Oh, the sweetness of realizing: I am not other than what I’m experiencing. I am this breathing. I am this moment, and it is changing, continually arising in the fountain of life.
~ Joanna Macy, World As Lover, World As Self
Hokusai says look carefully.
He says pay attention, notice.
He says keep looking, stay curious.
He says there is no end to seeing.
He says look forward to getting old.
He says keep changing,
you just get more who you really are.
He says get stuck, accept it, repeat
yourself as long as it is interesting.
He says keep doing what you love.
He says keep praying.
He says everyone of us is a child,
everyone of us is ancient,
everyone of us has a body.
He says everyone of us is frightened.
He says everyone of us has to find
a way to live with fear.
He says everything is alive–
shells, buildings, people, fish,
mountains, trees, wood is alive.
Water is alive.
Everything has its own life.
Everything lives inside us.
He says live with the world inside you.
He says it doesn’t matter if you draw,
or write books. It doesn’t matter
if you saw wood, or catch fish.
It doesn’t matter if you sit at home
and stare at the ants on your veranda
or the shadows of the trees
and grasses in your garden.
It matters that you care.
It matters that you feel.
It matters that you notice.
It matters that life lives through you.
Contentment is life living through you.
Joy is life living through you.
Satisfaction and strength
is life living through you.
He says don’t be afraid.
Don’t be afraid.
Love, feel, let life take you by the hand.
Let life live through you.
~ Roger Keyes
Bulbs are being planted along the highway today. The local garden club in conjunction with KSB (our little non-profit) will be digging holes and dropping in daffodil bulbs. 200 holes for 200 bulbs. I’d be out there with them but M will be more useful than I am. Space is limited, as are gatherings of any kind, even outdoors. For safety’s sake, I stayed home. I’m not sure how many will show up. More than two, I hope. It sounded as if some folks from the garden club had plans to be there. Otherwise, I would be out there now instead of typing up a blog post. (Update: No bulbs were planted. The garden club members determined that the soil needs worked and enriched or something. They will take care of that and then reschedule.)
It seems a little frivolous to be planting flowers at this time, but maybe frivolous is exactly what we need right now. We were supposed to do some tree plantings and other things during the month of April. All of that was cancelled due to the pandemic. We were pretty much in lockdown mode at that point. Our positivity rate is going up (4.1% as of yesterday) so we might see a tightening of restrictions again if things don’t quiet down soon. Some of the Maryland counties, the hot spots, are taking the initiative and already going back to earlier restrictions and closings. That’s across the Bay, of course, where people live in denser, busier populations. Our county’s current numbers are 476 confirmed cases, 6 deceased.
M and I went to Pocomoke River State Park to walk the Trail of Change. This is not a particularly good year for the fall foliage. Most of the bald cypress trees have already dropped their needles, and the leaves on the deciduous trees are still green with some slight changes here and there. I don’t think we’ll see much color this year. I suppose it’s possible that it could still happen, but it looks as though the trees might give up and just drop their leaves without the usual fanfare and colorful announcements.
There was some change on the Trail of Change, mostly in the form of downed trees. We’ve had a lot of rain since August and the overly saturated ground is not holding the trees. They just topple over, roots and all. I’m surprised we haven’t seen more of that in our own woods, especially with all of the super high tides we’ve been having lately.
We went for our hike on election day. There was no one else out there, not even other cars in the big parking lot where we started. We did see a family of campers when we walked by the campground. Given how much people are getting outdoors now, I was surprised there were so few people out there. At one point I said to M that the day reminded me of 9/11/01, when he nearly demanded that we go out for a hike in the afternoon, not because the weather was so beautiful (it was) but to drag us away from the television and the news where they were playing and replaying the collapse of the north tower, and (before someone in the newsroom thought to stop it) footage of people jumping. This year’s election is no comparison, of course, to that day. But I was reminded of the peacefulness of that beautiful fall day when no one else was out and about. They were probably all glued to the television sets the way we had been until M insisted we turn it off and go for a hike. Maybe that’s what is going on now. People waiting and watching to see what happens next.
