This Is Earth

This is Earth, sell your house.  Go on, do it.  Just see it through.  How will any change ever truly come about if you don’t sell your house?  There are many thoughts inside your head that are not true.

This is Earth.  Give away all that you own.  Don’t be afraid, just begin.  The rest will take care of itself.  How can you ever breathe the true breath of the world – drawn way up under your collarbones – if you don’t give away all you own?

This is Earth.  Release all that is expected of you.  Forget everything they want you to be.  Close your eyes and make the brave discovery.  Do not let the noise of the world drown out the voice inside you, the voice that is to be held by you, above all the other voices, whose speech only you can understand.

This is Earth.  Know what is home to you.  It might be someone’s face held in your hands, or the music of waves crashing.  Keep your path, and the feeling of home, close.

This is Earth.  Do you know what you must do?  Only surrender to the door through which you must go.

 

Wind and Rain

The cat sort of fell onto his side and stretched out against the cool ceramic floor, finding relief as he allowed gravity to press him against the tiles checkered blue and white. I could see his little belly rising and falling through the shaggy fluff of his hair, the motor of his purr shifting into second gear as he recovered from a long day spent seeking shade.

Shirtless and glistening with sweat I went back outside, guzzled a cold beer, and inspected the handiwork of my neatly-stacked woodpile with a critical eye. One of the corners had fallen and I’d had to rebuild it. Satisfied, I took a cold shower, changed the bandage on my wounded finger, sat down at my desk and dreamed of patience, the smell of fresh-cut sage, and books whose pages have all been tenderly dog-eared.

Just then came the rain, out of nowhere in grand voluptuous droplets, meeting the roof with an effervescent thrumming, so hard and so fast that I could not finish my note-writing at the desk, but instead leapt to the open door, not able to bear the thought of missing such weather for anything but the deepest sleep. As if I were witnessing a ceremony the wind sprung up, a Babylonian offering a prayer to an oracle. The wind came over the hill on top of that rain, opening its arms and raising its voice, it sprung up and refreshed me, stirring the cat back to life.

I smelled the breath of the world in that wind, a breath of earthy fragrant smoke, a breath like a thousand hanging gardens whose perfume must have inspired the invention of incense long ago.  A door somewhere inside the house creaked and slammed, and gatherings of leaves like colored scarves were disbanded from beneath the trees, shaken loose, and – like me – sent spinning. They fluttered, twittered, sputtered, and then were driven to the ground, one hundred defeated ballerinas, one hundred overpowered belly-dancers.

Awakenings

We can see so much more with closed eyes, as if in closing them we are truly opening them. We see our story, the story of ourselves, our human-animal birth, all the way through to the opposite gate. It’s not in color or black-and-white, but some strangely familiar quality of light, striking chords and nerves, born of the memory of music filling up our chests, born of turning over shadows to see what lies beneath.

This life, this breath, will be leaving this body in a final sighing exhalation. It’s all we know, all we can count on. Into a place transcendent of this conscious realm, we step, fall, go, return, are given, taken. And afterward, maybe this, maybe that, maybe no this or that. Maybe find something and hold it and let it go, maybe no holding, maybe no letting go, maybe no finding anything. Rain is extraordinarily bright, sunshine can be heard falling on the roof. The sound of lightning catches our eye, heard with something other than ears, tasted, yet not with tongues.

The narrow creases of our eyes become the hollow shell of a crab we once picked up and inspected. We stop trying to make sense of things, stop asking so many questions. All the stones hanging around our necks just fall away. The narrow path widens, broadens, and we can’t help but wonder if the earth might call us back like a mother standing in a doorway, waving to her playing children with hands of soil and stone, with hair of water and wood, calling us into safety, calling us in from the mounting darkness.

And, heads lifting, we stand. We stand and we run towards the light. We run, laughing, toward our greatest awakening.

On This Umbilical Earth

Gratitude and I had an argument, then went walking together, that morning when I felt a kinship with those turtles sunning themselves on a log.

The wisdom of not being industrious truly belongs to them, but I picked up a strand of it as if by osmosis or magnetism.

To cast aside all that seems necessary at a given time – a choice not to be confused with squandering.

Given, as is all our time.  Every scrap of it a shining gift, a new blessing, another last chance to take up a little space, to take up some room

on this umbilical earth.