Come Join Me
Going to hell in a handcart seems infinitely better than joining with the elite ignorance of those who presume they're on for a visit to the angel bar in the ether. How can it be that we tolerate the essence of ego over integrity, where is the authentic one, where the grounded reality? How is it that we have put a gun to the head of community, in pursuit of self-indulgence?
Of course, it is infinitely more valid if we charge a small fortune for courses that enable wrong choices to look like someone else, someone who knows the mantra. Surely it is time to self-prune, to take stock and account for the present moment? Whatever your disposition, my handcart has plenty of room, so come join me on the road to the hell that is not really hell, it is not what you'd imagine, but then, the path to a constructed heaven is just an irony of marketing, so what have you got to lose?
“Everybody should keep some grip on childhood, even as a grownup.” Tim Curry
One Way Through
As spring made way for summer everything seemed full and lush, even the northern July evenings were slightly longer than the ending of Hey Jude which was idyllic when sleep seemed like theft of life. But there were dark tones in this summer of light. Why was mum so frightened, why were dad's fists so loud? It was a house of mixed feelings like the edge of a wave teetering near rocks.
Sometimes there was a deep silence, followed by absence. Baby-sitters appeared at intervals, young couples whose tongues were intertwined in closed eyes of desire, though not so much before I was given a cup of cocoa and soon sent to bed.
Our house wasn't ancient, but it was easy to hear anyone coming up the stairs, so I knew I could please myself in a wonderland. So I would throw back the curtains and marvel at the light, open the window and dangle my legs over the ledge. I was lost in the wonder of peace and stillness, dreaming of tigers, Sherwood Forest, and rescuing Alice from queens unknown. This was my refuge.
I sailed the angry sea
past dark resolution rocks
you are my refuge.
“Fierce eagles do not produce timorous doves.” Horace
45c and the road, straighter than straight, rolling beyond what the rusted sign advised. Blues, liquid, twelve bar, driving through this dry land. Paddocks hollow and stricken, rain forsaken for so long now, nothing holds in this dust. Crows picking the eyes out of everything that ceases to move, that cadaver buffet for pall bearers.
The gates blur in fifth, the barbed wire whispers strained songs of lament and I weep as I pass the delusion of hope trying to bale non-existent hay, the sadness of twenty bales to a hundred acres. And I weep for this place where endings complete and there are no obvious beginnings.
I slow as I see the spectre eyeing emaciated sheep. The angel of death eyes me and I nod in deference, better an ending than tortured horizons. I wave my blessing, thankful that the feathered euthanasia will ease the shepherds pain. In this moment the eagle is surgeon, priest and mourner, holding a ritual, taking death for life.
Sometimes old tricks return, seemingly of their own volition. The mind puts on front, suggesting that it never forgets, but it does. Sometimes old tricks are left in dark corners simply because their pleasure faded. And sometimes old tricks return, not by will, but by motion rooted in embodied memory. To once again pick up spade and shears, to don hat and gloves and fold into the joy of memories turning soil.
The joy of a garden is so primal, so simple, yet so profoundly felt. To rejoin my elders in time honoured pleasure is a rediscovery that refreshes my soul. Sanatorium, health-spa, surgery, clinic, call it what you will, it is healing in every way.
And that’s the thing, remembering. Remembering is a strange thing, a rebuilding, putting back together what has been lost though not forgotten. It’s in the word itself. To remember is to re-member, to narratively, even practically, put that past back together in some semblance of knowing. There’s a host of saints in my collection of dearly departed who taught me to garden and impassioned my green spirit. And, as I lift my spade and plunge in rhythmic moves, I fondly recall them one by one in this eden.
“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.” John Burroughs
To Feel Again
Here in this place there is a sense of hope. To feel nature making her own way with a lush offering is a sensual privilege, to see to touch, to feel, to taste. The divinest of lovers. She is there, waiting, unmarried, mistress to no one. Waiting for all to come and sit alongside her charming soothe.
There is life in this place like no other. Even in that rotting humous, especially there, there is an abundance of life bursting before my eyes. Even in the dry rustling carpet, tenants and squatters alike come to feast, to produce life and to surrender it.
This is a place to be, just that, to be, to feel again, to be me, to be one of, one with, this crowd. Here I can connect, be grounded once more.
“I can see lights in the distance trembling in the dark cloak of night. Candles and lanterns are dancing, dancing a waltz on All Souls Night.” Lorena Mckennitt
Moving, yet completely still within herself as night pressed in gently around her, she stopped in a felt moment and stood in what seemed a right place of heart. Her bare feet connecting the hallowed ground, she raised her arms to the stars and danced in saintly solace, this way and that. She keened for love departed, for all her loves departed. She keened for the unknown. As the stars passed her voice softened to a love song, for all the faces now present as she had re-membered them. Her eyes opened with morning warmth and a garland of dew.
“Strange how a teapot can represent at the same time the comforts of solitude and the pleasures of company.” Zen Haiku quotes
The brazier floats on tatami,
kimono and cups neatly appointed,
the smell of sencha wafts and
the steam curls upwards
so does my heart
with each step,
she breathes slowly
as I wait patiently
for my life to pour out
floating on tatami.
I haven’t read them all,
but I sure have read a few,
Socrates and Plato,
Nargajuna and Descartes,
Mill, Hume and Whitehead
not forgetting Marx,
and my, Zizek’s such fun,
they stir the moribund mind
though a little less than poets do
because Rumi stirs my soul,
but I’d rather learn you
than read all the libraries that are
because my, you stir my heart.