On a different night I met her whom I saw die bloodily, as I did not want to see, but how she threatened me, and what spirit stood over her to vanquish her too much I angrily don’t know but that I was floating there with it, gone from her violence against me, but witnessing her own self-brought destruction? What Question mark is appropriate when you face Wicked Chaos in the shape of a known face, and I have dreamt often, too often of female demons, terrible and manipulative and overwhelming as their insanity. She was cleaved in two halves, I saw her perish, vertically and what was inside was a mortal form as my own, and what was lost was unknown.
She appeared to me as if she were a priestess and I were welcomed back into her holy fold after expulsion. At last. But I did not adore her as if she were mighty. She was a beast who became lost in a human’s body, and could not grapple stably with the terror of human awakening, and she grasped for the watery depths of the dark earth where, in a room of well-lit and comforting candles, we spoke together and stood and rejoiced on a cob floor in creaturely dancing under festival lights strung for us, celebrating reunion. It had been a long time since I had seen her, since she left into anger and took no-speech as her feral tongue. She couldn’t go back, now. And I knew that I may have beheld in her only a shell that bore a rare spirit, visiting, as strange as our first meeting, stranger than the blue depths of her vanishing back again.
Yestereve I gave words to what scared me, spoke words that were heavy in waiting, and my period, often irregular, came at long last. And in my dreams I came into a dark and beautiful landscape of deciduous green forests and untrodden fields. In such peace my companion and I passed through abandoned school playgrounds on this frontier where hope was forsaken, for better than hope had been found. We traveled further into this unknown land, the unmarked trail our guide, until we fell into a happy festival of friends and singing. And how we cried for those we loved and missed, but we were not lonely, nor any longer heavy-hearted. The music of friendship and laughter alighted around us, and I lay in happiness as harmless stampeding souls thundered around me in a great wave of hilarity. It was the eve of the end of days within this World Who never ends as I climbed the limbs of unknown trees. There is no map to this place beyond every map’s end, heartaching Pilgrim, but that you are the compass, aligned. – Gentle Jeffrey Pine.
Nonhuman friends like the Coast Redwoods, Sequoia sempervirens, know how to drink the darkness of fog to make for us small creatures -a breath of amazement- dappled sunlight higher above us than any other creature’s making. They do not mind who walks below them, or what goes on in our human minds with such heaviness. Sequoia sempervirens does not mind, nor has care of mind, nor thinks in the worries of mammalian minds at all. No mind, doesn’t mind.
Slowly enough to be steady, rowing sturdy canoes,
old-speak appearing in the fog on the water
first language, hand-spoken, fur-hackles
predating the migration of babble.
The land that we love should not be carved into prizes.
Nobody owns a place until their dead are laid down in it.
Are you a wild god of fury?
Are you untamed, as suspected?
There is no safety with you, then,
You are the end of safety,
but somehow you are comforting.
You would know, if you are here.
You must know, if what they say of you is true.
You too must have also suffered
a severance from family and tribe.
You must know the sadness
of all songs.
This time, O Lord of Burnt Offerings,
We have come bearing a trial of lanterns
to hunt you, whispering your darkened name
and your old shadow reclaims you,
curls in relief
down in toward wooded night comfort
slinking back into thickets
evading intrusive light.
This time, God,
we have come ready to find you,
wherever you are.
This time, Mother,
whoever you are now.
When I write, who will come to visit me in my words?
Rumi, I also wonder who says words with my mouth.
But when you, Friend, come to my door
I will know to open it for you, and your name
will be the name of all songs.
And by many names do you come!
And through countless faces
you look out at the world in love.
Let me be your abiding place
where you come to stay without worry.
And by the good words that come
from the core of the happy heart,
may your breathing be the life of all lands.
Photo by Steve Harvey on Unsplash
Great World, Great Soul whom I love,
I run into your arms
without perfect words, a mind-full
but never quite perfect words
recited by mortals, save birds.
Where, my love, are your hands?
Your hands that will hold us?
I sit in the rain and the snow,
meditating, finding you there.
Surely you are more clearly seen
by the hoofed ones, and by the creatures
of feather and fur.
They do not spend their lives in worry of grief.
Be at peace, heart of fire.
This human anguish– fall now into the arms
of the dark earth, the surest of all loves.
Photo by Rob Bye on Unsplash
“In mythos and fairy tales, deities and other great spirits test the hearts of humans by showing up in various forms that disguise their divinity. They show up in robes, rags, silver sashes, or with muddy feet. They show up with skin dark as old wood, or in scales made of rose petal, as a frail child, as a lime-yellow old woman, as a man who cannot speak, or as an animal who can. The great powers are testing to see if humans have yet learned to recognize the greatness of soul in all its varying forms.”
― Clarissa Pinkola Estés