Longing, we say, because desire is full
of endless distances.”

30 October 2008

Bright Idea #105: Live in Season.

"One granite ridge/A tree, would be enough/Or even a rock, a small creek,/A bark shred in a pool./Hill beyond hill, folded and twisted/Tough trees crammed/In thin stone fractures/A huge moon on it all, is too much./The mind wanders. A million
Summers, night air still and the rocks/Warm. Sky over endless mountains./All the junk that goes with being human/Drops away, hard rock wavers/Even the heavy present seems to fail/This bubble of a heart./Words and books/Like a small creek off a high ledge
Gone in the dry air./A clear, attentive mind/Has no meaning but that/Which sees is truly seen./No one loves rock, yet we are here./Night chills. A flick/In the moonlight/Slips into Juniper shadow:/Back there unseen/Cold proud eyes/Of Cougar or Coyote/Watch me rise and go." First time through i accomplish the kitchener stitch thanks to a woman in norway. phlegmy, rattle-lunged, the bold biotic army bivouacs in all quarters, circling the heart. dry scanty snow, im due to oversee recess in a few hours, waiting for my jeans to dry. last nights dream more alienation and wandering, a drying rack wrapped in christmas lights, skunks and pigs in the mall foyer, cats and birds in the ceiling. i went for a soda and discovered three five-hundred dollar bills in my wallet. a feminist film festival, the face of marilyn monroe on the hood of a blue corvette. little bread skulls and illuminated pumpkins, a call from the soul-brother beneath the same starry sky.

29 October 2008

Bright Idea #104: You Cant Cross a Chasm in Two Small Jumps.

"..we need to be suffused /with lusty compassion and ecstatic duty, /ingenious love and insurrectionary beauty...The roads they pave us,/the places they save us,/the tomatoes they grow us,/the rivers they flow us./Their mysterious stories,/and morning glories,/their loaves and fishes,/granting our wishes./The songs they sing us,/the gifts they bring us,/the secrets they show us,/above and below us./Thanks to them,
from whom the blissful blessings flow, /we are waking up." Snow. still sickly but the cash came through and provisions were got, including the albuterol which makes my hands tremble but breathing is nice. snow small and hard, spitting snow, #4 said quite correctly that the morning snow resembled crumbled styro, but tasted like vanilla. everyone relieved and well-fed, coffeed and medicated, the Mr. started PT and the boys and i went to the lakehouse to scavenge what was left behind. flora/fauna guides, mysterious wickless oil lamp, an oar. french onion crocks in faux festiva colors, a meat/corn/coffee grinder, an enamel pot. keys and candles and a cooties game from the fifties. baskets,glassware and a mug reading "#1 MOM." it snows (tiddly-pom) and theres breakfast for dinner and we learn that a stamen holds pollen and an ovary holds eggs and dispersal is another word for scattering. we learn that in art class, neither dragons nor hot-tubs were allowed. snow through the night, i suppose, but cuddled deep and dear under the duvet my dreams have been long and legendary, fantastic men and women and more highways and a huge pane of glass that broke in my hands and ended up red sand in my mouth. word that soul-brother may show up on this shore shortly. happy new year.

28 October 2008

Dog Is My Co-Pilot

Hey! Youre supposed to be navigating!

Yes, I think the bank ladies will have those biscuits.

Hows my driving?

Bright Idea #103: Stop Doing Whats Not Working.

"Dark of the Moon/New beginnings/Dark of the Moon/Plant a seed tonight/Dark of the Moon/What we envision/Will come to be by the Full Moon's light." Sick. achy, phlegmy, directing the morning from the cloud, my late riser and my early riser, keeping an ear out for the comforting sounds of progress, grateful theyre old enough to self-direct until i can crawl out and send #4 off in the rain hes yelling at me from the road, "get inside! youre sick! its raining!" i feed the pack cold cuts in lieu of dry food and the cats get canned soup and everyone seems satisfied settling down for what they sense is a day of no walks and lots of sleeping. grateful for my cozy little house and the love of family and the pack trying to remind myself to keep my shoulders down from around my ears grateful for a break in the clouds of wheezy breathing grateful that theres still a little coffee and plenty of clean water and i wont worry ill just do what needs to be done. at one point, listening to democracy now! in the red chair working the heel of second sock, i had O., L1, L2, Z., and two cats on and about me, all sending little four-paw reiki to me, sighing contented and snuggled harmonious. animal comforts. im okay as long as i sit down or else i get the shakes and expectorate. but i manage soup and bread and dishes and laundry and tomorrow therell be provisions and Samhain is coming and therell be a fire and merriment and a pomegranate for the passing over.

27 October 2008

Bright Idea #102: Notice Whats Right.

"Compared to some things, the wind was actually tangible." The winds of november came early, huge hands of air that evicted unwilling oak leaves from their sentry posts over spring buds. i go out underdressed the chill running through my pullover like water but ive swaddled my head and hands in wool and covered my core in down, i rationalize to myself, picking out shredded aluminum cans and wet paper bags from under tall dead culvert grass B. gets wrapped in wild rose briar and im thanking him for his restraint as i unweave him. quickly the biobag-in-paper-boutique-bag fills and im chasing peanut butter cracker wrappers and sweating cigarette packs escaping. the homeschool boy is beating at stump rounds with a blunt axe. no gunfire today, the winds confound its an uneasy day for horses and the wind you hear is blowing through the trees on the other side of the valley storm weather written in clouds like childrens wave forms and one remarkable condensation in the shape of a hermit crabs tail. cars pass we pull over on the wide verge before the electric fence and wide rusting fields beyond, considering the sky the names written in the negative space of clouds my left and right hemispheres engaged in an animated dialog i stay out of standing there with the dogs and the day and i made peanut butter cookies because #4 asked for them and knit my first sock proud showing off to P. who comes over to discuss the falling down barn and woodstoves and leaves with a paper bag of peanut butter cookies and im so grateful were getting along and planning for Samhain.

