Written by Gentle Jeffrey Pine.
Journal Entry from 7/24/2016
My cats are relatives of lions! –of large and small wildcats, they are relatives to them all. My cats are “guardian spirits” to me, my “familiars”, with their bright yellow-green jewel eyes and same stripedy patterns of their wild cousins. It is a blessing and a delight they have come to settle in with us human domestics, to purr at our feet, begging kibbles and bonking our faces with their adorable ways. A story goes that cats became domesticated so that humankind would have the pleasure of snuggling the tiger. Actually, the truth is probably nearer to the opposite: humans became domesticated so that cats could have the pleasure of sitting on us!
Baby Mawzawoo, at three months old, is Mr. Independent Bug Hunter who pounces and tumbles over the small woolen toy I made for him, practicing for prowling in the wilderness like a big tough kitty. He will not go into the wilderness, but he brings the vitality of his wildness home to us. His brother, Aiboorah, is my big goofy cuddle-baby-lion who doesn’t lose an opportunity to sit in my lap or on my back as I stretch out on the floor. His way of “hunting” is to be a lazy paw-swatter on his pack, like an over-confident comic male lion. I love these little cats more than I can put into words, so much it makes my heart hurt in that extraordinary way. House cats are hilariously wild and yet merely big kittens for life.
We humans used to know the names of all beasts and plants and called them our friends. Wandering out of Africa into deep green and dark northern forests we met our Neanderthal cousins, sharing their likeness. The world was endless then, when all hominids hunted their food and gathered from the plants. The world itself was sanctuary and home. I get the sense that, finally, I may be lucky to be living at a time when this way of loving The World as our permanent home is returning to us.
Little Kitten, descendant of great beasts, bless us with your wilderness condensed into your small body, the wilderness you carry within your snuggly, tiny self, little stripes and spots of the tiger, heart of the lion. Your energy is boundless and full of vitality in every muscle, paws eager to seek out the path of the jungle. Little Cat, remind us that we too are like you, The World within us, and that we have not “fallen” so far from your happiness. Give us persistence to find our way home in The World.
Little kitties, is this why you came to snuggle us in the Neolithic days? You could not have known the changes coming for our species, that we would come to love you so dearly. It is the Lifeworld we want, and this you greatly bring to us, The World that you live in, that you carry within yourself, pounces and bright eyes alert and at the ready to purrs. It is this vitality we long to be reborn to. We have loved you and called you friend, miniature Tiger, tiny Lion, herald of happiness. May happy landscapes await us where the night is more joyful, the dawn more delighting, and lively animal forms are pouncing unceasing in lovableness along the paths of our lives.
The featured picture and quote I discovered today from Quiet Revolution, quoting Antoine de Saint Exupéry.
The seasons turn, and we go with the eternal turning. It will not be fought, nor resisted, nor contested. No plea is accepted; into the mouth of the great gaping earth we everyone of us softly go. Autumn, the sign of the unstoppable wheel, alighting in fire the humor of our petty resistance to old age and death –to the very vitality awaiting within the acceptance of old age and death! Here is a holy time of contemplation for facing beautiful harsh reality, Elder of the midnight hour, the silver lines as mountain rock of an ancient’s cold hair. Grandma, guide me. Home of memory, place of my hearth and birth, call me homeward once more. The living World is as it is. Acceptance of this absolute reality without a constant yearning to always change it points the way toward loving reality as a fully dynamic place of living, natural magic in its own right; not as a fallen, temporary or resented state of being.
I am petulantly weary of the dull platitude, “change the world”. The World doesn’t need to be changed. The World is alive and doesn’t need us to save it. It is our human behavior and attitudes that need to change. “Obviously,” you say, but it is not so clearly obvious to those who unthinkingly project the dimness of humanity’s notorious myopia unto the holy life of the The World itself. For even we, small hominid creatures of momentary candlelight, are a flame’ breath in the wind of The World, dying and undying, all our passing cultures themselves being also an homage to the world-wheel we swivel upon.
A long time ago there was a man named John Burroughs, and this is what he said,
It is good that fire should burn, even if it consumes your house; it is good that force should crush, even if it crushes you; it is good that rain should fall, even if it destroys your crops and floods your land. Plagues and pestilences attest to the constancy of natural law. They set us to cleaning our streets and houses and to readjusting our relations to outward nature. Only in a live universe could disease and death prevail. Death is a phase of life, a redistributing of the type. Decay is another kind of growth.
Grandpa, give me joy in my days, in my work, in the labors of my life. Watch over me with pride, where you now live in the shining mountains of the world-without-end. Let my efforts be for good and beautiful endeavors, that I may make our people proud, our land a country of the rightful-hearted, softened by the gentle wisdom of elders and children, and toughened by the versant endurance of ages. May I always run to the roar of the night that is frightful, knowing that within what we fear is the fortitude we most desire. May my existence be a light and a blessing unto the beautiful Dark where I tread. Do not forget me, my ancestors! Sustain me, flame of origin! Remember we who yet way-find through our days in these human shapes, and keep us always in your affectionate embrace. So may it be.
