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

28 July 2010

Letters from the Outside, #2

Some humid heavy weather lately, but weather changes with the moon, so after sunday we got bright clear days where the air moves cool lifting the laundry on the line like little sails. The tomatoes are huge, and green, the plum I lifted like an egg from under its plant and kept in a glass on the sill moved backwards beautifully through the spectrum to red. Today we perform the sacrament of the first tomato – love and salt and flesh. 
All that rain and then this bright heat has caused everything to become saturated with itself. Even the clouds are radiant in their emptiness. I hear the lake has been rough to ride. T. and I took a moon walk last night, the neighborhood cool and quiet, most folks already tucked into bed under the wise watch of stars.

Yesterday I made refrigerator dill pickles, and today I made bread and butter. I picked a cabbage for coleslaw. Made a paula deen bundt pan pound cake, only because it doesnt use enormous quantities of butter which we cant afford. All her photos freak me out, her staring out at you with those fixed blue doll eyes. But I liked her in Elizabethtown. 
Next year im planting pole beans. Not only for something different, and I like those jungular (not a word) upright teepees that offer vertical interest, but pole beans are more productive and forgiving, in that, unlike bush beans, they dont morph from bright winsome haricort verts to pale bloated seed pontoons overnight. Or so ive read. 
Had my first tomato sandwich this morning with little ceremony, made with romas (not the standard) and not even coffee to go with. The bread and butter pickles were a hit with T., 
for whom they were made. Cowboy says theyll get better over time, allowed to sit. The dills wont be ready for another few weeks. The cucumbers are legion. Next year ill plant pickle-specific cucumbers. These english types just get seedy and huge, even though ill be making them into more pickles sometime soon.

The Druid in me has been superstitious about weeding out the Oak saplings that spring up near their side of the house. Even the unearthing of a fresh split acorn with its forked tongue inspires a panic and prayer as if it were a prematurely cracked open bird egg, the life force revealed chthonic and doomed.

So here it is, four years into this house, and ive this little Nemeton going in front of the birdfeeders. One leader, heart-high, and four acolytes, no taller than my sock. The Oak Reality is setting in, that, barring an Act of God or my intervening Hand of Judgment, these wee sprouts will live to be Mighty.
Im not aware of the implications of an oak tree growing within three feet of a foundation, but I suppose they are many. right off the top im thinking roots in the cellar, branches in the windows and red squirrels in the walls. We have one wintering squirrel which doesnt bother me but an enterprising dray may call squatters rights and ill have moved one square closer to Life as Big Edie.

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Blessed Be.

"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)