24 October 2008

Bright Idea #101: Play, Snacks and Naps.

"Lay down these words/Before your mind like rocks./placed solid, by hands/In choice of place, set/Before the body of the mind/in space and time:/Solidity of bark, leaf, or wall/riprap of things:/Cobble of milky way./straying planets,/These poems, people,/lost ponies with/Dragging saddles –/and rocky sure-foot trails./The worlds like an endless/four-dimensional/Game of Go./ants and pebbles/In the thin loam, each rock a word/a creek-washed stone/Granite: ingrained/with torment of fire and weight/Crystal and sediment linked hot/all change, in thoughts,/As well as things." An extraordinarily peaceful day. the wind was soft and warm. more birds to see, theyre captains of industry, feeding and fending, erupting from shrubs and going quiet as the hawk cries over us, searching, circling. trees are mostly bare and the guns are coming you can hear them tuning like an orchestra down the valley on the way home there are two deer strapped to the boot of a teal sedan. we were feeling so easy and free we walked west to the crossroad and the honey smell of the woods and peaceful pines bearing wild grapevine and longshadows beautiful roosters crowing at unexpected sunlight. i avert my eyes from the little pelts and the dogs can smell the entrails in the gully and everything is unwound in the warmth i come home grateful for water make a really beautiful banana bread recline with the buckwheat warmer in the red chair making a small dent in the media pile. #4 stays over an extra night with his father well make it an early night and tomorrow baking pb chip cookies as requested and errands that dont require leaving home. a long long day and ive been eating way too much popcorn lately. grateful for: 1) the ancient asthma meds i found in the medicine pantry to make up for the albuterol, etc. i cant afford 2) my pack 3) my buckwheat warmer 4) the peace and sanity of the natural world 4)that banana bread 5) my chocolate body lotion from w.s. 6) the music of stony creeks falling down the hill near the crossroad 7) learning that what e.o. said years ago was true. life can be broken down into three entirely manageable situations: play, naps and snacks. im grateful for the whole illuminated infrastructure of my life that allows for so much space and energy and stillness and movement.

Bright Idea #100: Do Something About It.

"I actually believe that for us, this is probably the richest, most sure-fired and gratifying way I can think of to prepare for the ‘real world’: spending time getting to knowing ourselves as intimately and passionately as possible before venturing out to share who we are with the world." a great rushing wind but not arctic and theres pancakes for breakfast and the goddess mala and good coffee and im uncovering my eyes to see if anyone sees me. when the hearths in this house will be a true haven. im looking forward to a quiet weekend of popcorn and printed matter. im so grateful for the blog community i skitter along the edge of, in whirlwind eddies of weather and leaves my nose pressed to the glass all the peaceful people making this world more wonderful one breath at a time, all the gentle hearts sharing their creativity and Light and even from so far away i feel more at home in the world knowing there are lightworkers out there like me, living deep and sweetly and caring enough about the others to share. all the patterns, recipes, insights and reassurances ive received through the blogging community i am infinitely grateful for. so the luminous gratitudes go out to 1) all y'all 2) the pack 3) popcorn and printed matter 4) my health and strength both meta- and physical. 5) susanclare 6) fair-trade, organic coffee 7) the sumptuous banquet of words by washington irving and andrew davidson 8) the painting troddenweed by andrew wyeth 9) hope, which is truly a feathered thing.

Wanted to share with you a little what i did today. a goddess mala in honor of Artemis, Mary, Hecate and Changing Woman. and let me take this opportunity to suggest this most excellent purveyor of lovely and unusual beads. Blessed Be.

23 October 2008

Bright Idea #99: If You Build It, It Will Come.

"Dave,/You've been engaged/Four times/But never married./“One more”/You said/“And I’ll have one/For the thumb”/Diane,/You never been with a man/More than six months,/Nor single/Since sixteen/You’re thirty-six/In August/Maybe that’s why/You hate/Mathematics/Mr. Cranefly,/You have twenty-four hours/From the egg/To mature/Mate
And die./What are you doing/Inside?/And you,/You there/In the notebook,/Mr. Poet,/Defending your life/Like a squid/With the ink,/Your troubles/Aren’t even/Worth mentioning" Louise driveway dry-docked for the time being #4 and i took the yellow bus to work and all the children with their open faces and i knowing their names and this bus was clean and orderly and didnt disturb me like the one previous and the little boy who lags behind held his face to the window and chatted to himself as my charge had done the week before. it is a happy heart smiled at by children. corrections and conversation in the lunchroom about triskeles, italian horns and joan of arc. the day was bright and not over-cold, when a drill was called that may have led to a long walk down the road a young friend called me over to make sure i had brought my inhaler. when i walked into the early lunch the little ones cheered and it is a happy heart cheered at by children. S. drove us home and i made cornbread and butter cake and chili for the boys and we took a moonwalk and pondered the planets and when we got home they played in legos as i read the second installment of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. ill tidy and go to bed for a book and a cup of tea in the high cold night of late october. where am i in a year? here, living gently, patient with myself and the questions. id like to be hired, and relieved of all the present arrears. i read how vital it is to simply hug. i read how meditation is good for the skin. id like to not suffer so much inside or out. be at ease in my skin in my world. go forward by the light of my stars in health and happiness, being of use, filling sketchbooks and canvas and bamboo needles and cake pans and cookie sheets and garden rows and rose beds and doing more giving, donating, volunteering, listening, learning, evolving, deep breathing, praying, meditating, stretching, loving, and laughing. so mote it be.

22 October 2008

Bright Idea #98: Name the Stars You Navigate By.