Like a lot of folks, I am awaiting the results of the election. When I woke up yesterday I did exactly what we were warned not to do. I saw what they’re calling the “red mirage” and sunk into a pit of despair. Truthfully, part of me is still there. I feel the way I did in 2016 (when, for several reasons, it seemed as if we had crossed into an alternate universe). There is a feeling of betrayal, that so many people in this country — even after four years of cruelty, lies, and the murder of over 200,000 people (because yes, I do think it is, in part, murder) — continue to vote for and support the squatter in the White House. It is, I feel, a vote for racism, xenophobia, misogyny, and chaos. I am exhausted by the reality show presidency and world we live in.
While we were in Ohio over the summer, I (impulsively) purchased The Wild Unknown Archetypes oracle cards by Kim Krans. I saw a couple of the cards somewhere online (probably on Instagram) and thought the artwork was marvelous. I have The Wild Unknown Tarot deck (along with several other decks) as well, although I rarely break out the cards anymore. I realized when I bought the Archetypes cards that I am attracted to the artwork more than I am to whatever it is the cards have to say for themselves. I’ve never thought of any of the cards (tarot or otherwise) as oracles or predictors of the future, but more along the lines of bringing to light what we might already know on some level. Or, at the very least, giving a different point of view of what we might already know.
Yesterday I pulled one of the Archetypes cards and came up with The Vow. One of the meanings is “bearing witness to the shift toward destiny.” I’m not sure what that means (although I do have some thoughts about it that might come up another time in another post). There is also this:
… reciting The Vow (no matter how casually) activates the eternal and unseen forces of the world. The ancestors bear witness. The laws of nature respond. These promises cannot be unsaid or forgotten, so breaking them can leave lingering complexities and loose ends. This card calls us to acknowledge The Vow we are living by (consciously or unconsciously) and either recommit to it or create a ritual that signifies its closure. You’ve been underestimating the power of your promises.
You’ve been underestimating the power of your promises feels like a powerful statement. It was, it seemed to me, a reminder of what I’ve been quietly and not so quietly saying about my plans for after the election, including my withdrawal from social media. I’ve been promising a withdrawal for years, and here I am, promising it again. It makes me wonder about the hold/addiction/enchantment of social media. What need does it fulfill? It is easy for me to look at it now and say that the need is one of wanting to connect, but that is a recent turn of events.
I realize leaving social media is not the be-all and end-all of life. There are more important promises and vows in life. However, there is a connection to the more important. As I’ve stated previously, it boils down to core values. And that is what I am recommitting to. My core values, or what is important to me. I get stuck, try again, get stuck, try again. When it ceases to be interesting (as it mentions in the Keyes poem at the beginning of this post), I get unstuck and move on. I think I might be just about there, ready to move on.
That’s probably enough from me for today. Thank you so much for stopping by. Let’s meet out at the Point for sunset. I think it’s going to be pretty. There are a few clouds around to spread some joy and color. Sunset is scheduled for 4:59 PM. It’s relatively warm (for November), close to 70°F. A light jacket will probably suffice.
Please be safe, be well, and be kind.
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 1,591) Misty autumn mornings that highlight the sunbeams shooting through the trees and across the pond. 1,592) The Thursday play date with my favorite Little Wookie. We had ninety minutes of fun today. I’m learning how to do a few different things with Zoom and that adds to the playfulness and joy. 1,593) Early morning walks in the woods without being harassed by mosquitoes. Yay! 1,594) The cacophony of bird calls and songs in the woods this morning. It was pretty impressive. The crows have been gathering for their annual winter convention. It sounded like there were hundreds of them off in the distance somewhere. Canada geese, gulls, warblers, chickadees, cardinals, robins, and a hawk or two joined in the morning chorus. 1,595) The learning experiences that come from recognizing and acknowledging habits and addictions and patterns (samskaras).