Five Ages

The first age was a small red berry

the bud of humanity and the red fruit

in the garden at dawn. Some great

unknown is about to escape

into the present tense, so clear

that only God can see it

all the way about a circumference,

chopped half in diameter,

rose of the birth and love and death

we risked, a world that is more than all others.

 

The second age was a tall grass,

with a sharp blade to cut heaven open,

demanding justice below, attention

from the sleeping oort clouds

on the edge of angelic vision.

Fertile, waving tan in the sun

we raise our crescent scythe

and the grains shoot through the veins

of every tree for generations.

 

The third age was a red leaf. Mother

told me a story before she lost her mind

about an Egyptian princess who was not from around here

and tried to get home to the blue isle of Patmos

with slippers from the white gold of the sun.

Their white star towers and scroll heaps

begging to be picked up and cradled again.

 

The fourth age was the near extirpation

of all the red gold, the blue isle.

Sleepy after so much upward fluidity

we gave up the longing, been a longtime

since last we loved You, last we lifted

Your meal to our mouths.

Don’t remember the red berry. I always wanted

to eat it but my mama said it was poison.

That was before she got sick. Afterward,

she didn’t care. There were to be five ages

like fingers on one hand, star tips when

we drew them up in the heavens,

and everyone of them whispers

up where they’re hanging.

Back to Magellan cloud and Hubble’s dreaming,

back to before so much red and the want of gold

and before the sharp curve of the grain.

 

The fifth age was and is and is yet to be,

an outstretched conifer filled with the light

from the top mast of its canopy,

the light is its ocean, and the wind is its waves,

and all its limbs are pointing upward and laughing.

I have been told by the one I love

who is like the sunrise in the forest:

This is why we have words and arms

and red and gold and blue isles

and star clouds and all the ages.

It is because, in the beginning,

it was all so clear, so mathematically perfect

that only god and God’s garden

could get it.

 

 

 

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Seattle Bag End

I dreamt I went to visit Bag End, The Shire, and it was in Seattle. The place had been equipped with an electric tea kettle and a satellite-powered doorbell. Gandalf the Grey opened the door and barked at me for not checking my PO box lately. He told me to stop worrying about healthcare and college tuition, and that if I ever needed a place to prove my Washington state residency, there is always Bag End.

….

I meet a man with a purple beard and long, beautiful curls. He is part fairy. He tells of how the small wisps of Marcusʼs hair at his temples are dusted by the magic of fey.

 

 

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Notes from Karl Marlantes at Holy Innocents Church in Duvall, WA, 2012

Don Juan – death is over your shoulder in war & spirituality, be in the present moment.

Loss of ego and awareness of death. “Psycho-spiritual”. Kali- Hindu Dark Goddess who eats things (Sam’s tattoo).

Buddhism – demons guard the gates of heaven.

“Troparian” – a kind of Orthodox song

Zenia of Petersburg was a Holy Fool: she dressed in her dead husband’s clothes, a religious jester.

In modern war, you hardly ever see the enemy. 19-year olds are the best warriors because they lack self-awareness. Asking 19-year-olds to kill is asking them to play God. Ecstasy in war and in killing. Young soldiers struggle to integrate back because of what they have been through, like asking St John of the Cross to work at McDonald’s.

“Solipsistic” – writing gets us out of our isolated lives. We see through other peoples’ eyes. We can identify with characters that are unconscious within ourselves.

from Jung: “That which is unconscious is doomed to act in reality.”

Writing as spiritual discipline. Literature is how we move through this. Through writing we turn ghosts into ancestors. America’s media sex & violence comes from our repressed puritanical cultures.

There is a natural aggression given by God, and words will not save us from our attacker. Literature heals this.

We turn ghosts into ancestors through taking the ghost out of our hidden inner worlds and looking objectively at the fear. We externalize into the light. This is “the great work”. Be in this, the work of the spirit. This is the truest writing.

Commercial fiction is not about turning ghosts into ancestors. It is about entertainment. And that’s ok! But it is a totally different game than literature.

Good writing is one of the hardest things any human could undertake.