"Flowers and fruits are always fit presents; flowers because they are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world." Off the top id have to say Mindfulness, Love, Kindness, Non-Violence, Clarity, Generosity, Joy. and i recognize how theyre like the Pleiades, singular entities but a conglomerate blur when seen from a distance. seven sisters. Mindful, Kind, Non-Violent, Clear, Generous, Lovely, Joyful. and sometimes theyre right in my eyes and sometimes theyre lightyears away. but theyre there for me to contemplate and wish upon, shrouded in sunlight or revealed in darkness. Love is the Great Mother of them all, id say. Love engenders all other positive and love-ly presences. we are Mindful, Kind and Non-Violent because we acknowledge that all things come from Love and are worthy of our patience, compassion and understanding. this includes ourselves and our lives and our time. we seek Clarity to keep spacious and clean the space between ourselves and our world so that the Light shines brightly, guiding our way. we are Generous because we are a vessel for the Light and the Love that wishes only to flow through us in the guise of a thousand virtues. flower, fruit, branch, root.

just happened to post about the pleiades, too.

21 October 2008

Bright Idea #97: Do What You Love, Love What You Do.

"You've got to own your days and name them, every one of them, or else the years go right by and none of them belong to you." No brainer bright idea arent they all, but an important lesson for me to integrate into my heart and mind, I who drifted mindless through so many years, abdicated my will because i didnt get to die under the dock and lived sixteen years learning loathing and suspicion its a big epiphany. i believe that if you are and do whatever it is with your whole heart, 'failure is impossible' even if you miss your mark. countless inspirational adages are based on this, which makes me feel a bit suspect. but do what you love. follow your bliss. and make whatever you do a prayer. theres worse advice. and today in the sniffly damp i need a little franklin stove of cheerful thoughts, feeding the fire a tinder of minutes. before when i came under his caustic critique i would let it smother my good going with wet newsprint and ashes. now i keep the door closed. im learning at this late hour what is good and what is not so and more importantly i am learning that i can choose what i expose myself to. before i played sebastian to any passing arrow. and im grateful for the learning even at this late hour. content to sit at my happy fire and give freely of its warmth if its warmth is welcome. but i dont feel compelled to feed the fiends anymore. bring to me your ember of Light. we can braid our breath together and off you go with your belly-fire in a bowl to guide you. i live by my Light and if it doesnt suit you theres a million little lights everywhere for the liking. a moment of sun changes the timbre of the morning.

#4 stayed home sick. damp cold drizzle and blow waiting on the hecate beads to string october dark moon triple goddess mala my shoulders around my ears we keep the house at 50 and the evenings cooking and laundry keep us warm til bedtime. driving to town made me uneasy, the bank ladies cooed at Z. and fed her biscuits i broke down and bought ice cream to soothe my jangled nerves screaming dairy early to bed with gargoyle and todays gratitude award goes to 1) clean sheets 2) knitting 3) hot and cold running water 4) printed matter 5) the web of friends. carmelized onions and potatoes quiet tuesday night with tea and bed tired of fending off and parrying tired of playing defense when id rather be ferdinand with corks on my horns.

20 October 2008

Bright Idea #96: Tell Me What You Want (What You Really Really Want).

"We don't need lists of rights and wrongs, tables of do's and don'ts: we need books, time, and silence. 'Thou shalt not' is soon forgotten, but 'Once upon a time' lasts forever." Paying attention to myself i realize that through me the energy flows and like a canyon rider its up to me to take the current and avoid the rocks. thats my life advice. Take the Current and Avoid the Rocks. easy monday energy long walks to and fro it was 40 to and 60 fro. frogged two hats-to-be started third, stumbled upon long stocking pattern to break my sock-pattern-phobia. artemis beads and chocolate chip for the boys after school started sauce washed the sheets and after supper went out with Z. to try the whole go get it and bring it back thing ended up in the garden pulling gourd vines. tomorrow has garden duty written on it. clear it and till it and call it winter. the vest is a gift. good deep pocketses for inhaler rose quartz snack ball of yarn for mobile knitting. my water supply is making a difference. we get older and i suppose our consciousness shifts, the way we see ourselves. i love, honor and obey my body. i dont need it nipped tucked puffed tinted tarmacked. S. brought to my attention i am the only one she knows without make-up or a cell phone. my reflective energy called cold and worse but they were words from the bottom of a wine jug and who else should i be? life advice: Consider the Source. tomorrow gardening indoors and out, the geraniums molting for less light, the hoya thirsty. the gratitude gold stars today go to: 1) this vest and my sister for gifting me with it and being a real miracle in and of herself forever saving me from myself 2) autumn doing her thing so beautifully in the great circle of things. 3)dogs for taking the current and avoiding the rocks. 4) clean water in a mason jar bathing a billion cells with themselves. 5) a shout out to all the community helpers that make our lives better than good: the post mistress, shop keeper, bus driver, volunteer fire fighter and emt.

19 October 2008

Bonus Track #12:

This ones for me.

Bright Idea #95: 36.

Went with the Mr. and #3&4 to the winding trails marsh and ponds to smell the trees and feed the birds. Little thistle seed claws clutching just long enough for sunflower seed beak to choose its morsel. little feathered spirits symbols of endurance and resilience and deep knowing. the walk a gift of infinite proportions, the deer we stood and watched for a childs eternity, Mr. showing #4 the scrapes and the rubs (the chickadees ate off the crown of his hat) #3 and i up and around ahead discussing wands and living there, both of us dressing tree stumps with birdseed. the deer were beautiful magickal powerful the toasted fen warm in moment of generous october sun the song of water over stones from under the bridge the last light and leaf litter a painting my brain falls into so much energy i get all psychedelic and the glorious smell of pine sap on open cones the brain just letting everything blur to make room for it all.

Every leaf and blade and vine and reed a miracle of cosmic engineering the sky and clouds ungulates feathered reptiles witch hazel white pine duckweed and marshwater seeds in our hands feeding anonymous mouths watching with bright eyes from bracken and canopy. i took them to the old boat launch and Mr. and i laid on the dock people were riding heavy roan horses a lady with dogs boys in cars making an exchange. but #3&4 on the shoreline watching water and rocks, the incredibly peaceful wake of the wind #4 and i contemplate going in birthday baptism but theres no change of clothes and were expected elsewhere eventually. a phalanx of joggers on the farther shore. geese. breathing.

