It is the greyest of days. The breeze is warm and I start a fire in the morning just to take the edge off. The power is out, and I pull out my French Press to make a cup of decaf from the stovetop. I remember that somewhere in my camping gear is a percolator. I should find it. I think. I would rather not have to use the power variety, either way I have to heat the water. Is gas cheaper? I do not know.
I start cleaning, preparing for the upcoming festivities, guests who are coming allergic to cats, I wash every throw blanket and vacuum the furniture, I vacuum the basement too, because that is where I keep the litter box. I need a filter for my air purifier, I cannot seem to find one, like many things manufactured today it had an end date, and then you could not simply replace the filter, you had to replace the whole thing. Which brings me to another activity of the day, my drill/driver was not working because the batteries were no longer recharging. The new battery cost more than a new drill. We wonder why our world in such dire straights right now, even the things we can replace at what should be just a part of the cost and far less packaging must be replaced with new. It is great for profits, but it is unsustainable for the earth. I have at least two repair jobs to do with the drill.
I have been in one of my funks for sure. But suddenly this morning something broke free inside me. It was real and pure. I have this notion sometimes that awareness is like a dream or a dessert, that it only comes on special occasions, it is esoteric, it is fleeting. But that notion is not entirely correct, it is more like the waking world, a plate of pasta with meatballs, and it comes everyday, if you are quiet enough to see it. I have to learn to be happy with what I have. Perpetually dissatisfied, questing, looking and withdrawing. Then the gates open and the ideas are like sunshine in rays from the clouds breaking through the melancholy and turning the sky pink with the pleasant feeling of it. It does not pour in, it seeps in slowly. And then it builds until it is on, just as the moon is rising.
I woke with this notion that half of my problem is replaying this role I took on in the past. I have to walk away from that. Reading all those blogs, people telling their stories made me realize that my experience was not unique. But it also made me see patterns in others that I repeat too. I am suddenly so aware of it. It feels profound.
I feel a sense of joy that has been missing for a few weeks. I have been feeling kind of lost and really stressed out and uncertain of my future. I try to be meditative on my wooded walk but I have been indulging in both positive, dreamy thoughts and some negative ones, replaying old wounds, I keep coming back to trying to just walk. I stop to smell the scar on a big tree that has fallen across the path. It smells like perfume, I hear the sound of the breeze pushing through the dried head of Queen Anne’s Lace. I send a picture to the pirate, I ask him how his hunting is. Later he sends me a picture of the 9 point monster he killed. I go over and raised right I try the liver and onions he offers. I actually LIKED it! It was not as bitter or as gritty as I remember it being. And he breaded it too and I love caramelized onions so much they only added to the wonderful flavor.
I do not stay long, but return to make my own rich venison stew. It is bubbling on the stove as I listen to Joss Stones, Soul Sessions. The house is chilly, but clean and tidy the way I like it best.
Queen Anne's Lace Dried
I, tender, hold my damaged wing
Focus outside, focus outside, focus in.
the aperture clicks away incessantly,
how do you take a picture of what echoes, cavernous inside of you?
It is not the treats, it is the meat and potatoes
It is not the numbing
but the raw opening onto this brutal world.
It is not the raging storm without, but the soft patter of the rain within.
I fly over myself, I turn and turn,
eagle eyed, searching for prey below
and then in a breath
I am jumping mouse,
blind and on top of the mountain, at the end of his journey.
It is not the flowers that dance in the summer field, but the crimson and golden leaves, the bare trees, the small buds of before spring, the ambrosia scent of the blossoms, and then the thick green of summer again.
I smell the fallen tree
fecund in its potential,
but what is the smell of dying dry?
The dried up flower speaks.
I cannot tell you what it said.
But in a puff I understand.
I break open the egg and see that inside is not just the yolk.
The hen warms it,
she sees no change,
but then there is a crack,
and the existing life is revealed.
How does the hen know to sit upon her nest?
The light shines through the clouds,
the sun rises,
but without the darkness and the moon.
There would just be endless light
or endless dark
but how would you know?
How can you return to one, when you are already there?
How can you take refuge in the dharma when you are already under its shelter?
Recognize what is already there.
How can you search outside yourself for love when you already have it like hot magma melting the boulders in your life stream.
Dried Queen Anne's Lace