the birds come to my birdbath

 

Philip Sutton, The Tree, 1958

 

emelle says:

I’m a fool with little need of company.

There’s no one deemed respectable here,
so how could I demand respect?

When recognition only brings busyness,
how could I not love invisibility?

Knowing that mind is the slayer of silence
why would I want “the last word?”

Saturated by streaming aliveness
how could I be lonely?

I cherish the extraordinariness
of ordinary suchness
but few know what that looks like,
so I’ll tell you:

The birds come to my birdbath.

The dogs wag their tails
when I open my door.

My luna-lover beams at me
without reproach or expectation.

My cup runneth over
and the ants make the most of it;
they even cart off my toenail clippings.

When the tide of breath runs out
they will claim every scrap of this body
and have a banquet with the worms.

And their scats will feed the earth;
new grass will grow in the summer,
sap will rise in the trees
and they will exhale my smile.

I will be breathed back
into the fecundity of space.

Just like that.
And that’s enough for me.

 


Image: Philip Sutton, The Tree, 1958
philipsuttonra.com


 

on the road

 

Brunswick Heads - Soldier Crabs

xlvii

unblinking eyeballs

on the march at low tide

sky-gazers!

[the river mouth at Brunswick Heads, NSW]

 

Sulphur Crested Cockatoos

xlviii

a smokers’ dawn chorus

shatters azure silence

cockies aloft

[near Armidale, NSW]

 

Wellington Caves

xlix

eyeless emptiness

gazes at its ancient artistry:

on the road

to now-here

[Wellington Caves, near Dubbo, NSW]

 


Image credits:
Soldier Crabs by yours truly.
Sulphur Crested Cockatoos from ABC News.
Wellington Caves from juliusbergh.com – see more stunning images of the caves on this blog.


three spring haiku

Unknown painter: Sparrows singing their hearts out

 

xli

heavy spring showers

my sleeves wet with the world’s tears

how sweet the birdsong!

 

xlii

everything happens

they say it’s ‘for a reason’

I say stop right there

 

xliii

here’s a great secret:

all does not have to be well

to be perfection

 


Ink painting, artist unknown. I suspected Ohara Koson but fail to find attribution.
Let me know if you can read the chop and solve the mystery.


being . just being . here

 

Vija Celmins - House 2, 1965

Like the moment you too saw, for the first time,
your own house turned to ashes,
Everything consumed so the road could open again.
– David Whyte

My landlady has notified me that the cabin I call home is needed for family use. Once again I’m packing cartons for a move. But. Where to go?

It’s so strange – the old ideas about what the ML character needed in a dwelling (privacy, tranquillity, beauty, light, workspace, car-cover, community of like-minded souls…) are dropping away during this hesitant recovery from recent surgery. There was no rush to the rebound. BP was happy to stay flat. Slipping away would have been easy; no resistance arose…

But it didn’t happen, and tonight I sit here with the dusk chorus swelling in this vast audial auditorium. Soon the bats will arouse from their upside-down day pose and head east towards their nocturnal feeding-fields. The upswelling of delight is delicious as I relax into the unedited immediacy of Being. Just Being. Here.

There is no longer a wanter-woman here. This, I confess, is the most remarkable thing I can say about my current experience of life. The wanter-woman was so central – and so subtle. She turned up as a host of identities – even trying on the ‘no-wanter’ mask for a while. Whatever saw through all the masks remains a mystery, but I can say with confidence that it’s not another object of any kind.

The contentment and joy known tonight weren’t “wanted”. What I mean is, my particular “wanting” wasn’t consciously motivated by desire to escape from the usual melange of human emotions; nor was I seeking salvation, or freedom from fear. I just needed to know whether the sages were being honest when they spoke of the existence of something changeless, immeasurable, real.

As a child I’d known this ineffable ‘something’ intimately – What was that? Why had it seemed to fade as I grew up? What did it have to do with creativity, harmony, beauty? My lifepath organised itself around these concerns; the wanter-woman was an effective vehicle for the journey … until eventually she was understood to be the root of the problem!

It was seemingly by default that contentment and joy bubbled up in the space being vacated by the wanter-woman’s residual repertoire. (Yes – that’s how it moves here: the wanter-woman was seen for the phantom she was and took off. However she left behind a heap of junk, sneakily stashed away as old patterns forged over a lifetime. One by one they percolate up to be acknowledged, welcomed, loved, and sometimes put to new service.)

Being. Just being. Here. What more could be wanted than the capacity to hear the sweet canoodling of the Rosellas as they settle for the night? Or the croaks of the frogs as they gear up for their mating games? The capacity to sense the air become cooler – my skin alive to its breath; to inhale the fragrance of Jasmine, Petunia and Bauhinia blossoms; to view the darkening world as it exhales, its succulent rainforest forms and colors transforming into a deep-toned two-dimensional dreamlike display? And further, deeper, wider, to experience the impossibility of separation from any of this display – the knowing that The Knowing is all there is?

Capacity! Life’s extraordinary gift, so miraculously ours by default – and unarguably known and experienced to be none other than the inescapable Real, even as one’s BP flattens and the nurses’ eyes narrow.

What more could be wanted than what is already here, and has always been here so long as we’ve been alive – yet taken for granted, overlooked as we search for some awesome ‘Real Deal’ with bells and whistles?

I don’t know why Life returned my BP to normal then gave me a fortnight’s horizontal retreat to wonder why it would want to do that, when the old girl was happy to fade out, to return to sender. What I do know is that my gratitude is beyond words.

Perhaps, after all our speculations die down, that’s all Life ever wants – to hear itself sing its praises to itself.

No brims nor borders such as in a bowl
we see. My essence was Capacitie
– Thomas Traherne, 1634 – 1677

If you know of a humble abode, temporary or permanent, where ML can keep practicing her praising – both verbal and visual – please make contact.

*smiling and bowing*


Image: Vija Celmins House 2, 1965

David Whyte quote: from the poem Fire in the Earth


 

three rainforest haiku

Why is it that in the rainforest one’s thoughts are delivered in clusters of 17 syllables?

 

Echoes from Emptiness: Rainforest Palm

 

festooning this palm

the then, the now and the next

my fleeting life’s fruit

 

not yet eight o’clock

and the far ridge is hazing

summer burns the bush

 

no cell phone signal

a total power blackout

listen! the wind sighs

 


the dawning sky is the coral of a persimmon’s blush

327

the great view is seeing
as the I-eye
of primordial awareness

the great understanding is knowing
as the unknowable knowingness
of simple suchness

the great adventure is living
as the untutored creativity
of wild wideawakeness

~

zafu view: hare and now

300

On the first day of a new month in New Zealand we used to say “rabbits” before uttering any other words.  I have no idea why rabbits – but it was considered bad luck to forget!

Echoes from Emptiness - Hare on full alert

I’m on the other side of the Tasman on this first morning of a new month.  And I think of those ‘Kiwi’ rabbits as I watch a huge hare feeding in the field outside Bliss Cottage.

There he sits, utterly present, ears poised, munching, washing his face with deft paws, then rubbing those paws together whilst perched on his powerful hind legs, turning to each of the four directions one by one.  He’s a creature wholly at one with his habitat.

The mountain is still rain-cloud shrouded with pale shafts of sunlight breaking through, but hare doesn’t seem to care.  The fresh grass growth is juicy and moist with ever-present mist.  He just gets on with hare-ing naturally in here and now.

Hare. And. Now.


Image: Copyright Austin Thomas