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

27 October 2010

Letters from the Outside, #25

Plantagenet Cherokee. The sick persists, but weakly. Walking and singing help a lot. Dance Party For One in the parlor, raising that snake. A difficult morning so I water the plants and wash the dishes and stretch, I heed advice music bears along with its tide. Full Moon in Aries. Late October, buzzards and crows, a cold wind blowing harder. The cattle are on the far side of the creek, beneath the trees, out of the open. The kaleidoscope geometry of walnut leaves is scattered and gone, revealing capillaries and veins dormant, stark until buds come with a rush of blood from the Earth rising. In Avalon, a golden circle of milkweed, a monarch fairy ring. It is a thorough cold that affords the Sun no quarter. The hearth is a Great Friend, the simple pleasure of warmth in winter. Sitting in the light of a south window, Coltrane, coffee, knitting.

The thick fog mornings of autumn with sunlight saturating the precipitate tulle revealing a liminal landscape, the mystery of further, speeding past small pastures in long grids of bare trees I can imagine the atmosphere adhering to my skin, the deep sweet breathing in of that refreshed air, the wonder of walking into what was some pale dream chasm only a few steps before. A day of welcome winds and sun, allowing for the bodys natural expansiveness, children running across the lawn as easy as fish through clean water. I construct as less than inspired lasagna and we all retire early after the first of this years pumpkins are disemboweled and carved. The glowing squash out there in the raining dark, keeping vigil for spirits beginning to rise, me under the duvet with a warm mug of milk and my books and a night of deep and quiet sleep and the cool wet morning the miracle of another day the long list of things to do that im grateful to be doing.

Paying bills leaves me rattled. Donovans Sunshine Superman too cheerful, I leave it to Randy Newmans Louisiana 1927, his honest, simple sound and the saturation of the daily details, the waking world companion to Knopfler, and then a little post modern raga to loosen the roots of my shoulders, the mist stretches into air the morning light round and wide allowing each color to be itself, wholly. The hills have gone to mostly mustard and rust and the bright brown leather of oak leaves.
The farm people have traded the old wild rose bush for a larger parking lot. The whole place seems violated, churned, disturbed the air leaves me in a sudden punch like coming up on a clear cut. The barns are haunted with neglect, the horror sinking into my heart like a piano, the umbilical dream suddenly severed and I find myself ennumerating its faults.
Worms and frogs wet blurs and bones in the road. Saturated magnetic sky blue amplitude rising into an invisible white you can only imagine in its reflection off the deep current of the creek between the trees. I am crouching over a culvert listening to water and rocks and I notice the red rabbits fern, the rose pink bells of germander. Gunshots, herald of november. Crows replace geese in the fen, the air is fine, almost as fine as by the ocean. Chestnut leaves rustle last rites contented and choose a few for my friend who no longer lives where this kind of thing happens.

Walking back past the place I cast my eyes down meditating on cracks in the asphalt between clods of earth like battle scattered entrails. In sun like this I gladly strip to skin save the animal bits forbidden and concealed the mystery of our origins we swaddle in myth and shroud in party-line hypotheses like their combustible engines drown the birdsong and the wind. The paschal lamb replaced by a faded stake and some surveyors tape to warn descending drivers of the peril of empty space.
Mumford and Sons. Water the plants, wash the floor, bake something. Walk outdoors and have it not be cold. Try to fill the space between my bones with light, recitation of the Heart Sutra. Breathing the breath of everything before me. They call me to take T. home sick from school, I run down the road to Sister Mothers and borrow the van. The bill collector might have me by the balls, but he wont ever get my heart.

"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)