Thursday, October 19, 2006
Yet the washed up treasure chest eludes me. I don’t even have a clue as to what would be inside, but it’s that nagging thing, like the need to write that keeps me pursuing. Pursuit, but of what or who? Myself?
There is an endless task…. I have a very good habit of dodging myself…looking for myself in the strangest places…running as hard as I can to reach me, "she" suddenly veers left or right or speeds up or stops and I pass right through me… pass by me and left with not so much as a shadow to hold...
And she laughs….
Friday, October 06, 2006
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Excerpt from John Cowper Powys "Autobiography"
"We have to live a long time to know what are the important moments. We think, at the time, they are the days when we change continents, or hemispheres, or nationalities, or religions, or infatuations, but they do not as a rule turn out to be the great lumbering events. They turn out to be some little, tiny, infintesimal sensation...like Proust's "Madeline" dipped in camomile tea...that reveals to us the clue to our life"......."This tattered Euclid revealed to me that it is possible, even when the bulk of your days and the larger number of your hours are full of discomfort, to embrace a thousand essences of life. The limbs of the loveliest of women, the flanks of the nobelest of hills, the mosses upon the most marbly rocks, the clearest waterfalls, the freshest of ploughed-up fields, the blackest of rooks feeding in the furrows, the whitest dust rising up from the most ancient classic roads, the gleam of glittering sea-pebbles, the faint music of the dying away of the burdens of old ballads, the taste of newly baked bread, the feel of the mystery of things as you muse over your tea...to enjoy such presences and such essences of life and to do so in the scope of some negligible fragment of matter, this and nothing less is what I found I could compass under the spell of this little plum-coloured Euclid! Yes, I learnt from this moment in that littered lobby, smelling of acrid leather, sour sweat, and rotten apples, that our deepest pleasure strew behind them...even when at the time they are not consciously enjoyed...leaves of delight become enchanted with the passing of time, like petals gathered in an ancient pot pourri."......"And if they are always there in that storehouse, why cannot they be summoned up at will? And they can! Proust, with his impersonal Eternal Being, stops short at this point, leaving it all to the accidents of our way. But when I think now of that Euclid something comes back! Not in any thrilling rush does it comes. It comes quietly and prepense. But something does actually come from where that book lies in my mind."
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
It is clear and the skies are bright blue. The winter always turns the waters the most intense green-gray-blue. You think of gray as muting, but it isn’t. Not here. It adds a depth to the vibrancy…penetrating and vast. It collides in stark contrast to the tan-white sands and red rock. The outcroppings stick out of the landscape creating a strange alien-like world. Hidey-holes peek out for rats, rabbits, and coyotes from the ancient rock formations. The sage and goatheads grow up and around into brittle boney fingers. The cold air is sweet with the smell of last years brush and grasses.
Coming close to where the water is lapping the beach, I look for the high water mark from the last storm. This is where the debris is left. This is the best place to search for cast up treasures.
A pelican bone lies on the shore. It is half buried in sand and bleached white from last summers heat. The femur is long and smooth with small spikes at the joint. I am always amazed at how light they are. I have several at home on an altar in my workroom where this one is soon to be placed. Some are femurs, others are vertebrae, and pelvis. There are fish bones, small bones of mice and rabbits, and a few deer bones lying among the candles, rocks and beads. Each has found a place of reverence.
Why bones? It seems gruesome to some until I explain that I am awed by structure. We create within our bodies these complex structures. It reminds me of what we are underneath and the grander scheme of things. There is a beauty in bones an intimate puzzle. They are life and a symbol of death. We leave behind this bit of ourselves, although it is not who “we” were. They’ve been described as a structural temple for the spirit…supporting timber and joists…like an old cabin sitting abandoned in the fields.
The artist Georgia O’Keefe painted a lot of bones…skulls mainly. She found an intricate simplicity to them…a beauty that not many appreciate. Being in the desert, I have found that fascination. It is a sacred tribute of what went before. In different native lore, bones become a spiritual connecting point with a totem or hunted animal…a power source to be drawn upon.
Weaving beads about the top, I will add a pelican feather and place it on my altar as a reminder. Like that bird, my spirit is free and I can fly over the lake and find peace when I’m in need of it. I can dip down into the water and find sustenance in the cool depths and inspiration in the shimmer and dance of the fish. Warming myself on the shores of summer, I feel the wind in my hair as the bird rises up in flight, even though it’s winter. Even though it’s cold.
That is the freedom I find in the bones.
Monday, October 02, 2006
Lost things...lost people...moments and memories. It's strange how sometimes a piece of time that is so important in a special moment gets drowned in your mind and then resurfaces. A trigger point gets touched and suddenly you're transported thirty years back....
into a old brick colored Ford that is driving through a pine and aspen filled canyon in Utah at sunset. The Moody Blues "Knights in White Satin" is playing on the radio. It was the end of autumn. The seats were warm and soft. I was sitting next to this beautiful 18-year-old boy and wishing that this moment could last, though I knew that it wouldn't.
Driving back from California last night at twilight, I was again in a canyon, surrounded by pines and aspen...a passenger counting the white lines. It was raining heavily and the highway was a dark, oily snake in our headlights. My husband and I had stopped in Colfax and bought hot coffee at the Starbucks. The smell of the pines mixed with the coffee and the rain swept air became heavy, crisp, chilly and intoxicating.
For one brief moment the sun shone through the clouds just enough to light the sky to a deep, angry pink. A flash of the something raced in my mind...Terry, a song, and the canyon. So long ago, I thought. In a swallow of coffee, the sky had changed and the colors inside and outside of my head were gone.
The drive to and from California does this to me everytime. Maybe it is the forest or a combination of things, such as the rain or the smell of strong coffee on a cold night. Time passages.
The stretches of forest on Highway 88 (and 49, 120, 50 or 80) are beautiful and yet disturbing. Staring off into the thick woods, I wonder what lurks out there past the low hanging branches and the misty thickets. My mind stirs the witch's brew of images, words, and music, especially when I'm on the road. The whine of the tires on ashalpt, clicking past the fences and telephone poles all creates a music of it's own....he song comes on the radio. I relish the moments of now....."and I love you....yes, I love you...oh, how I love you."