Monday, November 25, 2013

(moment to moment)

"What does it matter if 2,000 years ago Christ died on the cross and was resurrected if we are not constantly resurrected to the truth, anew, moment to moment?"

 -Russell Brand via New Statesman:

Sunday, November 24, 2013

(there is no simple answer to why I go)

"There is no simple answer to why I go on these trips. Not really. Some adventurers will tell you why they do it, but I think they don’t even know themselves. Some will say because it was there. Or the challenge. The excitement. The adventure. There is some magic to some of that stuff, but I don’t think it is any one thing. There is more to it.

Why must the goose fly north? Ask the arctic tern why he must go from the top to the bottom of the world every year. As for us humans, we must do the things that free us from self-imposed limitations. I am doing my own thing. My own way. My own time. I think that’s legitimate. I am doing what I must do to be true to myself and my nature.

I think it was Kipling who said: “Something is hidden. Go and find it. Go beyond the ranges.” There is something you are reaching for beyond the horizon, something maybe you can’t see. Maybe something beyond your ability, but still it’s worth reaching for. Some people might tell you that you are reaching too far. People may tell you that you can’t do that. You can’t paddle up the Grand Canyon. But if you have some reason, something in you, it’s still worth the effort. It is less important whether you succeed or not, it’s that you are true to yourself and your dreams."

 - Verlen Kruger, canoe adventurer extraordinaire. Verlen paddled over 90,000 miles in the last 40 years of his life, including one trip that started and ended in his backyard in Lansing, Michigan, and included the Arctic Ocean (Alaska), the entire Pacific Coast to Baja, Mexico, the Grand Canyon (upstream) and a thirty mile portage over the Continental Divide. (Heron Dance interview).

Saturday, November 2, 2013

(no, here)

The rabbit sits at the end of the driveway. The heron is back. The glass in the window has shattered.

Shards glint from wooden floorboards where the old man stands bewildered. Saturday. The middle of the afternoon.

Once they threw eggs. Impossible, they were told, to wash from brick. Such effort for a C minus.

An Escalade backs into the driveway, red lights blinking, then turns right and disappears from view. My breath scrambles into my throat and then back down again.

I am only beginning to realize how lucky I am.

Naturally this frightens me. I grow anxious and seek to control things. Pay attention to me. Look at me here. No, here. 

I worry about my decisions. I wake up at 5am convinced I have ruined my teeth. What if I have a heart attack. I need to start flossing again.

Of course the best living I have done is in thrashing surrender and blind, begrudging faith.

Friday, November 1, 2013

(on vacuuming)

There is a glass bowl filled with tiny pumpkins. There is a plant growing from three fat bulbs next to a rock. There is a circle of marble milky with indistinct memories.

I do not know if I am saying goodbye to me, or if I am leaving me, or if one of us is merely going into hiding for a while. I do not know if either of us plans, at some point, to return. I do not know if I am supposed to feel sad or uncomfortable or cling to my ankles until I have dragged myself to my forehead and swallowed me. I do not know if I am supposed to allow change to happen or to fish my boxing gloves out of the closet and get to work. Hiya. Hiya.

For now I will choose to accept the fact that this evening I dogeared a magazine article comparing the merits of various vacuum cleaners. Do I go bagless? Handheld? Roomba? These are questions which somehow interest me, despite having never purchased a vacuum cleaner in my life, and despite knowing that it is a privilege to vacuum and, in many ways, an act of utter non-necessity.

For now I will choose to relish the fact that there is meaning to be found even in vacuuming, that perhaps it is not vacuuming that is silly but I who has been silly all these years to catalog certain actions as somehow more meritorious than others. As if meaning needed to be rationed. As if it were not infinite.