In a powerful time on Earth, a powerful weekend is upon us here in Santa Fe.
As we approach the longest day of the year, towering thunderheads gather again today like waves, to break over us with the release, relief and the anointing shower of another monsoon. The desert is happy, yet still greedy for rain: hear the hunger echoed in the rumbling bellies of the clouds.
And at Buffalo Thunder Casino, another power will radiate forth: Amma-chi, a living saint, an embodiment of the Divine Mother, will offer Darshan, holding all in her embrace.
Darshan came early for me today, as I accompanied a friend to scatter the ashes of her late husband. He (and she) had been imprisoned by that box long enough. As she gave him liberty, into air and earth, I carried the beautiful wooden statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe (who had held vigil with his remains in the house) to a clear, level circle –a sacred place–amid the trees and installed her in a spot that seemed destined for her, set into the blanched stump of a Ponderosa Elder. And she and the tree smile there still, beatifically, and grateful as I for that place.
I heard the welcome of the pines and felt the eternal home one contacts in such moments, in such places, and remembers is always there, unchasable, ungraspable, ever-bestowed.
Oh, I get it… (again).
this pall of futility,
doesn’t go away,
doesn’t dissolve in the triumphant and undying Light.
There is always Light, and
it is always triumphant and undying…
That is its nature.
But it does not evict darkness from the universe.
So bright is the Light,
it does not even know darkness lives at all,
in the shadows cast by every saint
who takes a body
to chase and be chased by wave after wave that breaks
on the chiaroscuro shores of perception.
We can gaze at the shadow all our life,
until it grows long, as our sun sets.
Or we can feel the sun on our backs and make shadow puppets.
We can futilely kick and wriggle to be free
of the shadow attached to us like Tar Baby,
or we can dance and impel it to dance with us.
It cannot dance unless we do.
If my opacity oppresses me,
I need only change partners a while,
turn skyward and dance with the Light.
Our teachers are everywhere. They come from the neutral zone, pushed up through (and colored by) the compost of our half-digested experience and half-baked interpretations.
The blank face of your dying father, incapable of generating new content, reflects only the past, which it is now your choice to meet, forgive and dismiss, or to react to as ever, to perpetuate the self and the other with tradition and the comfort of a familiar prison. In that look you see judgement. But look again. Set him free; set yourself free. Could that be the hint of a smile? The cosmic joke en-fleshed?
Step out onto the deck, notice what leavings are there for you to interpret, like tea leaves. Through the lens of the Personal and the Anthropomorphic, every thorn, every branch, every stray turd is a considered insult.
Through the lens of wonder, humor or equanimity, this is the Day’s inimitable collage: Art, unburdened of meaning, on a post card sent from the Cosmic Center.
What of the adventures in Rodentia, you ask?
A friend was kind enough to give or loan me a mouse-trap–Tomcat, they called it. A trap designed to capture the mouse alive; humane, although the caricature on the packaging, of a sleek feline crouching to pounce, looked anything but merciful toward his prey. His eyes gleamed with the primal glee of the hunt. …An effective and inspiring illustration.
Another friend–who scolded me for pussy-footing around in some spiritual avoidance of the practical necessity of breaking heads– recommended buckets half-full of water, for catching and drowning hapless and thirsty desert rats. I assured her that, while I did not want to kill anybody, at this point, my choices here were born more of fiscal low-ground rather than spiritual high-ground: no money to buy prefab snap traps.
I have placed buckets around, but so far no one has drowned but a few winged creatures. The second night with the Tomcat trap, though, I caught a mouse. Alas, the event killed both the mouse and the trap. The little grey cutie had been pinned at the hindquarters by the tripping door, and did not survive. After much finessing, I was able to remove the poor creature from the device, which my friend had said I could re-use. But the maneuvers required to extract the mouse-that-was broke the mechanism that holds the tomcat trap in ready-to-pounce position, rendering it as unviable as his prey.
In the same night, the back hatch of my van lost its manhood. One day it worked fine; the next morning the pressurized parts that raise it and hold it up when opened just ceased to work. When I opened the hatch the door felt inordinately heavy; I could scarcely get it up and it wouldn’t stay up. Now, if enter the van that way, I’d likely be pinned in a manner eerily similar to that mouse!
Around this time, I noticed a raven hanging around the back deck, attracted to this patio-dining experience by the carcass of a bunny nearby. The presence of a winged shadow curbed most of the pack-rat activity on the deck– the nightly people-proofing work on cholla thorn berms around the stoop. I have rather enjoyed the meal-time visits by “Nevermore,” as I call him, even as he munches flesh and shits upon the deck. For me, it is just hospitality to one of the tribe. Since Nevermore was finding little left but fur for breakfast, however, it maybe that his patrol is about to end.
Time to refill the buckets, although this rainy spring is making my little oases of death far less enticing.
June 2nd 2015; observations
Regular and piercing as a needle on a bobbin, the icepick cry of a King Quail pulses and pricks my consciousness these late spring mornings, as I wash up –washed out—on the shores of the waking world
None of these missiles has penetrated, though, to pop the bubble of illusion or denial Mr. Gambol seems dispatched to dispatch in my psychic field. His sonic darts land in the aura somewhere, flaring in particulate awareness before dissolving like comets, one after the other, announcing the simultaneous Glory and Futility of all Life’s endeavors.
All is well and peaceful but for the belief that I do not have what is required to fund my life. I do not know it won’t come; I simply do not know how it would. If I think to employ anything to better my material life, I am oppressed by prohibition: No Money.
But so far, Breath is free, Presence boundless, Sunlight ample, and birdsong, as well, cascading through the atmosphere, insisting all is delightfully and perpetually perfect.
Would that these happy natives of Creation could breach the fortifications of a mind deluded with the disease of separation, this prison of personhood. I can feel where the belt is buckled, where the door is bolted inside my skull. Like the eye cannot see itself, however, my thoughts cannot reach and untie this knot, as a Kudzu vine’s new tendrils cannot untangle old growth from a tree nor become, instead, a honeysuckle.
Einstein said it in far fewer words; and he’s been paraphrased so many times, I am not sure what words he used, exactly:
One cannot solve a problem from the level of conscious in which it was created.
June 3, 6 a.m.
I sit down on the couch heavily, weary at day-break, shuttered in the dim, sitting to write, to channel the change of mind that comes if I skim its morning scum with my pen.
Too dim; something compels me to rise and open the shades, and there, waiting for me, hanging in a sky of dawn pastels is the full moon, resting toward her bed in the west, but not retiring until I meet her face, mirroring on her blankness, my innocence.
“I’m ancient,” she seems to quietly intone within my own bring. “I know better.”
She does not say “Hang on!” but on seeing her, I know I must. She has for me: an Eye in the sky with which to see this timeless beauty within.