Archive for the ‘Spiritual’ Category

Eternity… a poem.

Posted: September 9, 2013 in Spiritual
Tags: , , , , , ,

It was there

by the golden shore

with God’s fine light

casting long shadows

across my nearly endless foreheadIMG_9121

that I became overwhelmed

by the prospect

of eternity.

The full weight of it

hit me with a force

equal to or greater than

the Vatican’s vast darkness.

I thought to myself,

“Holy shit, man!  You are doomed

to meander this twisted realm

for a long time to come!”

And then, with blood pumping in my veins,

I sauntered off…

into my fate.

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morel

It’s that time of the year again!  The young,electric green has sprung back into the trees, the flowers have begun to bloom in the redbuds, in the dogwoods and the showy orchids are sprouting in the hollows!  The vernal quarter of our annual circle has replaced the monotonous yet striking stark of winter with pure, unadulterated life.  This season is always exciting in the southeastern woodlands.  It is like a match has been set to dry tinder, boom!  Life is back! morel habitat One of my favorite parts of this season is the return of the morel mushroom.  I wait for it every year and each year it comes but always in it’s own special way and time.  No two years are alike and this year is no exception.  Last year came on quick, March was hot and the leaves and growth of spring came earlier than I had ever seen in my fifteen years of east coast living.  The morels followed suit and by March 24 we were collecting them.  Then a dry spell hit at the would be peak time and dried everything out.  There never really was a second bloom.  Usually the morels rise from the forest floor in succession.  It seems the blacks come first, then the little grays, and I’m not sure if it’s the grays that turn into big yellows or if the yellows do their own thing, and then, after about three weeks to a month, it is over.  As I speak I’d say we’re about two weeks in and it is a late season.  This spring has been cool and slow to progress. There has been good moisture with light rains falling sporadically over the entire “window” that is the yearly cycle of the morel.
morel tableThe numbers of mushrooms I have been finding in my favorite spots have not been stellar, though I am not complaining.  It is hard for me to wander far from my usual picking haunts as they have provided great harvests in the past, though I know there are other places that must be just sitting there, full of gorgeous, mature morels waiting for me to stumble upon them.  I try to scout a bit each year for new spots and I have walked miles this year doing so, though so far I have not found the new treasures I had hoped for.  All is well, though, my payment has been in solitude and time spent in beautiful places witnessing the rebirth of Spring!

Josie morel

My daughter Josie Mae with a fat basket

The morel is a magical fruit of the forest, it is so strange and enchanting that when you do happen upon one it is as if you are living in a fairy tale, they are quintessentially other worldly, though we often tend to forget that we live on a planet in outer space!  The morel plainly brings that fact into focus.  Each year the blooming of the morels tends to coincide with Easter.  I’ve always thought of the morel hunt as sort of an epic adult Easter egg hunt without all the corny rabbit laying eggs bullshit, this deal is real!

Hunting morels is enthralling and worth it’s weight in gold gastronomically as the morel is one of the tastiest mushrooms on Earth!  The morel does grow in all of the United States so, if I were you, I’d look it up in your region, see when it blooms and then, at the right time, head out and begin your search.  This is a great way to enter the endless world of wild food foraging and really scratch that primal itch.  You need be aware of a poisonous look alike that is called the false morel.  Look it up.  When you get to know the two you will see that they are easy to tell apart, but until then be vigilant and if you find what you think are morels consult someone in the know before ingesting them.  If you run into a huge patch don’t panic, they are easy to dry and store so that you can enjoy them throughout the year.

morels and greens

Morels with garlic mustard and dock, two varieties of wild forest greens

My best luck in finding morels has been in deep hollows with poplars, spice bush, showy orchids and the like.  I do best where the soil is a deep black and is loose and rich.  I have also lucked upon them in riverbeds in the silty soil many times clustered around Ash trees and Sycamores and Elms.  There are many tales of where to find them, I find all rules can be broken but that some general consistencies do hold true.  Lately some guy on a morel message board site has been claiming that cedar thickets put out tons of big yellows.  I have not confirmed this personally but remain intrigued.  I know that out west they also grow in coniferous forests and like burn sites.  Apple orchards, or abandoned orchards, have also been mentioned many times.   During this time of the year I can imagine them everywhere but don’t always find them everywhere.  They are magical, mystical and worth every ounce of energy you put into finding them.  Bring your kids along!  They increase the number of mushrooms you will bring home and they love the thrill of the hunt!  I have spent many a day with the kids picking to our hearts content all the while reveling in the beauty of our Earth.  At this time of year the forests are coming alive and when we spend time in them, we come alive too.  Morel hunting is a great way to reignite your connection to all of life.  We are blessed beings living in a blessed Universe.  Go check it out!!!

