Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Generous Earth

And the human connection.
Wood and earth. Many years ago, it became trendy to build glass houses in the woods. I prefer cozy protected dwellings, but these homes were truly beautiful in their continuing connection with the outside. My aunt and uncle constructed an especially gorgeous one in the woods of Massachusetts, that has enough solid wall so as not to feel too exposed. It stands today as lovely as ever. My aunt is an artist thriving now in her eighties connected with the community, and involved with her four sons' diverse journeys. I can't help but think this relationship with nature is part of her fulfilled and long healthy life.

Water and rock. When I traveled in India and Nepal, I often had no running water and bathing was performed outside; in the Ganges River up north, in the fountains further south. Water spilling over rock thrills people endlessly, both in dramatic high waterfalls, and quiet brooks, easily navigated going upstream-downstream from stone to stone. Great on a summer afternoon. I grew up between two rivers, the Chenango and the Susquehanna which flow to the Chesapeake Bay. Memories. The scent of water, the bridges, the reflection of the town, the current that never stops.

Mountain and meadow. My year in the Himalayas was one of the best of my life. The terraced mountains in the lowlands and the grazing animals in the highlands, combined with the humble dwellings of the farmers and herdsmen created a brilliant patchwork of landscape. I had the great fortune to be invited to a place called Kafiristan, high in the Pakistani mountains, accessible only by dirt path along a stream. All day we trekked behind our sure-footed guide and when we reached the village, an unimaginable reward awaited. The gentlest people I've ever encountered, descendants of Alexander the Great's armymen and the local inhabitants, supposedly. A completely unique place, with villagers more like elves than traditional homo sapiens. The night in their huts around the fires seems like another planet altogether when I recall the experience. The flat baskets of fruit and nuts they left on our doorstep, then slipped silently away, also are in the realm of fantasy now. But it really happened.

Bread and fruit
Water and wine

Sun and stream

I eat

I drink

Firmly on the earth

Rocks. soil.
Photos: 2nd: Dhara Waterfall, Narmada River, India. James Blair Kapir.
3rd: Himalayas. Galen Powell. Bottom. Martin Brigdale.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

JM,
thank you for sharing this. I do believe I'd love to hear your whole life story.... you have such a way of delivering the gems of what has passed through you.

I read this the other night in a book about intuition and it made me think of you:

"For centuries, especially in the East, the dragon has been the archetypal symbol of transformative power, immortality, wisdom, and good luck. It binds all the phenomena of nature: dwelling in the earth or water, flying through the air, and breathing fire. It represents the basic, spiraling, sine-wave movement of our life force energy, or kundalini, rising from the depths of the earth, up through our spine, and out the top of our head, bringing wisdom as it wings its way heavenward. In Asia, the dragon is represented holding the pearl of fertility and enlightenment in its claws. With its rippling, undulating movement, the dragon seems to represent the need to equally embrace both the highs and lows of life.
...
Bastian flushed with pleasure. 'Is that true Falkor?' he asked. 'You wouldn't mind carrying me?'
'Of course not, all-powerful sultan,' said the dragon with a wink. 'Hop on and hold tight.'
...Bastian vaulted directly from mule to dragon back and clutched the silvery white mane as Falkor took off...Riding a white luck dragon was something else again. If sweeping over the ground on the back of a fiery lion had been like a cry of ecstasy, this gentle rising and falling as the dragon adjusted his movements to the air currents was like a song, now soft and sweet, now triumphant with power. Especailly when Falkor was looping the loop, when his mane, his fangs, and the long fringes on his limbs flashed through the air like white flames, it seemed to Bastian that the winds were singing in chorus.'
(Michael Ende, The Never Ending Story)"

meristem

22/4/07 6:57 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Meristem, I'm awed. I didn't expect this. Your comments are so full of life and content. And soul. I'm so glad you came. I'm at the point, especially with this Aries/Scorpio lunation, to cut through some of the excess and share what is strong and meaningful. Aries can do this, and I'm really in the mood. This is wonderful. I got lucky again.

With its rippling, undulating movement, the dragon seems to represent the need to equally embrace both the highs and lows of life.

This is absolutely precious. I identify more than I can say. Thank you so much.

OH MY GOD IN HEAVEN!!!!!!!

Meristem!!!!!!!!!

When I saw the Never Ending Story, the child in front of me couldn't believe it. I wept so much when Artex the horse went down in the Swamp of Sadness, he turned in his seat and looked at me. The kid wasn't bothered. He was taking it all in stride.

I love that story ecstatically. How in the world did you know?..:-)
OMG. What a beautiful beautiful excerpt. You made my day.
Heavens.

22/4/07 7:39 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Without going crazy with joy, I want to mention my experience with the highs and lows. It's always been a cornerstone of my philosophy to do this embracing of both. My Wheel of Fortune turns very slowly and I have had years on the down cycle. I never ran from it nor rushed it. I just assumed that the upswing would be long long long. I also felt there would be a reward just for embracing the low without argument. I know now this is true. The dragon is so accurate timewise, I am stunned.

22/4/07 7:49 PM  
Blogger jm said...

If sweeping over the ground on the back of a fiery lion had been like a cry of ecstasy, this gentle rising and falling as the dragon adjusted his movements to the air currents was like a song, now soft and sweet, now triumphant with power.

OMG. The goosebumps have arisen.

22/4/07 7:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my intuition made me do it!
:)

you have given me gifts of joy too, JM
namaste

meristem

23/4/07 12:24 AM  
Anonymous chrispito said...

You two! I love to have witnessed this sweet exchange. Have a lovely evening, everyone :)

23/4/07 7:58 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Chrispito. Good to see you! I'm loving this Taurus respite.

People bearing gifts are treats, as I joyously rediscovered here last night.

23/4/07 8:50 PM  

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