Mystic Writer

Peeking out to see if there is a real world out there...

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

A wish come true

Spring slammed in with a vengeance. A string of below freezing days was supplanted by a stiff warm breeze that had me shedding coat then sweater and then unbuttoning my short sleeve shirt and still I was too warm.

My hike last night was through muck and snow fed torrents. The walking was hard but the bird song was glorious. I stopped often, listening to the liquid tones of a blackbird and percussive beat of a woodpecker. A crane drifted overhead and called its odd warble in answer to a hawks scream.

The long grass near the still frozen lake rustled dreamily and I followed the shore far around, unwilling to let the sound go.

Finally I turned towards my car and after a while I detoured to climb the highest hill in the area and rest while watching night settle on the forest and prairie. I lumbered up the hill and at the top settled in to meditate on the wind. Calm descended, entering through my scalp and skin and slowly easing inward.

An odd power flowed up from the ground, elemental earth feeding my spirit. The wind shifted and turned cold, but strangely it warmed my spirit. Elements swirled and coalesced and abruptly I found myself on my feet, hands clasped in front of me.

"This ground that I stand on lifts my soul and is the core part of me that attracts you. This wind that blows from you touches my soul and attracts me to you. Behind me the sun has set and in front of me a moon full and potent has yet to rise".

I moved my hands outward in response to the buffeting forces and cupped them, drawing the wind to me.

"I ask that you let go of your doubts. Follow the path that joins with mine. I am ready for you now. I want to inspire you and be inspired by you. I want us to grow together and separately. I want to celebrate life with you, share all this beauty..."

I spread my arms and turned round the hilltop, gazing in wonder

"... that I see and feel. I want you to show me your world and share it with me. TB, I can see our connection, our shared glow. I believe we can have a love that will transcend all that we have ever hoped for".

I felt a palpable wave move out from me and for a moment I felt both stronger and weaker. I fixed my gaze on a star.

"I am going to make a wish on that star. Trust that more than anything I want your life to be good and full of happiness, and if I am not part of that I will still be happy if you find it. I give you my soul and heart, mind and body. All that is me is filled with love and joy for you..."

I trailed off and breathed deep and brought my focus back to the star.

"Star, I've wished upon you so often, and it seems that much that I've wished for has come true, but so often it is beyond my ken. What I wish for tonight is something easy for me to understand, something that will help me to believe. I want TB to initiate a conversation with me - maybe a phone call, maybe an e-mail. Anything to show that she thinks of me when I am not the one initiating things. That is all I ask tonight. Thank you star - I hope you are having a good life".

I listened to the wind for a moment, then shouldered my backpack and headed down the hill. Halfway down I was struck by the thought that my cell phone might be on silent mode so I fished it out of my pocket and checked, hoping that it would ring. I noticed the time was 8pm and shoved the phone back in my pocket, then walked the final mile to my car. The rest of the evening passed with no call and I went to bed and let the hope pass away.

Sitting down at my desk this morning I went through my ritual of sipping my coffee and reading my e-mail. At the top of the list of my inbox was a conversational e-mail from TB sent at 8:16pm. The e-mail was just a spur of the moment friendly note, and it is the first time I have ever gotten anything like that from her.

Mystic Writer indeed!

Friday, March 25, 2005

Geese of fire

A week ago I couldn't get out of bed.

I arrived back from the elation of my vacation to a city which compressed my soul and a day of work that boggled my mind.

The evening of St. Patricks day and a nieces 21st birthday provided ample outlet for my frustrations. The youth of our party entertained themselves mightily by feeding my need with a variety of beverages.

I have not been drunk in a long time and I enjoyed the freedom of inebriation. The morning after was a horrible combination of situational and alcohol depression with a huge twist of physical agony.

Trying to find my equilibrium has been a slow thing, and last night as the full moon rose in the afternoon sky I knew I needed something wonderful.

I headed northwest to a wildlife refuge and strapping on my backpack I set off. The wind blew lonely cross the prairie and the bluestem and indian grasses rustled quietly. Off in the distance I could hear the gentle cacophony of geese, duck, and crane settling into a meltwater pond.

The sun set slowly, turning the prairie gold, then pink, then purple. Geese restlessly crossed the sky as I restlessly crossed the prairie. A deer bounded high toward the treeline and paused to look at me for a while.

The trail turned into a stand of pines and in the dappled moonlight I found the trail covered in ice that looked for all the word like polished marble. I skated my way along, watching the moon slide in and out of the tree tops and listening to the whisper of the wind through the boughs.

