I was reading poetry the other night, a collection from a book that my friend Tomas Brawley gave me: “Earth Prayers” before I went to sleep, and I stumbled on a section regarding our four legged, winged, finned brothers and sisters… I went into a small trance state and found myself floating along with predators, herds, flocks in the sky, schools in the sea and river. I thought about the relationships in our lives that are non-human, yet so close. Rising the next day, I watched the birds and squirrels at the feeder, the crows disputing amongst themselves in the neighborhood tree, and Sophie and Buster in their loving interactions with the extended clan. It’s a wide community, and the hairless apes seem to be the only ones generally out of sorts about the getting along with the cousin thing.
So, I was thinking about the Animal Powers, Plant Powers & Mineral Powers (hence the title) and how they effect us on a constant basis with us generally being blind to what is happening. Sometimes in the dream state it becomes a coherent vision, otherwise, I am overran by my own filters. I will be sitting there completely distracted and Sophie or Buster will come up to me, and nuzzle me to bring me back to here and now. If I am half awake, I recognize what is happening. But, I am a sleeper. I know this. I am missing so much, and more so since when I drift off into machine and cyber land.
I think of the cave paintings, and especially these… Cave of Forgotton Dreams the paintings of within the Chauvet caves. Those connections… deep and ancient span the human and animal powers. How have we forgotten that we came out of the same womb as our fellow beings?
I puzzle over the loss that we have inflicted upon ourselves and our co-inhabitants…. How do we gain it back?
Kind of an eclectic gathering of info today… Hope you enjoy!
On The Menu:
Visitors From Afar!
The Powers Of Love And Friendship…
Joseph Campbell Quotes
Exuma The Obeah Man
The Origin of Eternal Death (Wishram)
Poetry: In Celebration Of The Powers…
Exuma – Damn Fool – DJ Luis Mario “Flaco” Orellana
Visitors From Afar!
Our friends Leslie and Robert came up from Nevada City on their way to Seattle for a gardening show. Leslie was taking a class in Encaustic Painting for a couple of days in Portland over the weekend. They arrived Friday evening, and headed up the road on Monday. They do some amazing work… from Leslie’s new passion for photography, to Robert’s fantasy buildings for the garden…. there is always something brewing up in those Sierra Foothills! Their Site: Hidden Springs Designs will give you just a small taste of the talent these two bring to the world.
We ran around Portland, hitting Powell’s (of course) and various galleries with Robert when Leslie was in class on Saturday and Sunday, to hanging out Saturday night over Mary’s wonderful Tamil Chicken Curry with home made Nan Bread… Our talks went deep into the evening, and it was a sheer delight to be in their company again. We got to explore some of the better beers from the local area, and checked out a couple of restaurants as well. They love Portland, but hates da weather! So… they drove away from Paradise, and headed north to the Emerald City…
I first met Henry when he was about to turn two years old or so. He was a most remarkable cat; I often felt that he was very conversant in his ways of interacting with the slower ones..(humans) It has been a few years since I saw him, but everytime I talked with Tom we’d discuss what Henry was up to, he was just that kind of cat. Everything is mortal, and cats are no exception… but I have noticed that their spirits linger about after they pass between worlds. Here is to Henry, a heck of cat. You’ll be missed by friends and family. Hope to make your acquaintance again someday…. G
I received this Tuesday from our friend Cheryl. I am toasting Henry later with a glass of absinthe and a burning candle. He will be missed… G
Today, with great sadness, Tom and I had to let Henry go Cat Heaven. His liver no longer functioned.
As you know, Henry was full of personality and life. He was an amazing companion and great lover of people.
Throughout his 18 years, he never tired of making us laugh, enjoying outdoor adventures, and traveling to see the scenery from our car. He drove with us from California to Oregon, from Oregon to Arizona, and three times–from Arizona to California, and finally—from Arizona to California. He saw the mountains, the desert, The Red Rocks, frolicked in the snow, danced in the rain, escaped with his life from a bobcat and raccoon, stood his ground when any neighborhood cats invaded his territory, and even survived an eathquake or two. He celebrated Tom’s 40th and 50th surprise parties, Christmas mornings, Thanksgiving dinners, and never missed one of the many gatherings we gave. On chilly nights, he (and Penelope) would lay in front of the fireplace or.look out the picture window with great contenment.
During the end of his life, he did what he enjoyed–watched the All Star Basketball Game with his best friend, Tom. He was a lover of music and television, got great pleasure to sleep and purr on top of Tom’s head–or steal Tom’s seat as soon as he vacated it!
