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

31 August 2012

Thank You to all my Guides, Guardians, Family, Friends and the Angels.
Thank You to Zuzu, Sister Mother, Brother Amos, Aughty-Aught and my Center of Gravity.
Thank You.

30 August 2012

 "The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown.
His scepter shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings.
But mercy is above this sceptered sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings;
It is an attribute of God himself;
And earthly power doth then show like God's
When mercy seasons justice."

23 August 2012

 Notes from Late July and Early August

Saturn steady and strong in the west, late evening, fireflies high in the canopy of the oaks. Golden digitalis VanGogh stubblefields and deep green swords of feedcorn, most just now flirting their pistilled kerchiefs, everything half-size.

Heavy-magick summer evenings with the roar of the wind and the cricket trill and the heat lightning and all the stars. Savored my first Peacevine tomato today from a volunteer growing between the beans and the birdhouse gourds, the sudden, sweet-earth egg-sac sensation in your mouth when you split the skin. The creek on our side still cradles a few wee pools full of frogs and water-walkers; across the street its an arroyo. What little rain came doesnt seem enough, here on the tatted edge of this years drought. Im keeping things alive using what water im willing.

Took a walk down the old farm dirt road, saw Cherry Hill from behind the fenceline, the cool green groves from afar. Tectonic shifts in my life, light rising up, things falling through. But the omens are auspicious and my hope is high.

That protracted relentless living mirage desert of days came to a close with the void-of-course Dark Moon a fortnight ago, and its been a gentler, tempered heat and some rain, evanescent early morning downpours. So things dont seem so harassed anymore, and it shows in the growth, a hydrated green release. And the days and evenings are blessed with hymns of wind, scented with rain, fine weather for sleeping, regardless of this feeling of something having dropped anchor through the core of me, of dragging through the days. Things go unharvested.

Lughnasadh (John Barleycorn is Dead! Long Live John Barleycorn!) Full Moon in Aquarius, bread, butter and spirits for the Faeries, a little fire, even if its just a covey of flames. Something small to signify my conscious participation in the great Turning of the Wheel. The Hoya blooms profusely.

I find my mood reflected in this oscillating weather, a cumulonimbus sky giving way to grey flannel and back to blue over and over through the days, until the last day of july and the sky lowers and the lightning cracks the grim skin of clouds for less than a second before that great sonic report that characterizes deep summer thunder startles in its invisible immanence. It all makes beautiful sense: why wouldnt we be affected by barometric shifts if we are indeed three-quarters water?

August will no doubt begin that stretch of restlessness that cobbles into the month of September and finds itself at the end of a crepuscular road in October, bringing itself in for the long rest of winter behind the creamy yellow light of windows watched from the night outside.

Travelled down to a lake further on where merry bands were playing and I twirled in circles around beautiful Brother Amos and around me, a pale, red-haired, cornflower frocked little girl step-danced in wee black-ribboned slippers with fierce precision, her arms locked by ancient decree, and me inside her orbit, knees bent, hips shifting, old, long arms everywhere like snakes, or the story of water.

It was beautiful there, the little ewok bridges and narrow wooded paths, the light on the water and the clouds all gold and peach marmalade in the maxfield parrish western evening sky, and to the east, the crazy blue of storm weather that only asperged us briefly and passed on by. Everyone was friendly, and happy, and smiling, mothers nursing their babies and a blue heeler and a woman who hooped with fire.

I talked moth pheromones and Mayan temples and at dusk had a real lemonade that was perfect.

22 August 2012

the new theme song.
"and if there's something that you want to hear, you can sing it yourself."

25 July 2012

lodge fire

14 July 2012

so happy to find the latest one after so long.
my heart gets so wide open.
blessed be.
(drat the ads)
Letters from the Outside, #61

Fireflies in the lilac bushes. Seafoam oat fields, shining wheat. Flocked mullein leaves, daisies and wild pea vine along the roadside. Galactic maps of linden buds. The catalpa blooms and the grass is tall in Avalon. No surer sign of summer than day lilies and chicory and knapweed. In september I will have lived here six years.

Butterflies drink from the echinacea, red pollen sacs amassing on the hindlegs of bees. This strong sudden breeze is a blessing, a benediction. Tinfoil pans bang on tomato cages. I plucked calendula petals today, to use in a balm. The pumpkins and the volunteer squash have cross-pollinated and I dont so much mind pulling up the squash as I fear for what its done to my pumpkins.