Slowly the trail climbed and the ice was replaced by snow. At the crest of the hill I could look westward across a prairie flat to the far horizon. The wind was fierce as it broke against the hill and I sat face into it to meditate on the swaying of a birch tree.

The focus wouldn't come but I felt a peacefulness settle into me, and as I sat on the lonely hilltop I pictured lines of connection to the people and places I love. I whispered my thoughts and wishes, talked of my dreams, then lapsed into an easy silence.

The stars slowly whirled and tilted and finally, when the cold became too much, I creaked my way to my car and silently drove to a house that isn't my home.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The breath of the desert

We reach the crest of the tortured rock ridge and start descending. The footing is tricky and I focus tightly on the path beneath my feet. A little voice comes from the backpack 'This is beautiful, Daddy', and I pause and lift my gaze.

The orange, brown, and yellow stone lifts and swirls around us. It seems at any moment the rock will unfreeze and we will be awash in this incredible landscape.

I take a deep breath, inhaling the dryness of the wind and letting the peace enter in. The sky is blue and demanding, etching the horizon with flawless precision.

I let the breath slowly out 'It is beautiful...'. and pick my way down to a sunken hollow filled with sand.

I gratefully unstrap the backpack, then lift him out and set him down. I lower myself and sit crosslegged propped against an orange ledge. He looks around then sits on my knee and nestles in. We share a slow moment of wonder till he leans forward and eases himself to his knees, then his belly.

He pulls his mittens off and starts building roadways and berms in the sand. I tilt my face to the sun, close my eyes, match my breath to the pace of the wind, and let go.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Homeward bound

The journey continues. Today we crossed back over the Rocky Mountains to Denver and tomorrow we take a late flight home. In the morning we'll explore Roxborough State Park and then mournfully head for the airport.

I wouldn't go back if I could get away with it. The only thing I miss is TB, and if there is anything real there my not returning wouldn't affect it. My son has been immersed in the present place and moment and has talked very little about home or his mom, much to my relief.

I swore I wouldn't let thoughts of home color my journey but tonight they won't let me be.

I'll post some more pictures to cheer up this post and Thursday I'll try to recapture the joyous mood of our travels.

A study in stone

Monday, March 14, 2005

A roaming we will go

One might well imagine I have fallen off the face of the earth. In fact, from a network sense, I have. My three year old son and I have been roaming the desert southwest for the last several days, hiking and grooving in the twisted rock landscapes.

My intent was to have internet access throughout the trip but it was not meant to be - in retrospect something of a blessing.

My son has a deep soul. We have sat long in silent wilderness and danced in stone grottos singing with our echoes. This is the fatherhood of dreams, he and I sharing a spiritual and physical adventure.

He has hiked on foot for several miles and been backpacked for many more. We have seen wonders. I am exhausted and ready to collapse into bed so I will so share one more picture and say goodnight.


Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Color Commentary

Nicky wrote a comment that was truly beautiful and inspiring, and I wanted to bring some attention to it. What an amazing thing to call the person of your desire into your life. And I loved Nicky's perspective on finding the right one and how perception helps the odds. I think she is exactly right.

I feel like I've known TB forever, and sometimes I feel like she is a long lost part of me. The sense of completeness in a relationship is not something I have ever felt before. I am thrilled that Nicky has found her 'one', both for her and for the knowledge that it is possible.

I am also thrilled to find I am not the only one who sees the colors and impressions. Sometimes it's kind of lonely being me! I'm guessing everyone feels that way about something.

Anna's comment is wonderful because she gives credence to the belief that there are ways of knowing things about people that are not explicitely attributable to 'normal' senses. It intrigues me that for Anna her perception is less tangible than it is for Nicky and me, but in all our cases it seems undeniable.

I love it when a blog posting generates such remarkable comments! Thank you both so much.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

True colors

Earlier this year I was out hiking on a blustery winters night. The wind was howling and the snow was falling crystalline and sharp in the icy air. I walked for miles, senses expanding along with my soul as I removed myself further and further from civilization.

I was following the trail up a long grade when I became aware that someone was out in the night with me, and it came as no surprise when a few minutes later a pair of silhouettes rose slowly from the horizon.

