the little baby leaves are starting to appear now which makes for lots of tiny flutterings and orange and pale red and even yellow leaflets turning green. there's a joyfullness about it all that is echoed in the songs of the birds, the little rushing arounds of the chipmunks, the purposeful nest building, the nibblings of the rabbits, and the happy calls of the kids playing on the street and in the park . . . .
"... it does not seem that nature, as some divines would have us think, was built to stage man's miracle plays, or created as an illustration of his various religions. nature takes no account of man and his curious arts, his weird worships, but remains dark and unresponsive, beetling upon him as he creeps, ant-like, from his momentary past to his doubtful future, painfully carrying his tiny load of knowledge. but indifference is not hampering, as interference is; therefore those that feel within them the stir of a growing soul prefer the dour laws of earth to the drag of the herd of mankind, and fly from the house of man to the forest, where the emotionless silence always seems to be gathering, as waves mount and swell, to the disclosure of a mystery."
i recently entered the woods with a friend who understands and supports my need to be among the trees and the rushing water. she also understands my total (albeit incomprehensible to the thinking world's ) lack of interest in the names of things and recognizes that naming love, beauty and the very little things that grow or scamper or flutter above my head reduces them in some way because those aren't the names they have for themselves . . . for sure they're not . . . they don't even have names!!!!
so there i was, deep in the woods, on a day away from golden fish world headquarters, in the middle of some research and development work, repeating the mantra that "field work is at the core of personal work . . . ."
touching trees brings you closer to their hearts . . i have proof from personal experience...
i have heard their stories . . .
this tree told me that life's good until you get hit by lightning and start to rot . . .
then you become something else's idea of life!
not the tree's idea which had more to do with vastness and leaves and bird nests and squirrels.
this is me experiencing something of a download from a former tree . . .
which (until the lightning strike)
was a very happy tree with a superb and droll sense of humour . . .
and i found myself quivering, my eyes closing to take it all in,
a feeling washed through me that this ... surely this ... would be the insight that has eluded me for decades . . .
when suddenly . . .
the remains of this tree-that-was, fell sideways with a soft splintering sound . . . .
with me somewhat attached to it . . .
mercifully and miraculously ,
no wine was spilled in the process!!!
to protect what remains of the dignity of the golden fish organization, the rest of the sequence of photographs in which this strange man clutching a bottle of terribly sweet wine tumbles indecorously to the laughing earth,
have been consigned to the golden fish vault and will not be revealed until the golden fish world leader has successfully flown away!
tonight, as darkness envelopes the sky and then pours in through the windows, i've felt a deep wish to hear joni mitchell singing "hejira". i know that i have already posted about this song sometime ago so forgive me if i clean that old post up a bit and repost it here. joni mitchell, like her compatriot neil young, has left behind a legacy of powerful, life affecting music. joni’s iconic role as a post sixties intelligent female artist in a business that has traditionally marginalized intelligent women or subsumed them into so much floss, was what first drew me to her. i loved her intelligence, her creativity as a singer, and as an artist, and i loved that she created music that was more than the sum of its parts.
like most people, my first experience of her music came through her big breakthrough hit “big yellow taxi” which included the memorable line ...” they paved paradise and put up a parking lot...” and the equally memorable line “don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone?” it wasn’t until several years later that i happened across an album that i still listen to regularly entitled "hejira"
i first heard hejira while living in a residence room in otonabee college at trent university in 1976. the album as a whole has highs and lows which are reflective of her lyrical depiction of the dance of self in a world torn between predictability and chaos. one of the more melancholy songs, the title track "hejira" stands out for me as the highlight among many highlights in the lifelibrary of words and music she has crafted in her more than fourty year career. the songs on hejira were largely written by joni on a road trip from maine back to los angeles, california. this likely explains the many references to highways, small towns and snow. joni said of the album: "the whole 'hejira' album was really inspired. ... i wrote the album while travelling cross-country by myself and there is this restless feeling throughout it. ... the sweet loneliness of solitary travel. ...." the laying bare of joni’s inner self is never more complete than when she sings in “hejira”, “there’s comfort in melancholy when there’s no need to explain”. later when she sings, “you know it never has been easy, whether you do or you do not resign, whether you travel the breadth of extremities, or stick to some straighter line” she drives home the essence of the painful inner torment that plagues all creatively driven individuals - the need to strive for some form of balance between acceptance both within and without themselves - the two being mutually incompatible, sometimes even destructive. joni has often drawn stunningly talented musicians into her circle, and this track is no exception featuring the brilliant and now sadly flown away bassist jaco pastorius (who first found fame with jazz group “weather report”), wrapping the most beautiful and memorable arcing bass lines like velvet ribbon around the gift of her words.
i'm traveling in some vehicle i'm sitting in some cafe a defector from the petty wars that shell shock love away there's comfort in melancholy when theres no need to explain it's just as natural as the weather in this moody sky today in our possessive coupling so much could not be expressed so now i'm returning to myself these things that you and i suppressed i see something of myself in everyone just at this moment of the world as snow gathers like bolts of lace waltzing on a ballroom girl
you know it never has been easy whether you do or you do not resign whether you travel the breadth of extremities or stick to some straighter line now heres a man and a woman sitting on a rock they're either going to thaw out or freeze listen... strains of benny goodman coming through the snow and the pinewood trees i'm porous with travel fever but you know Im so glad to be on my own still somehow the slightest touch of a stranger can set up trembling in my bones i know - no one's going to show me everything we all come and go unknown each so deep and superficial between the forceps and the stone
well i looked at the granite markers those tribute to finality - to eternity and then i looked at myself here chicken scratching for my immortality in the church they light the candles and the wax rolls down like tears there's the hope and the hopelessness i've witnessed thirty years we're only particles of change i know, i know orbiting around the sun but how can I have that point of view when Im always bound and tied to someone white flags of winter chimneys waving truce against the moon in the mirrors of a modern bank from the window of a hotel room
i'm traveling in some vehicle i'm sitting in some cafe a defector from the petty wars until love sucks me back that way."
i worked in downtown toronto one summer a very long time ago and
the male figure skater in this video used to unknowingly cross paths with me as
we each went out to buy french bread and pate for lunch.