Mystic Writer

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

Saturday, October 29, 2005


Rattle and whisper and growing glow slowly break the cycling turns of thought. The whisper of long grass dies as I come to a halt, my gaze continuing up the trail.

The path is little used, the grass knee high and waving, an elegant sea of tans and browns and burnished copper. Ahead, the path enters a large stand of Aspen, golden bright and leaves fluttering in the wind.

The branches form a continuous arch over the trail, and the setting sun directly behind me casts my shadow far into the tunnel of trees. The long grass catches the light and my silhouette is haloed and dramatic. It takes my breath away.

A long long pause, thoughts slowly turning, and I begin walking again. I remember last winter, how frequently I rejoiced in my physicality and physical sensation. I pursue the thought, pull it apart but can't find the grain that is irritating me.

When I get to my car I notice with all my far flung senses that I am the only one around.

I strip off all my clothes, let the chill air slowly cool me. After a while I walk a small ways, run my hands up the cords of my calves and thighs, touch the long muscles of my back and feel the smooth power as I twist in the darkening twilight. I listen to the frogs and toads, hear a cricket pause at the call of a nighthawk. The wind caresses the treetops and in the whisper I walk back.

I pull my socks on and revel in the plush warmth, slowly put on my shirt and enjoy the crisp coolness of the fabric. The heavy cloth of my jeans weights my hips in a taught embrace.

Suddenly I sense the core of my ponderings and grab it - I realize that all summer I've been isolating my intellect from my body, ignoring it, setting aside sensation. I think about that, wonder why, and then remember the frequent times I felt proud of myself for continuing on despite how badly I felt.

Since I moved into the treehouse I've been plagued by a string of health issues. I have only had three days where I've felt physically well.

I think that the health issues I've had has caused me to relegate my body to 'meat' status. The pain and itching and gross appearance of the poison ivy took away my appreciation of my skin, bruises and muscle stress causing deep tissue hives took away my joy of strenuous activity, finally a two month long cold took away my ability to taste, smell, hear, and to some extent breathe.

Crazily enough I felt good that I was able to push it all aside and seemingly compensate.

It begs the question of cause and affect - I had a frequent joyful appreciation of the sensual all of last winter. Did I conjure up my health issues out of fear of where it might lead? Is it possible it came from outside of me? I think there is such a thing as coincidence but I think it is rare, especially given how often I have been finding what I need in the last several years.

I think that losing the intense connection with my body and physical sensation has robbed me of much of my spiritual appreciation. I've frequently felt lost this summer, unable to find the clear harmonies of last winter. There has been frequent happiness but not the intense soul joy.

I'm at a bit of a loss at how to solve the problem - I have a hope that with the fall and winter I will regain my health and connection, but I'm not sure - cause and affect are so often connected back to front in these realms.

Has anyone else felt this way? Anyone have any suggestions?

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Slip sliding away

Katrina moved north still potent. It crossed the plains, a continent wide swath of cloud. The cold edge of the north woods halted the progress and rain fell long and hard. Rita soon followed...

A small laugh of disbelief escaped, and I clamped down on my emotions before hysteria set in. I leaned forward at an odd angle, feeling my right leg sink a little deeper and tried to pull my left leg free of the mud. I could feel the muscles in my back start to cramp and I stopped. My left leg hadn't moved and now my right leg was buried to the hip.

I forced calm, took a moment. Suddenly the facts coalesced - the huge pond where normally there was an outwash prairie, the suddenly steeper face of the hill, the oddly angled patch of mud I had stupidly decided to cross...

Fear surged and I struggled crazily to free my leg. Nothing. The implications of being in the middle of a mudslide started to bubble up. The hill could slide again and I could be buried - the mud I was trapped in could slide into the newly formed pond, taking me with it... I resisted the urge to try muscling my way free despite the urgency - strength wasn't going to free me.

I breathed deep, suddenly realized I was within a half mile of an office skyscraper - I started to laugh, overcome with the irony that after the thousands of backcountry miles I've logged I might die within sight of a major metro area.

The laugh allowed me to think and I realized it was my shoe that was locked in the mud. I flexed my foot, wriggled my toes. I could feel mud slip into the shoe. I stopped, thought, realized the hole would quickly fill, realized I was too cheap to give up a fifty dollar shoe without a fight. I torqued my torso as far as I could, gave a twist and heave and my foot pulled free of my shoe and with a squishy sucking sound my leg was out of the ground.

I jammed my arm into the hole, my cheek pressed into the muck. I felt the edge of the shoe, worked my fingers till I had a good grip. Slowly, slowly, I twisted and torqued, freed it from the hole. It was filled and heavy. I threw it out past the edges of the slide. I repeated the process with my right foot, throwing that shoe too.

I lay prone, half submerged. I wriggled, stroked, slowly moving forward and suddenly I was at the edge. I rolled off, grabbed my shoes and gave them another toss, then followed them up the hill, hoping I was out of the path of any possible slides.

As I pulled on my shoes I realized it had been only 20 minutes since I had dropped off my son at pre-school. I started moving up the hill again, working muscles that I knew would stiffen in the cold driving rain. The heavy mud coating slowed me down and I pushed at it with my hands. The rain helped and soon most of it was off.

I looked down at myself, looked at the slicked tight nylon pants and shirt, realized I looked like I'd been mud wrestling. Feelings of survival and sex swirled and pulsed, and suddenly I was filled with need.

I pulled out my phone and called Lynnea...