Extended apertif at sister chalet a bottle of champagne and cheese baguette a black vest and october maple roses with ornamental cabbage blossoms we go for mexican and i love this place even though they moved it and i had no idea its even better and the chips and enchiladas were just what i needed the heat and creamy all of us just being people shell be in college next year this dry exquisite precise young woman im related to like a compost pile is related to a rose bush and shes got HUEY LONG on her cellphone wallpaper, relying on her assumption that mom and dad fierce line-item conservative republicans wont know who mr. long is and that i wont tell (not enough to worry them overmuch) and being right. they should be far more concerned that their 2nd daughter not the meticulous academic her sister is had pol pot on her wallpaper because juvenile social studies teacher thought it was funny she didnt know and convinced her. the way were swayed by altitude and a big desk.

after back to the manse i settled into my spot and flipped through glossy fashion mags and knit and watched the wedding singer because thats what they were watching even though i liked the guy who ate snakes and drank out of holes better. a drive home where louise has had quite enough of me but because its my birthday doesnt leave me on the side of the road between there and here. and my co-pilot fiddles the dials and we turn into the haven bearing flowers and mexican leftovers and im up at six the next #4 sick with the sick i had before i take the truck and the petrol station one town over is just open driving in the icy dark moonlight in the valley just me and the deer back again and im up now washing floors and doing laundry and J. comes early and the sun is out but im inside getting it together finishing the fingerless glove baking two bread and not reading. 36.

17 October 2008

Bonus Track #11:

This Ones for Pete the Pepsi Mechanic, and Louise.

16 October 2008

Bonus Track #10:

This is for #3, everyone who dances to their own polka band, and Love.

Bright Idea #94: Sleep is a Great Healer.
"Again/a car behind me honks./And another. It's what geese do/heading south at the beginning/of winter. They want to know/the one in front still believes/they're there and are trusting him/to be sure where they're all going." Torrents of skywater i lie in bed listening cozy under eiderdown. to town for eleventh hour provisions through a tunnel of sawdust cornfields against a pumpkin tree line under a newsprint sky. sarah palin makes me want to chew aluminum foil. what i thought was an allergy is a cold caught in kindergarten no doubt but i manage a lasagne and ignore the dishes and go to bed.

15 October 2008

Bonus Track #9:

A little schmaltzy at the end, even for me, but this ones for #3 & #4. Love, Yogurt.

Bright Idea # 93: Mercury Goes Direct.

"To Ceres do obeisance, one and all;/And for her pleasure thou mix honeycombs/With milk and the ripe wine-god; thrice for luck/Around the young corn let the victim go,/And all the choir, a joyful company,/Attend it, and with shouts bid Ceres come/To be their house-mate; and let no man dare/Put sickle to the ripened ears until,/With woven oak his temples chapleted,/He foot the rugged dance and chant the lay." Woke early early in a moonbeam setting moon sent through the window to sleep in steep in no dream just deep sleep and waking coffee a walk chores and baking then reading outside mag in its entirety which is such luxury everyones home and away and home again around the round table for supper and were all feeling better somehow the pressure off somehow and i didnt even go to the PO. tomorrow i wander farther afield to play catch-up on provisions the ripples growing out from the center the day after and the day after that, culminating in a turn of the tumblers upping the number by one and were feeding birds and eating mexican. a celebration of the day my memory was washed clean by the blood of my mother and i took my first breath as Loves latest incarnation, pure as melted ice and open as the sky. thirty-six years later strafed and crickered by karma and blindness im here, creek water thick with cold and ice sharp along the edges, reflecting the sky.

14 October 2008

Bonus Track #8: Thank You, J.D.

My father had a six lp set of lenny bruce stand-up. i inherited that set and his insight is absolutely timeless. like shakespeare. yesterday was lennys birthday.

up yours.

Bright Idea #94: Be Positive (I got my new blood donor card).
"and there was once, oh wonderful,/a new horse in the pasture,/a tall, slim being-a neighbor was keeping her there—/and she put her face against my face,/put her muzzle, her nostrils, soft as violets,/against my mouth and my nose, and breathed me,/to see who I was,/a long quiet minute-minutes—/then she stamped feet and whisked tail/and danced deliciously into the grass away, and came back./She was saying, so plainly, that I was good, or good enough." They all warned me knowing groaning but i said "what a great teacher hell be, teaching me patience and compassion and unconditional love." little crazy face with chameleon eyes and we figured it out for the day and it was okay and he was such a bright spirit in this twist of flesh. the bus made me wretched and he gripped his dollar and sang twinkle twinkle. the route was beautiful along the water and up through the open fields donner has mccain/palin signs up in front of his faux-stone chateau and i groaned. the sky lowered and let loose a few tepid tears but the night bloomed clear and the moon was a bright white eye #4 and i went moonwalking his mind is turned to terrible things as the minds of young boys are, being brave in their own heads so we played what color is the sky and what is that smell. up, electric eyed in front of democracy now shoveling bowls of kashi pilaf and loads of laundry, clean water in a mason jar and an owl cries down the valley the pack and i sit with our ears pricked. grateful for the work and for apples and squash, my family and what great comfort it is for me to come home. J. stops by to hear the dogs bark and consider the chimney. my skin is getting old and crepey, which is a comfort. soft and cool, you know, like the hands of an old woman. i got to paint in art today, two sugar maples in october a valley apart before a purple sky and #3 put it up in his room, proud of his mom whom, he explained, is a hippie because 1. she wears gaiters on her head. 2. she has more than the normal amount of bumperstickers on her car and dogs in her house. 3. she has no money. there were more but those are the ones i recall turning the corner toward home the planet shining in the southern sky and #4 in the driveway in a towel with a flashlight panicked because we were gone. its still warm enough for that sort of thing, and i feed the compost just to be out in the darkness to breathe in the good october moon and think about utah.

