Companions and Tutors

9 03 2007

Marcel Proust

Unbelievably, Marcel Proust has agreed to be our companion and tutor on our Grand Tour.  Why unbelievably?  Because, as everyone knows, Marcel is a sickly hypochondriac who rarely leaves his room except to eat at the Ritz or swan his way through a glittering social gathering.  Also, he claims to be writing the greatest novel of his time, but we all know how unlikely that is~ judging by the treacly pastiches he’s written for the local papers.  Be that as it may, he claims that only he, with his wide knowledge of art, architecture and aesthetics, can teach us what we need to know and show us the grandeur of the countries we will be visiting.  Of course this means that our luggage will increase exponentially, as Marcel brings nearly everything he owns on every trip he makes, plus he “cannot possibly” travel without his servant and companion, Celeste Albaret.  As you can see by the picture above, he will be wearing his military uniform; he says this will smooth our way through foreign countries whose inhabitants are in love with uniforms (i.e. Italy).  Personally, I believe what Marcel really means is “in love with men wearing uniforms”.  C’est la vie.  Next stop: Paris.





Safety and Danger — Day 5

7 03 2007

 

Damascus plods along the Owl Creek Road with Pigeon on his back. I walk along side of him, sometimes skipping a bit, sometimes singing a few lines of a ditty. Although Damascus warns me my gallivanting will use energy I will be wanting later, I cannot not help but show my excitement traveling on Owl Creek Road. On my way to where, I cannot imagine, but I know there is a mine ahead and I’m sure it will provide adventure. Well, I’ve never been one to shirk from a little sport, and I am in the most pleasant of companies, so I am happy. But after we walk hour after hour, with no end in sight, I begin to question my donkey’s wisdom..

“Damascus, where is this creek? After all, this road is Owl Creek Road. Surely there’s a creek. My canteen is empty and I’m getting quite thirsty. Hungry, too.” After an afternoon of walking, I am uncomfortable and a little whiny. The road covers me with a heavy layer of dust, and I also swallow my share. My mouth is so dry, I can hardly force my words out.

“Be patient, Dear. I was warned you travelers are an impatient bunch, and that’s truly true. The creek is several miles yet. A sharp curve towards the mountains and then we will travel along the cooling water. Then you can drink until your body and spirit are quenched and I shall greedily join you. Do you not think beasts of burden thirst and become uncomfortable, yet I try not to complain? And have you noticed that Pigeon has been gone quite awhile? It would be wise for you to pay attention to your surroundings instead of dancing about. As for Pigeon, I daresay he has already partaken of his share of liquid refreshment.”

I become quiet. Damascus is right, of course. He is right most of the time, I discover. It is good that I try to pay more attention to his words. Words from Donkeys are surely of a magical nature.

“I am sorry, Damascus. I suppose my human-ness is showing.”

“Why, Dear, do not fret. Do you not yet know a Donkey’s patience is seldom tested? Now look up ahead and celebrate a bit if you must. Here is the curve in the road. See the stream; it is ahead.”

I must admit I half-run to the flowing waters. It races clear and cool, passing over small rocks and sandy flats. I pull off my shoes without further thought and wade into the sand. Scooping water with my hands, I assuage my thirst and splash my face and arms. Damascus joins me, stepping into a rocky portion of the creek, slurping water and spraying it upon my clothing.

“Stop. Stop. You are acting like a wild animal.” I laugh at his antics. I think he is laughing, too, but remember it is hard to read a donkey’s facial expressions. He is braying though, and that seems to indicate he is pleased. I spot Pigeon bathing in a shallow pool.

“Pigeon, where have you been? I have hardly seen you this entire day. You must stay with us for it is now dusk and our dinner can’t be far away.” I try not to let my worry show.

“Do you not know my job in this foreign land?” he cooed. “I am the look-out, watching the road for the least sign of danger. Do you think I am flying about on a lark?” Pigeon sounds indignant, as he may very well be. He is right. I do not notice what I should.

