Allowing Nature To Impress Its Gargantuan Self Upon My Tiny Mind

Keeping up with the on-goings of the news, the rubber bullets and bruises, the dead bodies and excuses, the anger and swirl of militarized states, the paranoia, seeping like poison, and here I am, taking a moment to speak from a place of ignorance and bliss, preoccupied with unknowing.

We were at a cafe and it happened to be Science Night. There was a lecture on “flat crystals” and it so totally lost me in a labyrinth of carbons and graphenes and the thickness of atoms…

Taking to the forest instead to learn from the trees, staring at the utter enormity of redwoods, the majesty, the trunks swaying, creaking in the wind, groaning with age and laughter. Hundreds of years old, one hundred plus feet in the sky. It wipes the mind clean. For a long, ecstatic moment I’m left questioning, What is politics? What is this election? Running and jumping and climbing, following a creek, a trickle, making our own paths, pushing back ferns, skunk cabbage, ducking under fallen trunks, stopping to appreciate tiny caves, discovering miniature waterfalls.

Why am I seeing dinosaurs in my mind’s eye?

The forest floor, soft and moist and alive. Banana slugs chugging along… Slowly… Mushrooms popping up in plain sight, forever a reminder of villages and families and the underlying connections we have but hardly see.

Taking time to sit on a fallen trunk for a moment’s breath. The sunlight shifting behind trees. Recalling earlier, when we read aloud from a hidden history of paganism and witchcraft. The ravens caw-cawing overhead, unseen, but heard, amidst the denseness of trees.

We were at a Halloween party the night prior and there was so much straight sexuality, it had me wishing for something other, transcending, an element of the spiritual, beyond the binary. A woman walked over holding a basket of thin branches woven into circles. “Look,” she said, “You can change your perception.” She held the woven branches in the air, peering through them as if into another world. She threw them in the fire and invited us to pick one and do the same. “This is Samhain. The new year. Let go of what’s burdening you.” She explained she had surgery on her neck to remove cancer cells, but we couldn’t see the scars because she drew a vine over them to give them new life. The vine covered her face too. “This is my pain,” she said. “And this is my medicine.”

She inspired me to feed the fire. I took scrap wood from the piles and walked around placing each piece on top of the already burning mass. It was piercingly hot. It kept me at bay, but slowly, I grew a rapport with the flames and made my way closer and closer until I felt inside the flicker and burn. It made me feel insignificant like ash, like I’ve been crumbling in transformation, blown indiscriminately by the wind, and returned to the earth. I don’t think I’m alone in this feeling, because currently the social climate of the country is experiencing breakdown and upheaval. Thousands have been taking to the streets, and now thousands are traveling to Standing Rock. To align oneself with the movements is to feel the structures shift beneath your feet, which is indeed returning folks to community action and protecting the earth.

As much as I get wrapped up in the mindset of the zeitgeist, I’m humbled by the world, how much there is to know, how many pathways there are to take, the grand totality of perspectives at play.

When I walk into bookstores, I’m swept away by the thousands of little worlds stacked on shelves, and the knowledge therein, held together by the thinness of pages. When I hop on the internet, I’m in awe of the way people string words together to create so many clashing realities. So many bubbles that build up and eventually burst. Communication is a wonder. And it goes beyond alphabets… Eye contact, art, the brushing of bodies, the touching of minds. When I walk in the woods, I’m dumbfounded by the number of species of flora and fauna I cannot identify. All I can do is stare at the mystery. And study. And study. No wonder the earth is said to be Goddess. She is both exhilarating and terrifying in sheer complexity.

It happens often when stepping out & into the world: To know so little, but to see so much.

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Harvest your inner child

It’s October, wan, chilly, orange-brown, dead-leafy October. And because October is the month of my birth, I’ve been relaxing a lot and taking naps on the daily. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not lazy or anything like that, there are simply seasons when I sleep more and seasons when I sleep less. Along with the Fall, the Winter is a sleepy season. I attribute my sleeping patterns to the amount of time I spend waking in the Spring and Summer.

It makes sense to me.
I follow the circular footsteps of the sun.

There are other reasons I love this time of year:

Autumn is ripe for the exploration of the imagination. It’s the time of year when the veils between worlds, waking & dreaming, living & dying, are at their thinnest – think about Halloween when we dress up as scary, ugly, sexy, funny, alter-egos, or Dia de los Muertos when we celebrate the dead, or Samhain when we honor the innate chaos of the universe.

Cultures across the globe practice similar holidays of magic.

I remember one year I spotted a vine-y winding plant growing in my backyard. I couldn’t identify it other than maybe perhaps being a squash. Around harvest time, I discovered it was a pumpkin patch! I had a genuine pumpkin patch magically sprouting to life in my backyard. I felt rather like Cinderella…

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This year for Halloween I plan on dressing up as an elf. I have a forest green cloak and a hat of similar coloring. All I need is a quiver & bow, which shouldn’t be too hard to manifest; I practiced archery back in the day, I imagine all I have to do is access that muscle memory and fffwwwiippp! I’ll draw myself to a bow.

One Hallow’s Eve in the past I dressed up as a shaman and was subsequently arrested on a train to Philadelphia. It was a whole spectacle. An officer tackled me after I refused to snub out a stick of incense. As far as I was concerned, it was part of my costume. I think the mask scared him. As well as the staff I was carrying. He later told me it was rather suspect, but I think he meant frightening.

Whatever the case, the past is the past, forgive and forget, the whole nine yards, and as a nervous fellow once told me (who by the way scared the living SHIT out of me), “I ain’t got time for no shenanigans.”