Melodies I weave, songs I sweetly sing;
Longing for your presence, to you I yearn to cling.
In the shade of trees I delight to dwell,
To grasp your mystery, captured by your spell.
I glorify you with words and song,
Declaring with my heart: for you I long.
When I can’t see you, I write your praises,
And though I don’t know you, I long for your places.
To the assembled birds and your branches speech,
You alluded to your wisdom that is sometimes beyond our reach.
The scope of your greatness and the marvel of your strength
Are reflected in your bark and described at great length.
They have painted you, but rarely as you are;
They draw your colors and portray you from afar.
They speak of you in poems in countless varied visions,
While you remain throughout all their renditions.
They try to portray you as one now young, now old,
With leaves now green, now red and turning gold.
Nothing is more precious among the earth’s good pleasures,
Than sitting against a tree, chief among forest treasures.
-adapted from “Hymn of glory” in Siddur Sim Shalom
My adaptation of Psalm 16
Keep me, O Living Earth,
For in you I find refuge.
I said you are the source of life,
You are my mother,
And my happiness lies in you alone.
All my desire is to be among
Those who protect the land,
And those who respect it.
For those who disfigure your face.
Never will I follow their ways
And never will I trod their path.
Living Earth, my share of the heritage,
It is you who keeps me secure.
The lines have fallen for me
In pleasant places;
A wonderful heritage is mine.
I will honor the Earth who has given me counsel,
Even at night my inner self instructs me.
I remember the bounty of the Earth always;
It sustains me with its abundance.
I cannot be shaken.
So my heart is glad
And my flesh rejoices;
Even my body shall rest in safety,
For you sustain me now,
And will embrace me in your arms at death.
You have shown me the path of life,
The fullness of joy in your presence.
In the mists of your wonder and beauty.
My posts have been lacking because I have been busy working outside. I got off the Netflix binge and now on to something else. I go to work, come home, work out in the yard…I have been busy tending to plants, including herbs I’ve planted from seed. I’ve even creating an “herbal flower bed” from rocks that I gather around the property. I’ve planted things like Lavender, Skullcap, German Chamomile, Valerian, Nettle, Primrose, Lemon Balm, etc. All medicinal plants. When I am not tending to these things during daylight hours, I am running around the property foraging for wild plants…or sometimes crawling on the ground looking at bugs, until I remember I am supposed to be foraging. When I am indoors, I am preparing tinctures or other preparations and writing it all down in a notebook. Yes, in a literal notebook with actual paper, not on a computer screen where it gets automatically saved in the wild blue yonder.
I have been using herbal remedies and making my own remedies/care products for some time. I have an entire apothecary of various “remedies” and products I’ve made. But this is the first opportunity I’ve had to actually grow herbs from seed. Gardening has also been very therapeutic and I am finally at a point where I want to see what happens when I stop taking psychotropic medications (again) and replace them with herbal alternative (again). Now might be a good time to mention I was on herbal remedies when I was in that god forsaken noisy apartment a while back. They had became ineffective to all that was going on there that I turned to modern treatment. I take a Kava tincture during the day but at night I am still taking an antipsychotic. Oh, and I still take a low dose of Lexapro during the day. I question its effectiveness as my racing thoughts seemed to stop only after I began taking Kava again.
So, my first experiment will be to see what happens when I stop taking Lexapro. I will post the results at a later date. Then after I have made tinctures from Valerian, Skullcap, Lemon Balm and Evening Primrose, I will see what works best for helping me to be able to sleep at night. That is, of course, after I make sure they don’t interact with the Kava tincture. And in case you don’t know, after the herbs are gathered and ready to use, it will take an additional six weeks to make them into a tincture.
So for now it looks like a season for experiments…and I just love experiments. Let’s see what happens.
I have been silent for a while because I did not have anything to say. I don’t have that much to say now, but writing is supposed to help a person sort out shit or something. So I am writing.
First, I abandoned meditation. All my interests are short lived so it should not come as a surprise to anyone. I also stopped learning about Buddhism. Perhaps because it takes way too much effort for me to “play nice” all the time and not say what immediately comes to mind. Internally (and sometimes externally) I am somewhat intense and the calm, go with the flow Buddhism approach is a lot of work. Too much right now. Besides, I had gotten distracted by binge watching Netflix and bookbinding…again. Creating illuminated texts…again.
After a few weeks of this, I began to feel restless and I could feel boredom beginning to creep in. Emptiness soon arrived, followed by depression. By this point, I felt compelled to do something different. I felt as though I had to fight against these feelings. To get rid of them somehow. So I went outside, began observing nature (again) and recording it in my nature journal. I spend several days working on my flower bed, planting herbs, plucking weeds…anything to be outside in nature. When I would come back into the cabin, I would sit in silence staring at the walls. I suppose one could say this all occurred because I gave up those wonderfully inspiring Buddhist teachings that were attempting to show me a better way to live. So I could be happy for the rest of my days and I threw it all out the window when I stopped listening.
Old ways of being are really hard to change. I must like being miserable…of being in chains…of being bored, never sticking to an interest long-term and feeling empty. Otherwise, why would I keep returning to it? It reminds me of the Norse myth concept of the Norns (spinners of fate) and the great world tree, Yggdrasil. At the root of Yggdrasil is the well of Urd (past/memory) from where the tree gets its water. The waters of the past/memory are absorbed by Yggdrasil (symbolizing the present) and then fall from its leaves as dew (symbolizing a debt owed to the past) back down into the well. This same idea can be seen in the meaning of the names of the three Norns who are considered to be the spinners of fate: Urd “past”, Verdandi “present” and Skuld, often translated as “future” but some suggest that “necessity/intention” or “debt owed” is more accurate.
Whether we realize it, the past has made us what we are today. Whether we believe by an outside entity or by ourselves does not matter. In my current state of boredom, emptiness and depression, I must ask myself what I willing to do…what debt am I willing to pay to the past so that I can be more balanced in the present? Because up until now, all I have been doing is returning over and over again to the well of the past without ever really paying the debt that is owed.
I look for skull-picker
Along the traveling way
After sun’s birth
Each and every day.
The mysterious blood-starling
Who mourns her own dead
And exchanges information
Nightly, before bed.
An intelligent one
Who captivates me
And caches her food
High up in the tree.
This one I adore
And hear her every day
I often find her
By the roadside buffet.
Kennings: skull-picker, blood starling= crow
Note: I often use kennings in my poetry. To help make this poem more understandable, I used the following kennings:
the fire of the sky=sun; swan of blood=raven; Thor’s laughter=thunder; weeping of clouds=rain
What do you know about her?
This one who loves to see
The fire of the sky
In the evening, alone with me.
What do you know about her?
The one who is intrigued by
The odd swan of blood
But know not what makes her cry.
Tell me what you know
Of what she likes to hear
Thor’s laughter in the distance
Music to the ear.
Tell me what you know
Of what she likes to smell
The weeping of clouds
Makes her emerge from her shell.
Tell me what you know
About all of her tears
Her lifelong problems
Of tantrums and fears.
Do you know this little girl?
Living down below
Deep in the shadows
Still in chains from long ago.
Who is this little girl?
Who learned to be an imposter
Never growing up
Still waiting for her well-being to foster.
The land is cloaked in darkness
Before yellow-queen is to rise
And as light gives way
Red and gold paint the sky.
Greetings to you, dear Sunna
As the gates of darkness fade
Cloud-murk covers hawthorn’s moor
And Mani no more in shade.
I turn my face to you
Lady of light
With all of your might!
And now in full view
Elves-glory lights the land
Thank you, dear Sunna
For giving life to the seat of man.