A Stream Flowing
Now I saw a stream flowing;
Now neither bank nor bridge was seen.
Now I saw a bush in bloom;
Now neither rose nor thorn was seen.
So it has been a very long time since I published anything on my blog and for that you have my sincere apologies.
Lots has been going on with my beloved’s health and with me helping to organize Portland Psychedelic Society’s Conference that was held on October 26th. (A big thank you to the presenters, especially Jim Fadiman)
Hopefully I will be posting more as time goes along. I find myself not wanting to be at the computer very much except to do art and writing.
I am burning out on social media even though making a good part of my living by selling art on Facebook and other places. With that said I have been banned from Facebook for publishing art. The AI or the people scanning pictures can’t tell the difference between a painting and a photograph and heaven help you if you post anything that looks like a nipple,
Of course if you’re a nazi/racist or you publish snuff pictures you get a free pass, so yeah I’m kind of done with that whole situation. I think social media has actually helped the decline of conversation and socializing. People get stuck in front of screens for hours upon hours and I am among them so I know this happens.
I had no idea the internet would end up being in so many ways a psychic sewer and a commercial tool for faceless corporations …as well as a tool for social control via the media and governmental agencies. Who knew it would become a go to for lies and oppression? It certainly didn’t seem that way back when.
Yet with all of that I still have hope that good people everywhere will use it to communicate for the common good and for enlightenment of our fellow humans. Everything can change, if we work at it.
Enough of all this we have some catching up to do with some poetry, music and an article from the Invisible College # 9 that I published that I wanted to share on the eve of the publication of the Invisible College #10.
The article “Imaginal Arcadia” is my take on an imagined golden age or one that occurred. As I am here instead of back then I would probably fall on the side of imaginal at this point, and that is okay. If it indeed was a golden age, well that works as well.
More coming soon, I hope you enjoy this entry!
Lennie: Happens To The Heart
Poesy: Sufia Kumal
Poesy: Fadwa Tuqan
Lennie: Steer Your Way
Solidarity is not dead: how workers can force progressive change
The Hasheesh Eater & Other Writings
Find it all here, the book in its’ various iterations, prints & Folio Editions
The Invisible College #9th Ediition
Get Your Copy Here!
That Love Of Yours
I’ve taken possession of that love of yours
that fills the earth’s vessel till it overflows,
filling my eyes, filling my heart,
and filling my two hands.
How unbearable is this joy, that this love is so intense.
With the touch like arrows of its golden rays
the inner bud blooms, as quickly as grass.
Illumined in my heart, it brings jewel-inlaid riches;
that’s why I’m wealthy, my joy will not perish.
With images ever new, this world has gratified me,
given as it is to praise, to perfumed blossoms dripping honey.
The diurnal light of sun, at every watch of the night,
merging hour by hour with your love’s every letter, will set.
Ever-new messages I hear;
my heart is overcome – so in love I compose my answering letter.
Warmed from the Sindhu’s expanse of river,
these clouds upon clouds of gentle moist air
ever bring these love letters, then carry them afar.
The eager heart grows devoted as an unmarried girl,
so it longs to compose scores upon scores
of ever-new messages of love and amours.
The heart fills with joy, grows voluble,
so I’ve gathered hence,
from the mortal earth, from the horizon’s expanse:
impassioned, illumined, that love of yours.
Hamza was just an ordinary man
like others in my hometown
who work only with their hands for bread.
When I met him the other day,
this land was wearing a cloak of mourning
in windless silence. And I felt defeated.
But Hamza-the-ordinary said:
‘My sister, our land has a throbbing heart,
it doesn’t cease to beat, and it endures
the unendurable. It keeps the secrets
of hills and wombs. This land sprouting
with spikes and palms is also the land
that gives birth to a freedom-fighter.
This land, my sister, is a woman.’
Days rolled by. I saw Hamza nowhere.
Yet I felt the belly of the land
was heaving in pain.
Hamza — sixty-five — weighs
heavy like a rock on his own back.
‘Burn, burn his house,’
a command screamed,
‘and tie his son in a cell.’
The military ruler of our town later explained:
it was necessary for law and order,
that is, for love and peace!
Armed soldiers gherraoed his house:
the serpent’s coil came full circle.
The bang at the door was but an order —
‘evacuate, damn it!’
And generous as they were with time, they could say:
‘in an hour, yes!’
Hamza opened the window.
Face to face with the sun blazing outside,
he cried: ‘in this house my children
and I will live and die
Hamza’s voice echoed clean
across the bleeding silence of the town.
An hour later, impeccably,
the house came crumbling down,
the rooms were blown to pieces in the sky,
and the bricks and the stones all burst forth,
burying dreams and memories of a lifetime
of labor, tears, and some happy moments.
Yesterday I saw Hamza
walking down a street in our town —
Hamza the ordinary man as he always was:
always secure in his determination.
This is the article….
Before Greece was “Greece” it was, something else.
Arcadia (the domain of Pan)
(Pan, being the embodiment of nature, often described as the god of shepherds, having roots deep, deep in the per-neolithic dream-time, containing all nature in his being, the Lord of the animals, the animus of the world…)
Arcadia, with her roots in the times before deliberate cultivation, before the plow ripped our mothers’ flesh, rises up in visions, art, poesy again and again hearkening to the age when it was golden, verdant, a tumbling world of plant, animal, spirits, and gods… before the times of subservience, neolithic priest-craft, kings and corporations.
Arcadia, the wild hunt, Centaurs chased by nymphs as Hamadryades observe from cool glens and sacred groves… echoed later by the Dionysian frenzies of the Bacchante. Classical scholars look backwards to a past surpassing their present, to an age not forgotten, but hidden, dormant, sleeping.
