Monday Evening PotPourri

*Leonard Cohen is releasing a new album. I hope when I’m his age, I’m still doing work as wonderful, creative, authentic, and just plain good as Cohen does.

*I also hope that, in about a hundred lifetimes or so, I can be half as amazing as Yeshe Rabbit is today.

*Joanna Powell Colbert has a wonderful post up concerning being native to your place.

How then does each of us become native to the Place where we live?

It has to do with listening, and connecting. Getting to know the Place where you live so intimately that you identify with it. Gary Snyder says, “. . . if you know what is taught by the plants and weather, you are in on the gossip and can truly feel more at home.”

So I’ve learned to be in on the gossip of my Place.

I watch as the Steller’s jays squabble over the sunflower seeds I set out for them and notice the towhees and juncos who quietly await their turn at the feeder.

I wait for the red-flowering currant to show up in bright pink and magenta on early spring days, when the landscape is otherwise still brown and grey.

I know where the chickaree (Douglas squirrel) hides her stash of seeds and nuts in the autumn, and what part of the woods holds the most luscious mushrooms.

I know the slough where the great blue heron lives and when the tree frogs will begin their chorus in the spring.

I know where to harvest wild onions in the summer and where to find nettles in the earliest days of spring.

I know how far north the sun sets at midsummer, and how low in the sky it rides at noon in midwinter.

This, then, is how we become native to the land: by loving her well, first of all. By observing, being aware, studying, and participating in the life cycle of the land instead of dominating it.

I hope that, if I live on my little Bit of Earth for the rest of my life, I can be more and more “in on the gossip.”

*Here’s a lovely poem for you.

This Ecstacy
~Chard Deniord

It’s not paradise I’m looking for
but the naming I hardly gave a thought to.
Call it the gift I carried in my loneliness
among the animals before I started
listening to the news. Call it the hint
I had about the knowledge that would explode.
In the meantime, which is real time
plus the past, you’re swishing your skirt
and speaking French, which is more
than I can take, which I marvel at
like a boy from the most distant seat
in the Kronos Dome, where I am one
of so many now I see the point
of falling off. There’s not enough seats
for us all to attend the eschaton.
This ecstasy that plants beauty
on my tongue, so that if it were
a wing, I’d be flying with the quickness
of a hummingbird and grace of a heron,
is so much mercy in light of the darkness
that comes. Who would say consolation?
Who would say dross? Not that anyone
would blame them. All night I hear
so many echoes in the forest I’m tempted
to look back, to save myself in hindsight,
where all I see is the absence of me.
Where all I hear is your voice,
which couldn’t be more strange.
How to go on walking hand in hand
without our bodies on the path
we made for our feet, talking, talking?

Picture found here.


2 responses to “Monday Evening PotPourri

  1. The link to Joanna Powell Colbert’s post doesn’t seem to be working…

  2. In a Hawk’s “I” : thanks for catching that. Fixed now.

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