For the second time in as many hours, I find myself apologizing to one of my companions. I hang my head down; I want to cover my face and cry. “Sorry,” I say. Of course you are doing me a great service.”

“You better believe it, Dear. Now look ahead. Lights twinkling from a window. We have come to our place of rest. You rely on Damascus and me, we will care for you as if you were a helpless babe, crying in your cradle.”

Now chagrined at my lecture from Pigeon, I refuse to speak until we arrive at the house. Before I open the rose covered gate, the door to the cottage opens and an enormous man stands in its interior’s illumination. He steps forward, and I see an sparkling grin on his whiskered face. His frame fills the entire entrance.

“Welcome. Welcome. Damascus said we would have company tonight.” He waves a hand and belly-laughs.

I slip Damascus a surprised look. This donkey is worth more than I first figured. Here I thought I would be caring for him, and it is I who am being cared for. Just then Pigeon lands on my shoulder. I stroke his feathers and he ruffles himself. I am lucky to be in the company of my two friends.

I turn my attention to my host. “Why, thank you. I do admit we are tired and hungry. Damascus said we should stop at your home. I hope we are not causing trouble.”

“Trouble? Heavens no. We have dinner and a soft bed prepared for you and accommodations for Damascus and your bird friend. Rosa has a tub of steaming water for you to bathe in and dinner is nearly ready. I shall feed and bed down Damascus and I believe I have seed here for your bird. Go on in.”

“But I don’t even know who you are,” I say, hesitating at his invitation.

Damascus rolls his eyes and hummfs at me. Under his breathe he mumbles. “I never got a proper introduction from Dear until Pigeon stepped in, and now she questions my good friend! What manners do these travelers have?”

I hear Damascus and blush with embarassment. “I am Barbara, although my new friends call me Dear. I am pleased to stop at your home.”

“And I’m Tom Tubby. Pleased to meet you, Dear. Now up and in over the threshold. Rosa is most eager to have some woman-talk.”

Damascus whispers to Tom Tubby and Pigeon hovers over the two of them. I slow my walk so I can hear too. “Any trouble lately? You both doing okay?”

“No. It’s been quiet and I hope it stays that way while we have a guest. Our dogs are out and about. Jess and Jobie will set up a ruckus if they come anywhere near.” Pigeon looks over at me, hesitating on the stoop. “Big ears,” he says, so they break up their meeting and get to the evening chores.

I wash up and change into fresh clothes while Rosa takes my dusty shirt and pants and soaks them in a pan in the sink. I bring my sketchpad and pencils into the kitchen. “Can I help you do anything or would you mind if I sketch a bit and write a few words? I want to remember everything.” As if I would forget, I think to myself.

“Go right ahead, Dear. I gather we’ll hear your stories over supper, and a treat that will be. All these days passing, with only a man to talk to. Gets a frightful bit lonesome, though don’t take that as complaining. I love my Tom Tubby.”

She scrubs my clothing with lye in a pan of water. “I usually use the creek for washing, but it’s not always safest outside. The dark brings out all manner of creatures. You never mind though. Our home is cozy and safe. Now go ahead and do a bit of writing. Your clothes will be fresh in the morning.”

Quite awhile later, Tom Tubby squeezes himself through the door. “Let’s dish that stew up and pile that cornbread on the platter. Why, Rosa, it all smells so grand.” He rubbed his belly and turned to me with a big grin.

“My Rosa is the best cook along side the whole of Owl Creek,” he boasted. “And Rosa, Damascus says our traveler has had herself an exciting time since entering Lemuria. We’re sure to hear a good tale tonight.”

The couple and I exchange pleasantries over the hearty food, and then the real conversation begins. I tell them of the day’s happenings. They cluck and tsk over my story of the anchor and I feel embarrassed for a second. Then they say how fortunate I was to have the tiny anchor, and they think that everyone from the Old Place would be well to have one while in Lemuria. They do not know of le Enchanteur’s parting gifts.

