Ripped Away From the Garden

Monday, March 23, 2009


Last year at this time, I was hoping for insurance approval for a back surgery. I could do nothing more than lie on my back, looking straight up at the ceiling. Still needs to be painted, by the way.


This spring, I am able to plant seedlings and paint flowers on bed borders. I can hoe a little and plant a little. I have to be careful not to overdue. I want to crouch down and sink my hands in the dark earth, play with the worms and notice the baby praying mantis make his way up the lavender bush. Yet, now I am more mindful of my body, my back. I am learning that this life is not meant to break our back. We must learn to support ourselves, physically and spiritually. For many years, I have worked so hard, mindlessly, really, to please others. Through this back breaking injury, I have gained some clarity. This humanness, is not meant to be frittered away doing work that injures us, or others. Even work that seems fulfilling can be deceiving. The only voice that counts is the sweet whisper we hear when all is quiet. It is an important tool, honing that hearing aid. The voice is so slight, so pure and at a tone we can only hear when our hearts are open and our ego is otherwise occupied.

I have been hearing it in the garden as I greet the worms, welcome the butterflies and call to the honeybees. Yesterday, a blustery wind blew through the valley. At first, bringing heavy rain and wind. As the rain clouds emptied, the sky appeared in all of it's glory. Fluffy clouds with hints of pink and gray, silver and heaven danced above our heads. The wind blew in blustery gusts, clearing the air, washing away that which the rain had missed. 

I am itching to go out to plant the eggplant and cucumbers. Please do not forget about the 100th Post Give Away. Leave a comment of one of your magic moments. I will pick a random winner on Thursday evening. I will iron, fold and pack it away to some lucky lover of magic moments!

It was recently Billy Collins' birthday. I leave you with one of my favorites:


On Turning Ten

The whole idea of it makes me feel
like I'm coming down with something,
something worse than any stomach ache
or the headaches I get from reading in bad light--
a kind of measles of the spirit,
a mumps of the psyche,
a disfiguring chicken pox of the soul.

You tell me it is too early to be looking back,
but that is because you have forgotten
the perfect simplicity of being one
and the beautiful complexity introduced by two.
But I can lie on my bed and remember every digit.
At four I was an Arabian wizard.
I could make myself invisible
by drinking a glass of milk a certain way.
At seven I was a soldier, at nine a prince.

But now I am mostly at the window
watching the late afternoon light.
Back then it never fell so solemnly
against the side of my tree house,
and my bicycle never leaned against the garage
as it does today,
all the dark blue speed drained out of it.

This is the beginning of sadness, I say to myself,
as I walk through the universe in my sneakers.
It is time to say good-bye to my imaginary friends,
time to turn the first big number.

It seems only yesterday I used to believe
there was nothing under my skin but light.
If you cut me I could shine.
But now when I fall upon the sidewalks of life,
I skin my knees. I bleed.

Billy Collins

2 comments:

Christopher Guilfoil said...

A great teacher: our back! For that matter not only our physical back but our whole back space, if you will. As an artist I am increasingly aware of this space. I move in an out of it hoping for the gifts that come from that space. Quite literally as well. My pockets are full of these gifts. We move into that space when we want to feel something more deeply, or when we are lost and need to open ourselves to new possibilities. It is our moral home.

In that space just now I remembered these words of the philosopher and esotericist Georg Kuhlewind:
"In the background of human consciousness lies the primal experience which cannot be expressed in words but only thought: "I am" and "light." The tiniest movement of consciousness is accompanied by this hidden experience; indeed any movement can only occur under this "condition." In everyday consciousness this primal experience is always concealed by the experience of the "that." The eye only looks."

Goethe said "The eye only sees light, dark and color... the enjoyment of form rests in the inner [Human], and communicates that beauty to the eye."

What a wonderful crisis, a blessing. To notice the ceiling and pay attention to details, as this blog has been focused upon, is a moral gift to the Earth.

Rilke says:

Earth, is not this what you want:
invisibly to rise within us/ -
Is it not your dream to be one day invisible? -
Earth: invisible!
What is your urgent command,
if not transformation?
Earth, dear Earth, I will.

Circe said...

Wow... post and comment... I will revisit. My peace is not complete enough tonight... but it is, now, improved.