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

31 March 2011

Letters from the Outside, #38

Bellyache, maybe the spectre of something i successfully parried with last falls flu shot.  who knows what else they put in there.  but grief settles in the lungs and anxiety sits in the belly like bones.  i think i said that before.  so theres this ache set under my rib-bones, hostage of my diffidence, my rabbit-mind.  deeper down they tell me there be cells fomenting a mutiny.  the goldfinch at the feeder is complete in its light-half transformation.  not the goldenrod of summer courting, but each feather bone filled with serum to carry the current for color.

The first law of thermodynamics says energy can neither be created, nor can it be destroyed.  the Whole Thing shifting and churning, everything expanding away to converge.  but expand into what if It is all there is?  Life expends energy.  everything sheds light, cells, fumes.  weve built our culture from the molten bones of the Old Gods, now reaping their vengeance.  Something about the earthquake in Japan causing a wobble that lengthens the terrestrial day.

 i patter and bang on the djembe with the intent of casting out some of these haunting squatters but i dont think the style is right.  my instincts -- in my middle life i begin to allow them their "still and quiet voice within" -- indicate something Arctic, Boreal.  the dry hide of a reindeer stretched over the outer ring of Evergreen, or Birch, or even Ash.   struck with a blunted stick or a wingbone like a bodhran or the drum of some Sami shaman.  im getting my fathers banjo restored, and will play it wearing safety glasses if i have to.

Ego is a drug, is an addiction.  It --we use it-- validates and magnifies our Fear.  Love and Fear cannot exist in the same place at the same time.  And all our choices come down to that dichotomy:  Love or Fear.  From which spring do we choose to drink?  For the great majority of us, Ego is a deeply ingrained habituation, which we are all infinitely stronger than, but its imprint upon us from the start, its intrusion and stealth, makes it like the river for a fish or the forest for a tree.  Inextricably interwoven.  A package deal.  But thats simply untrue.  Days old, an elephant is chained by the leg to a log it cannot drag.  As the elephant grows, only the size of the shackle must grow with it.  the log need never change.  the creature believes it is immovable, implacable, ultimate.  The weight of the log is an illusion now, maintained faithfully by the creature itself.
and only one step forward would set it free. 

"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)