Henry knew tricks. Yes, he was a smart and sensitive—-cat-dog. We trained him to sit on command, come when we whistled, stand on his hind leg and tap our hand for treats. He waited for us at the front door when we came home, followed us around the house, and when he wanted to go outside–stood on his hind legs and turned the door knob with his paw. We swore he was saying, “Out!” He knew how to pry open- unclosed drawers and doors, lick your hand when you were sad or to say, “I love you”, and comfort you when you were sick, by not leaving your side. His favorite hiding places were open boxes or open suitcases.
We found Henry at an organization in Los Angeles, called The Cat House, off Robertson near Culver City. A place where cats live out their lives (if not adopted). He joined us when he was not quite one years old as a companion for our other cat, Penelope (she died fiev years ago). Needless to say, within days he won her, us, and anyone who visited our home over with his charm. .
It’s hard to think that he won’t be with us, but we know his playing with Penelope and all the cats— in one great catnip house and yard—–where sickness and death just don’t exist.
Joseph Campbell Quotes:
“Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths.”
“We’re not on our journey to save the world but to save ourselves. But in doing that you save the world. The influence of a vital person vitalizes.”
“Half the people in the world think that the metaphors of their religious traditions, for example, are facts. And the other half contends that they are not facts at all. As a result we have people who consider themselves believers because they accept metaphors as facts, and we have others who classify themselves as atheists because they think religious metaphors are lies.”
“If the path before you is clear, you’re probably on someone else’s.”
“Regrets are illuminations come too late.”
For My Friend, Dr. Con…
The Origin of Eternal Death (Wishram)
Coyote had a wife and two children, and so had Eagle. Both families lived together. Eagle’s wife and children died, and a few days later Coyote experienced the same misfortune. As the latter wept, his companion said: “Do not mourn: that will not bring your wife back. Make ready your moccasins, and we will go somewhere.” So the two prepared for a long journey, and set out westward.
After four days they were close to the ocean; on one side of a body of water they saw houses. Coyote called across, “Come with a boat!” “Never mind; stop calling,” bade Eagle. He produced an elderberry stalk, made a flute, put the end into the water, and whistled. Soon they saw two persons come out of a house, walk to the water’s edge, and enter a canoe. Said Eagle, “Do not look at those people when they land.” The boat drew near, but a few yards from the shore it stopped, and Eagle told his friend to close his eyes. He then took Coyote by the arm and leaped to the boat. The two persons paddled back, and when they stopped a short distance from the other side Eagle again cautioned Coyote to close his eyes, and then leaped ashore with him.
They went to the village, where there were many houses, but no people were in sight. Everything was still as death. There was a very large underground house, into which they went. In it was found an old woman sitting with her face to the wall, and lying on the floor on the other side of the room was the moon. They sat down near the wall.
“Coyote,” whispered Eagle, “watch that woman and see what she does when the sun goes down!” Just before the sun set they heard a voice outside calling: “Get up! Hurry! The sun is going down, and it will soon be night. Hurry, hurry!” Coyote and Eagle still sat in a corner of the chamber watching the old woman. People began to enter, many hundreds of them, men, women, and children. Coyote, as he watched, saw Eagle’s wife and two daughters among them, and soon afterward his own family. When the room was filled, Nikshiamchasht, the old woman, cried, “Are all in?” Then she turned about, and from a squatting posture she jumped forward, then again and again, five times in all, until she alighted in a small pit beside the moon. This she raised and swallowed, and at once it was pitch dark. The people wandered about, hither and thither, crowding and jostling, unable to see. About daylight a voice from outside cried, “Nikshiamshasht, all get through!” The old woman then disgorged the moon, and laid it back in its place on the floor; all the people filed out, and the woman, Eagle, and Coyote were once more alone.
“Now, Coyote,” said Eagle, “could you do that?” “Yes, I can do that,” he said. They went out, and Coyote at Eagle’s direction made a box of boards, as large as he could carry, and put into it leaves from every kind of tree and blades from every kind of grass. “Well,” said Eagle, “If you are sure you remember just how she did this, let us go in and kill her.” So they entered the house and killed her, and buried the body. Her dress they took off and put on Coyote, so that he looked just like her, and he sat down in her place. Eagle then told him to practice what he had seen, by turning around and jumping as the old woman had done. So Coyote tuned about and jumped five times, but the last leap was a little short, yet he managed to slide into the hole. He put the moon into his mouth, but, try as he would, a thin edge still showed, and he covered it with his hands. Then he laid it back in its place and resumed his seat by the wall, waiting for sunset and the voice of the chief outside.
