Watching The Earth Move

It felt like driving towards a stage set dappled
with light filtered through colored gels.
The sun was setting and a blanket of subtly nuanced aubergine,
softening from shy purple to bold black,
covered the sky and land in false warmth.
“As I walk, as I walk the universe is walking with me.”

 

Like a tiny beacon from somewhere far away
a speck called Venus
and fleck called Mercury danced together with Earth.
It was a choreographed and timeless communion with the Universe.
Ever so slowly Venus and Mercury slipped lower
into the horizon.
“The universe is walking with me.”

 

This day faded and a new one began.
The sliver of the waning crescent moon
rose briefly before the sun was truly awake.
The locust tree, bare and with only a few rattling pods
dangling uncaringly,
stood silhouetted against the sherbet colors
of the waking day.
The journey of the earth,
unfelt,
was measured by the crescent moon
as it nestled in the crook of the locust branch.
As if resting in a nest.
And then, in the space of few breaths,
the thin sliver floated up into the sky.
Earth and moon moved on.
“In beauty it walks before me.”

 

Clouds appeared like pulled cotton
to soak up the colors of the dawning day.
Raspberry and orange strands melted away
as a deep periwinkle backdrop took over.
Three birds, small little moving black dots,
flew in front of the moon
as if to say “Follow us! This way!”
One fell behind for a moment then turned
and banked to return
to her small assemblage of cohorts.
“In beauty it walks behind me.”

 

The soft hills that cradled Springwater
slept under a puffy quilt
of snow-white and eider-down gray.
As the periwinkle sky changed yet again,
farms, fields, trees, houses, roads and cars came into focus.
Trees stood at attention, dark against the ancient light.
The moon was gone.
“In beauty it walks below me.”

 

All that remained to measure the movement of the earth
was the path of the sun.
Unfaltering, she seemed to rise from the depths
of someplace else,
and then
in silent meditation she traveled along a private path
across the sky.
“In beauty it walks above me.”


Once again, the sun reached the horizon and began to sink
back to that place we can never go.
Like a performer in Cirque de Soleil,
she left, swirling whimsical
bubble gum pink and baby blue
ribbons throughout the sky.
“Goodbye!” she waved. “See you again soon!!”

Her dance took away the breath of a young man
who was uncontrollably stopped in his tracks
and forced, by sheer wonder,
to give witness this beauty.
His face could not hide
the overwhelming emotion
of awe and reverence.
He sat.
All he could do was to behold,
in this one fleeting moment,
the exquisiteness
in this infinitesimal fragment of the universe.
“Beauty is on every side. As I walk, I walk in Beauty.”

 

Observations from the Jan. 16-19, 2015 retreat at Springwater Center for Meditative Inquiry, Springwater NY. Sentences in quotes are from a section of one of the many interpretations/translations of the 9 Day Navajo Night Chant. The young man is named Jonathan.

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Leave The Familiar For A While

All the Hemispheres

 Leave the familiar for a while.

Let your senses and bodies stretch out

Like a welcomed season
Onto the meadows and shores and hills.

Open up to the Roof.
Make a new water-mark on your excitement
And love.

Like a blooming night flower,
Bestow your vital fragrance of happiness
And giving
Upon our intimate assembly.

Change rooms in your mind for a day.
All the hemispheres in existence
Lie beside an equator
In your heart.

Greet Yourself
In your thousand other forms
As you mount the hidden tide and travel
Back home.

All the hemispheres in heaven
Are sitting around a fire
Chatting

While stitching themselves together
Into the Great Circle inside of
You.

Hafez

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(December 30, 2014, photo by me)

Many of the poems by Hafez blow me away. This one took my breath away. My yoga teacher read it before our Saturday meditation and I heard my heart and mind sing “Ohhhhh…”, “Ahhhhhhh.”

Right now, for me, so much is about leaving the familiar, allowing my senses and body to stretch out. I am changing rooms in my mind.

All the hemispheres in heaven
Are sitting around a fire
Chatting

While stitching themselves together
Into the Great Circle inside of
You.

What a wonderful image…the hemispheres of heaven, chatting and stitching themselves into the Great Circle inside of me. It reminds me of Alan Watts and Carl Sagan.

“You are an aperture through which the universe is looking at and exploring itself.”
Alan Watts

“You are a function of what the whole universe is doing in the same way that a wave is a function of what the whole ocean is doing.”
Alan Watts

“Through our eyes, the universe is perceiving itself. Through our ears, the universe is listening to its harmonies. We are the witnesses through which the universe becomes conscious of its glory, of its magnificence.”
Alan Watts

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.”
Carl Sagan

“We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.”
Carl Sagan

There is so much about the things we live daily that are not “life”. It is a story. If you think about it, what happens when you go to sleep? Where do “you” go? You have no conscious recollection of what “you” are doing, or who “you” are when you are asleep….and when you “wake” up you believe you are “you”. “You” are more than that.

All the hemispheres in existence
Lie beside an equator
In your heart.

Greet Yourself
In your thousand other forms

Greet yourself in your thousand other forms…..your sleeping form, your joyful form, your heart form, your grief form, your Great Circle form. Our thousand forms all lead us on different paths towards different things. One “self” might be on a path of patience, or determination. Perhaps another is on a path of justice or love. Yet another “self” may be walking you towards discovery and transformation. Greet each “self” as a dear friend and get to know them intimately. Give each one room to grow.

Leave the familiar. Change rooms. Walk across the hall. Leave the familiar room with the warm, comforting flicker of firelight and soft music that moves your soul and open the door to enter a room of coolness, silence, where an open window lets in the moonlight of a cold winter night. Hear the owl call, see the star fall through the sparkling sky of the universe.

Like a blooming night flower,
Bestow your vital fragrance of happiness
And giving
Upon our intimate assembly.

Give of your self. Your compassion, gentleness, hopefulness, patience, tolerance. Leave the familiar for a while and see where you go.

Found this on Youtube. Let me know what you think.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgCKNpWkYbQ