She arrives at dusk.
That time of day that when you are travelling and it is all around you, transitory, itinerant and seemingly timeless. The time of day when the sky hovers for an eternity in the indigo phase. The day has left the sky blue stage and is preparing to merge into the blackness and yet is still carrying light.

The taxi departs. The birds preparing for sleep, the crickets preparing for a night of music. A magical time where it always seems as if one is on the threshold of something marvelous.
The daily death of the day. Exactly when it happens is never noticed, always comes as somewhat of a surprise.

The stone building appears rather somber and cold . She stands at the larger than life wooden door. Shifting slightly from foot to foot as she awaits an answer. She views the antiquated bell she has rung and wonders if it works.

An owl swoops down and lands in a grove of trees just behind the house. She startles and when startlement has abated, her face gleams in appreciation of the symbol.

In a few moments her mind has jumped around a field containing a myriad of thoughts. Unrelated, non-relevant and extremely busy.

She presses the bell again. Her face tightens somewhat. Her lips clench, her eyes blaze. Anticipating that she might be observed she consciously relaxes her body and half smiles. After another eternity her attitude has changed from anxiousness to agitation and finally settles in belligerence. She finds herself muttering under her breath. She finds that the night is fully present with no luminous envoys.

Blackness surrounds. Her eyes flash on a white shutter, a stone wall and a single Moonflower, its scent divine and yet not bearing sufficient power to dissuade the rising disappointment which always manifests as anger.

Knowing by now that no one is home she rings incessantly, all the while raging.

Yet rage has a way of wearing itself out and makes place for a sense of futility to find a home. She heads for the grove of trees where she last saw the owl. She lies to the side of the circle. Something about being in the centre never did fit well with her. She places an additional layer of clothes on, and drinks from an emptying bottle of water. Deciding to do what she always does at times of uncertainty, she lies down. Her head uncomfortably high on her luggage, but unwilling to seek out comfort and remedy the situation.

Looking above her she sees the owl, motionless above her except that it is obvious it is watching the surroundings with such intensity as if to give it an appearance of imminent flight. She feels blessed. Life has put this magnificent bird above her head. The only other time she had been with an owl was a dead one that her youngest son adored for a day before the burial.

Just as she was pondering the importance of this, the owl flew off and suddenly the symbol became a past tense object and therefore lost its sacred awe.

She felt the first mosquito bite demanding a scratching. With a grunt she sits up and heaves her rug sack in front of her with about as much grace as a birthing hippopotamus. She has to pull out the bags stuffing until she can reach what she is seeking. Her eyes are not involved in the search; her hands have to do the task. They eventually touch something hard and smooth and triumphantly she pulls out a bottle of lavender oil. Smearing it on the exposed parts of her she ponders her situation. Then decides it is too bleak. Don’t contemplate the nearest town, don’t contemplate the failed arrangement. The only thing left for her to do would be to follow the path of self-enquiry. Life often creates situations where this is the last option. Never life threatening situations. Although sometimes these as well, but mostly mundane circumstances. No the only thing for her to do is to lie back and ask “who am I’. It is what she has learnt as the main tool in stopping the mind rushing ones emotions into an abyss of despair.
The shift from minding to being.

It followed like this for a time.
“Why did this happen”?
“To whom did it happen”?
“To me”
“Who am I”.

This process of enquiry is ultimately meant to lead to the discovery that there is no me that can be found. The point to discover where the I meets the source. For her it had never produced feelings of anything other than exerting the question to the thought and chopping the thought down. The moments between thoughts supposedly become longer and more profound, but for her the thoughts came as rapidly as Bush’s revenge for the September 11 attacks.

So here in the dead of night, we find a somewhat resigned woman asking the same question again and again until blessedly sleep made its way through the minds battlefield. She dreamt that night she was driving a fire engine from the back seat. She found it rather awkward.

She awoke in the hushed dawn. Just before night surrenders and yet the birds have already started their day. She goes to the outside of the grove and has a pee. Returns to her rug sack and continues to lie down. From her horizontal position she surveys the surrounds. The house looks as uninhabited as it did in the previous night’s darkness. It is abandoned.

How typical of her to follow a whim. To take this journey trusting that things don’t change and that she will be received here as she has in the past.
In her mind she was journeying here to have a break, in the presence of this remarkable teacher.
It did not occur to her to check up on availability or the possibility of death or such.

Hunger gnawed, she knew with absolute certainty that she would have to walk to the nearest town, and that it would be long, and that her rug sack was too heavy with books etc.
Angry and dejected she hoists the bag onto her bag, grunts and heads off into the sun.

Deal with it ego.
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Anonymous said…
So many pick up their bag every day throughout the world and head off into nothingness. Be it the person on their way to work or the person in some far-flung country, or next door, seeking shelter and a scrap of food with which to survive the day. Like the owl, once it has left our field of vision, we forget about it--some never see the owl as they avert their eyes or minds to shield the visual blows that surround us.

The list of bag people are growing and one day we may walk with them or protect ourselves from them when the gang mentality takes hold. The owl doesn't care, the scavengers don't care--they will just decide whether they like the taste or not. Penned in with no visible fence--with or without the bag in hand--ah, the games of the mind.

There will be many bibles in carpet bags--just in case--like a child sending a letter to Santa long after the jig is up--just in case. Yet, like Santa and Elvis, Jesus has left the building--if there ever was a building--I don't think if there was a jesus, that he liked buildings anyway--church doors locked to keep the gold chalices safe--

The piles of snow and ice are melting here today--only to return another time--as they always do--I can smell spring in the air--just a scent--more from experience perhaps than anything--with, or without me.

