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

25 August 2010

Letters from the Outside, #10

Praying mantis. Nightmares. Christmas lights. Jewelweed in profusion, but the pods wont be ready to pop until september. The tomatoes are awesome, these red, decadent fruits heavy in the palm as flesh.
A humid day, the sky lowers. I pick up litter along my walk; cigarette butts, beer cans, chip bags and nappies. I pass a parked car of mormons who neither wave at nor approach me in my pentacle and b'nai b'rith tshirt. They avert their eyes, reciting silent prayers to Space Jesus.
Black tea cut with lemonade in a pint ball jar. The mail comes;  a tapestry, a puzzle, a cup.
Ill admit. Im in a blank spot. Neap tide.  Knitting in Purgatory, waiting for a sign. 
Mercury goes into retrograde, the basement floods with a foot of water and the enormous and ancient maple in the front yard cracks in half, some benevolent hand guiding it away from our sleeping heads. It continues to rain. My fragile homeostasis knocked out of the saddle by relentless weather of any kind; the heat, humidity, the rain. Snow and cold dont bother me quite as much, for reasons ive previously addressed
Good to have the Home Valence filled, the classroom schedules arrive, the mornings are thick with mist and thin with cold. The earth, the rise of earth we belong to here beside you, is saturated, spongy. Up higher, to the garden, the water collects in little pools, without roots or grass to draw it, hold it. The tomato stakes lose their purchase. Im muttering like an old lonesome woman when I see the mint is blooming, and there are bright red maple leaves in the yard, the hummingbirds still rest their gemstone feathers at the feeder and when they fly away with the warmth, the little finches will come. I bought two rhododendron; hope springs eternal.

I painted last night, its been a year maybe since the last. While I was painting, Cowboy came in and said, “I have seen these transformations before, and I trust them.” and it was like an oracle, a message from some Higher Frequency that I really needed to hear. Because the last few weeks have been a struggle, all the doubt, dread, discouragement, and disgust with myself that I quietly (and sometimes not so quietly) drag behind me through my days and that for some reason I cannot cleave from me rises in my throat, behind my eyes, im immobilized.  August. And doesnt it make sense that we all have our seasons, our tides, inasmuch as we are stars and earth and the Ocean? (Cleave is the word I always want to use because it means opposite things simultaneously. To cling with strong affection and to split with a cutting blow. My intention was the latter).
Maybe its as mundane an explanation as the school year not affording me as much uninterrupted time in which to navel gaze. To look, and see. And because of this clinging veil, its through a glass darkly. Its like the true nature of things is a name ive forgotten, and im lying awake, wracking my brains. Love and Freedom and Compassion and Forgiveness. All these ideals I paper my world with make me feel like a phony, or “significantly delayed” as they like to say these days. Man. Something in August pulls the tendons tight through the iron fist that closes around my throat. Getting the words strung together is like threading macrame beads with yarn after a stroke. Even my muscles dry out, denied some essential solution waning with the Sun. To speak plain, I am well schooled in the talk, and my heart longs to live the walk. But theres a master switch somewhere, a glass ceiling. Twenty years ago I called it Running In Circles at a Dead End. And im still there. How can that possibly be? Is it really laziness? Obdurate Self-sabotage? A lifetime of mulligans, and all that lost play. And here I am Now, today, and I could at least fake it til I make it, right? My latest mulligan, my thirty-seventh strike. So.
We know the cigarette is bad for us. That we should smile with our hearts into the faces of those who have wronged us. Sit up straight. Breathe. But we forget, were these soft fleeting creatures, given hardly the time to realize weve been born before its over. And we expect enlightenment.
So, here it is, a remarkably still, grey late August afternoon. A wednesday. And again I pledge my Light and my Blood to Love. I will try to surrender, and be brave.

Shekinah, Shakti, Shanti. Cloud in the Desert, Inseparable From the One Who Beholds Her, The Peace which Passeth Understanding.

 Love, and Guava Jelly.

"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)