13 October 2008

Bright Idea #93: Tend to It.
"Nonviolence is not a garment to be put on and off at will. Its seat is in the heart, and it must be an inseparable part of our very being." A walk in the strange heat and a call to meet at the beach one glass of champagne and i lose coherency, find coca-cola beach glass #4 made me a salad of red lettuce bulgur and tofu curry. more champagne. so warm on the water the last time we were in mittens and coats. up the hill to the house my power spot and birds of america. drive to pick up #3 and the sunset is straight out of autum, electric raspberry cherry cream across the broad horizon at the top of the hill then down into the valley home holding hands in what seems like a lifetime. its mine and i should tend to it. overstimulated and hunching into my own bones i take lemon water and japanese incense and sometime tonight will get back on the train with theroux into a short week and happy plans for the weekend. the plants need pulling and the floor needs washing and the way needs walking and the sheets need cleaning and i need to just stand around and consider. thats what i really need to do.

12 October 2008

Bonus Trakku #7:

An Excellent Example of What I Was Attempting to Convey.

Bright Idea #92: Roll Gloriously on Your Back in the Sun.

"If I can tell you the story from beginning to end in five minutes, I'm ready to start writing. Then it's a constant spreading out of that five minutes." A wandering day. excellent morning foray breathing deep reciting mantra prayer until i spied longshadows leg-traps hanging on the fenceline like economy gallows and my heart broke into a hundred fat-tailed sharp-toothed pieces and there goes my consciousness, abruptly interrupted from autumn purpose tracking and the pain and the confusion and the fear and the struggle and the despair and today the prickly pods revealed their glowing wooden hearts and i am reminded. energy puddles i track about in really just enjoying sitting in the sun listening to the pack whoosh around me and B1 roll on her back in the grass getting swept along on a train with theroux and an apple and a mason jar of lemonade. decided my space elf hat looked too much like it belonged on the head of cortez so it back to K1 but K1 is a wonder-lovely hopeful place to be. neighbors burning enormous pile of wet leaves and the valley is veiled in smoke. it lies flat beneath the sky so i know that grey weather is coming. that and the absolutely spectacular mare-tail variations weve been getting for the past few days. we drove hither and yon for coffee, milk and eggs, i took the high road and my faith in pretty much everything was restored. from up there all you see is the valley the river the hills the lake the sky and a farm or two shining simplicity while along the road clean horses and the fragrant beckoning woods. i was soul-vaulted. baked an acorn squash and ate it with my hands. we took a moon walk ate ice cream and i rode the train until bedtime early the emotional toll of our negotiations rising like the price of everything like mr. van winkle ive awoken to mightily altered world where the candy bars cost $1.25.

11 October 2008

Bonus Trakku #6:

Young Latvians are especially sensitive to their pagan roots, their ancient traditions. theres a huge resurgence of Reclaiming. more folk i could definitely get real with.

Bright Idea #91: River Energy.
"Find the absolute rhythm and follow it with absolute trust." Declined invite to canada. let #3 sleep and cleaned away the morning so the energy would flow, the luxury of dryered socks and a full pot of coffee. H1 says hell pay petrol if i ferry #3 to his town four towns over. its a ride of autumnal proportions warm behind glass the brave light on fully de-chlorophylled forests and theyre getting third cuttings because summers been so long. the strong warm quiet presence of half the pack in the car for a drive i find a patch of late sun in the yard and begin again the pixie hat i frogged once for misunderstanding. started in on washington irving because its october. itll be a quiet weekend without the boys around, a fine weekend to soak up self-energy from the sun and moon. the same woman comes to me in dreams. entirely unremarkable, entirely familiar. i love the wide quiet headspace of knitting. found a fortune at the petrol station today on the ground. "Think like a man of action, and act like a man of thought." river energy. a channel of energy that is at once other and entirely oneself. quiet assurance. movement meditation life longing seeking sacred metaphor for life itself heraclitus. we riff on fluid dynamics and dynamic balance and hes wrestling with the chimney bits i make more coffee and settle in for yarn and books of an october evening clear and chill with the free fire of stars.

10 October 2008

Bonus Trakku #5:

really covers it all, and even gets at that whole Latvian mind-state of "put me in your outfit and hand me a prop but im still just a kokle-strumming, mead-swilling, thatch-roofed, slipper-shod, LATVIAN."

The Dude Abides.

Bright Idea #90: Ever Expanding Circles.
"When we know who we really are, life loses false striving and gains simple presence." Of service all day, the dance of interaction at a thousand levels, a thousand understandings and misunderstandings, a thousand calibrations to light heat temperment status understood connection tangent discord history. in my sketchbook i stamped in the phrase 'dead reckoning' they used it today to describe how cc charted his course. and i sat in the little chair and seethed silently. #4 likes to pronounce, "was columbus a terrorist or an illegal alien?" why do we celebrate him? what good ever came of it? but then again, we think, if not us, who? manifest destiny has been mans excuse since he came down out of a tree. one more step toward housewarming and were sitting in the parlor throwing popcorn to the pack i break out the soupbones last vestiges of the farm and cleaver them up all of them busy and dog-delighted the happy rasping sound of animal industry then a let-out before lights-out. up early both of us i have to pack a bag and its a long weekend is that what five hundred years of genocide has to show? slave maker land taker god faker theyre only now beginning to say well maybe this and that wasnt fair but it still happened and here we are and happy columbus day. happy manifest destiny o great white washed captive audience go back to your programs. the sun was warm again today and twice i told someone that its a dance, its one day at a time. and ill take my own advice, just to see.

