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

31 March 2011

Letters from the Outside, #37




Upon the Equinox. The dogs paws break through clear thin ice on the culverts running gravity's perpendicular. The Big Dog celebrates the water, however challenging the temperature must be. He is half water-dog, and I suppose it takes up the whole half. Blue Dog is decidedly highground, dryground. Big Dog longs to lope away in great concentric arcs, the wily deluge of smells rushing through him, his long limbs falling into some ancient and effortless gait. Blue Dog trots forward purposefully and slightly away, but always the return, the brush of a nose against that latitude of my leg, and away, over and over, the Earth and the Sun and the Moon.


The frozen edge of everything softens. For days the cellar pump has ceaselessly run, and it gives a kind of tugboat/trawler penobscot romance to the house. Me and my purple crayon...


Long days now, were all thrown off by seven o'clock sunshine, used to dinner in the light of a kitchen inside the outer dark. But cold, mercury hanging off the twenty line with admirable tenacity.


Canary colored sunrise spreads through the feathers of the finches at the thistle feeder. There is birdsong in the morning, and robins, their proud breast the banner of Spring. There are fuzzed buds at the very top of my young apple trees, pussywillow bunnytoes along the roadside. 



Commencing greenhouse operations with the dark moon in April (once it moves out from void-of-course), the tomato plants, maybe those orange-flesh honeydew seeds I saved. Parsley. Peppers, if theres any of those seeds lying around, usually the orange or yellow bells, some hot Hungarians. Everything else should probably stay tucked into their sleeves until Beltane. Could get the lettuce and greens going, those dont have to wait until the end of May. Some Calendula for salves and salads, my Matamorph and Cempoatxochitl Marigold garden sentry devas. Peas, beans, radish, carrots and beets will go straight into the ground. Less Chard, more Broccoli. Collards, Cabbage, Squash. Sunflowers, Hopi Tobacco and Corn. I think my Outhouse Hollyhocks will come back this year in the sun, and the Foxgloves in their shadow.


The light is so strong in the cold; atomic hope streaming into everything as we lean for awhile toward our star. The hummingbirds are coming soon. Snow holds onto northern exposures and the ground is frozen. Ragged flannel nightgown clouds turn April to February. Monday saw most of my chores completed, so tuesday seems the day I drape myself into the library hammock and read. 
Ceremony (“the greatest novel in Native American literature”)
Go With Me (“the most suspenseful, frightening, memorable and best-written novel about backwoods America since Deliverance”)
Inside of a Dog (“Enter the sensory world of your dog”)
So Long, See You Tomorrow (“One of the great books of our age”)

At the surface of the backburner stack are Fight Club (the first published Palahniuk)
The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos (“its only prerequisite the will to persevere”)

The nightstand queue holds translations of The Metamorphoses of Ovid(“from the time chaos is transformed into order at the moment of creation, to the time when the soul of Julius Caesar is turned into a star”)
The Real Middle Earth (“a fine tour through the mythology of early medieval England”)
The Bardo of Waking Life (“a magical artifact materialized out of a future dream”)
Thoreau (both Walden and Civil Disobedience)
Ravensong: A Natural and Fabulous History of Ravens and Crows
 No Time to Lose: A Timely Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva,
The Solace of Open Spaces (“Wyoming has found its Whitman”)


Still repotting in that burgeoning dirt urge, bought two more Schlumbergia 'cause these have different flowers, slender petaled desert flowers with scrolling filament stigmas, and came in two colors. Bookshops and Plant Nurseries. I suppose that accounts for the d├ęcor around here. Brownies and 1-2-3-4 cake. One of the orchids has sent out a long, thumbed stalk to bloom from, and the Hoya with its nectar weeping fuzzy compound flowers . Oxalis blossoms profuse, more evanescent and subtle than paperwhites. The Banjo as an exercise in conquering Fear.


One of those days you wonder if the snow is over, for now, and then they call for three days of it before a weeklong of rain. Everything is rising from its dormancy, but the heavy baffled clouds make the brown fields and bare trees seem more desolate and witholding,like November. Its one breath at a time, and I need to believe that theres something to it, so I do. 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."
-V.V.G.

"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)