After the hearty supper, Rosa scoots me off to bed. I lie awake in the comfort of the feather bed, piles of quilts covering me, and think over the day’s events. I am drifting into my dreams when I am yanked fully awake by a spooky howl. The howling is not in the distance; it is too nearby to feel comfortable. The dogs begin barking, and I hear shouts downstairs and a door slam.

“Rosa,” I call as I clatter down the steps. “What is happening?”

She is looking out the only window in the cottage which faces the barn, dressed in her nightgown with a quilt thrown over her shoulders. “Why not go up and climb back into bed, Dear? Tom Tubby can handle everything.” She turns away from me and peers closely out the glass. Again I hear the piercing howls. Again it is nearby. I find myself unable to leave Rosa; I look out the window, too.

“Ah-ooo! Ah-ooo!” I see dark shadows nearing the fence which surrounds the yard. It is only a picket fence and provides decoration, not safety. “Hee-haw! Hee-haw!” Now Damascus is braying from inside the barn. I see Pigeon no where in sight, but surely he is safe from whatever travels on the ground. His wings carry him far from danger.

“Not to worry, Dear. Tom Tubby has a gun. He protects us when the wolves attack.” My heart does a double beat as I hear a gun fire. Then several more shots ring through the air. Tom Tubby is yelling, but I can’t make out the words. Minutes seem like hours, but finally the door latch turns and Tom Tubby lumbers through the door.

“They’re gone, Rosa and Dear. Gone for now. I’m afraid they were after Damascus, but we fought them together. Your donkey is safe enough.”

“You both fought them? How is that possible?”

“Why, Damascus does a sort of kick-boxing. Didn’t you know? All the companions of travelers are trained in the arts of protection. You couldn’t ask for a braver donkey. Afraid he’s got a bit of a wound on his leg, though.”

“Damascus is hurt?” I start for the door, but he holds me back.

“Now worry does one no good, so let’s not think the worst,” Tom Tubby gently reprimanded. “Rosa, I’d like to bring Damascus into the cottage to care for him. He’s a gentle animal and will cause you no trouble. He’ll be safer in here if the wolves attack again. He can’t protect himself as he is.”

I held my breath, waiting for her reply. Would Rosa let a donkey inside their home?

“Of course Damascus is welcome. Let me get the spare blankets so he can lie down comfortably. Dear, help me move the table and chairs against the wall so there’ll be room.”

Tom Tubby and I went out and half-carried Damascus into the warm room. Damascus could barely put weight on his foreleg. We gently placed him on the pallet. My heart sank when I saw his injuries, but perhaps when the wound was cleaned, it would look better. My friend, Damascus, was hurt and I no longer had my donkey to accompany me on my journey. I burst into tears. Not only was I heart-broken, I was also terribly afraid.

 





The First of Many Lessons — Day 4

6 03 2007

The moment my feet touched the ground, I heard the most terrifying screech I could imagine. Although I looked about me, to the left and to the right and behind me, I could see no person or thing. But hear them I did. Horrid name calling that I had heard throughout my entire life was being replayed in my mind. Words that I thought I had erased from my memory, numbed from my consciousness, were being re-broadcast on my own personal tape recorder. Over and over, the caustic words echoed.

Panic gripped me as I listened to my past’s ghostly voices and then I felt my feet disappear into the mucky sand. Suddenly I remembered my companions and their pact. Were they really going to help me or were they going to ignore me in my predicament?

I turned about, searching for Damascus and Pigeon, as the sandy ground continued to suck fiercely, now engulfing my ankles. Damascus stood placidly at my side, yawning and swinging his tail. He was nonplussed by my situation; in fact, he was totally unaware of it. If anything, the donkey looked quite relaxed, almost asleep standing upright.

