Remembering my Uncle Ole'
Two ears, one mouth, and ten fingers to cover it with. So many things I "could have" written of, these past three months, in an effort to make connections. But oftener and often, I feel that all my connections are ships in the night, that personal communication is merely a proxy for or distraction from what's really going on, that "what's really going on" transcends space and time, and death.
I found out last night that my Hanai uncle Ole' left this embodiment two days ago. He was in his 70s--younger than my dad, older than my mom. As far as I understand, for the type of cancer with which he was fairly recently diagnosed, the demise was mercifully rapid. We were ships in the night; we were also deeply connected. In a post-Ole' world, will I still be so sure that deep connections transcend depth?
An Interlude (sort of)
My “monastic cell” abode is a little cement box. As a friend put it, “the Tucson broiler is now on.” 100+-degree days for over a month and to be continued through perhaps October, with occasional monsoon reprieves. I don’t turn my cooler on during the day, and it’s not a very effective cooler anyway. Even with blackout curtains on the windows, it’s often in the 90s in my home. Outside, suburbia stretches its grid, curvaceous and eccentric and still a grid. I walk. I miss the easy reach of the Rillito wash I had from my old place, a small strip of wildness and growth to walk to and poke around almost every day.
I lift up mine eyes unto the hills.
This sprawl of city is surrounded by mountains--the Catalinas, the Rincons, the Tucsons, the Santa Ritas. If you drive up to the 9000ft summit of Mount Lemmon, you pass through the range of bioregions you would traverse between Mexico and Canada--all that latitude compressed into contours. There’s even a spring at the top.
And finally, I head for the hills.
This post is not about ketogenic matters, except in a way it is.
My second left incisor got snapped off in a nasty bicycle crash my junior year in college and had to be root-canaled. The dentist jury-rigged a "temporary" composite crown. That was almost eighteen years ago now.
Although I had all mercury fillings removed years ago, the root canal was a sleeping-giant issue I wasn't ready to address until recently. But with all the healing work that I've been undergoing lately, and with the increasing clarity that I'm undergoing healing in order to be a channel to provide healing, the little twinges in that tooth here and there caught my attention. Time for it to go.
awareness is a responsibility
In my new home, my tiny monastic cell, I practice silence. But words join hands and dance the walls like cut-out paper-lady chains. Words cram the pages of books stacked two rows deep on the solitary bookcase left from the three I used to have--books crammed up against each other, words pressing outward.
I bounce on my rebounder, carefully positioned away from the ceiling light/fan which I could easily hit my head on, trying to shake loose all the lint litanies and junk judgments, and words move through the air, Brownian motion, visible crystals.
Used to be that a shaman was only responsible for/responsive to a few hundred souls at most. How do we manage now, when the urgent messages we receive turn out to refer to terrorism on the other side of the Atlantic?
When I lived in California and Hawaii, I spent a lot of time pruning trees, climbing trees, harvesting trees, standing back and looking at trees. I was the fruit fairy, I was Ela-treela. Ultimately, I'm not built for it--too small and undermuscled, fast track to carpal tunnel and lumbar spine disabilities--and in order to do it "professionally" almost anywhere, I'd have had to adopt tools and a style of working that wouldn't suit me, and, I think, don't really suit the trees either.
But I'm glad that I can continue to do the work as an amateur, which truly means a lover, working with sincere intent to treat the tree in best possible way. To my last post's point about taking the time to stand back and contemplate the task without being in a rush toward the next thing, working trees taught me a lot about standing back and looking--with all my senses.
context and system can be more than the object itself
There are at least two more things I didn't mention in comparing the "herb" system and the "drug" system of using substances to bring about healing in bodies.
The two I have in mind both turn out to be relevant to today's specific example. These are:
money and tradition of use.
a throwback post
In this spell so far, "it is what it is" is not the whole story, and a chiasmus, like that phrase, is an arrangement in the shape of the Greek letter chi χ, or of the cross.
Nice timing, yes? We're looking at the shape of the cross on Easter. Easter which coincides with Pesach this year, unusually but perhaps unsurprisingly in a year already so replete with astrological coincidences and cooccurrences.