I sit here and listen to the wind moving through the trees. Everything in the garden except for the chamomile, calendula, crucifers and beans is at least half the size it should be. You drive around the cornfields here, and you see how stunted even the corn grown by People Who Know What Theyre Doing is, some of it barely clearing a foot this late in july. When youve been looking at things from up very close for awhile and then set your gaze on the sky and the clouds you can feel the miraculous clockwork of your eyes moving, your mind expanding to take in so much space.

I spend a great deal of my days pulling weeds with a spade and breaking the earth away from the roots of the weeds with my hands, inch by inch. The straw ive managed to put down helps keep the ground around the slow-growing plants cool and loose. Its impressive how hot the earth can get otherwise, like beach sand. The sky is a vast blue sheep pasture during the day, and a twinkling glimpse into the marvel of the universe at night. I think of the threshold season mornings when topographic alchemy performs her magick on the damp vapor trapped in the valley and ices the open air not very far above the ground, from where it appears this dense, luminous fog and from the high roads and ridges an opaque, undulating coverlet.

I have not been walking as the roadside enjoys a south-easterly exposure for most of the day and the recent heat is prohibitive, even early in the morning. I have not been to see the chestnuts being born, reveled in the smell of the black locusts, been delighted by the scarlet tanagers and indigo buntings, stilled by the coven of crows among the oaks. Instead I pull up weeds and lay down straw and wonder what fruits these dwarved flora will bear, taking breeze-blessed breaks under the maple listening to the wind roll through the far, tall trees which sounds so much like the shore of the ocean. One is made from earth and water, one from earth and air. Fire has a roar of its own.

Ive seen very little at the feeder but finches in their admittedly impressive array, and the hummingbirds, shining messengers of hearts-ease and joy. Not many titmice or juncos. Just a strange summer all around. The lightheat is an imperious forcefield streaming in at your heart center, your own burning core, whereas cool moonlight is curious and fey, dancing gently into the pineal eye. The lawns are turning brown, but its been pouring in georgia and I wouldnt mind a few days of rain to raise the table and slake the earths thirst.

Back across the bridge, thirty-eight geese at the pond along the river and beside the fen to play at gods and hatch and fly away. These river stones across the seasons, always different in their moments and incarnations, but always the same, like a moonrise or a sunset, a spiral of becoming, rising and returning and passing away.


I stand facing into the wind and gently shake a corn stalk to bless myself with its pale, scented pollen. The ears are emerging, and I hope the generous falls of visceral pink silks announce cobs of sweet seed larger in proportion to their spires. Will all the fruits and grains and vegetables be runted? The eternal optimist, I think, perhaps these smaller specimens will be concentrated in their flavor, hard won under this unrelenting sun.

The wasps are building a nest in the cow skull on the table where I sit beneath the maple tree, so I move to the shade of the leaning spruce to read a letter (when I opened the mailbox to receive it a butterfly fluttered out. The world is full of such encouraging portents) and watch the garden cope with another days ample portion of summer light and heat. The round bales along the road shine in their plenty.  Whatever else, its been a banner year for hay.

I discover three grand, heady, sweet strawberries waiting to be thoroughly enjoyed in the grassy patch in the corner of the garden. Just the smell of them reaffirms my faith in the world conspiring to make of me a wiser, wilder, happy woman. This letter composed, as always, over many many days, little notes taken along the road. And that road winds along into all the future nows until we find ourselves across the creek from each other, waving neighborly.

We love you.

03 July 2012

"Goldfish that are confined in small aquariums 
stay small. Those that spend their lives in ponds get much bigger. What 
can we conclude from these facts? The size and growth rate of goldfish 
are directly related to their environment. I'd like to suggest that a similar 
principle will apply to you Librans in the next ten months. If you want to 
take maximum advantage of your potential, you will be wise to put 
yourself in spacious situations that encourage you to expand. For an extra 
boost, surround yourself with broad-minded, uninhibited people who have 
worked hard to heal their wounds."
this week for libra, via freewill

30 June 2012


23 June 2012

Letters from the Outside, #60

 A blush on the strawberries. I take advantage of the wet weather to pull some tall grass out from behind the Roses. Eventually theyll get tucked in with pennysaver pages and hay flakes, but its a start. Its easier and more effective to hoe on a hot day through the encroaching waves of bitty little weeds but the big brave redroot is a joy to pluck. I spied, and thankfully failed to trod upon, one Tulsi seedling. Blessed Be.

