The woodpecker goes down the oak tree backwards, looking for a soft patch, or maybe the buzz of insects at work in the pulpy interior. When I was little - I mean four, five years old - there were still dairy farms in town, and milk trucks, and dairy farmers, who I remember mostly as lanky, well-liked and given to smiles. Idealism is problematic and nostalgia not much better but so what? For two weeks straight now, we can hang all our laundry outside.
And the quartz in the old garden now stands clear and bright, washed by winter, faintly prismatic in spring sunlight. The weather vane leans due east, the iron arrow (and the iron rooster atop it) pointing straight up into the sky. Of course blue is my favorite color, and of course we all associate it with God, love, eternity and so forth.
The dog is a form of the Infinite playing dog, as I am a form of It playing poet, man, confused, beautiful, et cetera. The chickadee is closer in essence, but the bluet is closer yet. Who sees the world in a blade of grass is being melodramatic, but who sees the face of God there may be on to something. Even as I lean towards a clearer and more logical (and internally consistent) way of writing, I remain convinced that Emily Dickinson saw God, and left behind a very helpful - a very practical and fruitive - map for those of us inclined to follow.
Conversation now turns in the direction of trout and - more distant yet - spring bear and turkey. D encourages me to look closer at using oxen and "log the damn land yourself," but I'm not sure. My father cried cutting down trees and I've never not forgotten that, nor especially want to. Once you have identified with That-Which-Is-Awareness, a Beethoven symphony and wind in the pine trees are the same thing, and healing consists simply of non-resistance.
A few dead maple leaves, the variegated music of red-winged blackbirds, and just enough chill to make an old sweater cozy equals a morning, this one.
You have to decide for yourself how seriously you want to take the intellectual aspects of all this, but if you decide you want to, then you really have to submit to rigorous, even tedious, study. For a little while longer there are choices that are more helpful than others, and we need to be correspondingly attentive. My body yearns now to enter the river, however cold and rushing, bony nakedness sinking into icy frothing currents that have been moving in that space since I was born, and before, and which will also - all praise be to the Goddess of Rivers - outlast me. I am not saying that I am a body precisely but rather that what is not a body that is temporarily in this body is happy - ecstatic actually - for even a hint of genuine happiness.
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