Endure, we’re all seeking to endure——-like a stationary pine tree trying to out run a forest-fire. It’s not fair that out of control forest fires are called wildfires and are measured by the acres of forest they feed on; but tree’s are measured by the rings that spiral our from their center. Tree’s don’t have a heart that beats, but they have sap for tears, slow motion tears dripping down their bark like skin.
I never really considered a tree being a tree, nothing more—- nothing less——-no different I suppose than you and I——nothing more, nothing less. I sat and stared at a tree today. It was windy out, and I watched as it swayed and danced in the breeze. I listened to the wind through its branches, and it sang a sweet song. I never consider the songs of a tree—-it made me smile. Native Americans believed that all things——-tree’s, boulders, bears, all have souls——-and maybe they’re right. One religion holds no moral high ground over any other religion. Praying, meditation, fasting, wind through a pine tree——-they’re all, more or less, the same.
I talk to tree’s, I listen to the secret language of rushing rivers, I thank the sun for her warmth, I let the stars guide me. Most call this crazy talk, but this comes from the ones handcuffed to their cell phones, imprisoned by made up virtual worlds——we’re all, more or less, crazy.
If Jesus could walk on water, then why is it strange to believe that trees can sing?
“Looking at life from a different perspective makes you realize that it’s not the deer that is crossing the road, rather it’s the road that is crossing the forest.” – Muhammad Ali
On a bike ride the other day I came across these Snow Flowers. I bent down to smell their fragrance only to be met with a cloud of spores. I suddenly became light headed and had to sit down.
For a moment I lost my sense of being and my awareness of space and time. I drifted into a vision where I was introduced to this old Indian Chief named John Hollow Horn from the Oglala Lakota tribe. He held me in his gaze and said, “Some day the earth will weep, she will beg for her life, she will cry tears of blood. You will make a choice, if you will help her or let her die, and when she dies, you too will die.” In disbelief I rubbed my eyes. “Man am I high or what…..?”
I sat still for a moment and then asked, “Dude, that’s some heavy shit. Can ya break it down for me?” He said, “Cover your ears and listen with your heart. Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish caught will we realize we cannot eat money.”
As I reached out to touch him, I was suddenly jolted back into “reality” by the voice of a tourist asking me “Hey bro, how do you get to the Marriotts from here?” I was tempted to say you can’t there from here, but instead responded, “Sure, just squeeze into the traffic jam on Highway 50 east and head towards the noise, commotion and the stench of Rome burning.”
“Follow the crowds Bro —— lose oneself.”
The tattoo sleeved kid clad in his Under Armor tank top and Hurley ball cap, takes a swig off his IPA. He shakes his head in frustration “I’ll find it on my own” then in an act of deference he bows his head to his cellphone and request directions. The old Indian’s image began to dissolve as he gave me a wink and a grin. I could swear he was humming “Big Yellow Taxi” by Joni Mitchell.
I believe I’d been given a vision and a mission. So, I pass this experience on to you as a Prophesy—–. What we do to nature, is ultimately what we do to ourselves (universal reciprocity is karma via mother nature).
Be courages, be forthright——be uncompromising stewards of the land—Be a soul warrior for mother earth.
I can hear the trolls already “Man, I want whatever drugs he’s been doing.”
Disclaimer: This vision was not precipitated by the use of peyote, Mushrooms or the ole peace pipe—-it blossomed from the soul of a Snow Flower. Even rocks have a soul–if you sit very still for a long period of time and listen, they’ll divulge their secrets.
Soundtrack “Fire”. Go to “View Original” and then press play before reading.
Trapped inside ourselves, this is it, the unsolved puzzle we must learn to live with, to struggle with and sometimes against, faith is encrypted with voodoo, the supernatural and magic are difficult to untwine, truth is temporary and dissolving, love like Atlantis lies hidden beneath myth and fantasy. Every love story is a ghost ship——a weary captain keeps night watch—–lost on rolling seas—-why do these tattered sails push us ever closer to the edge——towards oblivion. No matter how hard you may try, some worlds will always be flat.
All of that which is true, is what works for a moment, be it love, science or salvation. Allow love to find you——be in love with something or someone before you cease, before all that you are sails off the edge. That’s all I know, cause upon second glance everyone loses their battle with gravity.