 The corn rises every day, and everything Ive planted out has settled in, even the tiny Tomatoes hold their ground. Surprise reseeded squash flourishes in that delightful upright parasol way of it own, the pumpkin all accounted for. Beans and cucumbers in, lettuce red-speckled and joyful in their beds. But we could use a string of good hot days, dry things out, encourage these little spirits to reach for the Sun.

 Two men on the wayside, older, t-shirts and toddler bellies, practicing plein-air painting on a grassy pasture of sheep.

  Zuzu and Ratnik and I, some atomic triumvirate radiating light down the boulevard of parallel memory. the crazys kept me young, my greek boss from the diner I worked at almost twenty years ago (and hadnt been to since) recognizes me at once and says, “You look the same. How is it you look the same?” We make friends with the winsome young Buddha hipster behind the counter of the only sanity left on this old main drag and some woman is talking about armadillos and leprosy and he tells me about cuttlefish, and ive seen the same program where the creature changes color and slides its large, marvelous form between two panes of glass, inches apart. The Iraqui bodega owner skyping, carding me for cigarettes, and upon discovering my age, exclaims, “I hope I look as good as you do when Im your age!”

  A little lawn of strawberries at the edge of a waning metropolis, behind a house held down by tides of fabric and camp, magical old toys, and a Herkimer Diamond the size of my head, tucked in between the DPW sand and gravel barns and the freeway. A Zen funeral, the incense and the gongs and the chanting, people we havent seen in twenty-two years, one man from back then has lived his life in Palestine, Afghanistan, Darfur, some kind of cultural liaison, organized the reconstruction of twenty-three Indonesian villages after the tsunami. He drank iced tea out of my mason jar standing there in the little neighborhood we haunted when we were kids and spit the ice cube back into the drink. A first for me. Tall and broad and wild-eyed, looming over me and laughing as loud as I do.

 The whole weekends been beautiful and surreal, the drive back from breakfast in the '57 bel aire and I dont even like those cars but this thing is cream and grey and mint condition and plays “Beyond the Sea” and I give Zuzu the vulture feathers I was finally offered by nothing short of karmic circumstance. My vehicles been parked in the sun for a few days, and the pendant collage of a rearview finally separated from the windshield. Time for a change, time for letting go, dont look back. I take the weight of years off the neck of that reflective sentry like the yoke off a plow mule and with a little lock-tite, were good to go. Forward.

 The garden is starting to ratchet up, but I can tell where the soil needs amending, where its still clay, wet or dry, and I get in in my head to go out in the late, low dusk with the bats and the fireflies and put a dent in the pigweed and purslane that sprawl between the tomatoes where there isnt any straw. I see the difference the little compost I harvested made on the carrots. The peas are gestating. The volunteer squash is a wonder.

  The beans are up, as are the cucumber, beets, broccoli, cabbage and corn. My last ditch effort at germinating Sunflowers seems to have been okayed with the Earth. I plant out the Cleome seeds, late started, find more Tulsi and circle them with little stones, to catch my eye and prevent my lumbering from releasing their sweet, wild scent unintentionally underfoot. But some of that ground is so hard ive a blister in the center of my hand from trying to drive the trowel under the roots, to make them easier to pull.

 I look forward to all this a month or so from now, the corn forming those cool, rustling tunnels, tomatoes on the vine. Roasted beets. Whatever Sunflowers had the strength to break through. Marigold, Cleome and Calendula, the sweet nostalgic scent of the airy umbrels of dill, picking beans in the hottest part of the day. The pumpkins are grand. Just twelve bales of straw and ten more tons of horse manure this summer, and we might get somewhere next year.

 The nights have been lovely and clear, the stars closer every year. Its been such a slow revolution, but like the man said, it all seems so well timed. What great changes happened so quietly, how my life bloomed during the long dark.

 Tending this garden is some kind of reminder that moving toward the harvest of september brings you closer home.

22 June 2012

the friday song.

