Ordering, with a side of rage

I’m angry. No. I’m rageful. I hate being angry. Scared of it. When I was younger, anger meant razor blades and blood and band aids. It meant starving and crying and wishing I was dead. Anger felt like being stabbed from the inside out by the horns of the little demon I carried in my womb. Only someone evil could be capable of experiencing such rage. I matured. Really matured, not just “got older,” but learned some of the lessons schools go out of their way never to teach you. I learned that anger isn’t evil. That anger can be a friend. A noisy, cantankerous, passionate friend. ‘Cause normally when I am enraged I am in so much pain I can’t see straight. I’m angry that others think that they can tell us who we are and...

In Praise of Lying Fallow

My grandfather was a farmer, and proud of it. He knew when to plant, when to harvest, and when to let the land lie fallow. When I asked how he could allow nothing to happen in his fields, he was quick to point out that lying fallow was the most important part [the best part] of his land’s cycle. If he didn’t leave the land fallow for a season or two, the land would not be able to support a crop. The plants require the nutrients of the soil. The soil feeds them as they grow. If the soil has nothing to feed the seeds, do what they will, those seeds can’t grow. Fallow fields may look empty, it may look like nothing is happening, but the soil is eating. the soil is breathing. the soil is lying, lying fallow. — Humans, on the whole, are not very...

Super Power

When we see someone who engages in socially abnormal or repugnant activity, we tend to say that person is “out of their mind.”  And yet when people speak of currently popular spiritual practices, they say that they need to “get out of the mind.”  I posit that we do not and cannot get out of the mind, and that when we say we must evade the indignity of the mental sphere, what we mean is that we must “get out of” the ego. And when we say, “I need to stop thinking,” what we mean is, “I need to stop judging.” Judging will drive you insane, and most likely already has. But thinking is peace. True, honest, clear thought, free of the colorations of judgment, of artificial knowing, that is...

Learning

“Before you got to algebra,” I tell her, “you had to learn how to add and subtract and multiply, right?” She nods. “But before you learned that, you had to learn what numbers are, what they mean.  You had to learn that one is one and two is two, right?” “Yeah,” she says.  “I guess.” “It’s the same with emotions.  You can’t really talk about them or tell people how you’re feeling unless you know what they are.  You have to learn what anger is, what happiness is, what frustration is.  And after spending time learning what they are, you can recognize that emotions are like numbers.  One isn’t a good number or a bad number.  It’s just a number.  Anger isn’t a...

Stories on the Shelves

Stories kept beyond their expiry begin to warp and twist their bindings.  Their potential for freedom becomes a sickening composite of mold and mildew that eats away the paper and pales the ink and flusters the air with spores.  But I have a habit of hoarding, and looking at these shelves I think, I may want to read these stories again someday. But in moments which I am more what I am instead of what I believe myself to be, I have forgotten the stories. I forget my library.  I forget the story of The Victimized One, The Oppressive One, The Needy One, The Giving and Abundant One; The Expectant One and The Jaded One, The Good One, The Bad One, The Not-So-Great-One, The Pretty-Okay-One, The One that Everyone Will Eventually Leave and The One Who Will Eventually...

Fuzzy Leaves; Stalks of Yellow Flowers

Just sit and listen with me, child. Sit and listen with me. Still we are, and strong. And all that we already are is all that we need, here, together; for the Creator is Good and has given us all that is His. Let us raise our ears to hear Him, and open our eyes to see Him. Let us breathe His Breath and live His Life, and lay aside all that would interfere with our awareness of the unity with Him that is ours. — “I feel like I was born into the wrong time,” I told a friend a few days ago, and the breeze kicked up and the trees swayed a sweet song of place and time What is place?  And what, my One, is time? All things are as they have always been. My feeling of being born in the wrong time stemmed from feeling wrong, feeling alienated, out of...

Weeds

When I tell people I’m an herbalist, they tend to say, “Oh, really?  I like gardening, too.”  I assume they think I have a perfectly tended garden with rosemary, sage and thyme, maybe a few bushy frills of basil, a wild hill of mint. While those plants are wonderful, that’s not where an herbalist goes for medicine.  Herbalists go for the weeds. Medicine comes from the weeds.  Medicine comes from the plants you pull and the plants you curse.  Medicine comes from the sorrel that overruns your begonias.  It comes from the dandelions that erupt sunshine in the middle of your monoculture.  Medicine comes from the plantain that grows in between the concrete slabs of your driveway. Medicine comes from the plants you cannot get rid of, from...