09 October 2008

George Wallace would be pleased.

i posted this because its ralph stanley, and hes a bluegrass god. but my naive little heart thinks its cool that something like this is possible. it doesnt make everything okay, but for thirty seconds, it helps.
Bonus Trakku #4:

I went to a Latvian camp and i remember women in the lakehouse playing kokle. for me, this is a hypnotic, celestial sound. and again the ability to see how many cultures (at least the indo-european ones) have some sort of many-strings-on-a-plank instrument. other cultures call it a kantele, which you can tell has some root in the word for song (think canticle, chanticleer) but kokle has its root in the word for tree, or wood. the wood sings.

Tomorrow: The History of Latvia Told Through Stop Motion Animation.

Bright Idea #89: Infinite Invisible Vibrating Omniscient Energy.
"...or once, the realization that a baby skunk had taken to one of the cots we slept on and was, on a rainy morning, in a sound sleep...think of us watching that very little skunk curled in the best blanket, opening its eyes sleepily and then closing them again; think of our silent and entirely happy laughter as we too went back to sleep." Splendid. the lady called it indian summer. bright and a warm breeze and the leaves spiralling skittering swooshing everything golden garnet the clear blue sky of fair fall weather. thought id be a dynamo but listless and resigned. reveling in the miracle of my every breath, nonetheless, but quietly, from afar. more time outside with Z. learning the lessons of reciprocity and joy. that wonderful leaf smell, the garden is frost-bitten and things need pulling and tilling. being a body is hard work, and we dont give ourselves enough credit. #4 is frustrated with the leaps were asked to make in learning and id get frustrated too if i didnt realize this frustration is part of the process. leaping over the rut. ill get my vibe back in a day or two, just so used to denying my rhythms and ignoring the body my brain drags around. i prefer this to the one that comes before. im grateful i dont have to live with that much testosterone on a daily basis. early bed, full day tomorrow then far-flung adventure with sister and her own.

08 October 2008

Bonus Trakku #3:

My people.

Bright Idea #88: Dont Let It Get To You.
"You can't rip the skin off the snake. The snake must moult the skin. That's the rate it happens." Errands before a half day that ends in rain. They stole her bowling trophy because after a year she still brags. greenland is melting iceland is bankrupt global recession depression regression ill start another hat tonight maybe finish the gloves he stoneworks the hearth was i the one who said suck? theres fog between my ears and thats okay if today theres nothing to say and the shallow rhymes are like a busy signal im not taking any calls. how different an experience for me to listen to them over the radio, knitting in the night, perched next to the old crosley listening while whoever else tuned in to tv screens is absorbing the information in a different way and i thought of what tv did for kennedy. tv is distracting but thats the point, right? i had them print the double exposures and theyre great. so great i may stay with film for a little while longer its just getting harder to find someone to develop it and then i get all green-paranoid over the chemicals. Z. gets into the rainy garden and rolls in it. im upstairs with an unwilling puppy in the tub and the neighborhood kids come through the bathroom door they want #4 to play hide-n-seek in the rain. how wonderful for children to trust me enough to come through the door and ask to borrow my son! i made nice with the community pillar ex-music teacher lady at lunch. i didnt let it bother me that the one who wont stand me stay in the same room with me was there and i laughed clear and let myself be loved instead of wondering why i wasnt. breath is miraculous. light is miraculous. creativity is miraculous.

07 October 2008

Bonus Trakku #2.

A lot of the dances seem like cosmological myths. Theyre certainly stories of the major rites: planting, harvesting, birth, marriage. This ones for J.D., (its a troupe from Seattle). Latvia was like a sieve for other cultures for a thousand years. and one who has an eye for such things can see the different influences embedded in the dance. on their website, Jumis has a good synopsis of the history of dance in Latvian culture. when i would tell people i was latvian theyd get this distinctly american glazed look in their eyes. now i tell people im half Mongol and half Viking and at least they think its funny.

Tomorrow: How To Party Like a Latvian.

Bright Idea #87 : The Dark Side of the Moon is covered in Mountains, the Light Side in Seas.
"A physicist is just an atom's way of looking at itself." Clear black night presaged hard frost morning. on the hill the way in sun was green the way in shadow white i sat in the light behind glass reading marquez and waiting. made apple crisp and tomato sauce, started a hat with holes to match gloves with no fingers. a bright day up twenty degrees before dawn the day went so fast and theres a hearthwarming on the horizon. i do what i can to feed my spirit and bolster my soul. on the road i wrote starlings october cornfield line of frost and shadow. bloodgrumpy i want my three days in the hut on the island to not tend or bend or serve or justify. dont we all? my hat looks like a teacozy but i learned a new stitch. up late listening to the debate on npr starting the last glove. pure october evening, white stars and woodsmoke. this bright idea had some crystal seed of climbing and floating, work and resting. but at the bottom of the sea there is rising and at the top of the mountain there is resting. at every moment there is rising and resting. political rhetoric makes me want to chew my ears off. milk chocolate and yogi tea. sometime this winter ill try my hands at socks. it is interesting to me that the weather goes chill and im drawn sweetly back to the clickety sticks, happy in the nest through the night.

06 October 2008

Bonus Trakku #1

fall always makes me feel all fantasy folklorey so im offering a series of videos based on my childhood experience not-very-far-removed from ancient pagan roots. it make me really happy to watch these. i used to do all these dances when i was a kid with the other latviesu. our fathers would get drunk and jump through bonfires at midsummer. we all wore crowns, daisies for the girls and oak leaves for the boys. in latvian, the women are all addressed as lady and the men as lord. i love seeing the garb, the garb i grew up wearing and seeing the women around me wear. the incredible jewelry. the high warbly voices when we sang. its so good to see people keeping the fire alive. by the way, this song, like so many of the latvian folk songs, is about making mead and moonshine up in the hills. latvians are notorious drunks. and excellent dancers.

