Sunday, June 3, 2007

I’m not sure what to write about this morning. I’m sitting here at my “new” writing desk, sipping my morning coffee and looking out on the beautiful day. When I sit here, I can’t get over the perfection of this world and its forms. When I see Little walking by, so beautiful and perfect in her sleek, black catness, I’m overwhelmed with emotion. Even the view across the street, somehow in its exquisite dereliction, is perfect. The sagging trailer, the tall grass and weeds, the dead tree with its gnarled bare branches framed against the blue sky, the gray adobe bricks and rotting green roof of the boarded-up old house, the rusty clothesline poles whose cross bars have wilted--what makes this scene so exquisite? To most people, this is what you’d call an eyesore. How does this register as beauty in my heart? What is the quality present there that overwhelms my heart?

I think about the countless suburban neighborhoods, so drab and lifeless and sterile, that do nothing for my heart. Yet aren’t the gray adobe blocks drab? Isn’t the ghostly white trunk of the dead tree stark? How can I look at this scene and be uplifted? Maybe because I sense that it holds memories and history, it’s a place marker for what was. Because my soul needs to be rooted to the past and this scene reminds me that there is a past.

Part of the disease of modern culture, I feel, is that there is no honoring of the past. We’re not connected with anything but the superficial now. There’s no reverence for the past and no thought of the future. How can people have so totally forgotten the timelessness of their own souls, the ancientness of their own being? If we deny that even in our own selves we certainly won’t have reverence for it in the physical world. When you’ve quit tending to your own soul, the world correspondingly shrivels and loses all nuance. The outer world becomes a simple prop, a backdrop, for mindless humans caught in their own unconsciousness.

This time in my life is such a period of struggle. I want to live a meaningful life, and not just a meaningful life, because my life has always seemed quite meaningful, but I want to contribute something. I like that this urge to write has reawakened in me. I feel like I was asked to write by those spirits that were haunting me in March. As soon as I began to get the urge to write, the haunting imagery stopped. It was as if they’d finally gotten through to me. Now the burden is on me to make it happen. My path is somehow through my writing to share the Native American sentiment, which really is the fully human sentiment, with those who are asleep. I don’t think the first thing that I write for publication, or the second, or the third will succeed in doing that, but I will keep at it and at some point I may get there.

I’m thinking of giving up reading for the summer. Reading stimulates my thinking so much, but I spend so much time with it than I never get around to writing. If I need to do it to research a topic I’m writing about that’s one thing, although that’s dangerous because all of the reading I do is research anyway. I just want to be more mindful in the next few months about how I’m using my time. I want to make sure I’m writing something every day.

Lately I feel like I’m being remade. Simplicity is changing me. I’m not sure I could put it into words just yet, but everything feels different. Simple pleasures are confoundingly beautiful. I just don’t even know what to do with the joy that rises in my heart. It reminds me so much of the bliss I felt as a teenager--so in love with the sensuousness of the landscape that I longed to hug the hills. What do you do with bliss? It feels like you need to do something, but what?

One night last week I went out to pull weeds in the yard after we had an afternoon rain shower that had cooled things off into the sixties. The storm had been short enough that the soil still held the heat of the day. The humid warmth that radiated from the soil onto my hands was sumptuous. I can’t even describe it, but there was something very intimate about it. I think the heat felt like that which is given off by a lover’s body. It was the most amazing thing.

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