medicine designed to fight perceived disease rather than working with the rhythms of the body and Mother Earth, and they are dropping like flies, one by one or in groups, whole families murdered by their own offspring, a sad fallout to the speed and separation our species was never meant to cope with;
I am a generally optimistic person, yet I am also sensitive to the greater vibrations of earth and her creatures, humans among them, caught now in a crux of our own making, having so thoroughly trashed our perfect planet with the byproducts of instant gratification, that we are faced with Holocene extinction;
Make no mistake, these are perilous times, and yet we must somehow be able to help ourselves and others to what extent we are able, to remain centered and focused, in order to best know how to move forward in spite of it all;
And so we retreat, again and again, to our beautiful high mountain vista with its varied wildlife, who seem not to have a care in the world, survival their primary mandate, as it has been since their time began;
And yet last fall, a freak snowstorm and cold snap caused songbirds to fall from the skies dead; the raptors are as mysteriously absent as bodies of water, while wildfires rage over most of the West, and it is hard to ignore the fallout of our Creation, not being gods in the least, so much to learn, so much to lose.
Mysterious new things move to the cadence of nature’s drum, the cry of destruction loudly rings; Aloha aina, care for the land, it matters not where we choose to root ourselves, the mandate is the same: we must return to the Garden, discover innocence lost when simple was subsumed by life so complex that some days I wonder how long I can manage it, threads frayed, threatening to unravel;
Yet when I walk out into messy, immerse my hands in soil, work at amending what has been stripped by too many years of consumption without consideration, my spirit calms, settles into what is there in front of me, head not spiraling out into orbit, here. And now, now, now;
This is what we are given, this moment, breathing in, then out, listen to the heartbeat of nature; observe with a raptor’s eyes all that surrounds, notice the little things, the seemingly unimportant, purpose-less details in a world fixed on production, and learn; for we might well need that sort of knowledge in the days to come.