Rufous autumn leaves, cold day,
lambent at sunset, grey skies.
Love, welcome. Winter fire logs
from the tarn. The colors of
my youngest cat; golden brush-brown,
streaked black is the good earth below me
and the colors of my eldest cat above:
fluffy white cloud belly, grey-blue, deep silver.
Sweet little purr-bears on my lap, my back;
leaves fall and flutter to the dampened ground.
The wind, the tidings-bearer, harbinger
of the whole wide-overhead come down to visit.
Ye creaking bones of time gone-by, coming up for
another dance, find life anew this second spring
where your progeny more lithely sing; enter, soul,
this body new and here-below
to vivify the heart of our Creator;
living, moving imminent in earth
the wheel, the firmament’s rebirth.
poetry by Gentle J. Pine
Elegant comparisons makes adding a sense of time to your skyscapes a snap.
Blessed are you,
Lord God of creation,
who does not guard us
from the work of your hands.
It is good that we are supple
It is good that we are fragile
adaptable and strange
that we may continue
to be always remade.
For You have forged in white fire
the red of eyelids,
the cave of the earthquake;
You have set hominid-kind
among the vastness,
stoneground in waters
in alluvium loam
The body capable
like a canyon–
Night in the kitchen,
me sitting on a stool by the sink
while you wash up the last dust
of the light
Miles later, end of spring,
remembering the bed we have shared
and the air is warm and damp with rain
a pre-waking flood,
Turn in toward
the path of the arrow
that you, with shields of
protection, will let
the old wounds
of the warrior’s sting,
the nettle’s good venom
letting medicine in
the wingbeats of Sophia
whisper to the ground;
Her wisdom in the Aves’ taxa
knows no vertigo,
Her course unbound
Every small moment in worship
through some willing element of matter,
a word, a stolen kiss, a skirt of gold,
a bird diving or falling
from the vault of the firmament.
You could not have learned
any other way
the road between
here and another.
the eyes of the telescope
the mirror of the wonderer
the bowl of celestial milk spilling–
whatever comes out of my wondering
is the same as the prophets’ own.
Pristine spilt milk is so light,
let it fall like a flood
every ten thousand years
the great void percolating
into my living room,
to coalesce with a big bang
this second, somewhere
Holy fire settles
the continents in magma–
shifting nerves of Hades
Rosehips of the Nootka Rose,
the names of creatures, created order–
stars on the forest floor
Now it is time
to go from here
to leave and leave behind
the bundle, setting down the weight
of your years, time to put away graves
who are at peace in the ground
and what the long road
white bark pine,
I go visit in my time,
poetry by Gentle J. Pine compiled 7/31/2017. Written all over the place 2012–2017.
A collection words I have known while
various word-checkers haven’t:
Abrahamic, akathist, alluvius, applaudable, arse, barefootedness, bowdrill, chinchy, deoxyribonucleic, discipled, dreamt, duende, empathetically, entendre, full-hearted, hacktivist, hatchling, honeybush, inrushing, inwardness, Judaica, limbic, liminally, magnetics, Manzanita, miacid, millennia, montane, oxytocin, patrollers, permaculture, personhood, Pleistocene, putzing, prefrontal, primally, primitivist, reactionism, recusant, relatability, ridgetops, rooiboos, rosehips, sempre, sensei, shapeshifter, spilt, ultraist, unrighteously, vaulty, wonderstruck, yesterevening,
What’s a spell-checker for
if not to cast spells
with good words?
adjective 1. of or characteristic of the earth or its inhabitants; terrestrial. noun 2. an inhabitant of the earth. Origin: 1840–50; < Latin “tell?r”– (stem of tell? ) earth + -ian Alluvium [uh-LOO-vee-uhm] noun 1. a deposit of sand, mud, etc., formed by flowing water. 2. the sedimentary matter deposited thus within recent times, especially in the valleys of large rivers. Origin: 1655–65; < Latin, noun use of neuter of alluvius, “washed against”.
The Harrowing of Hell
one. an agricultural device
with teeth of spikes or disks upright,
drawn chiefly over tilled land to level,
break up roots of clodded weeds, etc.
verb, (used with object).
two. to draw a harrow on the land.
three. to unsettle sharply; gall the mind,
feelings, etc. verb (used without object)
four. to become ravaged by harrowing, as soil.
five. of Christ. to descend into hell
to free the righteous
The Harrowing of Hell was written by Gentle J. Pine on 10.31.2013