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

25 January 2012

Letters from the Outside, #54

I love the blue nights of a late second quarter Moon. The days fluctuate wildly from mud to several below. The tree has been unornamented and waits a proper Viking funeral between the shed and the wheelbarrow. The calendar ticked imperceptibly into a new solar year, one gifted with an extra day to help even the odds. I have always been fascinated with the idea of being born on The Leap Day, aging technically one year for everyone elses four. The tide reaching its flood to full and drawing me along with increased fervor and industry, a welcome friction from what seemed some interminable desert of entirely barren and mesmerizing dunes.

A dry, balmy day sees me down the road in one less layer than I probably should be, ignorantly exuberant in the alien weather. Its when im walking that I feel what it must feel like to be human, as when im dancing I feel a spirit coalesced into flesh. The sunlight changes everything; when it runs to earth unencumbered everything is bathed and unified, and when the wind veils it in dense parades of vapor each piece into self-focus recedes, moving through the aperture of our awareness from the Source. Miracles are germinated likewise in the great plains of Soul and rise through us, true phenomena, channeled Light.

The wind roars on the far side of the valley and the Sun runs a golden crust along ours. The cells dilate, the heart buoyant momentarily. A vertebra from the deer whose bones I wrote were turning into road offered itself to me today, spared somehow from the mower and general decay, transverse processes elegant and intact, the body an evident valentine heart shape and the arches especially long, fine and curved, as to resemble wings. Its a fine sign after shattering the inherited crystal bowl, whos loss was so deep I didnt realize it for a few days afterward, and I havent yet released myself from the regret. There is snow at last to last to spring, cold as cold can be around here but it cuts down on the mud, which has its own devoted season, or used to.

Im writing this bit on the day we've set aside in celebration of a man reviled while alive (better him than palefaced slave-holders and white perpetrators of genocide) and I was writing to a friend about a frank o'hara poem going on about “...the idea of an undercurrent, real, true, meaningful things happening just beneath our distracted reality facsimulation...the quotidian struggles, the titanic, original forces. how the meta and the physical overlap to create the shifting, shitting spectre of man...

...i tend to view the physical world, its denizens, as transubstantiated symbols. blood and body, bread and wine. you, i, the ocean rising into clouds, the cornfields with their countless sweet embryos. its all something else, something greater,” and I remembered a quote by the good reverend himself: “Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.” Heavy on the aldo leopold and william james lately.

Already half-way through january, four months to see through til the last frost date, but even that is receding toward the equinox. Tuesday night the wind is roaring and I cannot sleep. These, the kind of nights my soul craves a-roaming, wrapped in the brown cloak and shod in the seven-league boots, standing and striding by turns through copses and meadows, mingling in the powerful magic of heavy weather. There is much to learn on a night like this.

In my dream I dreamed it was my birthday, and I was loved. A ways from shore a little rowboat made its way along to land and the people disembarking, once estranged, again opened their hearts to me. And a channel and a sweatlodge and im ready to turn my lead box into a hollow bone. The more it opens, I feel the creature-fear rising, and this fear assures me im on the right track. The fear calls for a great flood of Light to clear the space, to dissolve the fear into love, a vital transubstantiation. But rebirth is no less a struggle than the first.

Well, the snow didnt stay, and the damp desolation seems unnatural and grim. Ill take hard -going in the deep duvet of the late-january snow over the cold mud and colorless skies of some weak nuclear winter.

I was blessed to be in some woods when there was a good cover of snow and I followed the soft arrowheads of rabbit tracks and they led me down the hole. Hawks and crows crying out over and in among the high bare branches sketching out old Raven in a Navajo blanket, facing west. Unclosed just that little bit, and my whole center of gravity rolls like a raindrop to the tip of a long lanceolate leaf and pauses there and offers the view from a telescope the other way around, small and far away until its returned to the Earth, blending with everything. Only the roads retain enough cold to keep the snow on them. Everything is pale and frozen and exposed, the hard wind funnels through the valley and roars across the highground.

We love you.

24 January 2012

18 January 2012

04 January 2012

for golden boy, at seventeen.

(birthday, michael stipe).
"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)