Art is beauty for more than the sake of itself
When the form and the essence marry
And truth becomes visible
Art depends as much on the audience as the artist
Words can be lost
Harmony can be felt
Hearts can be opened
There can be Rhythm
It takes two to tango.
So look up as you walk down the street
Where is the color? Where is the light?
The bright eyes of a child
Small birds chattering in city shrubs
Music drifting out of a basement window
The mountains in the distance
All art needs is an audience.
I want renunciation.
And this is a shocking thing to say – even to myself – as just a couple of months ago I saw renunciation as following a long list of rules that force one to give up everything fun or pleasurable.
That isn’t renunciation at all actually.
And I recently I let go of my attachment to completing all 30 books report by the deadline. Not giving up, but detached from the outcome. Transforming it from a to-do list item to part of my life’s work.
Spiritual teacher and pioneer in bringing yoga to the West, Swami Radha, says that renunciation cannot be forced. You can be very determined but the cucumber will only drop from the vine when its ripe.
And as the burdens I have carried for far too long begin to fall away it’s an indescribable feeling of freedom. It’s the feeling of flying down a hill on my bicycle. It’s the feeling of a bird flying quickly through the forest. Darting in and out through the tangle of branches. Fast, focused and free.
And I want more.
So my work is ripening the cucumbers – which as a gardener I know is both a complicated and simple thing to do. The main ingredient is time but the cucumber will not make it at all if the seed is not planted or if there isn’t day to day care.
And as I tend the burdens in my life – giving them water and love – and wait for their time to ripen – I am learning to be like that bird.
I am learning to be free.
I make my home in the mountains
And as autumn falls into winter
I have to use my flashlight to get to dinner
Every evening I walk past the great cedars
Over the bridge
Through the sound of the rushing creek
In the dark.
And last year at this time
As the nights got longer
And the days darker
I felt a lump in my throat begin to form
And I thought about vitamin D pills
And S.A.D. lamps
Make it better.
But this year is different.
This year I am able to see the beauty of the stars that watch over my evening meal
And feel the joy of crawling into bed at 6:30 pm to read my book.
All I want to do is retreat.
I am no longer trying to combat the flow of seasons
I am tuning into nature
And riding her waves.
And as I crawl into the cave of my heart to rest for the winter
I am grateful for this blanket of snow and this blanket of darkness that has come
To protect me.
Until it’s time to emerge and blossom.
Summoned by the Light.