“Damascus, aren’t you going to help? You did say you’d help me, you and Pigeon.”

“Hmm. What’s up, Dear? You look a little troubled.”

“Troubled? Troubled? Of course I’m troubled. Those voices. Can’t you hear those devilish voices tormenting me? Screaming insults at me. And aren’t you worried about the quicksand? I’m sinking deeper and deeper. Can’t you see?”

Damascus took his time, but eventually he swiveled his eyes downward and examined the sand which was gripping me more tightly. He looked a bit irritated. Then he blew a warm swoosh of air into my face.

“Of course I can hear and see. What kind of donkey do you think I am?” I think he gave me a nasty look, but I couldn’t be sure. Damascus shook his head, pawed the ground. I noticed he was standing on solid ground. “I’ve heard of these sorts of problems, but I’ve never come face to face with such things. Voices, you say? Nasty ones?”

“Yes, nasty. Very nasty. Calling me all sorts of names. Stupid. Liar. Traitor. Crazy. Bad. Scaredy-brat. Even worse names and screaming in voices I recognize. Mother. Father. Friend. Teacher. Are you listening to me, Damascus?”

“Perhaps you need to clean house before those voices will disappear. It’s been said that one can’t carry old baggage in Lemuria, because there’s too much new baggage to carry. See those mining tools next to the brush. There’s our new baggage.” Damascus turned his head away, reached for a bit of grass and chewed it.

“But I don’t understand. Damascus, you aren’t making sense.”

“Dear, give up those voices. Throw off those names. Too much baggage, understand?”

I closed my eyes and underneath my voice I began to chant. I am good. I am smart. I am brave. I chanted over and over until I started to believe what I was saying. “I understand now, Damascus, about the voices. I can make them be still and disappear. I am in charge of what I hear, of who I am. Is that what you were trying to teach me?”

“Yes, Dear. A good lesson learned.”

“But the quicksand? I still can’t move.”

Damascus shook his head and snorted. He looked me straight in the eye. “Are you sure that old baggage is gone? Its weight can take fast hold of you, make you unable to go forward. You won’t be able to make progress until you forgive the past, focus on the present and plan for the future.”

“Those are pretty philosophical words from a donkey’s mouth,” I couldn’t help saying that, but he didn’t seem to hear me. Or did he?

“Yes, indeed. I’m a pretty philosophical fellow. If only you keep listening, we’ll get along fine. By the way, how are your feet?”

I lifted my right foot, then my left. “They’re free. Oh, Damascus, you know the answers. You’re wonderful.”

“Aw, Dear. Not wonderful. But perhaps old donkeys become wise, forever traveling strangers through this mysterious land. Now to be certain you’ve shrugged off those voices for good, open your bag from le Enchanteur and take out the little anchor.”

“And just why do I need an anchor in the middle of this country. I see no water anywhere.”

“And you’ll need no water for this anchor to do its job,” sighed Damascus just a bit. “Throw this net, yes it’s invisible but it will do, over the remains of the voice-makers. Now fasten it to the earth with the anchor.”

I lifted the anchor, but I could only move it a fraction. Damascus helped nudge it with his nose and together we pushed the anchor into place.

“You needed a mighty heavy anchor to hold down those memories, Dear,” said Damascus, ” but this part of your journey is done. Now if you would please load that pack of tools on my back, we have many stops yet to make. Let’s be off.” Damascus smiled, though I didn’t notice. It’s hard to tell when a donkey smiles.

“Wait. Let me signal for Pigeon.” I whistled through my fingers and there was Pigeon, perched on Damascus’ back.

Damascus brayed and Pigeon hopped from foot to foot. “Now we shall follow Owl Road while it is still light enough to see. I’m starving and I know just the place to find a home-cooked meal. Let’s take the welcomes while we can, for soon enough we’ll be eating many a meal from a cold tin, and looking over our shoulders at every sound.”





