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

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
"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)