Pre-Religion, before priest-craft before alphabets stealing essence of the ancient tales, un-tonguing bards striking vision down to dusty tablets, then rotting pages over the ages.
Rivers churning with fish, herded by naiads through channel and rapid, swimming languorously in pools of emerald purity. Children playing in streams, the sunlight slanting down through the canopy, letting fish slip through their hands, laughing.
Before the Πελασγοί, Pelasgoí, before the Mycenaeans and Doric hordes streaming southward into the mother country with their jealous Olympians ousting an older world; an older order of Goddesses & Gods, who had walked upon the earth, titans, dragons, the Great Mother all encompassing.
Bear Clans, Wolf Clans, Deer Clans, Lion, Leopard Clans, the Horse Clans/Centaurs running on ridges high above the vale, ages before the Pythian mysteries were seized by Golden Apollo, long before Persephone’s descent. A chaos of green, a riot of divine madness, endless, ancient.
There was Colloquy and Chaos, nature unbound untrammeled, un-subservient to plows & plunder, a world still wrapped in wonder. Arcadia…
Rites before religion, it rises chthonic again and again in the collective memory, through literature, art and inebriation. The world as it was, the world as it should be, the world in its original context, dreaming and full of life, infinite. Every child is born in Arcadia, and then dissuaded from their inheritance, to wander as orphans until the journey home.
Stars wheeling in the skies above forest and meadow, dolmens newly risen cave dwelling tree beautiful in the twilight. We ran with the packs, the herds, the tribes, chasing the moon, her maidens her shadows..
A moment suspended in aspic: Aurochs graze in meadows of poppy and anemone that sway in drowsy summer sun, stirred by afternoon zephyrs before the harvest of acorn and berry, so long ago. Epimelides wander past wild apple and herds of sheep.
Mortals commingling with Goddesses and Gods, celebrating through divine inebriation, and the rites of love and season.
The sun scuttles across the sky followed by the moon. Time spirals in the ever present now. Seasons come and go, now is all their is. Acadia still sleeps beneath the surface of our every thought, rising out of plants in human guise, humans transforming into animals, animals into plants, mineral, water stone. Unclad, beneath the sun and moon.
So, I have let my imagination flow backwards to ancient before ancient times, and savoured the imaginal in the ravines and valleys of my mind…
I was brought up on the classics. The first two books that I remember were illustrated versions of The Iliad, and The Odyssey. Of course these are tales of the Mycenaeans and Pelasgian peoples,who were cohabiting Greece at that time. The Olympians were just making their appearance, subverting the Elder Goddesses & Gods of the Pelasgians and older tribes by seizing shrines and places of spiritual and ritual importance. You know the stories that have informed the West for the last three thousand years at least.
Little did the Mycenaeans and Pelasgians know what was to befall them with the (supposed) incursions of the Ionian & Doric waves… Although the archaeological evidence could be deemed, “scant”, something indeed occur in the years/century after the fall of Ilium/Troy. Cities abandoned, palaces burned, a return to smaller communities, a loss of script, etc bringing in a dark age of at least 300 – 500 years. There are no records, only tales passed down through the years dimly.
The fading light that was Arcadia outside of the heartland was certainly quenched in the more… “civilized” cities, Thebes, Corinth (most ancient!), Athens, and mother Knossos. Did Arcadia still continue? Perhaps in the hinter lands, the mountain and hill country where the plow and serf were not yet introduced by the emerging lords of the land, whether the old ways and old Goddesses & Gods were still held in high esteem, where the Centaur tribes still rambled. It has been said that Pan would still manifest/visit the sacred groves and flocks up to the time that another dour faith appeared, with one jealous god, a god who forgot his origins as a mouse daemon amongst the grain, one who forgot he was but one of many.
Why is Arcadia, or the idea/ideal of it important? If you have spent time in wilderness, made love in a sun drenched meadow, or in moonlight, swum naked in a stream, lake or ocean it would not even be needed to ask.
I do not hold with Marija Gimbutas that all was copacetic before the “Kurgans” appeared (still being debated btw) but I will say that even up into the times of the Pelasgians & Mycenaeans melding of cultures, the Great Goddess perhaps known as Eurynome (Εὐρυνόμη) or by some older name held sway over cultures in Greece and the Balkans for thousands of years. There was inter-tribal conflict buy not necessarily like what came after with the Sea Peoples and the fall of the mother civilization.
It is a dim memory now, but Arcadia is also a dream of possible futures. Perhaps we will finally shed the barbarism that the later neolithic brought into being with its hierarchies and concepts of division from nature. I sit outside, and on one hand listen to the frantic sounds of mechanized transport, but yet the wind still blows the branches, the birds sing, and at night the frogs join together in choruses that echo into the darkness. The river flows near, and we are surrounded by the green and tumbling world still. It is here, just under the surface, ad we have just to awake to the world as it was and to what it really is.
Civilizations fall, this we know. This one will as well, even though it spans the entire globe. We can hope and work for a better one to follow, emerging out.
We tend to dream futures. You see it in literature. Arcadia as a concept came back into the western mind with the advent of a poem in 1504 written by Iacopo Sannazaro “Lament of Androgeo” (Arcadia). This poem influenced Milton, Shakespeare, Philip Sydney and others. It’s publication is cited as the beginning of the Renaissance, and for good reasons. You can feel the longing for Arcadia in the stories and poems since. Glimpses of that age appear in art, literature, in secret societies that welled up trying to overturn the direction of civilization in those times and since.
This reawakening was not an accident by any means. Nothing happens without deeper resonance. Dreams & realities will lie dormant until the time of awakening is right. We are now in such an awakening, we have a road map that leads us to where we are destined.
Arcadia is both past and future.