17 April 2017

Hepatica today

There is an ancient Indian saying that something lives only as long as the last person who remembers it. My people have come to trust memory over history. Memory, like fire, is radiant and immutable while history serves only those who seek to control it, those who douse the flame of memory in order to put out the dangerous fire of truth. Beware these men for they are dangerous themselves and unwise. Their false history is written in the blood of those who might remember and of those who seek the truth.
~Floyd 'Red Crow' Westerman

01 April 2017

A Song for Myself, of Myself

In the 70s I spent a great deal of time with a group of people who were adherents to the Sufi Islam tradition, one of whom I was particularly close and intimate with. In the 80s I spent 2 months at a remote hot springs in the mountains of Mexico, practicing asceticism...mostly because I was in extreme poverty, although I wanted for nothing. I met three Gnostic Christians, two initiates and one teacher...the two initiates were preparing for their life together.
I followed the principles of Taoism, especially just before and for a number of years after Cheryl and I joined in union. She, too, was on the same path.
I mention these people because they are all adherents of different philosophies, religions if you will...and yet were beings of great peace and wonder, of celebration of the physical world and bodies into which we've been born. No jihads, no condemnation, no threats of violence nor judgments...
Be in peace and wonder, feel your body pass through the air, smell the scents all around, listen to the birds singing spring alive. Smile and fill your hearts and souls with wonder.
~A song for myself, of myself

08 February 2017

The "Simple Life"

The simple life is sometimes viewed as an approach to living that advocates a barren plainness and denies the value of beauty and aesthetics. While the Puritans, for example, were suspicious of the arts, most advocates of simplicity have seen it as essential for revealing the natural beauty of things.
Many who adopt a simpler life would surely agree with Pablo Picasso, who said, "Art is the elimination of the unnecessary." Leonardo da Vinci wrote that, "Simplicity is the ulti...mate sophistication." Frederic Chopin wrote that, "Simplicity is the final achievement ... the crowning reward of art."
The influential architect Frank Lloyd Wright was an advocate of an "organic simplicity" that integrates function with beauty and eliminates the superfluous. In his architecture a building's interior and exterior blend into an organic whole, and the building, in turn, blends harmoniously with the natural environment. Rather than involving a denial of beauty, simplicity liberates the aesthetic sense by freeing things from artificial encumbrances. From a spiritual perspective, simplicity removes the obscuring clutter and discloses the life-energy that infuses all things.
Some worry that if a significant number of people simplify their lives it will reduce demand for consumer goods and, in turn, produce unemployment and economic stagnation. While it is true that the level and patterns of personal consumption would shift in a society that values green living, a robust economy can flourish that embraces sustainability.
Although the consumer sector and material goods would contract, the service and public sectors would expand dramatically. When we look at the world, we see a huge number of unmet needs: caring for elderly, restoring the environment, educating illiterate and unskilled youth, repairing decaying roads and infrastructure, providing health care, creating community markets and local enterprises, retrofitting the urban landscape for sustainability and many more. Because there are an enormous number of unmet needs, there are an equally large number of purposeful and satisfying jobs waiting to get done. There will be no shortage of employment opportunities in an Earth-friendly economy.
A central and exciting task for our times is consciously designing ourselves into a sustainable and meaningful future, from the personal level outwards. In envisioning what this future could look like, it is important to not be bound by old stereotypes and to instead see the realism and the beauty of simpler ways of living.

~Duane Elgin         http://www.huffingtonpost.com/duane-elgin/four-misconceptions-about_b_937115.html

25 January 2017

A state of torpor

The days are growing longer
or does it just seem that way
with the endless frigid temperatures
trees done popping, now they're cracking
perhaps not alone are they...
Most small bird species simply fly away
from winter's harshness
while small birds like chickadees and nuthatches
do a balancing act every cold winter night
Chickadees self-induce a state of torpor
slowing down their metabolism
Yes, torpor is my current state
I've learned my lessons well...
languor, lassitude, laziness, idleness,
indolence, sloth, acedia,
somnolence, weariness, sleepiness
"the feeling of torpor lingered for weeks"
The white-footed mouse, like the hobbit
stays active all winter
but gets through cold spells by communal nesting
huddling together in tight burrows underground

24 January 2017

The Hut at the Shire

We have a hut in the wood, not many know its whereabouts, with cherry trees which blossom nearby and in winter the fruit of the highbush cranberries red in the snow.  Two cedar door posts for support, and a lintel of oak.  The roof covered with earth grows squash in the summer.  A little hidden lowly hut which owns the path filled forest.

Trees of apples of great bounty; seemly crops of small-nutted branching green hazels growing in clusters like a fist. 

Excellent water gushing forth from hand pumped wells, a cup of water splendid to drink.  Tall deer, does, wild turkeys abound.  Foxes come to the wood before it, all is delightful. 

The songs of the many hued warblers, the carol of the thrush, pleasant and familiar about the hut.  A nimble singer, the combative brown wren from the hazel bow, woodpeckers with their pied hoods in vast host.

Fair white birds come, cranes,  swans, pelicans, the lakes and fields sing to them...the mellow plain, delightful and smooth. 

The voice of the wind against the branched woods, grey with cloud; cascades of the river, the trumpeting is lovely music.

Beautiful pines serenade us, they are not hired; I fare no worse at any time than do you.

Though you delight in your own enjoyments, greater than all wealth, for my part I am grateful for what is given to us through Mother Earth.

Without an hour of quarrel, without the noise of strife which disturbs much of the world, grateful to the Mother who gives every good to us in our hut.

(paraphrased from memories of an old Irish tale of centuries ago)

Hepatica today