Cycles, like the rise and fall of ocean tides, come and go. Obvious as this is, we’re prone to resent the fact, in favorable circumstances, to the point of illusion. Things and situations that reach to us through intention and struggle often become “objects” of devotion; we give them the possessive pronoun, while in moments of clarity, we might see them as barriers to growth––limitations on creative evolution.
In the archer’s praxis, we spend effortful time with the draw––to “get it right.” Focused so, we may forget that the draw’s resolution is found only in the release. More often than not, there’s residual fear as the new archer “stands” on the precipice of “letting go.” The archer might “freeze,” which is entirely reasonable considering the tactile sensation of the bow’s resistance––a wonderful potency in held potential. The fear has an inverted twin which triggers haste, and the arrow launches from a careless hand.
The whirlwind of tension that rises with the draw, is tethered at anchor-point––eye of the storm. For the attentive archer, a dynamic stillness can be here found. Its a fortunate encounter, an actionless instant––bud to bloom––when an arrow flies with kinetic vibrancy, with breath, with life; its profound to notice. On the Archer’s Green “there” becomes “here” again, when intention’s arrow meets destiny’s Mark.
In our August days, the afternoon Cicada buzz––the sound of southern heat––fades into twilight enchantments of the Katydid rattle. Rattles rattling through late summer nights cooling, then break into the wake of the silence––the dew-heavy webs strewn across meadow’s morning explain everything. You ought to see the spiraling arrow scatter these otherworldly pearls of dawn. And speaking of pearls, the Moon, as you know, swells toward another crisis, ahead of its fateful encounter with the sun.
Tended by a devotional heart
Your tender-strong hands
Wrestle beauty from
The blistered earth
A Joseph lifted from
The deep well of knowing
Set dancing as leaf and petal
Pollen-drift and broken stone
Hear the spectral banners snap
In the wind
Merciful green to the gold ‘n red
Your fierce eye keen
To the indivisible moment
Generous hands provoke
Fragrance and fruit
But in the deep harvest
At your alchemical touch
And our quicksilver is found.
Leaving shoes behind, dervish-like
You step through the hidden gate
Of your garden
Into the secret one, nearer still
Where everything is
And everyone will be…
Hear the tattered banners snap
In the autumn wind
Hear the birdsong you alone
You will entirely know yourself
As lover and beloved.
While losses to our orbits of family and friends seem to shrink our world of known relations, sometimes it opens us to the creative universe of the unknown. Our town bears the recent loss of a beloved friend, a son of Hermes, who nurtured a heart-full practice of and regard for the arts, and especially for those who bore them in trouble and in joy. Although he never let arrows fly across our range, he intended to do so, and his sincerity in this regard left it simply to be a matter of good timing. Along with others, I share a notion that he’s not done with us yet; that this sudden departure allows him to work and love in a more comprehensive orbit. Godspeed and thanks for the rain, dear friend; we’ll let an arrow fly here for you.
Orion stalks a chestnut fattened moon; his bow is tuned, his arrow nocked, he watches for the wide angle that invites the shaft of Ash home to the Mark––the One which only he knows. Shire deer drag their heavy shadows from the Autumn-thinned woods, into the moon-flooded meadow. Their obsidian eyes wordlessly comprehend the alabaster orb, as they breathe the intoxicating night air, scented with blended fragrances of musk and rust.
Bitter sweet October, you’re a melancholy artist who, stuck with a fit of madness, slung a bright harvest of color across the land. We’ll stroll through your galleries, remark on your genius, then misapprehend the blood price of your hand.
Archery is a visionary experience involving far more than the eye. Maturity in the art is evident as the student moves from eyesight to insight. As she brings more of herself into the praxis, the archer claims the range looking through the eyes, rather than simply from them.