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

16 June 2011

 Letters from the Outside #45

Daisies in the tall grass on the roadside the black dog trots through, emerging spangled with phosphorescent pollen and seedheads,a synecdoche of the night sky. The first days of june bring red clover, black locust blossoms and wild roses. The mornings are cool, and afternoon usually burns off the chill. Locust blossoms scented swansong shrivelling and the foxgrapes only foam along the vine. A genuine june day, insistent eye of the Sun beckoning everything up towards the Everything, I dig comfrey, pull the feeble seeded froth of spent forget-me-nots, everything should be in the ground by now. Iris in the garden unfurls, aubergine chrysalis surrendering into deep heliotrope lesson in transformation, fleur-de-lis, and the lotus of peonies, pure pink petalbowl for the golden consumation. The air is ornamented with honeybees.

The lp tank killed the Buddeleia. Everything else I planted is still alive. I pick rocks, arrange them in towers of balance and Gravity, shape and Time. I make rolls. The roses at the end of your driveway smell so sweet; I always check to see if the communing cup is otherwise occupied before I bring the heady scent into me. June is the smell of wild roses, earth in the cracks of your hands, and long-lived light. The first fireflies tonight in the tall grass along the garden, the sonic arcing of bats through the waxing to half moonlight. T. noodles on the old Hoener in the dark kitchen to “It Hurts Me Too” (Live in London '72).

Tuesday cold and drizzling, but the tomatoes are in and the strawberries come fast in garnet tides. Tomorrow I may be able to get in a lot more of the seedlings, starting to stunt and strangle in their starters of re-purposed tofu and produce packaging. Cowboy and I plan to espalier the tomato plants for optimum light and air, and to offset the probably too-close setting-out. The green sweater goes on again, and I shut some of the windows. The rain helps me to focus on indoor chores, the houseplants and the dishes and the floors. I attended my first sweat lodge on saturday and it was a liberating epiphany. The humid womb was a thoroughly unexpected and familiar comfort and, as in the beginning, you emerged from the dense darkness into a dazzling, miraculous world. Air and light and the woods that surrounded us, each environment its own magickal sanctuary. I look very much forward to going again, and again.

Wednesday is bright and beautiful, I plant out the rest of the tomatoes, a patch of parsley, and relocate more sunflowers before they too are tilled under in the gradual reclamation of the garden from a vacuum-abhorring Nature. I realize how barometrically affected I am. Like a sheep, when the low pressure moves in, I have to fight the urge, however feebly, to just lay down in the field until the light returns. I apologize, again, for the long pause between letters. Ive just been a little blank;  a sense of suspension, like the stillness before the wave breaks, that breathless pause before the coaster succumbs to the earths pull. The Solstice is coming, and I wonder if its worth it at all to plant corn or beans this year. Wait until july to plant beets and greens, and be satisfied.

Hard to express the sweet peace of dusk in the garden watching bats and lightning bugs emerge from their days seclusion, the Great Satellite, tonight smudged and blood-colored, rising over the fringed edge of East Hill, full in Sagittarius, despite the fact that by the time night comes to us the eclipse is long over and what we see is our waters god already in wane, and a bit after midnight it passes into the house of Capricorn, where things contract inside a formidable boundary when just before there was the sense of expansion that always provokes (in me) random emails to neutral and long past acquaintance, and the urge to talk to someone on the phone. Which, in my case, is passing rare.

 I decide to go ahead and plant a few rows of corn and beans. The brussels sprouts and cabbage go in, the lettuce, and undoubtedly whatever else strikes my fancy at the moment, sitting there in the fresh-turned earth (thanks to Cowboy who dutifully wrestles with the bucking, belching tiller to cut a new swath of arable land each evening after work) flipping through the card catalog of seed packets. My french melons have flowers. More strawberries need harvesting, and i watch with a hungry heart the progression of blackberries from bloodless stones to fruit that bleeds on your fingers, bursts on your tongue.

I do believe the sweat lodge helped me let go if even just a little to the cinderblocks I drag around behind me, inside me. I dont feel as heavy, as hateful, as haunted. I have been staring into the rear-view, and now its time to live with my eyes on the road and my hands on the wheel. Past and future might as well be fairy tales. I have now to take the breath, plant the bean seed. And working in conjuction with the world through which I wander, all things that are mine will come to me as day comes after evening, and the Sun draws water up through the air so that it may re-member itself and return to earth again and again to be water. We Love You.

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Blessed Be.

"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)