Monday, May 03, 2010


Watching the news these days I’m almost mesmerized by the scenes. Rushing, flooding water, raging fires, buildings reduced to rubble with people standing at the periphery just staring with the profound weight of that shock evident in their faces and bodies. Lately I’ve gotten into this rhythm of reading and being urged to find books that help me understand the reality of what I’m watching, what we’re experiencing at these grand scales. The book I’m reading about the Atlantic Ocean has even more meaning now, with the Gulf of Mexico’s Oil spill - the aerial views of the currents, the multiple reflections of the surface sheen and the heavier crude oil at other depths; the gannet’s oil-soaked feathers. I remember some of those beaches well. We have spent many family vacations at Gulf Shores, Pensacola, Seaside, Gulfport, Apalachicola. (I met a photographer named Richard Bickel while visiting St. George’s Island years ago – take a look at his beautiful black-and-whites of the Bay area.) The white sand and blue water is always memorable, beautiful, and made more so by the memories of hurricane-force winds and tar debris blown onto other shores with rain. So many ways we’re reminding ourselves how everything is connected, and that everything is Energy. The cooperation between agencies, between neighbors, between friends and family is always more evident and real in such disasters, and this is a gift to be reminded of anytime.

Another wonderful book I’ve been reading now, recommended to me by my cousin, is Wild Comfort: The Solace of Nature by Kathleen Dean Moore. Once I started reading I wanted to know more about Moore, so looked her up and found out about her Spring Creek Project, among other things. I was delighted to find her emphasis on “the philosophy of nature,” as this emphasized the poetic beauty of her lovely expression and experience as part of nature. In the section I read recently she quoted Rachel Carson, one of her heroes: “Those who dwell . . . among the beauties and mysteries of the earth, Rachel Carson believed, ‘ are never alone or weary of life.” (68) Moore believes this too. In this section she writes beautifully about floating in her kayak on a small one Memorial Day in the mountains. The water was cold, the air colder, the fog rose and the colors disappeared as the silver world wrapped itself around her like a scarf suffused with light. She felt herself becoming part of the evening, suffused with the light, the dark, the quiet, the brightness. “There are no edges in this world,” she wrote. “The water, the snow, the bear, the memory of the blackbird, the urgent growth of the lily are all one beautiful, mysterious thing, and we are part of that one thing. How, then, can we ever be alone? That’s what I was thinking about, out there on the water, and how odd it was that when Rachel Carson wrote those brave, true words, she was a frail woman, dying of cancer, surely weary, surely alone in the dark on the frayed edge of the Atlantic. But maybe there was a moon that night, a waxing moon, fat and yellow. Maybe moonlight rode the leading edge of the surf at her feet, and when the surf slid back to sea, maybe the moonlight sizzled with that sound of sand on sand.” (68-69)

I love how she expresses this…becoming aware of all nature, including herself, as one.

Yesterday was a day I felt I lived in a ragged rhythm. After a wonderful sleep, the day started slowly. I’d had plans to work/play more in the yard, cleaning and tending to the flowers and more, but by the time I began, the heat and humidity were intense and my energy was no longer motivated by that activity. I’d wait, I decided. Each thing I began it seemed I trailed off as momentum faded. Interesting to be conscious of this energy change. I put my feet in the cold water in the pool, lay back on the hot brick, and let my mind sense the clouds, the breeze, the heat, the flow. Mother’s Day reminders bring my mother even more to mind, and I am sharing that cloud sense with her, with my siblings, and more. It was a great interlude, the cold feet, hot brick, cloud sensing. When I went in again, there were beautiful cut flowers in the bright blue vase on the table - irises to write home about! We sat outside for a while as the evening cooled, remembering orators of old, and childhood pleasures. There are no edges in this world….


Melissa said...

Thanks so much for the nice comment on my blog! I've only been in NC for 2 years but grew up in SC. There's still so much to explore.

I really like that quote from Rachel Carson. I remember that same feeling when I was in Costa Rica once. Sitting on a kayak in the middle of the bay-- it was so peaceful.

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