My Trip to Glastonbury Tor

10 02 2007

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As I approached Glastonbury Tor, my mind began to float freely and follow the spiral that my feet ascended up to the top. All around me was still; I had been lucky enough to get to the site early, and no other pilgrims were around. I climbed slowly, listening to my own breathing and the occasional birdsong. Feeling a bit chilled, I realized that I was beginning to walk through swirling mist. It lay thick on the ground, and was beginning to rise like water around my legs. I was slightly concerned, but felt my mind relax into the mist, becoming one with it.

I continued to walk as though by instinct, and eventually reached the top of the Tor. I had expected to find the standing tower of the chapel of St. Michael de Torre, but instead encountered the most curious wall of vegetation. It climbed high above my head and was intertwined with all manner of viney flowers whose faces peeped from within and on the surface of the hedge. I walked around it, realizing that it was some sort of circular wall. Eventually, as I traversed its circumference, I reached an opening. I peered within, seeing only darkness and mist, with a limited amount of light to the left. I turned to look back at the surrounding lands, and noted that the sun was just clearing the horizon directly facing me, hitting me full in the eyes. Dazzled, I stepped back into the opening of the hedge, and it immediately closed, trapping me within the greening corridor. I was frightened. My breathing quickened and my heart pounded.

As my eyes dilated with fear, I began to make out details of my prison. It appeared almost as a hallway, leading to the unknown. I tried to regain the exit, but the opening was now a solid wall and could not be penetrated by my hand, which I plunged into it again and again. Finally yielding, I cradled my scratched and bloody hand and wrist, panting for breath. I saw that I had no choice. I must move ahead. Invoking the goddess and kissing the trio of crystals that I wear on a chain around my neck, I stepped forward.  As I walked, my eyes became accustomed to the gloom and I soon realized I was in a labyrinth. Having walked a labyrinth before, I quickly fell into a meditative state which deepened with each step. Without realizing it, I had begun to chant:

Roots reaching into the earth,
Down to the depths of the Earth
Life flowing from the world’s heart,
Cerridwen, Thou art.

Trees reaching up to the sky,
Trees with their limbs in the sky.
Stars, nestled sweet on thy bough,
Cerridwen, art Thou.
 

This chant was unknown to me. In fact, I was chanting in another language completely. I stopped, surprised, and the chanting immediately stopped as well. I tried to summon it again to my lips in vain. It was not until I walked on and fell back into reverie that I could sing it once again. I was channeling the song, and it felt as though it came straight up from the earth into my chest and out my throat and mouth. I continued to walk, and the chanting became louder, my own voice joined with the voices of others, and although I looked around, I saw no one. The chant carried me along, and suddenly, I was in the center of the labyrinth, standing in a large central clearing. Trees and shrubs surrounded a clear pool, with a tumbling waterfall creating a musical sound that blended with the chant. I moved toward the pool, aware of rustling and movement in the grasses and shrubs around me. I turned my head quickly many times, but caught glimpse of no one. Seating myself on a large flat rock, I dipped my hand into the pool, and drank deeply of the clear water. As I raised my head, mouth dripping, I saw a woman.

She was the most astonishing creature—her visage appeared to constantly change, her appearance first that of a beautiful young maiden, then a woman lush and heavy with child, and then a magnificent old crone. She wore a gown of indeterminate color, but radiant, and a large raven sat upon her shoulder. Her flickering appearance was troubling at first, but eventually my eyes became used to the sight and my brain interpreted her as simply “trinity.” She held a silver bowl out to me.

