Posts Tagged ‘magic’

palimpsest

I’ve always liked that word, Gentle Reader, and since it means a surface containing layered images from various different periods of time which have been covered up by succeeding users of the surface with their own images which, in turn, get covered up by future users…..it just kind of makes sense in general to me.  It’s kind of what we are, really.

I guess it’s a good thing I like weathered surfaces, in short, given that I’m kind of turning into one.  And in that process, various things surface and submerge, day after day.

In the ongoing “What Would Pooh Do?” effort, we’ve had a couple of successes.  I found myself doing math in my head.  Multiplication and long division even.  Algebra!  And arriving at a correct answer, which was needed to figure out proportions in a tincture presently being made, and also one coming up as soon as I get more vodka.  This is quite something given that I always thought I “couldn’t do math”.  So.  Lesson learned was: don’t let other people tell you what you can and cannot do- try it out for yourself.  Gently, humming a bit.  It actually works.

In that vein as well I decided to play with the Dog when he wants to, even if I don’t since I often feel like I’m “too busy”.  A question of what’s important in a way, and the lesson here? is Joy is Always Important.  It helps with all the other spots of eye watering horror that pop up around here with Monotonous Frequency.  It’s harder to see that happy, bouncy, smiling yippee-ness of the Dog (with his various toys being tossed hither and yon requiring important sorties for retrieval along with extravagant praise for same) in humans but just knowing it is there makes it easier to just Do It all the time.  It really takes no effort to just smile or give a compliment or kind word- far less than coping with a slobbery, squishy dog toy actually.  And speaking of slobbery dog toys, we had another Step Forward today.  The Dog dashed out the door giving chase to a miscreant cat.  He’s done this a few times and it has always been dicey because he tends to run, and then just keep going…you know, for the Joy of it.  But today he actually came back when called.  We were both speechless.  Extravagant praise ensued, plus toast crumbs which he especially fancies.

jack 2:17

The third thing is realizing that we really do for the most part have just what we need.  The challenges and privations of our life now are real, and  it is way too easy to get sunk in anxiety and gloom about everything, and get on the What If Train to The Future (which as we do know is almost always a trainwreck).  The mood swoops all over the place at such times.  But! As usual cooking revealed the lovely picture underneath the more current spray painted scrawls.

It revolved around peanut sauce.  Kind of a necessity for certain noodle and vegetable dishes, as well as making a terrific glaze for broils and braises of whatever you might have.  It calls for fresh ginger which  I’d used up the day before so there I was at a pivotal last minute, chewing my lip.  We HAD to have peanut sauce of course, no question, and the clock was ticking.  And as I stood there the lightbulb went off.  I’d received, in a bit of a fiasco’d situation (since improved) a box of Fortnum and Mason stem ginger in chocolate.  The box is exquisite and ginger candy is a favorite.  FORTNUM AND MASON, after all. But? This stuff was ghastly.  A real British dessert, deafeningly sweet and a travesty of chocolate, if I may say so.  The ginger, however, was good and actually tasted like fresh.  So, I thought: hah! cut off the chocolate and use this ginger for the peanut sauce.  It worked like a charm.

Aside from enjoying the improvisational success, it really made me think about the fact that we do, in fact, have what we need.  If we’re calm enough to settle down and let it manifest- let, in short, the muddy water settle and clear.  As usual, the Dalai Lama is right: No reason for too much worry.  Just continue to saunter through the multi-acre wood, remembering that no matter how it looks, there’s something underneath and something to come and it will all work out.

Blessings and thanks!!

 

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The Deer Bar

We use an evaporative (swamp) cooler to stay alive during the hot months, like most people here.  It rests on some sawhorses outside one of the yurt’s windows, and when the water going through it reaches the overflow level there’s a lovely small pool of water in the rocks underneath it, with succulent little green things like dandelions and crane’s bill growing up luxuriantly.  This is the new watering hole for the deer family who’ve decided to stay right next to us.  There’s a mom (whose ribs show and there MAY even be a bit of gray around the ears..), a baby, and a year old male.  They come and leave hoof prints from where they’ve eaten and had water without ever making a sound.   I’ve been watching them lately and I really wonder, for example, what they call each other and how they talk.  The baby (just now losing spots) has reached the developmental stage where he feels like a Big Deer, and thus wanders off.  Probably contributing to his mom’s gray ears, since she has to constantly hunt and find out where he is.  One day he was standing in the upper horse pasture when his mom spotted him from lower down and all of a sudden that fawn looked like he’d been electrocuted, jumping literally three feet high in the air.  Quickly composing himself back into Big Deer, he continued to hum lalala and ignore his mother.  Not a smart move.  She clearly re-emitted the electrifying utterance, something along the lines of GETDOWNHERETHISMINUTEDOYOUHEREME?NOW.  And, of course, he did.  There’s comfort in a way in knowing that we really are pretty much all the same, us, deer, trees, everything.

I suppose it is that sense of connection in a way that lends magic to things- they unfold before you and it is dazzling every time that rose blooms or a child laughs  or you get a difficult state of mind resolved.  I was talking to one of my oldest and closest friends recently, who remarked that although life IS beautiful, he didn’t really see the magic. I responded that often it seemed the reverse for me.

For some reason I woke up today thinking about one of the many times the two of us hitchhiked up the California coast to the bay area, back in the dim, distant past of The Day When We Were In College.  We were hitching to San Francisco from Oakland at one point and got picked up by a man who said he was a Scientific Boxer.  It was a truly amazing experience, involving as it did a simultaneous boxing demo with steering wheel, and multiple vehicle crash in the middle of the bridge.  Having earlier in the same trip narrowly avoided imminent death on another corner, when the wreck happened we counted our blessings, got out of the car  and bid adieu to our boxing friend.  We walked into the City, which was a bit of a distance since we were in the middle span of the bridge.  It was a sparkling day with crisp air and the deep blue of the ocean out beyond only seemed to intensify the glittering movement of the waves far below us.   There was magic in all that beauty there, and in our safe passage, for sure, and while the clarity of the memory surprises me, I’m pretty sure it is just one more part of that big puzzle being worked on now in my head.  Still, I’m pretty sure of at least one thing, now that I can’t avoid admitting being Mostly Grown Up.  I definitely believe in magic, and all those pieces of it we see in the course of our lives are part of a huge tapestry, a palimpsest, a portrait.   That picture is what shines through for us over time, guiding us when we think we’re in the dark- but we never really are without some light to guide us.  And that right there is the real magic.