Re-Evaluations

‘Tumultuous’ comes to mind, a word to characterize the departing year.  Grace was never absent, but the sacrifices made, the loved ones lost to illnesses of body and mind, the confusions that still abide––its a bitter, bitter drink to imbibe.  But I’ll raise a toast to the grim face of the passing year, to its liberating disillusionments, alerting us to the painful distinctions we cannot ignore; to its estrangements that made us strangers even to ourselves.  A toast to devaluations that left us asking what our time is worth; a toast to the soulful distillations of an alchemy preparing us for god-knows-what.  

When 2020’s hand was called, his cards turned up––all the world to see––in spite of the ill-will, bluster and balderdash, we found among us healers, magnifiers-of-light and grace, a new coin of the realm, a new language heard; its for us to speak and share.  

Here’s to that new language, here’s to learning the value what we have––all we have––this invaluably abundant living, breathing moment.  

In other words:

Kinglet’s winter kingdom––stript to the bone,

But this flame-crowned bird

Takes of marrow.

Arrows and Rain

Rain can spoil an archer’s day, while conspiring with a writer’s muse.  Such was tournament day.  Decisions taken, plans made, grounds prepared, practice and practice on the Archer’s Green, as our intentions, like raised flags, came into sharp relief.  But rhythms more comprehensive than these prevail––sometimes dramatically––and so the geometry of one possibility, with all the effort to bring it forth, dissolves.  Disappointed, we’re humbly dismissed from the stage, hopefully with a measure of gratitude.

In dreamtime last night, I was with an archery student beside a stream pool.  I began to remove egg-blue stones from my quiver, preparing to place them into the water.  I paused while we considered how she could take them home to incubate, but it seemed untimely.  So into the pool the blue egg-stones returned.

“Not only is there an alchemy of sacrifice,                                                                           there’s also an alchemy of gratitude.”

LettingGo

Dragon Time

astronomicum_caesareum_(1540).f18Our vigil nearly done; the fire embers drowning in ash. We watched the full moon go new, then suddenly wax again––a month coiled into 5 hours. We fed our fire on pine knots and burned our way through the dragon, arriving safely on another shore––the moon shared a few secrets along the way. I was worried about her, cut off from the light of her beloved sun, but in her red-pearl fullness, she was blushing with another light––one entirely her own. Somewhere near the heart of the dragon, I found that prayer is light.

Watery Heart of Winter

December in Montana gave me a chance to renew a brotherhood and walk some remarkable country.  The snowfall was significant and taught me new ways of walking. Returning to Georgia in January, the rivers run high and the land saturated from frequent rains; its a different sort of cold here.

Water, encountered in so many forms, has dominated my Winter, seeping even into imagination––into dreamtime.

dsc06360
Silk Ice

In stillness reflecting light, in motion reflecting the creatures of light, water seems warmly engaged in a grand affair.  With whom I cannot say, but an intimate devotion carries it through every conceivable state of being, or perhaps better said, that for this intimacy water conceives every state of being. Tomorrow I’ll bring this up with our Yellow-Bellied Alchemist, if he can spare the time, busy as he is, tapping the giant athanors we’ve been calling trees.

BerryMore

The sweetness of this past lunar cycle is unmistakeable, evinced by the crowd of birds that return each morning to pick dark ripe berries of the old Mulberry tree; her’s an abundant generosity extended new-moon to new––a marathon runner in the world of fruitful Georgia trees.

There’s a strong alchemy operating through the brief, Lightening-Bug-Nights of May and June, which enchant bitter ‘n red to sweet ‘n black––its a taste of gold (but for taste) in the early moons of summer.  O, to know the spell!  But this particular grade of knowledge is privileged to an understood rectitude in the patience of rhythm and in the ripening of need.  Accolades to you, fine Mulberry tree!  When your fruiting is finally done, you’ll return to the brooding posture of your own deep mystery.

MulberryPower

Speaking of sweet abundance in peculiar & prickly places, an eruption of applause greets the Blackberry Moon now ascending our stage; she’s got a tough act to follow.     

Winter’s Elixir

SugarMapleAn amphibic chorus has erupted from our slumbering wetland borders––Spring Peepers at night, and Chorus Frogs at day; their cold waterbeds a-tremble like mercury beneath the generous light of this high lunar cycle.  Daffodils verge on early golden detonations, while our Yellow-bellied Sapsucker flashes between big trees, busy keeping springheads open for a share winter’s Elixir.

Barren as our forests may seem to the casual eye, there remains an uncanny and powerful sense of the unseen.

NightSignals
Interstellar Conversation

By day we scan our landscapes and cityscapes stepping along a horizontal axis somewhere between hope and fear.  Step outside on a cold and clear winter night, and you can’t help but go vertical.  Some of our elders spoke of these night lights as campfires, where beings of the stellar domain gather to tell their stories. If you if ever get close enough to listen in, that’s a story I’d love to hear.