Quiet winter days
Quiet winter days in the northern hemisphere, the final week of the Gregorian year upon us.
One wheel around the stars nearly complete; from ideas of beginnings and endings to now, in the “cycle” of things. Our minds, this mind anyway, attaching to that groundless ground of turning, erupts in a sense of reflecting on “what has been,” “what is now,” and “what is to come.”
Like a soft and irregular staccato, thoughts (feelings [movements]) arise… Do this. Become still. Open. Reflect. Do this.
The game is afoot, it’s absurd if you laid bare, and yet.
What is this that arises but love offering itself to the boundless flow of being; time and feeling brushing up against identity, each expressions of an indescribable mystery, a beauty that persists, swallowing time, cycles, space itself in its laughter.
So I am held here, just an instrument of this cosmic giggle, the joke persists, painful moments of anticipation, spacious revelation, and somersaults down the grassy hill of life.
But these are metaphors of summer. Someplace south from where I have lived the greater number of days of this life. Perhaps that is important though, to live not just atop the soles of my feet, nor simply between my ears, or at the tug of my heart, but in boundless, timeless awareness itself, embracing likely guiding star of love, all of the places, all of the minds and hearts and feet and fins, scales and wings…
The leaf colors, curls
A memory of life,
A love offering to life
Yet to be.
Like thoughts caught
In the stream of awareness,
The leaf flows down,
Back to raw being.
Like love itself, arriving in the ocean,
To rise again.
Somewhere in the rising again, there is impulse (feeling [thought?]) Distinction arises,…
[The phone rings. Katie, from the mountains of Virginia. The pen rests. A stream of thought seeps back into the earthen moment. Time passes. I return to the page.]
Distinction arises… The poetry of thought, feeling, intention, weaving together like currents down the brook. Downhill. Time. Pathways…
I think that I mean to write more as compared to recent efforts.
One thing I have found creeping into my daily writing habit is a reluctance to report on conditions less than favorable. Rather than writing “around” these conditions, I’ve opted instead simply not to write when the subject matter might land poorly with those concerned for my well-being.
But then, I realize, that is not the purpose of these pages. While one of the effects of this writing has to do with bringing folks current with the events of my life, the fundamental intention is really to exercise the skill and develop the capacity to write clearly and with eloquence to convey a message.
I was moved to the page today, when I started to send an email to a small handful of friends with whom conversation has ranged over the past few months to the subject of “science denialism,” in particular, with relationship to the subject of vaccinations and the current condition of global pandemic.
This tender matter has touched close to home of late as one of my immediate community friends has had to move out from living with others due to differing views on this polarized issue.
I’ve been on the lookout, since reading the book Sand Talk, for instances of public speaking or writing from the author and was rewarded just yesterday to discover he is now hosting a regular podcast from the Indigenous Knowledge Systems Lab, one of the areas of inquiry I feel is key to our increasingly urgent need to address some very wicked problems.
This morning I listened to the first episode of that series. Titled for the recent book from the guest, Maori MAGA. The conversation touched primarily on the influences of our recent pandemic — a decaying information ecology.
While the conversation was specific to content on the larger landmasses of Oceania, the substance translated easily to populations around the world, including here at home in the US.
One of the stories in the “conspiracy” landscape that has been unsettling for me over the past few years is that of the “Pizza gate” assertions of organized pedophilia among the political elites. On the surface, this appeared to me to be so grotesque as to have absolutely no basis in reality.
Not that I have “come around” to the Q-anon view of things, but at least this morning after listening to the podcast, I’m reminded where the seeds of these tragic narratives have been sown.
The piece I was going to put into my email alongside the recommendation to review the podcast, was a mention of a personal experience I had learning from a Native American elder friend of mine about the horrors of the cultural genocide perpetrated upon the first peoples of this continent by the white European invasion.
Specifically this friend had reported upon the government boarding schools to which they and others have been sent as children to have their native language beaten, raped, and washed from their tongue. There it was. Institutionalized pedophilia by the political elites, maybe not in my lifetime but the very least one generation before. Are we done with that kind of behavior? Maybe.
Back to the text…
What stood out for me in the podcast was the conversation around the impacts of colonization on the meaning making and social vulnerabilities to the failings of the institutions of politics, media, and science.
Looking at the divisions (and the dogmas) within my own community and mind, it struck me that part of our suffering in the world today stems from the fact that we have effectively “colonized” ourselves.
Barry Johnson, in a life’s work from the heart, taught me many years ago about the nature of polar dynamic systems and how when we fail to honor the living energy in those dynamics (visitor-host becomes colonizer-oppressed), we end up suffering the downsides of both negative aspects.
I had intended just to share the conversation with a few friends to invite a more gentle understanding of the sources, nature, and integrity of those who seem so opposed to what the mainstream findings represent not only is rational, but as necessary.
As I find my way through these words today, I land on the word “decolonization.” That word came to me as a gift from the Native American elder I mentioned before. It was their teachings that I will invite now more deeply into myself; the admonition that we must decolonize ourselves.
Since the writing of this piece began, the spell of the quiet winter moment in reflection, approaching the end of the cycle, has been a bit broken.
A friend has some health concerns rising up. The latest “successful” interviewee to join our care team demonstrated that their life is too unsettled to make a good fit, so training this week is off, and we are still just down to a skeleton crew and facing the possibility that I’ll only be out of bed for half a day three days a week in the new year (until and unless things settle better in those regards.)
Perhaps it is just the busyness of the world “colonizing” my mind. Perhaps the game is afoot…
God gets to know things, we just get to ask questions…