“Such Phenomena” – New Poetry

Rare snow this day– normally too warm for such phenomena.
Blood flows at last from my darkened places,
auspices of Winter’s night. Long travels.
Cramps loosen. We are not yet to the Land of Spring,
and I am not too eager for light’s exhausting dominion.
We know we sleep deeper still, time slows to observe inwardly
the Soul’s guiding lantern.
Footprints mark a path outside my small burrow;
Who comes to visit me now from you, Darkened Woods,
who are most beautiful.
The Lord’s beasts may visit our dreaming
and will lead us unto snow’s contemplations,
and to the heart’s spark of candle’d delighting,
and to the Visitor who is the face of the good night
Whose footprints draw nearer now
to my aching door.

Gentle J. Pine

Further journaled thoughts today:

Being sensitive is no joke: it means hearing every different type of music your apartment neighbors are playing and therein hearing and feeling precisely every different personality in physical proximity closely around you. It means being painfully intolerant of the smallest insincerity or manipulative lie when it would be easier to not feel or care, or to conspire therewith. Fatigue and Depression hound these good hearts of the Sensitive; it is nothing to mock and everything to respect. A Soul Guide, a Holy Teacher, a Truth Teller, an Underworld Guide, a true Elder, a Mentor to the Heart: all these are the ones whose baseline hyper awareness is ultimately empowered into a rare gift to The World. They learn to concentrate their gift into deep power and truth, without being overwhelmed by the massive, life-giving intensity within.

Robin Hood, Trickster Archetype of England

The origins of Robin Hood (or, “Robin Wood”) are buried in the imaginal of the medieval ancestors’ dreams. His colors are green and gold, the heraldry of the forest. Some have said that he is a collective memory of the The Green Man, or Pan, returning to the people in the midnight of the middle ages when they needed him most. His role was to be a Trickster for the beaten soul of England. Trickster is the archetype who mocks the King and gets away laughing. It’s a serious and necessary power in every culture that shows itself in various ways.

I’m especially fond of Robin Hood in T. H White’s The Sword in the Stone, the first volume of The Once and Future King. Young King Arthur, before he knows he is a king, goes pouncing out on adventures with Merlin, getting turned into the animal people, the better to get himself “eddicated” about humane lordship, by Merlin’s benevolent devising. One day he goes into the forest. He meets Little John, who is a giant, and Little John tells a tale about the Lord of the Forest…

“Aye, Robin ‘ood. What else should un be, seein’ as he rules ’em. They’m free pleaces, the ‘oods, and fine pleaces. Let thee sleep in ’em, come summer, come winter, and hunt in ’em for thy commons lest thee starve; and smell to ’em as they brings forward their comely bright leaves, according to order, or loses of ’em by the same order back’ards: let thee stand in ’em that thou be’st not seen, and move in “em that thou be’st not heard, and warm thee with ’em as thou fall’st on sleep—ah, they’m proper fine pleaces, the ‘oods, for a free man of hands and heart.”

Robin Hood was probably not a singular man, but a conglomeration of many medieval bandits, dissenters, peasants and folk at the age of society assuming the collective name in their adventures against authority. T.H White’s words ally Sir Robin with the soul of the forest itself, an embodied face of an older, unconquerable wildness. Regardless of whether Robin Hood ever literally existed, what matters is that the English-speaking world has so passionately claimed this figure as a deep mythological symbol of the untamed soul still present in the heart of Western art and mythology. That is what makes him emotionally and enduringly relevant.

 

 

 

 

White, T. H. The Once and Future King. New York: Putnam, 1958. Print.

Journal Entries: Notes on the Sit-Spot

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I slept outside at my sitspot last night. Woke up to bird song around me and rays of sunlight through leafy green trees and ferns. And it feels wonderful.

 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Third night of sleeping outside at The Mosswood Secret Spot. The way the sun pours into the morning to fill up the green woods, rays through the branches above when I first open my eyes is incomparable. We have become accustomed to saying, when we touch magic, “It is like another world” but I know now that this world, host of our lives, is at the foundation of all magic and every great story. If there is a heaven, it must be linked into here, unique but not separate, close by this world and interconnected, present among us.

 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Last night I watched the beautiful little bats fly over me at the pond near my sitspot. They got so close I could hear their delicate wingbeats flap a yard over my head, as I lay there watching the dusk draw over the land. (Now there is a flock of sparrows all around me as I write this!) I thanked the bats for eating the mosquitoes and thanked the mosquitoes for reminding me of geologic time and human frailty. Then I went to sleep delighting in the softness of the Western Hemlock tree duff, the warm-cool of the starry summer evening, my wool cloak. I lay under the Sword Ferns that drooped above me like prehistoric giants.

