Monday, May 27, 2013

The Little Log Cabin at the Lake

With much sighing, I'm back from a lovely, languorous, luxury of a retreat at a lake cabin in Virginia.

The luxury is of the abundance of nature set on the banks of a 60 acre lake, of space - 30 acres of woodlands, of solitude - a 20 minute long gravel driveway crossing 3 locked gates, and of near complete isolation.

The languor was of days of doing nothing, seeing no other human being, hearing no traffic; just lounging on the big porch and letting the world leave me behind.

The loveliness was of Virginia wildlife - birds, beavers, bullfrogs; books - for lots of reading, a canoe to float along in the soft water, and trails for picking wildflowers.

After all that pampering by Mother Nature, it is so hard to come back to reality. Even though I'm revived and refreshed, the kinks in my neck and back gone, I'm so longing for the time to go back into the woods for good! 

Friday, May 10, 2013

House Under Construction

It all started with a broken pot. How I have a broken pot is another story for another day, but one day it was a fine whole pot carrying plants, and the next it was a sad broken pot in the corner of the garage. There it lounged for about a year or more. Finally when it was time to throw it out, I wondered what else I could do with it, and so here is the broken pot, aka, my new:
House Under Construction.

Here's the house, with a pool (clam shell)

So up the terraced staircase (broken bits of pot)

and Welcome Home! (mat - flat round stone)

The swan-in-residence (seed pod) watching over her eggs (snail shells)

And a fenced yard too (long abandoned play structure)

I plan to remodel this house and make it more rustic down the road, but for now, it's a perfectly fine, modest starter home... any buyers? :)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Learning the Language of the Universe

"It is the later task of intelligence to appreciate the inseparable relationships between the things so divided, and so to rediscover the universe as distinct from a mere multiverse." -Alan Watts
I was so surprised to discover that my throat had choked up and my eyes filled with tears when I read this sentence. It was the end of an Alan Watts' essay from his 'This is it'  book of essays, so it was a good stopping point to close the book and close my eyes, and go within to see where the tears were coming from. Was it the mention of a "mere multiverse"? Or the "appreciation of inseparable relationships between things so divided"? Or the suggestion of a "later task of intelligence"?
I think it's the recognition of myself as one of the "things so divided" that's making this universe a "multiverse". There is such touching beauty and magnificence in the thought of a uni-verse, the creation of a uni-verse, the absoluteness of a uni-verse, the oneness of a uni-verse, that multi-verse seems like an ugly slur on what uni-verse was and is meant to be.
I pour my energies into separating myself, secluding myself, retreating into a corner, craving independence, solitude, freedom, all the while furiously, yet unknowingly, denying the oneness of the universe. How ignorant. How abysmally ignorant. The factions of single persons, the bigger factions of region, religion, race, culture, country - factions, fractions, divisions - relentlessly trying to divide the indivisible. Trying so hard to create a multiverse - why? To what end?
Aren't we all craving oneness? Needing completion, fullness, to become whole? Needing support and interdependence? But how do we get rid of the suspicions, the doubts, the fears, the insecurities, the beliefs, the boundaries? The only way is to drop them all and surrender to the universe, but that's where we hold back - seemingly just a piece of ourselves, we resist - just one little thing, and that's where it all begins. The resistance, the anxiety, the endless trials to build dams against the flow of the universe.
And so we are - I am - at the early "task of intelligence" still - like a mere toddler, unable to play nice yet, unable to understand the language of the universe yet, unable to give, accept, or surrender. And that's what got me choked up - the recognition of myself as a temperamental toddler only wanting my little toy, when the abundant universe is giving it all, all the time - with nothing held back. Because the universe is after all, giving to itself - because there is the only one universe - the absolute.