Bright Idea #86: Take the Time to Write It Down.
"They cry out at the sight of her and come flying/Over the tidal flats from miles away,/Sideslipping and wheeling/In sloping gray-and-white interwoven spirals/Whose center is her/And the daily bread she casts downwind on the water/While rising to spread her arms/Like wings for the calling of still more gulls around her,/Their cries intermingling at the end of daylight/With the sudden abundance/Of this bread returning after the hungry night/And the famine of morning/And the endlessly hungry opening and closing/Of wings and arms and shore and the turning sky." Driving #3 to school saying prayers of thanksgiving for petrol and teeth-skin circadian rhythms the clouds were whipped white and scattered against slate of forms farther away. as a child i would walk the block singing songs impromptu and incisive, i thought, for a child no matter how precocious. thought to write them down when i came to pen and paper but like dreams they always fled upon arriving. i write my dreams down and im beginning to write the songs down too. psalms of morning afternoon evening. psalms of seasons weather creatures. psalms of kitchen water cloud. offering up the psalms of thanksgiving my soul recites unceasing to its Beloved. so much to do i stayed indoors to do it with only small forays to PO and compost, introducing disc to Z. and out-potting the fancy sage trusting in their immortal nature. they suffered and struggled in their narrow little home. i thought theyd stretch roots down into good earth with fine exposure and companions of lambs ear delphinium and coneflower. one sage i unceremoniously scratched into a dim corner of the shadow garden took happy root and sends out long scented leaves on albeit leggy stems. sometime before samhain the garden will get tilled over. just dig everything in that doesnt get fed to the compost and let winter do her slow silent work, Persephones underworld bargain breeding joy for spring. pumpkin cake with chocolate and cranberry, tomorrow apple pie. write it down. in the interview ani talked about her self-hatred, and her animal self that lives in the senses, in the energy of environment and of safety. i remember reading somewhere long ago, youre worth writing down. so thats the gift this year. the writing it down. not dylan at a portable punching out poetry early morning after the crowd thinned out and it was just him and his headspace but urgent insistent present moment mindshowers that refuse to give up their seat on the bus to no man, white knuckled and thin lipped slipping in a puddle of his own entitlement. ill sit there and write it down, pull over, rest sketchbook on cans of tomato puree or against the steadfast bark of trees (had impulse to dive into infinite intricacy of treebark but realize i dont have the words for it, yet). the sun comes out in benediction, shining blue and golden robes. its all so worth writing down.

05 October 2008

Bright Idea #85: Present Moment, Perfect Moment.
"The goal of the hero trip down to the jewel point is to find those levels in the psyche that open, open, open and finally open to the mystery of your Self." Up early with #4 and the dogs, morning chores and good coffee then down the road with the two walk dogs and the sheriff asks me if ive seen a tractor hauling machinery taking up the road. i havent. i deeply want to engage him in the details but never found them men of many words to suffer ear-flap hat hippies so i think better of it in a flash of self-preservation and wish him luck. big breakfast for everyone and sister calls boys pile into Louise and were off to the lake for a last hurrah the boys havent been to the lakehouse yet its so splendid and perfect and we walk down to the dock #4 collects beach glass and i find a fossil. donner engages me in tangential discourse of calcium deposits and how stones get holes. champagne in a to-go mug and my power spot between the pine trees. knitting on the dock and the boys chase seagulls. #4 angry he cant go to pay for petrol and locks us out somehow setting off the alarm that i cant disengage and the beefy employee and his minor manager come out and it takes them awhile to puzzle it out and we buy foundation garments for the boys and a bar of chocolate for me that says peace on earth and a brown candle and bagels and theres a hail-mary dinner for the boys that even i marvel at, side dishes and everything (!). clean-up clean-up, skidding into sunday night, on the lake #3 steered the ship while #4 and i named clouds. uncle olaf, vulture saving drowning fox. light on the water, the one hill red the other gold. when we looked through the photos of the day they boys and i noticed the bear.

04 October 2008

Bright Idea #84 (J.C.): "We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us."
"Help your neighbor's boat across, and lo! your own has reached the shore." up early before the sun, watching the trees come out from the dark blue of october wee hours. morning errands accomplished half-blind before coffee to earn a long walk in the new cold with B2 & Z. #4 gets a reprieve so we make concord jelly and popcorn balls i make two loaves of good bread despite the fact i left the popcorn maker in the oven as i preheated and the house smells like burning shellac. large projects on half-life schedules. the mexican dinner a fortnight from now doubles. wasted most of my walk rattling invective in my head against H2 and find that by the time he calls the anger is burnt off and theres only a quietly whistling plain of space and smoking stubble. learning to take a step back, a breath, my time. recognizing distance from my lights by the degree of darkness. enormous squash at the mennonites down the street, and six little eggplant, fifteen cents each. ill feed off those squash all week, squash and curry and bread, note to self to check out basmati at the india shop in the city when i get there. contemplating sunlight through the southern window, chicken soup aromatherapy and a blessed quiet evening another day of our lives.

Our Sermon Today from R. Blount, Jr.:

"To me, letters have always been a robust medium of sublimation. …
We're in the midst of a bunch of letters, and if you're like me,
you feel like a pig in mud. What a great word mud is. And muddle,
and muffle, and mumble. … You know the expression "Mum's the word."
The word mum is a representation of lips pressed together. … The
great majority of languages start the word for "mother" with an m sound.
The word mammal comes from the mammary gland. Which comes from baby
talk: mama. To sound like a grownup, we refine mama into mother; the
Romans made it mater, from which: matter. And matrix. Our word for
the kind of animal we are, and our word for the stuff that everything
is made of, and our word for a big cult movie all derive from baby talk.

What are we saying when we say mmmm? We are saying yummy. In the
pronunciation of which we move our lips the way nursing babies move
theirs. The fact that we can spell something that fundamental, and
connect it however tenuously to mellifluous and manna and milk and
me (see M), strikes me as marvelous."