 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The forest was pullin’ a fast one on me last night. So I go out there, get all cozy with my blankey and pillow and I shove a fern out of the way just as I’m laying down all snuggly, when I hear a THUD THUMP a stone’s throw from my head. My heart stops. My overactive imagination takes over. A jumping bug hops on my face like a frog and hops off, clicking it’s wings. A mouse becomes a dinosaur in the night. Ha ha ha. I shine my flashlight and act brave, but the tangled shadows of the moonless night only feed the growing list of possibilities as to what creature it could be. Probably just a couple o’ racoons, I tell myself, or a deer -THUMP-DA-DUMMP- Or an escaped peacock. I gulp. I begin waving my flashlight around and singing one of our favorite WAS songs like an idiot, “How sweet the sound was in the niiiight, the melodies floowed like wateeerrrrrr, the women sang the mon’s delight and the men all sang of honeeyyyy!” You know, just to inform whatever it is that I am an obnoxious flashlight-wielding human, thank you very much, and I am not on the menu. I dive back into my blanket, thinking I won… THUMP. O God, maybe it’s Stickbreaker aka Bigfoot. I get up huffing indignantly, grab my stuff, and march out back onto the gravel road. Sit and watch the stars in the open clearing a minute. I ain’t gunna let this thing win, I tell meself. I drop my blanket and pillow and forge back int there. “Hello?” THUMP THUMP THUMP. I turn tail and beat it. I learned nothin’ at WAS if not the saving mixture of comedy and humility. Trodding back to my yurt feeling partly spooked, partly humored, partly defeated but full of a wonder, I park my bed under the Hemlock grove next to my yurt, and briefly battle an Oregon Grape root for dominance. Tomorrow, I think to myself, I’ll try again. Sometimes the forest just wants to be without humans, ya know? That is a part of honoring the untamed wildness of a sitspot. We are only visitors there. And I ain’t no ‘fraidy cat… er… ‘cept when I am, but I know how to cry uncle with dignity. I count myself honored that the collective spirits of the forest thought me hearty enough to employ their spooky mischief my way and have a little fun with me.

 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Fur Pile.

Sitspotters, friends, what do you think? Last night I found a second pile of fur near my sitspot; I asked myself why I hadn’t seen it before. This pile looks more recent than the first I found, though it appears to have been decaying for some time as the dampness of this forest speeds it up, I know. The fur measures a couple inches in length, is white in color and is the amount of two pillows! I found no bones whatsoever. What is this?

I contemplated whether it is still wise to sleep there. I recall Laura G saying she once found a deer kill at her spot and therefore got a different sitspot. When I laid down I still felt spooked and tried to intentionally breathe my way back into the Quiet Mind, but I got flooded with primal fear and adrenaline! Which was kind of cool to feel that. I got my sleeping bag and went to sit by the open night sky of the pond, though the clouds were covering the almost-full moon, and I thought about how excellently spooky these Cascadian woods are at night, how thick and black and tangled with the watery, dark enchantment of the Underworld, or The Other Side of the Veil. This forest has eyes, and I can always feel them on me. And yet, as much as it spooks me, this darkness comforts me.

Well, I wasn’t about to let no pile o’ fur scare me from MY sitspot, so I romped back into my bed zone, snuggled into my sleeping bag and pulled my cloak over my head, for reassurance. I thought about what Marcus said, that a Cougar wun’t likely come get me if I’m lying still and smell like a human, but a bear might come check me out, give me a shy sniff and a nuzzle, but would turn tail the moment I moved like a human. ‘Sides, Black Bears jus’ don’t hunt people much -human people, I mean.

When I awoke, the sweet and loving golden sun came streaming into my crusty eyes through the blazing yellow-green fern canopy, huge and Paleozoic above me. How much more did I appreciate it, every time I’m out there and I let go into the dark, and I wake up again (accountably) unscathed. A female Swainson’s Thrush came to visit me, hopped on the overhanging branch on which I left offerings of bells and incense holders to thank and bless my sitspot while I am far away. A Douglas Squirrel pew’d at me. And I thought to myself, I love you, Forest. How beautiful to be alive!

Nebula Bed

 

Night forest, black trail.
Second-growth February.
Water-thick gaping mouth wide
the dark wood eye-blinds the pitch path,
brush before sight.

I go to my solo bed
in the place of the forest
where mankind does not
see this animal aching.

Let me lie contented with dreams
as companion
sleeping warmly alone in
thick wool, heat condensation
–those pretty nebula clouds
far above me.

 

 

image source: public domain

Vertigo Falls

Pulling stranded Otters out of tree-tops who got stuck there. I flap my newly grown wings to teach my friends, otters and humans, how to fly. But one human friend only wants to join the terrible skeleton army that comes from the sinking sands, in a no-good place under this one.

Now, in the hidden alpine mountains in north Canada; nobody knows they are here, kingdoms formed of leaf and rock. But now radioactivity has come to this place, and we must escape this poison. The skies are changing and vertigo falls on our senses. A black hole opens above us. Jets come rushing at us. The evil stars want to eat us. There isn’t enough oxygen in the atmosphere.

 

 

image source: public domain