Middle of July

So many smells!

Dumped trash, coyote feet,

Squirrels and sharp squirrels and stink squirrels!

/*I beg your pardon. The dogs were typing. All wildlife is, apparently, a coyote or a squirrel. They were speaking of squirrels, porcupines, and skunks*/

July 13

Meadow grasses and milkweed blossoms!

The flowers are heavy compared to their stalks, a hundred blossomlets clustered together

And then daisies and black-eyed Susans next to one another, I think of them as Sorcha and Dorcia – bright and dark twins.

There’s something yellow and balloon-y in the meadow, too, low but bright against the green and there are red berries on shrubs without names and something viney climbs up something grain-y.

Over all, she reigns, Queen Anne clad in lace, bobbing tallest, nodding in the breeze to her sisters and to her subjects.

Have you ever tasted the root of this gracious, delicate flower? Have you looked beneath the perfectly formed discs of a myriad of florets, graced as often as not with a center drop of royal blood, below the intricately spun greens?

Have you found the taproot?

Tough as nails.

Stringy, strong,

and oh, so deep.

Have you tasted it?

She may be Queen, but her lovers call her Wild Carrot.

7/11

This was just right – a very early walk

even chilly enough for a snow-leopard cardigan

with humidity hanging cool between the bits of air.

I had dreamed of orange flowers, and I had wondered if they were day-lilies, and there they were, on our walk, un-self-conscious orange in a world of summer greens.

Now everything is back on track. The walks must be early, that is the magic.

I return from Right Walkies to receive Right Messages and Right Ideas in the Right Order. The spreadsheet of my mind is satisfied.

Very well, then.

The walks must be early. That is the magic.

July Fifth

We walked all the way round the cul-de-sac today,

The dogs, the characters in my head, and I.

They distracted me while I tried to count down from twenty four, a task which in the moment seemed terribly important. I needed to count down from twenty four while I was walking, you see, or else I would have had to do it after walking and that would not do.

So the characters distracted me while the dogs found mud.

There was something all tight and stuck in my hip, my walk was halting, not smooth, not dancing on a wave.

Not quite drowning in a wave either, more falling, more stumbling.

That’s all right.

Better to warm up the machine with a quiet walk with dogs and characters and numbers, slowly, on my own familiar territory

than to try to do it out there in the world where one must pay bills

or to not do it at all.

I made it to eighteen.

July 3, 2019

A horse-dog and a cat-rabbit were walking close at hand…

The sky is completely cloudless. Sweet Earth has put nothing between me and Deep Space but tiny things I cannot see.

So I look up, up, up as I walk and as I walk I am falling up, up, up into the Sky and the Sky is reaching out for me.

The laundry is heavy with dew, but it will be dry by the time I have to dress.

Maybe.

Maybe not.

Summer makes both possibilities beautiful.

July 2

Cool grass, wet air, mosquitos

Stop and love on the lilacs’ pods which wait for ripeness and wind to shake them free.

There’s a space in the yard which I call The Spinney — 10 points to Ravenclaw if you know that allusion — and it is not a Spinney yet. But it will be. Grace does not mow between the two rows of lilacs so that it can become a Spinney, someday, full of lilac volunteers and wildflowers from the meadow.

There are four lilac babies so far by my count.

“Throw the ball!” they say, “The soccer ball!” And so I throw the soccer ball and they chase and sniff and leave it there.

“Bring me the ball!” I encourage, and both of them look at me as though they love me despite my mental deficiencies. It is not moving, it does not need supervision. They just wanted me to make it go. #ThinkLikeAnAussie

To Some Extraordinary Graduates

“What do you notice?”

The first question of a Signum education.

Not “Do you know what I know?” or “Can you find what I taught you?”

But “What do you notice?”

Do you smell the wild thyme and sage and marjoram which grow over the path?

Do you watch with bated breath while those upon the path tread the belly-satisfying ancient steps of the Hero’s Journey on the Approach to the Inmost Cave?

Do you thrill to know that “thyme” from French, from Latin, from Greek, once meant a burnt sacrifice?

In these words about people and places and plots which are not real, do you find the comfort of Truth and the hand of the divine upon your shoulder?

What do you notice?

We enter into the unknown to discover its secrets

Not so that we can claim them,

We enter the exploration of secrets so that we might enter the other world

And thereby find a new way of being.

So that we might have the peace of a starry night sky right in our own soul.

Not to have the secrets, but to be the secrets.

The unknown has its own kind of night-beauty,

different than the beauty of familiarity:

a place of dreams and inward visions.

The call of the unknown is an invitation to imagining and storytelling,

Which we might refuse once, but never thrice.

And now that you have noticed, now that you have found what makes you gasp as the story unfolds, what wakes you up with joy, now you know what, so what, now what, feet to the fire, jot, think, plan, tell, meet the mentor, write, cross the threshold, delete, sift, shift, read, draw the map, write, delete, search, post, listen, exchange, find, sort, step off the path, bleed, sweat, weep — because if there are not tears on your face you are missing the point — write, delete, resonate, name the dragon, yearn, critique, receive, and hold in your heart that critique this deep can only be given by one who believes in you, turn around and encourage, step off the map, write, write, write, and armed with courage like a machete and with your battle-cry, go into the jungle you have made until all that remains are the beautiful bones — the granite outcroppings — the vein of gold revealed.  The one that was yours to find and shape and bring into the light.

All of you sport the muscles and the callouses of this work; each of you holds the grail.

Now turn that chalice in your hands.  What do you notice?

With grateful acknowledgement of inspiration by the unknown author of “Prayer of Darkness”

September 23, 2016

The Morning of Autumn

Do I begin from a place of balance?
Shall I begin from a place of balance?
So… where is this famous place of balance?

Equal night, equal day, harvest – yes!  
These I understand, these I celebrate, these I am deeply grateful for!

I can’t claim to begin from balance, stillness, all-in-order.  
But I can begin from a place of deep gratitude.  Here it is:

Thank you, beloved Great Spirit.
Simply thank you.
Always thank you.
I am grateful for this harvest, this privilege, this wealth in my life
I am humbled by the crisp of the apple and its juice, sweet, tart.
I weep with joy that there is food to give my family.
If I slice it one way, I see the star;
if I slice it another way, a quarter moon.
If I come upon Apple in the woods, 
some last sisters of an orchard hanging on with sass and spunk 
long after the farmhouse has gone to nothing but stone foundation
then I relish the bite and hard and small of feisty survivor apples
and know that my feast is shared with you,
with the Antlered One
with The Wild Family.
Yes.
From apple to wonder to looking into liquid eyes unfathomable
which say that winter is coming.
Does it always come down to that?

I think it must.
Even in the joyful throes of gratitude and plenty, you tell me that winter is coming.

Maybe balance is not stillness.
Maybe balance is holding the last rays of summer sun in my hair and the first whispers of frost in my forward-looking eye.

If balance is motion, dance, juggle, then I can begin from balance.
Gratitude and worry,
Light and dark,
Summer and winter.

Here we go.