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“Drink, my lady.” I reached toward her as in a dream. She plunged the bowl into the pool, filling it to the brim, and handed it to me. I took it with both hands and drank deeply. The water ran down the sides of my face as I quenched a thirst deeper than that I had ever known. I felt a sudden tremor and dropped the bowl, sinking back onto the rock. Suddenly I was within and above myself at once, and traveling over the landscape at a breakneck pace. I was held gently within the air, and as I looked down upon my body, I saw silver streams emanating from all of my limbs. I flew, weightless, into the sky, moving across the earth toward the night, toward the stars and the moon on the other side of the globe, and then flew faster and faster until at last I began to uncoil, as does a spool, and leave a trail of silver behind me, seen from earth, no doubt, as a comet or a falling star. This continued for some time as I became lighter and more ethereal. Finally, I began to slow, and I became aware that I had changed. I was pure energy, just a point of pure energy dancing in the great hall of the universe, and all around me I could sense other points vibrating and moving, pulsing toward and away from one another. I was a point, individual and whole, but part of a collective as well. The feeling was magnificent, the singularity and collectivity of childbirth or sexual ecstasy—I wanted to stay in this form forever!But gradually, I could feel the pull of the earth and the tides, and I realized I was moving in the opposite direction, gaining ethereal matter, becoming more substantive, moving toward the sunrise. I traveled long, and landed back in my body, lightly, and with more than a little regret. The woman stood before me, smiling, and holding the bowl.

“Welcome, young one. You are reborn. Go forth in splendor.” I smiled at her flickering selves, and fingered the three crystals at my neck.

“Blessed Mother,” I murmured, bowing my head and closing my eyes. I felt cool dry lips on my forehead. I lifted my head, opening my eyes, and found myself in front of the tower of the chapel. A crowd of tourists was beginning to gather. I decided to skip the tour, and headed back down the Tor, chanting softly to myself.  





Essential Sloughing

4 02 2007

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It is winter, cold and bitter. The temperatures are far below usual norms, wind chill hovering around zero each day when I awaken. The skies are blue and sunny, but the lie is revealed when the wind hits your skin, fairly shocking you as it pulls your breath away. Winter’s grip is icy and sharp, and has held us for nearly a month. My skin is dry and parched, positively flaking at times. As I await the rebirth that is spring, I wonder: is the Great Mother signaling me that I am ready to slough off this skin, to be reborn?

As I travel ever closer to my first major destination on this grand tour, I decide that I should perform a ritual cleansing, to make ready for a meeting with the Lady of the Lake.

I gather my ingredients:

2 cups sea salt
1/2 cup almond oil
1/2 cup macadamia nut oil
1/2 cup sesame seed oil
1 tsp. vitamin E
1 tb. dried, ground lavender, rosemary, mint
1-2 drops essential oils

I mix them carefully, focusing and holding my intentions for the coming year as I add each one. I end up with a thick fragrant paste. I enter the old bathhouse, and spy Eclectica lounging with a book in the corner. She tosses me a saucy wink and jerks her head in the direction of the pools. I stand naked before the water, summoning thoughts of all that has occurred in the last cycle of the seasons that I wish to cast aside, as a snake casts its skin to the forest floor. Taking handfuls of the salt scrub, I anoint my body and scrub vigorously, feeling the lovely scratch of the salt, the soothing slip of the oil, and inhaling the delicious aroma of the herbs. In moments I am glowing from head to toe, warm and invigorated. I step into the bath and move freely through the warm water, floating as the past year is washed away. I emerge to a smiling Eclectica holding a warm towel, in which she wraps me, saying, “Welcome back, dearie!”

Once dry, I slip on a fine linen chemise, which glides against my silky skin. Eclectica places a flower in my hair and brings me a mug of hot tea. “Brand new, darling. Good as new.” I sigh deeply, and as I close my eyes to rest, I see a swirling mist, and through it, the beautiful face of the Lady.





Trains and Rivers

28 01 2007

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Boarding the train to Glastonbury made me think of the movie “Sliding Doors.” In the movie, different realities occur as doors of a train slide open and closed. Entirely different lives of the same characters unfold based on the door selected and the time at which each character passed through. In my mind, I sometimes engage in some sliding door imagination, envisioning what my life would be like had I chosen different doors. One tends to cheat at this game, imagining that one would end with say, the same children, only later on; or perhaps the same circle of friends, but then, that’s not quite true, or possible, is it?

