Tag Archives: prose

Tomorrow here in Taos, New Mexico, we will be having our January edition of The Spoken Word Open Mic Series. If you happen to be close enough to join us in person, please do! ¬†ūüôā

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Praise to Thickets Amongst Us

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Thicket along the watercourse; San Cristobal, NM

Down by the thickets of willows making their place where waters sometimes run (as a trickle or more.) This wayside is where the heart has its home, the air naturally cooling in this weave on a very hot day.

I’ve been here “on the property” for a little¬†over two weeks but clearly haven’t arrived¬†until now. This is my first day here in the grasses,¬†on their way to tall, the filtered light in nuances more than I can count, the old bowing willow¬†branches remind me of the ever present¬†inspiration¬†to the eye of an artist, perhaps¬†the other way around. To draw this place or just to be and see and be touched by this wild order? The kind of beauty that can go so easily unnoticed, much less the amazing feat of interspecies communing, even those without voices, but textures, color, integrity take me over. The air is not the only element that is renewed here.

I want to say “on the other hand…” as I contemplate the contrast of the places that have been denuded (a stone’s throw from here) or stripped of their natural dignity by the use or appropriation for something we call “living our lives.” What I love about this wilder place by the draw behind the house is that life is already living here fully and I simply join in. This grand beingness of it all!

It’s not that this place is any better than someplace else, it’s just that it is THIS place and can be no other place! And how so very different it feels here than just fifty or a hundred yards away. What a gift this place speaks of my own nature, which sometimes seems much less human than just Being alive, sentience itself, able to be touched, penetrated by the exquisite weave of interpenetrating life, of consciousness. The magpies have their squawk and the mourning doves their cooing calls. The breeze, now at my back, stirs the green life alive into motion and sound. Is it the motion of things that we hear or is it something just a bit more illusive than that?

This up close visitation to the green of the thicket next to the seeping wallow brings me right to the taste of my own heart. They are not like the wider vistas of mountains in the distance with fields of sagebrush laying out before them, not like the open, open skies with all matter of clouds and blue in their ever-changing atmosphere-scape. Here things crowd in without any feeling of density or overbearingness. Here is intimacy, did I say that already, of brush and bower, of grass and twig, of every kind of insect and butterfly with the light ever shifting amongst it all. I become part of a nourishment cycle; bathing in spirit of thicket and this very place.

The Land of Clouds

The other ‘land’

A new land was visible, as well as undeniably felt today. This land was a land of clouds, in perfect synergy with the geological, earthen land masses that appear so permanent and reliable. The cloud cover was ever changing today, reliably so. The play of light and shadow cast exponentially greater than the day or two before when I took in the simple play of afternoon light and shadow on the slopes of the Adams Gulch trail north of Ketchum (where I’ve been communing with animals for the last three weeks.)

It was as if I had arrived in a wholly new place. The clouds joining with, marrying, in a deep interplay with the curves and slopes of the mountains and hills and creek valleys everywhere around me creating a new order of scape. I was drawn to capture the shapes and the light and the feel of these ineffable contours again and again and again. Everywhere I turned, yet another land to move with, to be wafted by, lifted up while my feet remained with the ground below.

Dwelling place in the clouds

Where is it we dwell, truly? There is only one small portion of ground that our physical form rests down, touches down, meets contact with and makes real that place. All other aspects of space are perceived, even if they can be mapped, recorded, seemed to be held real ~ all these are simply a pointing to. Such is the magic of the cloud land or cloudscape, no maps are made of these.

Hiroshige Homage

In that way, clouds are akin to so many other changing thus not permanent things, not expected to remain the same. What is it about cloud nature that our brains so resonate with their phenomena? Are we not so much closer to cloud than steel or glass or even wood? We are so changeable by so, so many aspects and factors of life that shape us, constrict us, show us off, dissolve us, heighten and sometimes perturb us.

Permanently Changeable: Sky Dance

I will meet you here

We are at home in the sky

There no ladder climbs