Just as when I returned from Seattle last time, once again, I find myself standing by the side of the internet’s rushing river of news and olds. How to jump in? Should I?
This morning I spent walking with Shadow through tree-shaded streets in drought-stricken Bloomington. We noticed that many of the little trees planted last year to replace those taken by strange tornado-like winds have died or are dying. The apocalypse is here, the unveiling, revealing itself as severe changes in weather patterns.
The GANG garden continues to get the water it needs, thanks to the team who cares for it, but the blackberries stand shriveled on the vine even so. We’re beginning to water the roots of tall trees. Every day I thank whoever it was that had the foresight to create a reservoir south of Bloomington, the largest in the state, now called Lake Monroe. But we must pump water uphill to get here, and there’s only one pump (with another being built), and the heat is stressing it. What is Indianapolis to do, or other cities and towns that don’t have copious supply? How long will this dry spell last? What’s next? An uneasy feeling grips us all.
Meanwhile, that internet river just keeps on rolling along, and I’m still wondering whether or not I can or should or how to jump back in. How to continue to point to this and that as particularly significant. How to keep on commenting when most of me stands mute.
Mute with gratitude, that I am alive, that I stand as witness to this extraordinary time when we are testing our true mettle, discovering just what we are and are not made of.
Gratitude for puppy Shadow, and for Jim who cared for him in my absence and who continues to work on various projects around here.
Gratitude for my son Colin, whose energy and vision and perseverance got the Garden Tower Project going. Gratitude for my son Sean, his wife Sue, and my dear squirrley grandkids who are, like me, glued to their screens way too much.
Gratitude for hailing Lucile, out on our walk this morning, and of deciding with her, to hold the garden party for Sustainable Indiana on the 18th August from 2-5 P.M. at my home and in the GANG garden adjacent.
Gratitude for hailing neighbor Mary, who yelled at me, “Welcome home!” from her car as she sped off to whatever awaits her.
Gratitude for spontaneous meeting with Stephanie and Jim in the garden later this morning to make a date for a Sunday evening work party to spruce up the GANG in time for that party.
Gratitude for being able to sleep at night, mostly, and for my new practice of concentrating on the flashing and/or glowing, subtle or strong inner lights that emerge at the crown chakra in order to return to sleep when needed, somewhere between 2 and 3 A.M.
Gratitude for my own sense of wellbeing through the tumult of these extraordinary times, the decades-long daily practices of both nutrition and exercise that have held my spirit in this body that, at nearly 70 years old, stirred my grandson Drew to ask, “how come you don’t look old?” Other people who are 70 look old!” Well, I told him, I am old, showing him, in one fluid motion, how the inner elbow flesh crinkles while the fleshy parts of my upper arms hang, and swing.
Gratitude for all the experiences of the past two weeks that I am still processing, even though I know that I need to learn how to instantly process, or rather, I should say, even though I feel conflicted about the very notion of processing during these times these demand constant attention to the present moment.
But what if, I ask myself, the present moment gains fullness and depth as the past is integrated into it? What if this moment, NOW, can be, as I used to say back in my 30s and this whole notion of “Be Here Now” was new, “the NOW can be large or small?” Can grow or recede, expand or contract? Like a focusing eye. Ah yes, reminds me of the dream I had when I was 26, and writing a Ph.D. dissertation in philosophy that came out of me in a mad rush, like a roaring internal river, of Nietszche’s eye as a camera lens, focusing, in and out, in and out —
Yes, as I continue on this pell-mell, loudly silent journey towards the “end” of my life on this earth, as I reflect on the chief, to me, understanding of “crone” as she who sees the rise and fall of forms, who encourages and feels at one with the processes of birth and death, growth and decay, breathing in and breathing out. And I wonder: does this in-breathing/out-breathing rhythm percolate through all the dimensions? Or is just a feature of this one, this 3-D illusion in which polarity is everything and position — either pro or con, good or bad, in or out, true or false — must be, ultimately, transcended.
And I wonder, too, about my childhood recognition that fighting over whose “god” was the right one was downright silly, if not pernicious. And my much later sense that whoever “god” is, he’s (or she’s) local, not all that big or important in the vaster scheme of things.
And my more recent sense that this “god,” whoever s/he is, is probably some off-planet being that put earth-bound humanity in a trance thousands of years ago, with instructions to “obey me or else.”
So I’m out of that trance. Or am I?
At the wedding I attended in California, marvelous in its own way, we were in a Catholic church, where the painted icons stared down at us and all of them looked depressed. And the ceremony was of course, Catholic, too.
At the very beginning, the priest intoned, “Let us now speak of our sins.” What?
And later on, these words, “Lord, we are not worthy.” Again, what?
My sisters and brothers and I were all sitting in a row towards the front of the church. Simultaneously, several of us turned to the one next to us and said, “You are worthy, we are all worthy,” and passed it down the line. It was as if we held hands at that moment, all of us, in our new knowing that indeed, we are worthy, that we have always been worthy, and, furthermore, frankly, to hell with what you call our “sins.” You priests, you pedophile priests, have shown us what real sin is. We thank you. Your cruelty and hypocrisy woke us up from the trance.
At Mount Saint Vincent’s, which reminded me of the wonderful old movie “King of Hearts,” there is a tiny old woman who moves slowly down the hall with her walker, singing, over and over again, “I wonder as I wander . . .” There is a light in her eyes. She is happy.