What was surprising is that my senses and soul did not retreat, and in my heightened awareness I could 'see' that the couple had a reddish glow surrounding them. The three of us converged and before we had stopped the woman was already talking about the beauty of the night, the hawks she had seen earlier, the owls that were hooting around us. I was incredibly attracted to the two of them and I wanted to be part of the connection that I could visibly see between the two of them - they had something I've longed for all my life. Eventually our talking slowed a little and we said our goodbyes. I was so energized by the contact I practically danced the miles back to my car.

I thought long and hard about my impressions. Whenever I look at or focus my attention on something I frequently 'see' more than is there visually. Frequently it takes the form of colors, but in some cases it is more of an object. For example one of my best friends always leaves me with the impression of a nerdy pair of glasses. I had known him for quite a while before we became friends, and when I finally got talking with him I found that he considered himself an observer more than a participant in life.

Last fall I met someone who felt like a black and white checkerboard that had been seriously twisted and torqued, so much so that cracks had formed and black was spidering into the white. I do not think the future bodes well for this person, although I wish that that were not so.

In most cases as I get to know a person the initial vision I have of them becomes muddied with more mundane impressions and after a while I can't really 'see' that earlier vision of them.

I don't think this 'vision' thing is unusual. I think we all come up with modes of dealing with the wealth of sensory data our bodies present us with, and my mode seems to be primarily visual. I might be more sensitized to these impressions because I grew up largely alone with miles of nothing to roam in. Or maybe that is all completely bogus and my extra way of seeing things is something entirely different. At any rate...

At the time I thought that I had never seen a couple that had the same 'colors'. Their glows were slightly different but in a way that complemented. All other couples I've seen have little similarity when I look at them in this mode.

As with all things that excite and inspire me, I told it to TB, and she was as excited as I. She has experience in seeing things in different ways and she understood immediately what I was talking about. We talked about this for quite a while and then somehow moved on to the topic of traveling in Mexico. All the sudden I was struck with the rememberance of a couple I had met in a small Mexican town.

I was staying at a wonderful little resort far south on the gulf with my cousin Ad. Ad in his weirdly social way had befriended a man named Gedda, and when he introduced Gedda to me I was immediately aware of his presence. His 'look' was a pleasant gray with overtones of ivory and a total feeling of peace and depth. I was very attracted to him and we started talking. He mentioned his wife Sylvia was also staying at the resort but she was looking for solitude and was spending time in their room or walking south along the deserted coastline.

After a couple days Gedda wanted me to meet Sylvia, and when I saw her I noticed she too had a pleasant gray look, but with a cream tinge. When they came near each other the bond they had was intense - it was as if they were making love whenever they were together. It was incredible for me to be near them, and I spent much of the rest of my stay with them, telling each other our stories and philosophies.

At the time I was at the height of my cynicism and I dismissed anything that couldn't be explained by textbook physics, so I just laughed at myself and over time I had come to somewhat forget about the experience.

Talking with TB brought it all back and I realized that what I want, probably what everyone wants, is to have the connection that Gedda and Sylvia had - visceral and tangible, perceivable by those who know what to look for.

When I first met TB I was struck by her 'look'. It was so intense that for a long time I couldn't even bring up an 'eyeball' image of her in my mind. She is cream with overtones of brown and yellow, maybe just a hint of gold. There is a sense of the warmth of vanilla, and at all times there is a feeling of a gentle breeze blowing.

TB asked the question of whether people who couldn't see these connections could ever find each other, and I replied that I didn't think so. I'm probably wrong, and the fact that few of us ever find someone to connect with is probably just a matter of odds and not perception.

What do you think?

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Raptor redux

Inclement weather turned me towards central Iowa and I spent my day hiking along ridges and exploring little caves, then driving a little longer and hiking on high bluffs along the Cedar river.

The clouds were gray, occasionally lightening a little to let a little lemon sunshine through. I walked in satisfied silence appreciating the solitude and enjoying the solid rock and dirt footing.

There were eagles and hawks everywhere but the lighting was terrible for photography and nothing turned out.

The next day dawned incredibly clear and cold and I headed down the Mississippi. I crossed to Illinois at Savannah and saw at least twenty eagles roosting as I drove along the bridge. I stopped briefly mid-span, risking my life for several photos and this time took some shots that I liked.

Immature bald eagle

This yearling eagle was getting a scolding from a mature baldie, and I was full of sympathy. I guess even eagle parents power trip on their kids...

I climbed the bluffs in Palisade Park, then headed over to the Rockford area and hiked at Castle Rock - I caught this hawk with a snap shot just as he cleared the tree line.

Hawk on the wing

All in all it was a nice little trip and I feel somewhat restored.