Dissolved.  Dissected.  Disseminated.  The people have reacted.  Or have they?  Long lines stretch through once blue skies.  These lines spread like blankets, hazy strings of thread, sifting down through the planet’s atmosphere… settling.  But what has settled?  Whom has settled?  The people or the lines?  They have both settled.  They are both settling.  Mediocrity and even less is what we have settled for, is what we are settling for.  Like rats in a laboratory but without strong excuses, we have settled.  As long as our feeding tray is full, as long as the treats are provided, as long as the mind can be consumed in billions of seemingly futile transactions, we will settle…

The sun rises and shines like it always has.  The birds sing their songs though many of their tribes have been depleted.  The trees, the flowers and the plants?   They continue to give tirelessly, offering the salvation that our religions have never been able to deliver.  It is all still right here, all we need.  All is well.  Our time is now.  Our sanctuary is alive but we the people seem to be sick, spiritually and otherwise. So many are sick, our spirits scorned.  The veil is thick, our missions so easy to release, to forget, to place at the bottom of the endless list of to do’s.  Fortunately, dignity is at risk.  Fortunately true love and strength, vitality and humanity are at risk.  How can we give them away for such paltry exchange, such worthless trinkets and garbage.  It verges on sad, but only for a moment.  A smile eases across my face as I recall that this physicality is only one realm.  Constant change and flux is the norm, I am a cosmic warrior, not a fighter, I am a lover.

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This ruthless culture will not last, no, another is being created as we speak.  Love rises in my heart as I release all the blame, the judgment and the seething grimness of condemnation!  It has been my sickness.  I, too, rise like the sun, for it is my father!  I feel his warmth and grow like the Earth, my mother.  I am forever.

And so are you….

The Spirit World

Posted: April 10, 2012 in Spiritual

My son Sycamore…

Last night my son, who is 12, taught me how to journey to the underworld to seek advice from my spirit guides.  Sound interesting?  It certainly is.  He has occasionally described to me the process and how he does it and the messages he receives there.  The wisdom that he brings back is as astounding as the visual imagery that accompanies it.  His way of doing this is to lie down, I don’t know if the room needs to be dark, but last night we did it that way, the whole family, him, me, my partner Helen and my daughter Josie, who is also well practiced in this.   After lying down he begins to breathe slowly and deeply, relaxing as he goes.  Once relaxed he pictures this place we used to live by, a beautiful creek bed beneath a large granite cliff.  The creek has many holes in it’s bed that lead underground, some quite big, lined with roots and rocks above a flowing underground stream.  This is where he mentally enters the Earth and journeys beneath to the spirit world.  His mother does this too, and taught the kids.  She always goes beneath ground to a subway station, enters a train and then is let out where she needs to be.  Once in the hole he says that he usually sees a bridge, last night he said it was fuzzy and that it kept falling apart as he crossed it.  Once across he is usually met by a red dragon, one of his main spirit guides, who comes and picks him up and flies him around.  He asks questions of this dragon and the dragon answers them.  He has been in turmoil lately, as much is changing in his world right now, and when he asked last night what was going on with him the dragon replied, under a volley of arrows towards them from the ground, that he was at war with himself and angry about many things in his past.  They continued to fly about and he was given other instructions and guidance.  He has done this many times, and as I said, I am always amazed at the wisdom and beauty of the advice he receives, it is astounding.  This was my first time so I went through the motions, lying down, breathing, relaxing and then I went to his hole in the same creek bed.  As much as I tried I was unable to enter.  I went instead to what seemed like New York City where I pictured myself walking down stairs to a subway station but there again, even after entering trains, I was unable to get anywhere.  Back up on the streets I saw a manhole and went to it and it swallowed me.  Beneath the ground things were blurry as I looked around, but I heard a voice.  In front of me was an Indian brave, I have always felt kinship with the original peoples of this continent, and he was ready for my questions.  I asked him where it was wise to move to, as we are looking to move from Virginia, and he stated that I was not yet finished here, that there were a couple of important things yet to happen before that move could truly be set in motion.  My family, who also lives here, my mother and father and my sister and her family, are moving back to California where we originally came from and I asked the Indian if that was a good move.  He said it was as it was but that my family had illusions about California that they were chasing and that the reality may not be what they expect.  I also asked about my knee, which has been injured and compromised since hurting it last fall playing soccer, and why it was not getting much better.  He told me that once I truly walked in strength upon my own two feet that it would at once be healed.  He said that I am close but that many family matters have kept me from the true manhood I have desired and from the true level of satisfaction in my professional and creative endeavors.  It rang true.  I wanted to ask him a couple questions about the global and national state of affairs, mainly things about heavy legislation that has recently been passed in the USA severely empowering the government and undermining liberty.  When I began to ask this I was spit out of the manhole so to speak and found myself above ground on the street.  I looked down to the manhole and tried to repeat my questions but to no avail, the session was over.  I opened my eyes and then we all began to tell what had gone on for us. We each had somewhat profound and enlightening experiences.  History is filled with tales of such things, especially amongst the more Earth based cultures.  Truly, many answers do seem to be within.  I am amazed that at 43 years old my 12 year old son has brought this to me.  He goes to his place when life is heavy and he is confused and needing guidance, he looks to himself and those who support him from other realms.  Whatever your upbringing or religious bend, imagine having yourself as a pillar to lean on in this ever tumultuous uncertain world.  The process for accessing it is as simple as stated above and with practice, as my son states, it gets richer and richer, more familiar.  There are precautions and it is good to ask for protection and it is also wise to be thankful, to give gratitude for the answers given.  I am at the beginning of this practice but certainly look forward to accessing it more and more in an effort to be the best man, father, partner, human being I can be.  In this time of relying on outside sources for so much, it is brave and interesting people who go within first to solve their issues.   Of course sharing with your family and close community is also wise.  It seems in this day and age it would be beneficial for us to do this kind of practice in all avenues: health, nutrition, finance, conflict, child rearing, etc, as the powers that be are proving to be less and less reliable.  So be it, may we all find peace and empowerment in our sacred lives upon this glorious Earth!!

