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

11 September 2010

Letters from the Outside, #16

More grey, and rain, the blue jays call from the trees around the house, an agitated rant while they establish their winter homes. There are still hummingbirds coming to the feeder by the kitchen window that I am loath to close. The green sweater is a comfort, and I realize im going to need a pair of shoes for the coming cold, wet weather. By the time im come home from work its splendid and bright and the night comes vaulted with many stars, sunset over the water that brief electric magenta and in the mad little kitchen red wine and talking about family and self-actualization. I blurt an old dream, the dream I carried from a very young age of how my life would unspool, red wine and a porch in some college town, annie hall gets her groove on. And now its far more country mouse, my dream.

My boys are gentle and good and they have this preserve and protect feeling for me that I never thought id earn from anyone. Spending time with my sister yesterday was like time spent in that alternate universe I spoke of recently. International finance, just the right shoes, we all know im the superior animal so lets cut to the chase and this is how its gonna go right now lifestyle that hovers above mine like some gated cloud city and allows her to suggest with absolute impunity and no snark at all that I perhaps try out for the job advertised on printer paper taped to the pizza box on the way to the lakehouse. Her one daughter the exacting medical resident and the other a housewife of orange county in the larval state. I stand sometimes on the doorstep to that world wherein im told the dogs eat one another (in my world they sleep on the bed and lay around in front of the fire or the fan), and am never jealous of the benefits that corporate lifestyles provide. She and I , its like shirts against skins, cowboys and indians, thundergods vs. underdogs, and I realize that she, too, has to make that trip to the front step every time she sees me, she has to take the elevator down and spare me the details of a world im not focused enough to comprehend. I would only see beauty and suffering from such a great height, and thats not conducive to the bottom line. But im proud of her, for being who and what she wants to be, and I find myself yesterday and today suddenly falling through some soft spots in the road, the water pricking and pressing behind my eyes, my heart draped in a funny little ache that im sure most of us are so good at keeping at bay. Im moved by her determination and success, but I always end up turning away toward my own little life in the valley, watching the clouds and the trees and the birds sing a language I can understand.

Saturday is sulphur yellow mother color on the spectrum towards novembers topaz crone. Paused aside on the stubblefield verge, dry spiny harbinger of earth sleep the automatic windows and little kids waving in the back and im the hippie yokel with the honeybee dance of directions to the chicken dinner, or the trap shoot. I kick the spaulding walnuts into the road for the autos to open. I find a steeringwheel in the road like an omen; rose thicket bears fruit, thistles earn their wings and there are apples on the ground. Hawks call out caches and coordinates, the bees baptized in rivers of goldenrod. Two tiny snails napping in the petal folds of a sweetpea flower. The fox spoor is full of seeds.

#6: Making the Yellow Light. Text in the description given as “beating the pack.” the pioneering spirit. Briefly leaving the gravity of the crowd. One of those firehouse sirens that last long enough to get the poodles howling and I always feel like that woman in Babe who runs the hotel. Take off on Chanticleer to scout the situation and im swept up in a determined peloton of cyclists taking the hill out of town turning around half-way, coasting down in my raggedy skirt with which I dried the dishes and I think im going to switch to the rootbeer free spirit I got from my grandmother. Needs a nice mennonite basket. #6: The Joy of Self / Self-Acknowledgement. Self-Acknowledgement as the basis for so many other joys. We view ourselves with the same eyes we view the world. Divinity, Ally, Blood Relation. I guess I beat the pack by heading the other way. Unobstructed Soul Parade.
The glued wound, I believe, will develop a cleft into my fingertip, no rest from w or s, dishes and knitting. There goes my lead guitar career. The Ladies Mantle spreads and the rhododendron are still alive. We miss you.
Shekinah, Shakti, Shanti.

"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)