What is it in our bag, or not, as we travel from here to there--or to nowhere--

Lighten the load--toss the non-essesntials overboard

In one of Nina's paintings, for those who see, there is a woman standing on the tracks in a print dress, looking at a house that has seen better days, and she wonders what happened. The place is familiar to her--time has passed and although she feels young, and thinks young, the house has aged, and not been kept up. Time has passed it by as has the world--just another blur as the modern world passes by at 70mph--She longs to be left alone--a garden perhaps behind the house--the trains running on schedule her only communication with the outside world--that would be nice.

But the trains stopped running long ago and the bank owns the house now--no squatters rights there--time to move along before being arrested for vagrancy--

But it would at least be a warm bed and a meal--but there is no money in the budget for warm beds and meals--just a club over the head and a kick to the kidneys to send them on their way--the people demand that laws be enforced and trouble be kept out of their town--

Night becomes a friend as it shields our presence from the kidney kickers--daylight is to be feared as it exposes us--

The worm has turned,what was up is down--we look forward to the night now--strangers passing with no acknowledgement--no one direction better than the next other than in the hopes of the mind--

We watch the owl now as his flight path may show the way to a carcass of some sort--or perhaps to walk off a cliff in the darkness as we follow the one who soars above and sees things from a higher perspective--

brian kennedy said…
That's great that you were able to sleep on the ground like that.
"Thin grass does for a mattress, the blue sky makes a good quilt. Happy with a stone underhead. Let heaven and earth go about their changes." from Han Shan, Cold Mountain Poems, Gary Snyder translated, I think./
m_astera said…
Nicely done, susana.

As one who has always found refuge in nature, I can relate well. Those you came to visit may not be home, but Nature always is.

Lavender oil repels mosquitos? Wonderful, if so. Lavender oil is on the shopping list.
nobody said…
Hey Susana,

There's a lot to be said for travelling light.
susana said…
Moved to tears by your empathy towards all.
Kicked in the kidneys and all.
In this village, a group of homeless finally were given land.
The wealthy in the village were against it of course.
The poor were delighted.
The rich were afraid of increased crime, lowering of the property value etc.

I gave someone a lift home from town who lived there the other day.
Jj you cannot believe the beauty.
The ablutions, though simple were functioning with clean, clear water.
And each little humble shack had a garden in the making. Saplings growing, sunflowers sunflowering - just colour and life and abundance where there was none.
What a beauty and my heart is so grateful to those who created this.
And to that woman who needs a meal perhaps she can come to me in my dreams tonight.
Have recurring dreams of having to feed a multitude of people and after the panic passes, the deed gets done.
I do love your higher perspective my friend.
susana said…
I can sleep pretty well anywhere.
Discomfort does not bother me thankfully.
a pile of wood
10 days rice in my bag
my legs stretched outwards
the rain falling on the roof.
Tryptoham aham.
susana said…
Lavender and tea tree oil are the absolute best at keeping them away.
Second best is eucalyptus but as it is a stimulant, it might keep you awake instead.
This village has a communal dam and a lei water system which means that everyone has so many minutes a week of water flowing down channels into their garden. A beautiful sound as it trickles past on a hot day.
Many people dig channels and flood irrigate but many are aware of the wash out and have built dams and then irrigate via soft sprays.
The problem is all these dams lead to a mosquito population like I have never met before.
Clouds of them arise at sunset.

A few years ago I read a mantra which set about detailing how one should repeat "I sacrifice comfort for truth" , so i repeated this for a few weeks and then we went away on a break. Whilst away our home and business burnt down in a forest fire.
Of course we were uninsured.
Stripped down to the absolute basics and never having quite managed to build up again has definitely made this load lighter.
Anonymous said…
I am morphing as the times change, and require--when the time comes and the weak are in need of nourishment and protection, they will find it here if they participate and are of like mind--or at least open to the possibilities and do the best they can--leaches, parasites and those wanting to be king need not apply--
It's my way of saying "fuck off" to those who hope we tear each other limb from limb--
Just here, in our little space we will survive, or perish with honor--that, in the end is all i have to offer--come what may--
So cool knowing that our sparks though distant, shoot off into the same night in concert--When I look at the moon at night, or the sun during the day, I know that it is the same as you all see--let it reflect all that we are--soak it at is us...

Anonymous said…
I heard a voice one day that called to me
And within that voice
I found my voice

I found friends of like mind
Individuals of character
Friends of wisdom
No more distant than their words—given freely
Life giving

A place I had always been
A hope I had always dreamed
Now filling the air with the sweet music
Of truth

Buried beneath the crescendo of voices
Are the lies of the Ages
The professional liars
Shouted down
Cowering at what they had wrought
The abyss of their own creation
Turned now
Bearing down steadily
Their own words-suffocating them
Their own lies-crushing them

The white horse of truth
Riders all
Thundering down the hillside
Across the plains of deceit
Trampling everything in our path

We are many
From all lands
We ride with truth as our shield
Justice as our sword

Scimitar’s joining Sabers
Sabers joining Cutlass
Cutlass joining Wodao

We are the light Brigade
And it is YOUR valley of death
Reap your whirlwind
Choke on your deceit

We breathe freely and call each other brother
And sister—terms of honor you know not

Joyous in our simplicity and purpose
We will not play your shell game

We shall live the life we choose
With gratitude
And Joy
In Peace

Anonymous said…

Anonymous said…
You were stuck on 9 comments for too long--so added one to make ten--one of my little foibles--

Anonymous said…
103--It's a good number--wow, you're important--

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