Today is a rainy day,
but I had to take a walk.
So I have my favorite little umbrella
made by a company called Leighton.
It’s very steady, very well-made.
It’s double around the rim and opens very nicely.
Though slightly small it is just right for little walks.
I like it.
The woods were noisy with rainfall
but it was all rain that was caught in the leaves.
As I walked out of the woods it was quiet again.
My first stop was the little shed next to the pond.
While in the shed it poured down raining.
It was delightful.
I like sitting in that shed when it rains.
The rain eventually stopped and I moved on toward the vale.
I stopped at my first special place to sit on a rock on the near side.
I sat studying the underside of my umbrella.
What a cool design.
And then – I noticed the rope.
I think it once held up a pump down in a well.
Then it got used for other things.
But I found this 18 inch piece laying in the field
and I tied it around this tree that’s here next to where I like to sit.
I don’t know where the ropes were used last.
I’ve tied three ropes here, actually two ropes and one twine.
The twine was bailing twine. All of it is plastic.
The heavier blue and white rope that once held a well-water pump
is about a quarter inch in diameter.
The other twine is only an eighth of an inch or less.
I tied the bailing twine around a tree where I like to enter or leave the vale.
No one may ever notice it.
As a matter of fact, I don’t expect anyone to notice any of it.
Now I’m walking to the other side of the vale.
First I walked down the west bank to the vale bottom.
It’s not a steep climb down or anything.
It’s a small vale. It’s only maybe 100 feet across at the bottom.
Now I’m climbing up the east side.
I just passed the groundhog hole at the bottom of the tree.
Now I’m approaching my other favorite spot to sit.
You may ask, “Where do you sit without getting your ass wet when it’s been raining?”
I bring a plastic trash bag with me.
I unfold and set it down where I want to sit.
And now here I sit on the tree
which leans over at such an acute angle
there’s room for 4 or 5 people to sit on this tree.
It’s only 8 to 10 inches in diameter.
There is a little branch arising next to me
where there’s another blue-and-white rope tied.
I can see the other tree where the first rope is tied
but I can’t see the rope.
And I can’t see the rope at the wood line
where I will emerge when I leave for home.
It’s beautiful and green here.
There are lots of trees of different sizes.
It’s fairly rocky here too.
Some of the rocks are sharp and some are rather smooth.
That tells me something.
The sharp ones have been revealed sharp by more recent breaking pressures.
They’ve been cracked with sharp edges exposed.
The smooth ones have been weathered down by many years of rain.
It becomes obvious that water once flowed down this vale.
But it’s been a long time.
I expect glaciers left a lot of the soil here.
And trees left a lot of soil here.
Trees don’t grow very large here when there’s very little soil.
But they fall and become soil.
Then subsequent trees grow larger.
Then there’s the dust that falls to earth every day
that must add an inch every few hundred years.
The old old trees are gone entirely with no signs of the trunks
where they broke off or fell over.
There are a few trunks left from trees that have fallen over more recently.
And there are some that have been cut.
So there’s always an increase of soil.
Some of the trees seem to be growing right out of the tops of rocks.
Some trees are growing in soil that probably has good depth.
When the trees mature that have this deep soil my ropes may still be here.
My little ropes.
I’d like to encourage you
to stop trying to be the real you.
What would you even suppose that might be?
Someday, notice how you change.
Notice the you that claims to be you when you wake up in the morning,
then notice the you that starts working or doing whatever you intend to do every day,
notice the you that stops for lunch and the you that needed to,
notice the you that watches the clock in order to go back home,
notice the you that greets whatever shares your home that makes it home for you.
Notice the you that eats dinner.
Notice the you that sometimes goes out in the evening to meet with other folks and
Notice how that you differs depending upon which folks you’re meeting.
Notice the you that protects itself from the things you don’t understand.
Notice the you that sheds its height as bedtime approaches.
Notice the you that wakes to pee before you’re done sleeping.
You can detect a different you at these and so many other times each day.
So which one is the real you?
None of them.
I recommend that you give up the idea of even discovering the real you.
It doesn’t exist.
But you can do this…
Write the old you off.
The more you write off all these old yous what’s left is rather precious.
It’s not that you will discover the real you, you will discover that there is no real you.
You’ll discover that our capacity for me-ness is huge and dynamic.
Our identity can continue to grow and grow and grow daily even hourly with the things that we see and discover each day.
I ate some snow today.
No big deal.
But I bet you did not.
The little things that each of us does
can mean so much to us,
and we may not realize how unique they are to us.
in the sparkling river
he grips his cup downside up.
Dry and thirsty
he gathers his resolve
and curses cups.
Right it, please, I urge him,
but the message flows off the rim
into to the sparkling river.
Dit randid joyk
Gun farce afeet
Ban kneedy leg
Ma stoma cake
Fra tearin lake
An gona furter
Wha toil doon
Gan total groun
Den jimy gup
Flight flow te cup
Flight flow te cup
(report all spelling problems to spelling department)
The precious, churning black edge
where the light comes from,
where rubber and road negotiate the future,
where you’re all out of cheeks and extra miles,
yet floating forward along your thread,
your thread that is your story of becoming,
your story of letting go, your revelations,
your story of seeing beyond the edge,
your journey past the monsters.
from the dung heap below
no judgment just soaring
Cramming for their finals
aiming low for safety
sitting still for portraits
roots clipped for decoration
fruit tied to long-dead trees
unrecognizable residual freedom
slip zone goes
by flows by downstream
light passes, hope passes by
Wake up and Percolate!
Aerate and Saturate!
Wring out carefully,
shake the ear free of common combinations
aim for the heart with no tricks, no guile
thermals from the dung heap
I like a foggy morning
with its graceful revelations.
The way it whispers with no argument
where the high places are, and the low.
The trees rest a little longer
and wear their gowns til ten.
Shadow-lovers linger later in the cloud
and amble slowly to their dens
Under gently dripping leaves
turning quietly toward the sun.
This is the soft earth,
the kind earth,
Sometimes I see the sun in your eyes
When you’re responsible for every shadow
But cannot see one!
Toward your good gift of light
I rotate my dark side for warmth.
Since you don’t, can’t see a dark side
When you are the light.
And your glowing gift
Grants me also the same glory
The same self-radiance.
I do want that sun in my eyes, too,
that sees no shadow.