So this is middle age, unexpected, unpredictable, with all those promised existential unanswered questions. With age has come the harsh realization that I will never fully know another, at least not in the way youth had once opened up friends and lovers to me. Does age make us cautious, suspicious——to many broken bones, careless wounds and loves left undone—-if she should read this, she’d hurt what I felt. She interpreted my words better than I, although the poetry came through me, it was born of her, such a mysterious muse, mi amore.
God plays tricks on us all, allowing the fictions of falling through time and occupying space, as we grapple with this thing called life. Come walk with me, and let us pretend our love goes on forever and ever——-beyond the map, and then together we’ll pass through to the other-side of oblivion*****
When I was a kid we’d buy paper kites, they were relatively resilient but never intended to last—-their flimsy construction gave them the agility to fly but also made them vulnerable to a host of possible mishaps—they were as precious as they were mortal. A poorly tied tether knot and all may be lost, or should an unexpected gust of wind blow her into branches, then she’s snared and marooned, left there forever dangling from the sky like a monument to someones carelessness. I brought myself here, just like you did—-we’re all just holding on by a string, so I refuse to feel sorry for anybody—nobody!—except for maybe one of those kids with bald heads who haven’t been given much of a chance to survive the treatment, let alone the disease—I save my compassion for these cases.
Those mopey fuckers at the grocery stores asking me for spare change or the young dude with pleading eyes and his cardboard sign perched at the last stoplight before the climb to the freeway onramp, they piss me off—-they don’t seem to realize that we all have to make our own wind, running uphill like hell, never looking back until the string feels taunt, until god decides to lightly blow his breath on you, lifting your body above the ground into the void of space and torched stars, and below spins that beautiful blue ball of water and land—here in the ether, even the coldest of hearts will thaw.
I hand a crinkled dollar to a crumpled man, and for a solemn instance we are connected, we occupy the same moment, share the same world—-then without speaking I turn and walk away and return to my world—-as he returns to his—–
Kindest or cruelty—–which way will the wind blow
The older I get, the less I look into the mirror and the longer I stare at my hands
It’s mid October and I’ve missed that brief one or two-day period when the Aspen leaves are at the brink of losing their last flash of Autumn’s dying beauty—-even death has its display of pastel-ed glory, and then the wind sweeps all vanity away. I am left with only stark branches like the bones of summer to carry me through the skeleton of another season passed. At my feet the fallen leaves stir as I make my annual hike around Spooner lake. This is the month of quiet contemplation and a time to face ones marauding ghosts that emerge from the shadows and are carried on falls chilly winds—-
Every season seems to have its emotional and psychological landscape. I find myself missing spring in autumn and the freshness of winter in the heat of summer, I’m a discontented soul, always wanting what’s just out of my reach. Here, in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, each of the four seasons have dominion over their portion of the calendar. The seeds have been planted and the harvest is in, the metaphor of reaping what we sow is played out—–the nonbelievers burn off their barren fields. A big orange moon reigns in the sky reminding me that the masks of Halloween will soon be donned. I think of all my old friends and how time has changed our appearance, yet I know that their souls are the deep well from which I draw my sustenance. A good song will always be a good song and the steps of a shared dance will never grow old, nor be forgotten.
I keep my hands warm, carrying them deep in my pockets. I’m not sure where I am on this leaf strewn path, I’ve always been more lost then found. A map and compass possess no value when my destination is between each footstep. A low lying fog fingers its way through the tall pines, the branches sway and I listen to their whispering voices. I think of my family and friends and mumble a prayer for the goodness of all. A chicory squirrel stares at me and then giggles as he scurries across my trail—-he knows God’s plan better than I.
I take a seat on a log and plug my earphones into my iPod. J. D. Souther comes on singing, “Silver Blue”. The melody is a perfect sound track to this mystical vista of lake, aspens, pines and fog—what a sublime speck in time.
In all the chaos and madness of life, it can feel at times that people and events have no rhyme or reason, but in retrospect (when looking back after the fact) things come into focus and have a purpose and a reason for happening, maybe that’s faith—believing that the future will workout the way it is intended and that the things in the past have occurred for a greater purpose—-this is how I remember my Mom looking at life. She always saw the positive in all things, even when things were not going as planned—-
I pull a smashed sandwich from my backpack and have a bite. I take a sip of peach tea and have a laugh at myself—
Tomorrow I’ll head south to Hope Valley and wander through those stands of Aspens—-all things change at their own pace.
“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” Albert Camus