Bird Droppings February 18, 2020
Dissipating embers can rekindle a fire
Before the housing encroachment in our neighborhood on most mornings weather permitting I will sit out and spend a few moments meditating in the corner of our back yard. For several years I have used a bit of white sage and sweet grass in a bowl as incense. The aroma and watching embers glow in the darkness can be very relaxing. As I was watching as the last of the embers hold on to its red glow dissipating as a slow column of smoke wisped off the last of the ember, circling about in the stillness.
My mind was wandering to car repairs, needing more dirt for my herb garden, helping with and finishing papers, writing an IEP and heading back to school tomorrow after a short break. Looking out into the fog and drizzle I was thinking the sun was about to rise. I looked up circling over my head I could barely make out the pines to my right in the dense fog. There is something about the early morning even on the most dismal of days perhaps the newness and silence. As I thought fanning the last spark from the one small piece of sage leave an ember jumped from my bowl and landed on my arm for a second, I watched till the burning sensation had to be dealt with. Soon a streak of orange may appear clouds permitting across the eastern sky and I get ready to head to work.
“There are things you cannot say in words — feelings you have, heights and depths you cannot articulate — and the only way they can come out is through your art form. It may not be direct — usually it is not. But what happens is that as you create, this emotion pushes through from some deep place and informs the way you see, feel, choose, and express. What was an unutterable emotion changes into an emotional charge that runs through your heart and mind and into your work. It is a magical thing, and you must embrace it as one of the true gifts of the difficult and sometimes lonely creative life.” Kent Nerburn, email to his son
I started thinking about parallels in life working with teenagers and teenage relationships and it is much akin to watching embers as they are dissipating. Each day a student will be complaining about a boyfriend or girlfriend and then right back to them or to another similar relationship. The embers are strong and a bit of air and bright again glowing. For some this is enough to carry on into adult hood and maybe a serious relationship. For others fuel is needed some would call it substance and eventually those folks look for something more meaningful than just an ember glowing. Occasionally an ember jumps out and burns us. Some wanting to maintain will allow that ember to sit and smolder burning on their skin not wanting to lose the glow for fear of never being able to relight the fire.
As I found this morning when my super-duper gas fire starter was empty from too many starts of charcoal and candles. Amazingly in this world of technology an old kitchen match works just great and there is always another source of fire to rekindle. Briefly we will wander stumbling in the dark looking and some will sit pining waiting for light to come on. We exist in a world of paradox or flux there is always light for every darkness. Perhaps philosophically and theologically we could argue but experience will also show it will get light and while darkness may seem like a long time but it will get light eventually.
So, I remind myself every morning going out before the light to sit and enjoy the stillness and sensations of early morning. The silence and calm provide a peaceful start to the day.
“In the midst of sorrow, sickness, and death, or misfortune of any kind and in the presence of the notable and great silence was the mark of respect. More powerful than words was silence with the Lakota.” Standing Bear, Ogallala Lakota
Many the moment I sat listening to a CD of Carlos Nakai, seven note cedar wooden flute master. As I sit today thinking and pondering listening to the melodies and sounds reading words of wisdom of days gone by. Writing words often only for one person to read even if it is myself. As today unsure of whom that person is I am writing for, trying to convey a moment of silence of peace in a world jumbled and riddled with so much turbulence. I have focused most of the weekend on my own undertakings reading writing for my graduate work and my herb gardens. When I walk in the doors of our school that changes I am now paid to deal with others issues and education. The strength of my morning of my few moments sitting in silence watching the embers dissipate will sustain me through the day and perhaps offer to another a few words of comfort and perhaps a few moments of silence. Please keep all in harms way on your mind and in your hearts Namaste.
My family and friends I do not say this lightly,
(We are all related)