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

12 April 2011

Letters from the Outside, #40

It has been a lifelong crusade against my Self, the part of the Universe that has been gifted to me for a brief moment in Time/Space, and now, as the arc begins its descending trajectory, I blink awake a bit in the Light, and I am lonesome. This is what ive been dreading. Ive lived in self-imposed exile all my life, and it was simple persistence which convinced me that any kind of Home was somewhere I would never find. I avoided the ache by believing there was nowhere for me to go, like a girl I knew in grade school whos mother died and she said, “I stopped believing in heaven because I couldnt bear to think my mother was somewhere I couldnt get to.” I perambulated my eddies in resignation so determined some of my teeth are cracked from decades of gritting. I flung my flaming oarless coracle into black-hole maelstroms, reckless in surrender to self-loathing. And im going to stop blaming myself or the actions of others because those haints have had their way with me, and I want what little time I have left to be Real. But all this knowing makes me lonesome. Lonesome for Real. Its like that wanting I get to wander in the Fall, but stronger now, and in Spring. I cant say I let myself really believe ill ever feel at Home, but I can at least stop hating the Away.

There are things to think and lessons to learn and Peace and Beauty to be found most everywhere you go, even if you go in some projected hamsterball of others avoidance and alienation. Were all just travelers, a spark of Light in a twist of flesh, and our journey, inextricably linked to all others, is also our own. My incredibly early acceptance of deep despair led to a fundamental ingratitude for my life that propelled my storyline like a smartbomb, print to fit and cover the base of a cage. And this sudden respect for the time it takes to write it calls up deep desires, directions the best of us head into as we fledge. I have been untrue to myself, and pay the price, which is my life. What I need to begin to believe is that what is left is worth saving, is worth being Real. And I will do that where I am. I will be brave, and wild, and kind.

True Spring, the bleeding-heart and the hollyhock and the lupine raring to go, the monkshood already a robust viridian mound, not to mention the hyacinth and daffodil and squill between the lilac tree and the creek that sings the season in alongside an unbroken chorus of peepers in the wetland. Evening with the wind blowing warmer and everywhichway, the buds pointillist ornaments on black bare branches against a deep blue and burnt papaya sky, the kind of breath born from knowing that the snow is over until another summer comes to its close.

My Matamorphs and Faraos unfurling already; how wise these motes of dust once allowed the right environ! This week, after the rain, ill begin the work of the garden in earnest, and tend to my Self alongside these terrestrial labors. We are object lessons. Our lives are how we learn.

Orion setting in the west, the handle to the Great Plow swinging widdershins, the icicle of stars melting and rising and pouring rain from the open gourd. I bring my attention to Sirius, and our Moon. T. is already around and about with the soles of his feet like eyes wide open to the Earth, constructing impromptu art installations from rare and mysterious gifts washed down the mountain; the understated elegance of ceramic insulators, potshards of wedgewood Phoenix and pale, raised, painted roses, the vaguely eroded-grecian-torso of a chunk of pink granite set before the trifurcated stump of a small tree topped with a rusted cribspring becomes some wayside shrine, an auspicious sign along the Path, that all things carry within them the Light, and the Truth, and the Way.

Our first campfire, a small affair in honor of T.'s birthday,  which his sleepover companions insisted on attending to with their fluids, before which I retired to the hoosie, lest I profane this secret (and decidedly rural) male rite with my motherhood. Monday I raked away the winters maple leaf mulch from the perennial bed and unwound some of the windows, and the breeze through the house was a benediction. 

The hoya blooms in handfuls and lettuce, tomato and brussels sprouts come up in wee helmeted tendrils splitting quick into chubby palms to catch the light and rise, and grow as only they know, and offer themselves to us for our benefit in the magnificent and natural order of things. Nightbirds and spring peepers and rain so fine only the ground gets wet the rest of your dry winterbone body drinks it in and you sleep in a breeze with no dreams and in the morning its half as warm as it was the morning before. Overnight, seedling emergence doubles. The thin magenta whips of beet, the sudden stout sockpuppets of french honeydew, all that life unfurling, shining sweet and pale and growing greener, stronger, with the sun. 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)