02 June 2012

Letters from the Outside, #59

 Hummingbirds in the Comfrey, at the feeder. Joy, pure and unalloyed. I dug weeds out of the corners and planted some Parsley by the rhubarb that has remained a poxy runt of itself since I planted it years ago. Set out some Zinnia, some Marigold, just for something to do. Realized the Trollius isnt coming back, and more needs to be acquired because the hodge-podge northern bed is starting to unnerve even me.

 What I really want is another Aconite, but where did I find the first one? Trollius, common and lovely, will raise the bar in that swath of flora, add a little vertical interest and unusual bright yolk yellow for the shade. If I dont get a handle on it, itll all go to Wild Violet and Lemon Balm. Persevere, Gentle Heart! Steward the Earth!

 The Lupine is blooming, and the haler of the two young Rhododendron sets out a respectable artichoke of a bud, revealing slowly, slowly, the brilliant edges of deep, wine colored blooms. I bought a single-flower “old-fashioned” Hollyhock (again) to set against the outhouse, where it belongs. By now, had things gone in my favor, there would be a great mass of them, taking turns to bear their blooms. But so.

  I sowed some Cleome seeds the other day, rather late in the game, and will see if I can get them to rise to their magnificent height by late summer. There are buds on the roses, and the white-petaled, five-pointed stars of strawberry blossoms are baskets for sunlight to fuel the berry beyond. Sowed corn and a companion row of Sunflower, double and mammoth varieties alternating, planted out the heartier Martian Tomatoes, the Zinnia here and there in the garden and among the perennial bed.

 Realized the place I set out Moonflower and Morning Glory seeds may not get the sun they need. But its all a grand experiment, one notch over from Play, which is the operative word in my life right now it would seem, the feeling I experienced sitting with a small circle of women last week seeking insight and guidance. Of swimming like an Otter in the perfectly cool water of an underground cavern, delighting in my body, and then the voice that said, “You cant swim like that with all the armor on.”

 A gift of hot, bright weather, and then respite of rain monday afternoon, likely to carry over into tuesday, but followed by more hot, bright weather, which is excellent for all the growing things. Balance is beautiful. And so follows a seemingly endless parade of cool, wet days, saturating the garden and keeping from the wee tomatoes that heat and light they need to rise. 
Now it is June.

 The roses flourish, and I think something in my rough handling of them returned them to their wild nature in order to survive; they grow in long, fine-spined boughs of wide open burgundy blooms instead of those thick, stiff stems with their huge thorns and densely doubled flowers. But what strange weather nonetheless, and the predicted (second) week of overcast, sixty-degree weather doesnt bode so well (as long as we can avoid a frost, however, I wont complain too loudly).

  Im learning slowly how to accept myself and turn, as ive been trying to for better than twenty years, to face myself, and see myself as I am, and not as I was taught to perceive me. I must be ready, for the Teachers have appeared, and what a huge and happy surprise. People who seem to actually see me and dont avert their gaze, and for me to leave hours of their company spent in intense emotional exchange feeling lighter and smiling, my shoulders a long way away from my ears, which is certainly not the norm for me. 
“Invite the Peace In.”

 These radical internal paradigm shifts are bound to manifest themselves in equally beautiful life changes, which I am most definitely looking forward to. This month sees me attending several rites of passage: girls celebrating their threshold-crossing into the sacred house of womanhood, a nieces grand celebration of her graduating high school, and a memorial service for a sad, beautiful man I met in first grade. Then comes the Solstice, the longest day, what ive always perceived to be the bloom of our sweet, brief acquaintance with summer here in the middle latitudes. A week ago I spied my first firefly right before a brief and sudden midnight storm, between the forks of lightning that clothed the dark in flashes of day.

  Cant imagine where im going to get another Aconite to mirror the one thats grown so grand over the years, and would help fill this lonely space taken over by Lemon Balm and Wild Violet. Aconite and a few more Rhododendron. Trollius, if she allows me to find her. Coneflowers beginning to craft their elaborate crowns, the Foxgloves draw down their spotted bells, the Peonies explode into remarkable heavy heads of pale scent, and the Comfrey sprawls on the lawn, unashamed.

 The preparations for your return shift up a gear. I can feel the waves begin to increase in frequency even from across the creek, the anticipation building, the joy rising. So soon now. 
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)