Changing Tides

Posted: April 10, 2012 in Spiritual

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The times they are a changing for me.  So much is in flux, up in the air, difficult to perceive, and challenging to sit in peace with.  For much of my life the unknown has enthralled me, been my go to, my everything is possible.  Lately it has been scaring me and I don’t like that.  Usually I wouldn’t admit this, but I feel it is better to state and release rather than to give it power by letting it sit secretly in my psyche.  I feel a chapter is ending and something new beginning, my only problem is I am seemingly, or in my thinking, between the two.  I am ready for the one to die and the next to be fully begun.  How is it that I can change the unknown back into my friend, my possibility?  I am not sure as of yet, it is a challenge, a mental challenge requiring perseverence and wisdom over fear and worry.  I wrote a prayer this morning on this same site in regards to this dilemma, a note to God in order to speak directly to the creator about it, partly apologizing for my doubt and insecurity, partly in order to ask for what I really want.  Interestingly it was sucked into the ether and deleted accidentally when I went to post it, maybe it was intended to do that, or supposed to be just a prayer.  I am glad it went but also felt like crying at it’s disappearance.  The last month or so I have been rehashing my life, looking over it, reassessing it and taking a hard, somewhat cold look at myself.  I am proud of much, I have two beautiful children, a gorgeous and loving partner, my health and many friends and aquaintances.  What I don’t have are things of our material culture, money, I have a little, property, belongings, not many, which is my preference.  I have been missing, at 43 years of age, the recognition of my community, the fruits of my labor and dedication.  This is all mental really, because I have played my role well, not many would know I do feel like this sometimes.  I have lived by my own set of rules, for better or worse.  I have never and still don’t believe in our materialistic culture and am much more drawn to the Indigenous cultures of the past, the Earth cultures.  Right now I am trying to believe, wanting to believe, that the next steps of my progress are on their way.  As of this moment I am a waiter.   I bring people food.  I am working in a place I have been for five years now and it no longer feeds me.  I am grateful for the work, but the energy is gone, it lacks heart.  The people there have changed, many have come and gone, and I feel I missed the train out.  I am ready for depth in my work, ready for a lifestyle in which I use more of myself, my creativity, my wisdom and integrate it all into my life.   The unknown lies before me and I want to face it with excitement and bravado, not fear and doubt.  The current state of affairs in the United States has been a big piece of my doubt and fear.  Many strange laws have been passed recently, many lies told, much wealth, hope and prosperity have been lost, many have died at our hands over the last ten years, and before.   I realize that this is, in a sense, a way of seeing, that my own personal power and vision can change, alter and direct this in different ways, but in my humble and scared state, it all has appeared larger than life.  Having children is definitely a big piece of this, as I want them to have a world in which they can believe, a future to look forward to, and right now, that is hard to see.  My woman told me well yesterday that what is unknown holds all possibilities, miracles can be right around the corner, that the unknown is security, my insurance, my way forward.  It is best she states to stay in good ways with all people, with the Creator, and to forge ahead believing all is taken care of.  Of course action is required.  So, as I go forward from here into my family’s collective future, looking to make big changes, I am stating here that I will do my damndest to press forward secure in the fact that my place in this world is magical and sacred, that I am a strong sentient being doing the work I came to do.  This is true, I know it is, now I must allow myself to feel and believe it.  Wish me luck!   I wish it for you!