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

31 August 2010

Letters from the Outside, #12

Joy #2: “Finding Money You Didn't Know You Had.” Money is a voucher for various forms of Energy. Food, Shelter, Little Sparkly Things. And the clever devils have built this Babylon System where cash is king. We seek it out, we serve it, people think its freedom but its just a chain. But happening upon a little extra energy can be like walking into the light of a sunbeam. For me, I try to spread my energy around in other ways, maybe a plate of cookies or a mason jar of flowers, a little something I knit, a letter. Moneys not an energy ive ever been good at dancing with, theres weird first-world guilt attached to it, and deeper down the simple inability to grok the stuff at all. I never got convinced all the way, the programming didnt stick. Moneys great, I can trade it for coffee and donuts, organic cotton sheets, a massage. Its what I need to keep the car going, to keep the refrigerator running, to keep from joining the swelling ranks of the forsaken dispossessed. So. Serendipity.

I went back for a blue feather and my Favorite Mason Jar broke in the road. The blue feather was gone. Went back on the bike to clean up the mess and thought that maybe this was my liberation from the doldrums and dismay. I believe this is called magical thinking. My enlightenment rationed out in fits and starts, a crazy quilt, a hopechest dowry for whoever comes after me (more magical thinking).
You can smell the sun on the tall grass. the cattle graze in parade along the widening margin of shade in the pasture by the road. Nursing calves, the peaceful presence of herbivores, little ones gone up ahead to nap while their mothers catch up with the nursery rear-guard who I notice emerge from the windbreak in the van. And ive stepped in to a sentient diorama of the food chain revealing the sun as source of all life. Were waking up to first wave indian summer, hot bright days framed with mist and chill. I begin to gather tomatoes in earnest, and make decisions about the gate, this years rather mad affair of wire gridding and bamboo poles held together entirely by gravity (and one rather stout staff after it fell once the tomatoes growing on it came) but there are days its just too much to consider, the effort and architecture, and think ill just grow moonflower on it next year. If im out there with the hatchet separating maple branch from chaff and it starts to come together, ill dance with it. More rudbeckia for the front, maybe even another rhododendron to crowd out the wild violets that spread in corms that screw themselves into the earth. The lemon balm is taking over, and my ivy slowly twines. I should resist buying these perennials that require staking, or care enough to stake them. They bend inevitably from the weight of their blooming, and their flowers fall outside the little wall necks up bending, all the color and show seeming to come up from the grass. All the perennial beds need a weeding to make room for new seeds to set down.

Like the fool I am I walk out into the noonday and lo, it is glorious the birdsfoot burnished and the goldenrod bloomed. Neighbor broke her pelvis in two different places and their energy was all in my head so I walk halfway and turn around, standing a long while in the sweet shade of honeylocust listening to the wind. Later on, after a trip into town for white sugar and tobacco, I go back out on my bike. Chanticleer, blue with bells on.

Picked tomatoes, got some painting done. Hung laundry, watered the plants, hauled more maple. You think its going to be cool out there, but its humid, nothing moves. Things are breaking; the pump, the tree, the jar, another bit of crockery just this morning taking the compost out. I should be grateful, but im still hungry, still an easily distracted temple tender to that one secret ember holding all the pretty pictures of what my heart longs for, the only part of me closely guarded. Maybe I should give it some light and air, so it can grow.
If it werent for the quiet sky and the creatures and the trees id go absolutely mad. This is probably obvious. The sunflowers are thick with bees, and the tomatoes shine dense red in the morning. Pumpkins on pallets at the side of the road, halloween candy on the shelves. I pick calendula for salve.

Finally spurred into action by the destruction of the Favorite Mason Jar I start knitting a sling, and continue to slog away in seed stitch on Another Pointy Hat.

Tomorrow is September.
"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)