The day passed, the voiced called, and the people entered. Coyote turned about and began to jump. Some thought there was something strange about the manner of jumping , but others aid it was really the old woman. When he came to the last jump and slipped into the pit, many cried out that this was not the old woman, but Coyote quickly lifted the moon and put it into his mouth, covering the edge with his hands. When it was completely dark, Eagle placed the box in the doorway. Throughout the long night Coyote retained the moon in his mouth, until he was almost choking, but at last the voice of the chief was heard from the outside, and the dead began to file out. Every one walked into the box, and Eagle quickly threw the cover over and tied it. The sound was like that of a great swarm of flies. “Now, my brother, we are through,” said Eagle. Coyote removed the dress and laid it down beside the moon, and Eagle threw the moon into the sky, where it remained. The two entered the canoe with the box, and paddled toward the east.
When they landed, Eagle carried the box. Near the end of the third night Coyote heard somebody talking; there seemed to be many voices. He awakened his companion, and said, “There are many people coming.” “Do not worry,” said Eagle; “it is all right.” The following night Coyote heard the talking again, and, looking about, he discovered that the voices came from the box which Eagle had been carrying. He placed his ear against it, and after a while distinguished the voice of his wife. He smiled, and broke into laughter, but he said nothing to Eagle. At the end of the fifth night and the beginning of their last day of traveling, he said to his friend, “I will carry the box now; you have carried it a long way.” “No,” replied Eagle, “I will take it; I am strong.” “Let me carry it,” insisted the other; “suppose we come to where people live, and they should see the chief carrying the load. How would that look?” Still Eagle retained his hold on the box, but as they went along Coyote kept begging, and about noon, wearying of the subject, Eagle gave him the box. So Coyote had the load, and every time he heard the voice of his wife he would laugh. After a while he contrived to fall behind, and when Eagle was out of sight around a hill he began to open the box, in order to release his wife. But no sooner was the cover lifted than it was thrown back violently, and the dead people rushed out into the air with such force that Coyote was thrown to the ground. They quickly disappeared in the west. Eagle saw the cloud of dead people rising in the air, and came hurrying back. He found one man left there, a cripple who had been unable to rise; he threw him into the air, and the dead man floated away swiftly.
“You see what you have done, with your curiosity and haste!” said Eagle. “If we had brought these dead all the way back, people would not die forever, but only for a season, like these plants, whose leaves we have brought. Hereafter trees and grasses will die only in the winter, but in the spring they will be green again. So it would have been with the people.” “Let us go back and catch them again,” proposed Coyote; but Eagle objected: “They will not go to the same place, and we would not know how to find them; they will be where the moon is, up in the sky.”
Poetry: In Celebration Of The Powers…
Apprehend God in all things,
For God is in all things.
Every single creature
is full of God
And is a book about God
is a word of God.
If I spent enough time with the
tiniest of creature—
Even a caterpillar—
I would never have to prepare
So full of God
Is every creature.
– Meister Eckhart
You are singing, little dove,
on the branches of the silk-cotton tree.
And there also is the cuckoo,
and many other little birds.
All are rejoicing,
the songbirds of our god, our Lord.
And our goddess
has her little birds,
the turtledove, the redbird,
the black and yellow songbirds, and the hummingbird.
These are the birds of the beautiful goddess, our Lady.
If there is such happiness
among the creatures,
why do our hearts not also rejoice?
At daybreak all is jubilant.
Let only joy, only songs,
enter our thoughts!
– Song Of Dzitbalche
Ah Power that swirls us together
Grant us Bliss
Grant us the great release
And to all Beings
In trouble on earth
We pass on this love
May their numbers increase.
– Gary Snyder
Out of the dry days
through the dusty leaves
far across the valley
those few notes never
heard here before
one fluted phrase
floating over its
all at once wells up
and is gone before it
goes on fallen into
its own echo leaving
a hollow through the air
that is dry as before
where is it from
seems to have noticed it
so far but who now
would have been listening
it is not native here
that may be the one
thing we are sure of
it came from somewhere
else perhaps alone
so keeps on calling for
no one who is here
hoping to be heard
by another of its own
trying once more the same few
notes that began the song
of an oriole last heard
years ago in another
it goes again tell
no one it is here
foreign as we are
who are filling the days
with a sound of our own
– W.S. Merwin
For Dr. Con, again…. 80)