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

03 October 2010

Letters from the Outside, #21

Rain. A hard rain, all day, and the creek rises. So I make a french press of coffee and play Yann Tiersen (think gypsy circus), feeling very bohemian and oddly content. I must reiterate the recent changes in my mindframe. Some beautiful shift in my perception of self, an enlightenment, a liberation. And I think this is the first relationship Ive ever had that has provided help and healing, not hinderance. I smudge, and pray, and sweep the back porch. I was driving in the pickup to get the Golden Boy and I suddenly felt myself an eighty year old woman, stooped back and small dry claws gripping the wheel, listening to james mcmurtry sing choctaw bingo on the satellite radio. It was a happy moment, really, to think id live that long, and feel at ease, and be tooling around the back roads toward the petrol station now run by the middle aged children of the folks who started the place when I moved here. Giving away my place at the school was a far greater sacrifice than I thought it would be, and returning to its fold is one of two boons I ask of the world.
Last night a very fall sunset, electric apricot against magenta, last lit flicker of lilac before some other dreamer rose with the sun. the lawns are full of leaves. Rain washes mud from the pumpkins. Rain rivers between the gravel and grass toward the road that goes anywhere. Rain that runs in the chimney. Rain that rolls down the dogs back. Rain that carries with it the breath of a billion brothers and sisters on this little mossy rock traveling round one enormous burning star. Rain that washed my converse sneakers thundering now in the dryer. Rain I long to dance in. I play music, that potion, that healer. 

Again to town today for sugar and tobacco, rain in the culverts spilling onto the road, everyone wet and giving off humidity again the basement full of water but the creatures fed and the sheets clean and Yonder Mountain String Band doing Girlfriend is Better and a walk later to see what time accomplishes. Diamonds, stars of the dark earth, burning to bright.  Last night walk under an ultramarine sky with thich swaths of stars some already cinders falling away toward other suns. 

Thursdays rain still running in the culverts, capless acorns in a rustling curbside of leaves and the asters are everywhere. The old womans mirrored sphere has been replaced by a plastic urn in the shape of a large paschal lamb. It is filled with mushrooms and plastic purple berries. Rolled bales like insulation for the windbreaks for an instant the sharp smell of ramps a winged messenger sent on the long journey to beckon spring. Tomato soup in mugs and toasted cheese. A letter from my Most Excellent Friend. The third sump pump vibrating the floor boards every minute and a half. In a pasture of morning blue sky grey flannel clouds huddle like sheep before cold weather. The smoke from chimneys moves flat along the air. The dogs and I climb down onto a wash of shale from the climbing trickle of falls and pools and the roots of trees exposed by water, the thin moss and leafmould smell and the good human feeling of knowing youre headed home. Climbing out onto the road I get the last mud between my toes for the season.
I am still knitting socks, may start to take it more seriously, use sock specific yarn, take the time to make them fit heel to toe. A great constant project to keep the monkey mind figgering and travels exceptionally well. Late start, dark early. Folding laundry, sorting drawers. A roast squash. How ceaselessly poor we are for the not having you. You and your dog out in the leaves attending to, the peaceful happy resonance of humanity, a comrade in the wilderness. 

Supper of slowly roasted sweet potato with butter and sour cream and salt scooped up over Rolling Stone. A little dish of ice cream for dessert. Cowboy and I will watch something weve already seen with George Clooney in it and then retire into a long night under the duvet with books and dogs and sleeping. The poodle rallies from her gastrointestinal distress. We sit and rock with dogs in our lap. Its a Quaker silence, punctuated by whatnot and laughter. More quiet concertina, and the warmth and glow of the room in the night outside and the sound of water, the smell of cold. Dreams of fish shacks and fine yellow houses. Grey morning gives way to bright afternoon with leaves falling like snow on the tall grass and I am grateful for the way things are, and the way they could be. We miss you.

"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)