Every Cliché of Love Ever Written

What are you doing, my love?

I walk the aisles of the store, and more joyfully, the familiar paths of the forest…I make the bed and sweep the floor and prepare soup for dinner: my homely little tasks serve only to remind me I am not doing them for you. The time passes happily and usefully enough, but when I am with you, oh, with you – then I am fully alive and engaged and the great mystery of the cosmos is ticking over. And I do not understand, save I want to step into the mystery and let its currents take me where they will. Bravery? Stupidity? Naiveté?

“What matter”, says my imaginary friend, rather crossly, “for it is every cliché of love ever written.” Perhaps so, my friend, perhaps so. Though having tested the waters; being willing to step into the stream and see where it takes one would seem to be a fine metaphor for many of life’s endeavours. I try not to speak of trite romanticism here, though, but more about purpose and meaning. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi speaks of what he calls ‘flow’ – being fully present and immersed enough in an activity to lose sense of time, in an intensely pleasurable way. (Wikipedia has a fine piece on Csikszentmihalyi and his research linked here.) I am captured by the idea, although perhaps I see it in more mystical terms – after all, do not the fairy tales begin with ‘once upon a time’? Is not this sense of time outside of time a part of where mystery and magic reside? Do we step into this time, or step out of our own prosaic earth time?

That’s a question I best leave for now, but I do say this: that the rhythm of our lives can perhaps really only be satisfying when it has its moments of leaving behind human concepts of time and clock and calendar. When sun guides us through our days, and moon lights our evenings, and star fire bears witness to our love and longing. Take my hand, and we shall play in the great wheeling dance of the stars, my love…

I promise.

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Month Of Elder

elder

 

The day is damply overcast, but lovely freshets of wind blowing, for all that. I cannot stay inside: I need that wind blowing in my hair and that pale, lucent light and that vision of autumn leaves. The leaves skitter through the air with dips and swirls and aimless gusts, and this is a visual representation of my thoughts. My thoughts that refuse to stay focused, to buckle down to work; that are unruly and chaotic and wild and yearning… Oh, there is really nothing wrong here, my imaginary friend, but change is in the air in so many ways, and change can be unsettling, at first.

This change moves through me like the tide, ebbing and flowing. It is both rising and receding tide, for the fruits of autumn are harvested and stored, the chaff and husks winnowed away. ‘Tis nature’s time of preparing for winter, of paring away the old, and my inner season matches the outer. What to keep, and what to throw away, are very much on my mind.

What to throw out: the dry husks of habits wearing grooves in my life. The chaff of meaningless small town convention. The twigs of small irritants rubbing away at tender skin, and the dying tendrils of vines tethering my limbs and spirit. These I shall pile in a heap, with the anticipation of a glorious bonfire. The hiss and crack of flame and smudge of smoke shall stand promise to make this pruning a regular occurrence.

What to keep: row upon row of preserving jars full of love and light and laughter of friends, to be served up regularly in the coming cold, dark months. Jewels of dried tomatoes to give flavour of summer to winter’s stews, along with jewels of pictures painted and drawn to flavour shorter days. Music, ordered and stored in an overflowing pantry: melodies of hot summer morns, harmonies of blissful hours at the swimming hole, grace notes of nights of endless stars. Cool forests, wide expanse of beach and ocean, mountain trails of wild adventure for daily sustenance of body and soul. And, love, oh yes, love, to wrap me in a tender embrace of the beauty and mystery of life.

The winnowing is almost done, and my harvest very nearly stowed, as the month of Elder brings us to the time of the thinning of the veil between the worlds. We honour those who have left us, and take special care of those who are still here…The time of stepping onto the path that leads to the road ahead draws nearer for me, my yearnings yet somewhat inchoate, though no regret for what the flames consume and banish.

I am on my way. Blessed month of Elder to you.