July 24, 2014

Thursday Poem - Atavism

Sometimes in the open you look up
where birds go by, or just nothing,
and wait. A dim feeling comes
you were like this once, there was air,
and quiet; it was by a lake, or
maybe a river you were alert
as an otter and were suddenly born
like the evening star into wide
still worlds like this one you have found
again, for a moment, in the open.

Something is being told in the woods: aisles of
shadow lead away; a branch waves;
a pencil of sunlight slowly travels its
path. A withheld presence almost
speaks, but then retreats, rustles
a patch of brush. You can feel
the centuries ripple generations
of wandering, discovering, being lost
and found, eating, dying, being born.
A walk through the forest strokes your fur,
the fur you no longer have. And your gaze
down a forest aisle is a strange, long
plunge, dark eyes looking for home.
For delicious minutes you can feel your whiskers
wider than your mind, away out over everything.
 William Stafford

July 22, 2014

Spencer is Eight

Happy eighth birthday to the beautiful little guy (shown in the first photo with his favorite stuffed toy, a plushy moose) who has been our constant companion since he came to us as a two year old in late August, 2008.

Like most German shorthaired pointers (GSPs), Spencer is intelligent and very athletic.  He is a strong swimmer and runs like the wind, has oodles of endurance and is a perfect sidekick in the woods. He likes to run off with socks, and he excavates phenomenal holes in the garden when the spirit moves him.  Having an impressive vocabulary, he understands almost everything that is said around here, and it is almost impossible to put anything over on him.  (We're learning sign language at the moment, but he will probably figure that out in short order too.)

Our sweet laddie loves his tribe (us) with every particle of his being, and we love him back with every particle of ours. Happy birthday, Spencer................

July 20, 2014

Sunday - Saying Yes to the World

To open our eyes, to see with our inner fire and light, is what saves us. Even if it makes us vulnerable. Opening the eyes is the job of storytellers, witnesses, and the keepers of accounts. The stories we know and tell are reservoirs of light and fire that brighten and illuminate the darkness of human night, the unseen. They throw down a certain slant of light across the floor each morning, and they throw down also its shadow.
Linda Hogan, The Woman Who Watches Over the World

July 18, 2014

Friday Ramble - Earth/Earthy

Earth is a good word for pondering in this shaggy season as we toil in our gardens and tend the sweet beginnings of the harvest to come.  All things, or at least most things, arise from the earth and return to it in time, us included.

The word dates from before 950 CE, and it comes to us through the good offices of the Middle English erthe, the Old English eorthe; the Germanic Erde, Old Norse jĒ«rth, Danosh jord and the Gothic airtha, all springing from the Ancient Saxon eard meaning soil,home, or dwelling. All forms are likely related to the Latin aro, meaning to plough or turn over.

What are we thinking of when we say "earth", simply the ground under our feet, garden plots, orchards, wooded hills, city parks, farm fields and shadowed arroyos?  Is it wild plums, oak leaves, artfully arching willow branches, seeds and sleeping roots down below.  Is it the granite bones of the planet and its fiery heart way down deep?

All that and much more... Skin and blood, bones and hair, the tributaries of our veins, the synapses and sinews of the planet on which we live out our allotted days, the rocks and trees and other beings with whom we share our home, the air we are breathing in and out - all are connected and part of an elemental process, a vast web. As thoughtless a strand in that web as humans are, we forget that we are part of anything at all.  We think of ourselves as separate and above the earth, as masters with the right to litter and clutter and torment and destroy.

It doesn't have to be that way. Yearning for something else and knowing not quite what that something is, we can turn and look back on the long journey taken to arrive in this moment and realize that we are not separate.  We are the earth, and the earth is us. As the late Carl Sagan and ecologist Joanna Macy have both written: "We are our world knowing itself". We can stand, feet in the dirt and heads in the sky, and we can know, root and branch, that we belong here, just as river mud, wild grapes in the hedgerow, sunflowers and sandpipers do. Dirt and clouds - what a life!

July 16, 2014

Thursday Poem - At Dawn

At dawn, a frail moon waning up there
in the blue, blesses a perfect summer
day, one that will never come  again.

Slow walkers in the early hours,
we go along together, paw and paw,
through fragrant summer yieldings of clover,
grass and daisies, of rhyming cricket,
humming bee and dancing leaf.

All around us, unseen but deeply felt
and loved, the world is breathing in
and out, our blended voices falling into
seamless light and tune and time.


Wordless Wednesday - As Above, So Below