The heart is a lonely hunter, soaring high above, taking the long view, eyes ever sharp, focused on the objects of its affection, and yet in flying free, never asks another to suffer bonds; Still, heart without head can be an isolated experience; some of us, you know, have little choice in the matter, we are simply called to another realm beyond logic with which the world seems entranced;
Perhaps this is why I am beguiled by the redtails who hunt here, setting down whatever I am doing to contemplate with rapture as they glide, formidable gaze missing nothing of import to them anyway, landing heavily to stand, thick wings mantling and flexing, muscular thighs poised to run down what they cannot grasp in that free-falling dive, oh!
The patience of these majestic ones as they hover over a prairie dog hole, waiting a seeming eternity for something to emerge as it will, sometimes; I admire them as I do no human being, the wild animal soul suffers no fools as does the heart, where it suits, the mind’s record keeper absent or sleeping, tucked away in an old musty library somewhere, lost in rumination, weighing rights and slights and caring not at all about connections so fragile they might cease to exist altogether.
Golden showers stream down in dappled luminescence, crescent slivers of fragrant eucalyptus leaves and she sits, no distraction save the gurgle of a coppery- bottomed meandering brook, sparkling and nosing its way through giant boulders rolled into place long before flows were choked back to mere trickles, still it exudes contentment, beauty;
She wonders at the silence under the silence, what is the texture of a thing unseen? Too fine a vision has gotten her in trouble more than once, overactive imagination they called it yet it persists, and her mind can’t stop wondering if there is this, than there must be that, something deeper in the woven shadows of trees, the hollows of husky trunks, the shapes of billowing clouds, themselves harbingers of light released from cerulean skies in the form of diamond drops, lustrous liquid giving off the only sound in a world once silent as grass, or the thoughts that plague her now.
Fill a vessel with clean water, and imagine a world where all may do the same; imagining such a world is not difficult, we only have to carve out a small space into which we insert our intentions; these are not meaningless, in fact, they are essential, if we are to ever change the dominant paradigm;
Greed and lust for more have held sway in this world long enough, cruelties visited upon others, bodies over which one steps roughly on the way to some imagined pot of gold and to hell with the fallen;
Isn’t it time we ceased taking it all for ourselves or for granted, that we, the privileged ones who possess such incredible bounty are somehow entitled to this position; after all, we have worked hard (and most have) for our petty luxuries, though we might not envision it so;
And back we arrive at the vision, how now to change it, now we have more than too many, how to use that same focus on dreaming a world where all are safe and smiling, giving where and how we can without tremendous sacrifice, after all, finding it easier than we thought to lift others up; it diminishes us not, in fact it fills us up in a way that nothing material ever could.
The music of the universe greets me daily, voices on the wind, crackling through heavily laden boughs of pine trees, chattering black and blue birds arriving in massive flocks every morning to the feeder, ravens and magpies keeping their distance, waiting on fence posts out by the fields, trusting that what fed them yesterday will show up in perpetuity, abundance in the midst of winter’s cold; meanwhile the pack of coyotes howls and yips, acknowledging the bounty tossed across the road nearly every day; with compost tumblers full, we have enough to share;
None of us knows what will greet us as we open eyes and senses onto a new day, fresh start for every sentient creature on earth; how we meet the Mystery is up to us, cranked on caffeine and sugar, boarding the train to a city high rise, or quietly, softly, in wonder at another precious gift, the sky, the clouds, the breath we have drawn since birth, bellows of lungs automatic, in, out, are we aware of their significance? Are we grateful for the intelligence of these bodies, treating them kindly, reverently even, as we stroll into brilliant rays of blessed sunlight?
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?
Angels have visited me in many forms in my life. I have felt their fiery presence from the unseen realms and have met them in the bodies of human beings. (If you’re curious, this is one of those encounters.)
In a previous post about my Pacific Northwest travels, I mentioned that I like it best when I’m lost. Driving around on inspiration leads me to the most unexpectedly astounding places and events. On this day after slate skies broke open to reveal the first rays of sunlight I had seen since arriving, I headed out with a bounce in my step. I hadn’t let the drizzle and grey skies get me down; had hiked the past few days despite the weather. Still, the sun was a welcome change, if only for its warmth.
This time I meandered and found myself at small wildlife preserve on the (Puget) Sound. Nobody was in the small parking lot, and when I got out of the car, I immediately spotted eagles soaring on the bluff behind me. It was nesting time, and these raptors were active seeking food for nestlings. Still, it was amazing to watch them soar. I walked down to the driftwood-strewn beach, marvelling at a snowcapped mountain range in the distance. I also noticed a brownish haze which I had also seen before leaving the house in the morning. I wondered if, like last year, there were forest fires in British Columbia and Montana. I quickly texted the friend I was housesitting for and she could only guess at the mountain range, as I had no idea what direction I was facing nor where I was. She didn’t know about the haze, thought it might be smog from Seattle, though we both thought that improbable.
Presently a car pulled into a nearby stall in the still-empty lot, and a woman and dog emerged. We made eye contact, the woman and I, and I asked her what mountain range we were looking at. The Cascades, as it turns out. And the haze? It’s the marine layer, she said, and filled me in as to what atmospheric conditions precipitate it. I loved her dog up a bit while we continued chatting about this and that, the way women sometimes do. Before we went our separate ways, she said, “Hold on, I have something for you in the car.” I could not imagine what it could be, as I waited a bit awkwardly. Then she turned back to me beaming, with something in her hand, “Here, this is meant for you. I painted it myself.”
Just when I dip into despair about the human race, my faith is restored by a simple act of kindness. And I must remember that, despite seemingly endless human assaults on Mother Earth and her children, I must remember our potential. And nourish those seeds with as much energy as I can possibly muster. Thank you, sweet stranger. Thank you. With all of my heart.
The concert grand stands indifferently in a palatial room built to house it; Hardly anyone spends time here, admiring frescoes and French lace, worn Italian club chairs gather in around no one, empty opulence marking privilege of the lost and missing inhabitants;
Halfway around the world, a bustling marketplace explodes with the din and stench of the streets, sweat mingling with rotting vegetable matter and the smell of human desperation; gnarled hands of laborers place goods in the manicured hands of tourists, a toothless smile exchanging empty symbols for a better life, benediction of the Foreigner whose life is inconceivable as a spaceship from Mars;
Who can fathom choices, freedom the elusive butterfly in a garden which must be tended by honest sweat and toil which, in the opulence of the parlor, slips quietly into shadow like the ghostly curtain remnants hanging limply on patterned walls.