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

08 February 2011

Letters from the Outside, #33

I should accomplish a thousand things but for inertia. Its not torpor so much as this unusually welcome stillness from which happiness and calm emerge dewy and beautiful, rising up from the deep of sitting still. So right now im okay, not trying to expunge or redeem, just firewood and dogs and a little knitting. First of February we should be burning the Yule Tree any time now, Zuzu says theres daffodils coming up south of the Mason Dixon Line. These hinterlands just get deeper snow, snow such a weird space thing, fractal and numbing, frozen and uniting. Late january was a Wyeth, old barns and winter pasture and crows. Today I can feel the seed splitting, cracks letting the Light through, grass through the callous of concrete, heady purple flowers from a little brown bulb. Laundry billowed on the line and the smell of lilac.  Seeds in the ground, bare feet on the lawn. the dogs full of their dogness, so much to roll in.  But for now I crave carbs and sleep and sitting in a dark room drinking scotch and smoking cigarettes and listening to Steve Earle sing My Old Friend the Blues.

Theres a huge wasps nest the fall uncovered at the end of a maple growing through a lilac next to the shed. I have seen products for sale that look like wasps nests and you hang them from where you dont want wasps because wasps are territorial and wandering wasps dont want no trouble from no Big Ol' Wasp Metropolis. But what if you used an actual nest? I keep thinking the wasps would know the dead prophylactic for what it was;  sense no hum nor smell of life within its hexagonal city gates, tune in the presence of a dead metropolis, a sleeping Auroral kingdom, as sure as wed feel the hollow in our bones driving into some post-apocalyptic town. Does the vended grey bag give off some warning smell?  or is it simply close enough?  Does the wasp have an opportunity to Consider the situation, or is it so well programmed that a flicker through thumbnail sketches proclaims it not risk-efficient?

So strange this land ive landed in, so many quickly shifting geographies for the Hill Pilgrim, and now this clouds of cotton time, this february, whose snow-washed corn stubble turns to bright july rivers of sweet bearded wheat driving north in the afternoon light which every day now lasts a little longer.

Things fall to the bottom, and things rise to the top. I can feel the press of panic against the back of my breastbone but the meds are a broomstick wedged to keep the door shut. I read that to fend off the undead it is energy better spent to dig a moat than to board a window. But the itch of anxiety is scratched with the beating and banging of hammer and nail. Digging a hole, all one imagines is lying down in it.

Blue Jays, everything about them intense and inciting, hang upside down from the fruit and seed feeder. The cats who watch the goldfinch at the thistle knock my Kali and Ganesh over, shuffle my laminated Mary prayer back behind the gilted Icon.  the blue Phoenix potshard T. found in the creek slides into the Star of Horus, rattling the rhinestones in Zuzus nano-gourd ornament. The Lords attention is turned away from The Lady. The birdfeeders are a life well spent for the plush sister kitten cats, who prefer to watch beautiful prey from inside atop the toaster (which I only recently thought to tarp with a tea towel) rather than from some frozen vantage, uncertain of success and so far away from the feathers and the eyes. Its the game on widescreen for them, and nobody gets hurt, no slidey-necked titmice to return to the earth under a hill of stoveash which is ones only reasonable option here in february but ive been fortunate in that regard and so far, since this summer, have only dealt in voles and barnmice, which the Mama Cat must be sternly convinced not to bring in for fun and provision. She has no time for television, even if its a reality show.  shes out smelling for heartbeats along the banks of the creek, travelling up through the culvert pipe under the road and into the world of the hill the sun sinks behind.  the one male goes off in the other direction, solitary panther patrols up i imagine toward the main feeder for the lake, but who knows what woman hes enchanted to feed him wet suppy from the back stoop as a tithe toward his company. he must consider me, for i never do smell it on his breath.  

I found the hat, the style ive been looking for to eventually turn-out in alpaca. Its a chullo, and theyre from the Peruvian and Bolivian areas of the Andes mountain range. Doing a little research, I found that the chullo is traditionally made from alpaca yarn. So there you go. Theres several folks in the area who peddle the stuff, and im looking forward to turning out a fine woolen winter hat just in time for spring.

Ive been baking and baking, mainly muffins since Cowboy requested “something without chocolate chips in it.” Apple muffins, banana muffins, and today, cheddar jalapeno cornmeal muffins. After that though, im baking brownies and getting ready for the next granddaughter project, a brown knit rabbit with a deep emerald pinafore and little black shoes. Itll be my first knit creature, just as this last blanket was my first foray into fancy knitting, which turned out better than i expected and wrapped in a brown paper bag. I cannot believe you will not be over the creek this springtime, tending your apple trees.  sneezing. 
We Love 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)