Some Days

The hourglass spins on gimbals, tapped into motion by Youniverse. The sand spills through the wasp-waisted opening, which doubles as a Stargate.

Then we wait for an event, a move, a collaboration of time & effort to morph into change. Time is like a cat: purring one moment, snarling to slash the next. We can neither account for it nor accommodate it, yet we must do both. And for a lifetime!

“Time can be a false, flawed notion,” gurus tell us uninformed folks just living through it. Us folks living with clocks in every room, deadlines in every doorway, ticking on our wrists, floating on our phones, glowing from walls, towers, signs, devices, always.

I just read The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom. It is quite the study of time & its [possible] inventor. It won’t take long to read it, if you catch it at your local library. Once time was invented & people caught onto it, Time launched into an egotistical, demanding tyrant, the imperious ruler of mirrors where, incredibly, it allows no pause to reflect upon it.

Time swallows everything you can throw at it – relationships, possessions, childhoods – without a belch or a bubble. Next to Love, it is the most spoken of, talked around, sung of topic.

When Time dissolves in the salt of our fears, we will be polished to the bone & ready to move forward free from its hungry grasp. We will drop all the numbers, turn up our faces & fly.

 

Tuesdays

There was a beginning & there will be an ending, but I always seem to be in the story’s middle. The part where the beginning is so far back it’s not even a dim memory. The part where the future disappears into a great cloud of unknowing.

The sages tell me I’m responsible for my consciousness in all three zones while the pundits tell me get to the point! (Is there a point of “know returns?”)

Meanwhile, all I am aware of is the dailiness of Now; whatever changes occurs in this moment, uninformed or wise. But change takes place so slowly until, suddenly, it does not. Change accelerates & decelerates of its own will. Change dissembles, seeming to be one thing & then – blink – another! Both theatre & dance, stillness & movement, fractal & whole. A Trinity of Time: past/present/future.

No wonder we take drugs which alter time. No wonder we believe in unbelief as belief can take so long to manifest. Unbelief is simpler somehow, if less fulfilling.

The future is contained in a kaleidoscope where each incremental change brings exchange in time-space. Or is it space-time? How will we ever know?

I do things for the simple sake of doing. We all do, no? we spend money not yet earned. We exact wishes rubbing on an imaginary magic lamp. We expect the Youniverse to respond to our heart when sometimes our hearts aren’t even on the same wavelength.

Each day of my life, my life disappears; small bites nibbled from the timespan. I seem to be caught in its alimentary tract, inanimate until digested. I make a smooth contact, like a receptor into a brain cell,  then into light-life I spring.

The Winter Home

Farewell daylight savings time

Long-lasted hours of darkness

Cloaked invisibly about me.

Goodbye the sweetly dreamed

Brought on by heavy covers pressing me into sleep,

With only my nose exposed to brightcold air.

 

I shall miss the sly-bold pride

Of rising hours before the world’s light

Far ahead of the Sleepers…

Now the days no longer round their way to bed

But perceive it as an interception to the light’s

Sharper edge, murmuring

“Stay awake!” “There’s more!” “Don’t go!”

Rambling

What is inner; what outer? How can I convey the utter timelessness of this place & what this conveys to me? The nourishment to my soul; the expansion of my heart as I try to encompass the environment too large for li’l ole me to assimilate…how can I relay these feelings?

I move in a kind of concert with the ground, my eyes roving over the rolling landscape. I can understand why being on horseback is the way to really see this land – the height increase, even of a few feet, lifts one over the low-growing shrubs & permits a wider angle of view of a territory so vast it can only be appreciated in increments. Much as my eyes would love to take this all in, I see it in layers & slices: I perceive a tree, a cloud train looking for all the world like an ephemera of mountains, white shadows of the peaks below so solidly holding up the horizon. I long to be walking all over it while knowing there are slants & dips & lifts & hollows which would swallow me indifferently as a leaf blown from a tree. Nothing is as important as this gravity of gravel & grit; I don’t even register as an afterthought to this landscape, after all.

Here & there the risings of land are slashed open. What seems like a small crevice is wide enough to pull a car through. The distance shrinks the measure. Close up, I revise any thoughts I had on, “That’s not so big, is it?” Indeed it is. What caused this separation in the land? Is this how whole continents pulled apart in division later magnified by water? And where is the water here? How did it figure in…or did the land simply pull itself apart, divided by time & climate?

And after I see the dizzying enormity of it all, I realize I hear nothing. At all. I feel my ears expanding into satellite dishes on either side of my head as they attempt to hear the silence. I am so unused to absence of sound. No rustling of trees, no lapping waters, no traffic noise. I will have to become accustomed to this by retraining other senses.

I will never know the answers fully for how I respond to this environment. But that won’t stop the questions either.

Rain

4/28-29/17

The rain woke me after midnight. This is the first rain since I’ve been here, just over a month now. I thought at first it was leaves tapping against the concrete walkway outside. I thought, “more sweeping to do” as I’ve swept every day, sometimes twice to keep the walk clear. Saves the heavier work of vacuuming what is tracked or blown in the door.

As I surfaced from full sleep, I realized there could be no leaves this crispy in spring…

This rain is tentative but steady, tap-tapping on the metal roof. I climb from bed to make a cup of chai, and return to cover up & sip it. And listen, cup in one hand, pen in the other. The heavy curtains belly out with that distinctive fragrance: Rain In The Desert. The Balinese cow bell serving as my doorbell sounds quietly, announcing a soft gusting accompaniment of breeze.