 

For many years my gameplaying went something like this: If I had just been strong enough to stand up for myself, I would have become a “real artist.” I would be teaching in a classroom every day, and years of study would have created within me a discipline for the daily work of an artist—daily creative work being in no way my forte at the present. My life would have been full of travel, color, eccentricity, and passion. As I ponder this thought, nurturing the deep pain that it brings (has always brought), I notice the train is following the banks of a river.

 

As we know, water is a powerful force, shaping the very face of our world. But it is also a meek force at times, one that seeks the easy way, the way most traveled, the lowest points in any surface, where it settles and waits, reflecting the sky above in its still surface. In my younger years, this was my movement: the path of least resistance, following the way set for me, eventually running to ground, settling and reflecting a life created for me by someone else.

 

As a lake or small pond can do, I settled within my boundaries, satisfied. As water does, I birthed life. Two times, in fact; both delivered in a gush of the primordial stuff, and then I lay still again, waiting. In time, through a process quite mysterious—osmosis, absorption, evaporation, cloud seeding?—(I don’t recall the transformation of matter lectures very clearly)—I once again became forceful, cataclysmic, and I ripped through the landscape destroying many things in my path and forging a new channel in the earth. No longer a pool, a puddle, a still well of liquid, I joined once again with the river—she of many tributaries, she of the rapids, the slow eddy, the small waterfall, the deep and unpredictable currents.

 

So I find myself, now, in this riverbed, this bed of color, unpredictability, freedom, art, and wildness, and I see that moving like water has brought me here, brought me to a place of passion and, yes, instruction. My life is instructive, its course illustrative of one thing—motion, in any direction, brings change. I have movement, flow, power. And as I step off this train, I realize that all doors lead to me.





Astronavigation

27 01 2007

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Capricorn, my personal constellation

Latitude, longitude, declination, hour angle, zenith, horizon…

I sail internal seas, seeking course correction as necessary, looking to the stars, the sun, the moon, the horizon as I steer my vessel. [The geographic position—GP—is the location on the earth immediately underneath a heavenly body, e.g. the sun or a star. That is, the GP is the point where a line from the center of the body to the center of the earth intersects the surface of the earth.] My heart line runs true, through a sea of rippling, undulating grass straight to Vulcan, blowing his mighty breath on earth’s molten liquid core.

[Latitude: 38.971N, Longitude: -95.235W.] Intersecting grids that become curvilinear as they wrap themselves around our mother connect me with all other beings, all other spaces. I am the intersection of time, DNA, cellular knowledge, and imagination. My latitude streaks from pole to pole, ricocheting wildly between two magnetisms, art and science. My longitude is one of many Great Circles, within which I am held.

When I know my position—revealed in degrees, much like truth—I can calculate my azimuth. [The azimuth is the bearing from our position to the GP of the heavenly body.] The azimuth, my quantified relationship to the Heavenly Body, is closer or further from my true position depending on the day, the internal weather, and the inclination or declination of spirit that is present in this vessel. Heavenly Bodies may be static or in motion, leading, at times, to a profound sense of disorientation.

The horizon splits heaven from earth [or sea.] What is possible, what is real, is defined by the horizon. Our expanse can be limitless, carried in the trust that we will not sail off the edge [but over and beyond]; or we may be trapped in fear, imprisoned within the harsh impenetrable edge of our world.

Throw away your charts and books. [Navigating by stars and planets alone.] Make your measurements of stars and planets at dawn or dusk, when the light is balanced, and both the horizon and celestial objects are visible. In the moment of perfection, [light/ dark, yin/yang, male/female, joy/sorrow, birth/death] we see perfectly: our way clear, godspeed, sea smooth as glass.