03 October 2008

Bright Idea #83 (J.C.): "Being Alive is the Meaning."
"They were solitary little girls whose lonliness was so profound it intoxicated them and sent them stumbling into Technicolor visions that always included a presence, a someone, who, quite like the dreamer, shared the delight of the dream." A quick morning at work and then mad errands completed early, tallied out in the green book a sneaky-quick dip into the Landing found Sula and read it completely in the nest with a bowl of brewers-yeasted popcorn and coffee and the cold coming in quietly through the seams of the house. #4 sick with school fever and Z. gets paid off. Down a sunny side road for concords and eggs and a tiny black-and-white barn kitten purring warm in my arms. mennonites growing fluorescent pumpkins and the last of the peaches, zucchini and plums, none of which i buy stuffing my tote instead at the dry goods store for a week of baking, dried pineapple for me, pretzels and hulled sunflower seeds for #4. a jug of cider vinegar for cleaning. cheese, apples and spelt flour. black beans, good coffee and house soap. taking that long walk from paycheque to paycheque, spinning plates, taking them down. she called me today and said she still loved me, and it was good. this weekend i introduce Z. to the disc and i take the transiberian with theroux. some people take to drink. im a reader.

02 October 2008

Bright Idea #82: Be Yourself (Whomever that happens to be at the Moment).
"And there I am, in a kind of mask, voicing the voice of an aspect of what I've become, of an aspect of what I could well become, or an aspect of what I've become and not become aware of yet." Morning organizing my thoughts and getting there on time after harvesting hot peppers in my bathrobe. The little ones see in me someone who doesnt judge them, who can somehow see the world from their perspective, they clamor sometimes for the light of my attention, even as the adults cut their eyes at each other as i look away. who else should i be? it gets dark so soon. the neigborhood kids show up i feed them cake and they tell me i have a lot of friends. for halloween one girl will be a baker, the other a table. late supper, knitting, #4 said from the porch down the street you could see three rainbows. i dont know the steps but my hearts in the dance, sitting across from you at lunch, passing you in the hall, idling beside you at a light. im your friend, your companion. im your sister, your fellow traveller. hello. chilly turns to drizzle and the house is warm from just being here, braising, baking, breathing. the hearth wall grows. were sailing toward the season where the light comes from the inside. heart light hearth light keeping the fire alive until the sun rises just so above the hill and we go, growing outward again.

01 October 2008

Bright Idea #81: Think Good Thoughts.
"A strong nation, like a strong person, can afford to be gentle, firm, thoughtful, and restrained. It can afford to extend a helping hand to others. It is a weak nation, like a weak person, that must behave with bluster and boasting and rashness and other signs of insecurity." Grey flannel clouds and random drizzle. To town for provisions, settling accounts and egg money. baked beautiful golden butter cake for the boys. Stretching always makes me feel as if theres more space between my vertebrae as if the energy flows through me more clearly and cleanly. i spend time in my body then, listening. last night was rough, restless and not breathing, the morning dreams hectic with displacement and negotiation. there was barley and sweet cherries for breakfast and buckwheat and curry for lunch. theyre growing up and have their lives a little farther from me now and im proud of them. i take time to watch the leaves fall from the trees in the wind it was like november today damp and desolate we make our plans for samhain and a trip to feed the little birds that eat from your hand, their impossibly delicate claws scratchy-kissing giving fingers. that is the power of chickadee for me. that trust and communion, beauty and nourishment intertwined. this weekend ill start the fingerless gloves ive been thinking so much about, get back into the knitting groove, the lovely calm of soft industry. i realized today that i walk around with a slightly surprised expression and its carving creases in my forehead. my reflection this morning in the doorway tells me im getting older, my cells are losing their juice to wine of time. hard cider and a spirit made from elderflowers. bread i prayed with my own hands. sweet cake and clean water to wash the worries away. gratitude for easy breathing. looking forward. J. as messenger of housewarming, creekstones and i am not afraid.
"And if the question were asked: What is more real, the mundane or the sublime? most would hesitate before they gave an answer. On the one side, details: say, the aftermath of a breakfast, dirty chipped plates in the sink, their rims encrusted with egg yolk. Against this, the unnameable: small aching heart with boasts, what can you know? Outside the cage of everything we ever heard or saw, beyond, outside, above, there lies the real, hiding as long as we shall live, there stretch and trail the millions of names of God burning across the eons. When all through this our end will come before we even know the names of us.

For many the egg yolk prevails." -L.M.

"Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well."

"The perfection of the Absolute where all Becoming stops and pure Being, immutable, timeless, unchanging, hangs forever like a ripe peach upon the bough." -E.A.

"...and the whole incident was incredibly frazzling and angst-rod and filled almost a whole mead notebook and is here recounted in only its barest psycho-skeletal outline." -D.F.W.

"At the top of the mountain, we are all snow leopards." -H.S.T.

"Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live." -D.T.
"Cometh a voice: My children, hear; From the crowded street and the close-packed mart I call you back with my message clear, back to my lap and my loving heart. Long have ye left me, journeying on by range and river and grassy plain, to the teeming towns where the rest have gone - come back, come back to my arms again. So shall ye lose the foolish needs that gnaw your souls; and my touch shall serve to heal the fretted nerve. Treading the turf that ye once loved well, instead of the stones of the city's street, ye shall hear nor din nor drunken yell, but the wind that croons in the ripening wheat. I that am old have seen long since ruin of palaces made with hands for the soldier-king and the priest and prince whose cities crumble in desert sands. But still the furrow in many a clime yields softly under the ploughman's feet; still there is seeding and harvest time, and the wind still croons in the ripening wheat. The works of man are but little worth; for a time they stand, for a space endure; but turn once more to your mother - Earth, my gifts are gracious, my works are sure. Instead of the strife and pain I give you peace, with its blessing sweet. Come back, come back to my arms again, for the wind still croons in the ripening wheat."
-John Sandes, The Earth-Mother (excerpt, 1918)