(In the desert, the smell of moisture precedes it, distinct & heady from the usual baked-sand scent. This rain will help to settle some of the dust raised by the highway department lately on a mission to dump yet more dirt. This seems to me an exercise in futility since dirt is hardly scarce here & quite abundantly distributed. But with their arcane signage & the unexplained descent of men in orange vests driving orange earthmovers, there is nothing to do but obey the “stop” & “go” of their outriders.  I question their purpose & their presence, especially when they leave the soil on the roadway – the one place it was not before their unexplained project. Are they burying us in more?)

When I thought the rain had passed by & started to doze again, another mild volley begins. I can feel the trees outside expanding, the weeds under them reaching out for sustenance. Are there others brewing tea & returning to cover up their legs in bed, just listening to the fall? A rare & delightful sound, a “joyful noise.” Who else in town lies awake scenting this perfume of suspended water falling on a dry world? More than I know? Fewer than I think?

Geoengineering has upended the weather patterns. The changes in Mother Nature herself wing out from that foul ruination of climate integrity. As the sun rolls from yellow to white & the clocks continue a relentless march forward, tonight’s quiet cleansing gentles the planet: rhythmic, soulful, fragrant, musical.

I pull the covers up to my ears & return to sleep, listening to the lullaby.

 

Hillsboro

This is my reality now: sun-filled days, whirring wings, the strange, coaxing cries of ring-neck pigeons. A tan-white cat with arctic eyes who visits, meowing, for a pet & a pat. A bedroom in pale green; a bed with a hard mattress I settle into carefully at night. Three deep sinks & water that heats up just as I’m finishing the dishes.

The ocean is above in the sky now, endlessly blue with irregular white waves of cloud. My life is organized as I want it to be, with no commitments other than what I make, no activities other than what I put myself forward to do.

I am rounder here without the regularity of the gym to help. I need a bigger commitment & heavier weights to trim off & I have not yet committed to these. One day soon, though, I will do so.

Here I am not concerned about my age anymore. I don’t fetch up four times a day telling myself I’m a septuagenarian. I don’t feel it here: the light has made me lighter of thought.

I notice things more or I notice more things. It is easier to be kind. I enjoy dressing nicely each day & I really enjoy having nice clothes to dress in. I find myself watching much that goes by, cars, people, animals. The stars seem to wink on when the sky goes black – some celestial switch is flipped. The moon carries proudly into the morning & remains visible most of the day; you just have to look for it. Today is the first day I have thought about seagulls.

History is harsh here, dusty & drowned in risen rivers. In its beginnings as a mining town, there was little enough law (and strangely, this still seems to be of minimal presence as drivers fly through at all speeds except that cited on the limit signs.) There were no rescue groups to distribute blankets & water when tragedy struck. There were raiding Apaches versus “decent” households – huts built on stolen land where the warriors did not want habitation by whites to root or grow. To them, we were the pests with our domestications & demands upon the land, with our claims to scarce water & women dressed in layers & men in hot collars & coats, the children like children everywhere, wild-eyed but brought up to obey, so conflicted (as perhaps even today) by reality & what was passing for civilization. The East imported to the West was an unfitted overlay. Adaptation to local habits was “going native” with all the negative connotations thereto. We are a mixed-match, a blended heritage, a small, tightly-knit community where everyone knows something else about who you are.

I could vacuum everyday so I learn to live with tiny leaves shaped like small dimes carried in on my sandals. Flip-flops pick up grit in the toes – a startling pain – unless I’m staying on the map-cracked sidewalk, I wear closed-toe shoes.

Perhaps the history impacts more here since I grew up at the seashore & so know that with my blood. There is a taut ethic called into survival by realism: cactus, snakes, endless & unmarked space in all directions. Yet I love it & there is a westernized me indwelling, caught up in every breeze & flicker of light dancing among the leaves.

Here I can live as though I belong. Here I can make choices not based on need, but based on a personal truth. Here I can notice what does not belong to me & set that much more aside for recycle.

I have all I need.

Hillsboro Greeting

First Rendering

I think that all this time

my muse has waited here

wrapped in a serape, wearing a light sombrero

that covers her eyes and her face

when she folds down into her arms

the bright blues, reds and greens of the fabric

stand out against the landscape

only the toes of her boots peeking

She has the patience of a mountain

all this time biding everything, awaiting my voice.

So, speak to me; I share your soul

I will lay it atop mine; we will be naked together

I will take your hand

Hike you up.

We will walk the crunching, dry road

Atop a memory of rivers.

Together we will teach what we have learned

Rebalance this nature to

the water I was from, before & after

This eternity of land

the patience it holds for all of us

​You, newborn again, mute, blind, awakening a soul…

And this silly, simple human made of words.

Second Rendering

I am listening as hard as I can

To silence

My ears are still

No cilia vibrate

Nothing is

Except a breeze passing

Quail-calls

The buzz of a heat-fly

En route elsewhere

I am amazed

No other sounds are available here

The silence has an intensity

My ears bear weight

Bear witness

Eternity exists

A scant half-mile from

What passes for a road.

Third Rendering

Here are the mountains I remember

In utter stillness, fully alive

Never fated to touch the sky.

Just to survive the eternity it takes to be a mountain

Underneath it.