Karl’s Capuchin friend put on a mass for all Karl’s dead people he knew. It was literally a dark & stormy night. Karl saw the ghosts come into the church, even his grandparents. This is how he became Catholic.

Books: Matterhorn. What it is Like to Go to War.

 

 

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My Half Sister is Found

Well, well. I just found my long-long half sister via the internet. She is a mother herself now. We have the same dad, different moms. We both don’t want a relationship with our dad because he’s not well in his mind, for as long as we have known of him. That’s why I was hesitant to find her before, because I didn’t know if she felt the same way. When my mom and dad were dating and I was born, my mom was not kind to my half sister, who was twelve years old at the time. I haven’t seen her since at least ten years, I think more. My mom wanted me to have nothing to do with my half sister because my mom has too much misplaced, crazy anger. But I am glad I have found my half sister now that we are both adults and free to meet each other again in our own new lives, far away from our three parents. But it’s still strange to think I have a sibling.

Ice Above, Summer Below

I dreamt that Linne Doran and Mosswood Hollow froze over in a new mini ice age. Everybody at Lake Margaret’s modest elevation had to flee down the hill because the ice came so quickly. It was an enchanted kind of ice, brought on by some untrustworthy spirits, and mysterious beasts now ruled the new winter wonderland. We have never seen their tracks before. At the bottom of the hill in Duvall town it was summer, with broadleaf trees all blooming green and blue sky, and the Mosswood refugees lived in a great big painted hobbit hole made of snaking roots. Herbs and flowers covered the garden, and a river ran through it. Our friends, Meatball and Weasel, got to run the place, mostly, when the real wizards weren’t home.

 

 

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A Neighborhood of Creatures

I am thankful that I get to live in such a place where Bald Eagle and other majestic raptors habitually fly past our windows while I’m doing dishes, Deer crosses our driveway, Salmon swims up the creek in our backyard, Cougar and Bobcat prowls the forest next door, Coyote howls in the night and our neighborhood trash gets robbed by Raccoon and even Bear from time to time.

 

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A Tug at My Hem

For a few weeks now I have been experiencing something strange: a sensation of someone small who is gently tugging at the hem of my skirt or around the knees of my pants. It’s not very strong, but is strong enough to turn and look to see who’s doing it, yet I see nobody there. The most strangest thing of all is how it is not troubling. It is gentle and kind.

 

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River Otters and Sockeye Salmon in Woodinville

We saw three river otters today, and a whole bunch o’ spawning sockeye salmon! The otters we’re totally showing off for us, getting out of the water onto logs where their thick wet fur shimmered in the terrestrial air, catching fish and dramatically devouring them. The sockeye salmon were huge, bright red and green and nearing the end of their lifecycle, swimming upstream, noble and glorious in their life’s purpose. Do they fear death when their lives call them to it? Being able to have a good long gaze at these awesome creatures, wild in the middle of Woodinville, what a gift. I think that animals don’t have to show themselves to us, but they choose to.

 

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Cat Love Needed

I need more cat love in my life. Currently I am two states away from my kitty, who is living with my Grandma while I am here at Anake. If you or someone you know are a cat, or knows a cat, please consider allowing me to come snuggle and play with you. Especially if you are a kitten or kitten-at-heart who would like to be gregariously socialized by one such as myself. I employ the trusted smooches and ear-massage techniques. I am your warm-blooded furniture.

 

 

 

Image © Gentle J. Pine. All rights reserved.

Synonyms for Bright

I love it when my face smells like bow-drill smoke.

Synonyms for Bright

adjectives:

shining, glowing in appearance blazing, brilliant, dazzling, flashing, glistening, glittering, golden, intense, luminous, radiant, shimmering, shiny, silvery, sparkling, sunny, vivid, ablaze, aglow, alight, argent, auroral, beaming, burning, burnished, coruscating, effulgent, fulgent, fulgid, glaring, gleaming, glossy, illuminated, illumined, incandescent, irradiated, lambent, light, lighted, limpid, lustrous, mirrorlike, moonlit, phosphorescent, polished, relucent, resplendent, scintillating, sunlit, twinkling…

We have loved the light.

 

 

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