listen to the sound of air– filling the distance, tiny continuous hums– whispers weaving nets, forming a loose cocoon un seen, awash, present– between silences singing– distilled reflection
Brendan at earthweal this week asks us to “describe an enchanted moment”. Neither words nor images seem adequate for the sound of air, but I attempted it anyway. It doesn’t happen all the time, but sometimes when I meditate everything else fades away and I can hear the air. Most often it sounds like the image above.
But sometimes it has more clarity.
And in rare moments, it takes colors into the layers of movement.
The images were created by taking some of the art from one of my Kick-About responses to a film about light and applying Photoshop filters. I’ll get around to posting the originals at some point.
1 The music of birds gathers in the minglings of sky and trees.
2 Voices weave separate paths that cross each other and echo into themselves.
3 Who arranges the sequences into song, the patterns into stories?
4 Who maps the contingent journey of roots and branches?
5 Who casts the landscape into wings that lift spirit into light?
I’ve been wanting to try a cadralor, and Bjorn at dVerse gave me a push by suggesting the form in his prompt. I’ve also been worrying a poem for earthweal, where Sherry asked us to look for “moments of collateral beauty“. Having a specific form to work with helped me to organize my thoughts.
I know: birds again. Yes.
The stitching was inspired by the art of Joan Mitchell, as was all the art I did for NaPoWriMo 18. It seems a lifetime ago now.
“Ecosystems are so similar to human societies—they’re built on relationships. The stronger they are, the more resilient the system.”—Suzanne Simard, Finding the Mother Tree
we keep dividing designating a hierarchy to pull what we share apart
and so each of us is missing parts each of us is incomplete
why do we cling to our separation our isolation who we think we are alone?
the foundation is faltering and still we hold on
collapsing into the deep hole of ourselves
During a presentation Suzanne Simard made, early in her career, about her research into the interrelationships between trees and other species in the forest, and how all were necessary in order for the forest to thrive, she mentioned also the threat to climate from disrupting these systems. “Climate change means nothing in Canada” one of the audience said afterwards.
finding myself I open the cages I travel on paths where I once was we
I open the cages calm and unafraid where I once was we everything begins again
calm and unafraid as intersected species everything begins again inside and out
as intersected species abiding in before and after inside and out following life’s tides
abiding in before and after I travel on paths following life’s tides finding myself
Sherry posted at earthweal this week about Jane Goodall and how her work with chimpanzees led her to start “Roots and Shoots, her program, now 30 years old, that inspires young people to plant trees and care for the areas in which they live”.
I knew I had posted before about chimpanzees as part of my endangered species series on methodtwomadness. When I went back and looked, I found that I had also talked then about Jane Goodall and her work.
Chimpanzees are our closest genetic relative. Of course we still have plenty of work to do learning to treat other humans with respect. We can start by opening the cage doors.
It seems like every day I read a new article about the need for a sabbatical from technology and the fast pace of the world. Those slow pandemic days are fading fast.
Some people talk about a secular Sabbath, some want to revive the religious one. Some people propose not only ditching technology for 24 hours each week, but creating new shared rituals and places for community during those times. Some talk about just taking a day to go and sit with the trees, to experience the world at their pace. I wonder how many of us could actually slow down and withdraw from our devices enough to actually spend a day that way.
And all of these ideas are a hard sell in a capitalist world.
the water reflects the world through the trees dappled sky moving over rocks and feet planted like hushed reeds waiting to sing the songs of quiet movement and transforming light
This drawing is part of my attempt to try different things in my art journal. Many artists write on their pages as well as draw. The image is based on an advertisement photo–I removed the models and the product (I can’t remember now what it was) and wrote spontaneously about the landscape. Whatever they were selling, I wasn’t buying. But I always notice trees.
The streets are quiet, eerie, the walls blank. I remain inside.
My windows are noisy with things I can’t see. I rarely reply to them because the response flies away on the wind, storm tossed and clouded, darkened by rain and the fading light.
What would I say to the ghosts of the children?– the ones not on the playground not on the streets no longer living in an apartment, a house, a country, a land– the ones no one can find anywhere?
How to say the word death and to also shield them from its consequences. How to explain why and how we have come to be
living in this uncertain tangle of lies ignorance violence– a place full of humans unable to even acknowledge or to bridge the rising waters.
The ones who would rather drown than make amends.
Sherry at earthweal has reminded us of all the grief consuming the world, and asks us to write about it. I wrote a version of this poem first in the midst of New York’s early pandemic. I’ve revised it a bit, but the ghosts of the children have not gone away.