Zuihitsu Revisited:

I explored this form in a previous blog–it is Japanese for “follow the brushstroke.” What is here now.

  1. It happened this week. Summer became fall. Not because of any date per se, but because I feel the land itself sigh and begin to slow. Just a few leaves, but they are falling, yellow and brown. The high bush cranberry bushes on my path are a brilliant red and soon, but not quite yet the berries will begin to smell as if something has died. The garden has begun to fade and there are big bare patches now where the spinach, peas and turnips have been harvested. The flowers are getting leggy and the bleeding hearts are collapsing. Time to trim and cut. It is dark again at night and it’s like lingering to let go of a lover’s hand to see the light slip away again. And most of all, I know it’s fall, because it’s something in the air–a new chill, a more rugged wind, the scent of snow on the mountain tops in the morning. The rains have begun, my husband is packing for moose camp and I’m harvesting late raspberries. The earth is turning away from the sun in my part of the world and I feel the stillness of deep winter whispering up the valley.
  2. I’m wondering why grief feels so tiring to my body. What is the chemical reaction going on that translates to this sluggishness? Do I ken into her dying, her slowing down? The wedding of her daughter this past weekend miraculously balanced joy with the poignancy of her being able to attend the wedding. Against the odds, she is still here 7 months since the diagnosis and although weak and thin, the inner beauty radiates. But it was like being at a wake for her before she has died. There was a good bye in the ceremony and celebration that added depth and intensity to the wedding, as if we all attuned to that very moment, forgetting ourselves and opening to Love in many expressions. It was so imperfectly perfect. And I am tired. And letting it be.
  3. My 3 year old granddaughter is learning Bible stories and educated me yesterday; she had the creation story down to about Day 3 so there were the heavens and earth, the sky and the water, the sun and the moon and the stars. Then she said, “That’s it.” So no animals, trees or humans in her story. Then she said, “You remember Jesus?” “Yes,” I said. “Well, he just buyed one of the grapes at the animal farm where the giraffes and lions and tigers live. Then he fell asleep where the lions and tigers were super mean.” “Really,” I said. “What did Jesus do?” “He woke up and that was it,” she said. I’m trying to decide if this was an embellished version of Daniel in the lion’s den??
  4. Reading Love Unveiled by A.H. Almaas, in which he quotes this Rumi poem. “To rend, every instant, a hundred veils. The first moment, to renounce life; The last step, to fare without feet. To regard this world as invisible, Not to see what appears to one’s self. “O heart,” I said, “may it bless thee to have entered the circle of lovers, to look beyond the range of the eye, to penetrate the siding of the bosom!” Rending veils is becoming my work now.
  5. I sometimes pull a Tarot card, not for divination but to see what the card evokes in me for the day and how it makes meaning; today I pulled the Major Arcana card called STRENGTH. It shows a woman in a white gown opening a lion’s mouth. An infinity sign is above her head and the scene around her is bright golden and green. After just acknowledging how tired I am, I could read this as a message of hope–that strength will be given to me in some form, power enough to open a lion’s mouth. But it could also mean taming my animal soul–that part of me that lives and reacts by the instinctual needs of survival, being social, finding pleasure. To live beyond these needs meets the truly human soul that is learning to love and to find truth. The infinity symbol represents the never-ending cycle of this evolution. Is this tiredness my animal soul just wanting pleasure instead of this pain? Or my human soul grieving my friend’s dying?
  6. My mother turns 96 tomorrow. I can’t be with her in her locked down nursing home. She will light up with joy to see me if we can connect by FaceTime tomorrow, but she won’t remember we talked when the screen goes dark. Yet I am still there in her. And she is still in me. As the card said that I sent her, “I MISS MY MOM”–in many ways.
  7. “If you realize all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold onto. If you aren’t afraid of dying, there is nothing you can’t achieve. Trying to control the future is like trying to take the Master Carpenter’s place; when you handle the Master Carpenter’s tools, chances are, you’ll cut yourself.” Tao Te Ching (translated by Stephen Mitchell)

One thought on “Zuihitsu Revisited:

  1. Beautifully written with so much Love and awareness and Presence! Thank you for putting into words your thoughts, feelings and love! I am at Linda’s … Bill running errands… hospice will be hours late.. basking in curiosity and as live is unveiled! 💖


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