A Journey With Blackbirdowl

Saturday, May 04, 2013

R Let the Yellow ribbon bring me home

R Let the Yellow ribbon bring me home
Saturday April 27, 2013:
Reclaiming London Beltane Ritual
My mind is wandering. I'm so glad to be here but I don't want to do the
work. I just want to be. It's impolite not to emotionally show up, so I do,
commanding myself to be present in mind as well as body.
The air is cool. Small drops of rain texture the space between the newly
budding trees. The woods echoe with the shouts of children across the way
enjoying a noisy party. I tune them out and listen to the vibration of the
watching trees. .
A presence, horned like the jagged leafless oaks comes striding through the
woods. My drum stick, like hooves beat the skin as his feet dance the earth.
The soft breath of a horse vibrates my right eardrum and in my mind's eye, I
see the white horse goddess unbidden but none the less very welcome, also
flitting through the trees.
Damp earth, dry leaves, living trees perfume the air between the spiraling
incense. I breathe and receive the unfurling life of the earth growing
into spring.
Somewhere else someone has a fire. I can smell the sweet pungent smoke on
the air. I feel irrationally rather resentful and very envious of the fire
owner for *we* will have to make do with incense and candles.
We set out our space using incense as fire. Smoke curls through the air,
spiraling around us as we move through it. It's sweet, savory soft and
strong. My mind dissects the smell, identifying and labeling each pungent
contingent. Frankincense, sage and what else? Leaf mould and damp earth and
- what, what is that smell?
What do I want to let go of? Indecision, depression, fear, illness, - which!
Oh all of them and none. I twirl in the smoke, a silly smile on my face.
I'm playing again, but it's not happiness, its distraction.
I think of the friends whose lives are threatened as cancer claims parts of
their bodies. There's a lot of it around. O that's ridiculous. What are
the chances of *not* knowing people with cancer at my age, and yes knowing
one or two who have even died as a result? This is life, I castigate
myself. And lest I feel too sorry for myself, I remind myself that my own
non-threatening but disruptive tumour is also life. Get used to it!
This doesn't bring me to the work I'm meant to be doing here! What am I
doing here? Oh yes, letting go. Letting go of what? I Dunno - I've
forgotten. Well that's one way to let go!
We circle the well. It's a bowl of water surrounded by spring flowers. I
sink down on the ground. Last year's dry leaves are scattered, beneath
them; the earth is still full of a year of heavy rain that it will take many
hot days to dry.
Silence all around holds me. I lean forward and dip my fingers into the
"well". The water is cool. I am still.
What do I want to weave into my future, I wonder: I commit the sensation of
sitting on the earth in a spring wood, for future reference. Do I want the
political sphere? What is the lure? Is it purely, a desire to make the world
a better place or is it about my power and influence?
Could I make the world a better place by sitting under a tree - the thought
is tempting. Can I find time to allow my voice to sing to whoever will
listen, through my writings, song and pagan practices? Is that enough? Can I
do that and politics?
Back to the here and now, I think, catching the drift of incense arriving on
the tongue of a nippy little wind. What do I want to weave into the summer
to come? My mind drifts again. I think of sick friends and my yearning to
help them and my helplessness to actually do so. What is life like for them
with such a precarious future? Mine too is precarious, but at least the
tumour won't kill me, even if it bends my mind somewhat.
If I can stay in the here and now, I can find peace to help me deal with the
difficult things I am driven to do. So I'll weave finding moments of
peace and stillness that bring respite, and build my resilience into my
life. And I can spin the energy to do what I feel must be done.
A cloud moves. A shaft of sunlight beams down between the trees and touches
my cool cheek with its warmth. How simple; one touch warms my body and
lifts my spirits. A little effort can reap great rewards.
We dance, weaving our desires into fruition. My wide long sunny yellow
ribbon makes its way between the other colours, like shafts of sunlight
edging round objects. It moves round the shadows, lightening all it touches.
The song, "Tie a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree" comes into my mind.
Annoyingly, it plays itself over and over again, creating an earworm which
sits wriggling repetitiously in my ear. Maybe I can come home to myself so
that I can go out stronger to the world, I think?
Birds sing above us. We share blessings and then clear up. Walking through
the woods, I notice how my body feels. I'm tired, I need the loo, but I can
feel my energy shifting and the muscles moving efficiently enough to get me
up the steep hill and on to whatever else I am concerned with.

Q Schwanning with the Blackbird

Q Schwanning with the Blackbird
Friday April 26, 2013:
At 7:20 PM I'm in the garden. The blackbird is giving it some welly. The
other birds are belting out songs to. I listen and take in the sounds.
The blackbird moves to another part of his territory and the garden goes a
little quiet. It's not yet sunset, so there's still more singing for him to
do. I listen to the relative peace and invite the stillness to open up to
the songs of the birds. On the edge of my hearing, I can hear blackbird,
behind him, the comforting cooing of the wood pigeons, given shape by
robins, tits and other silvery singing. It's such a rich tapestry of sound.
I breathe it in.

I'm crouching now, turning over slate pieces. Ah, here's what I need., a
flat evenly shaped smooth stone, it's edges graded as though someone has
layered material of different sizes across each other. I can trace each
piece, running my fingers across them all and losing myself in their shapes.

With a triumphant squawk, the blackbird flies across the sky and lands in
the ash tree on the Parkland Walk opposite me. He settles down to a bit of
rombustuous, triumphant singing. Always, that fluid beginning, suddenly
exploding into staccato squawks and gurgling) before returning to a new
song. Sometimes at the end of a bit of conventional blackbird twiddling, he
emits a series of rapid squeaks, redolent of mocking laughter as though to
say to the other blackbirds "pah, beat this!" before resuming his crystal
clear sweet flourishes .
I hold out my hand with the flat slate in it, an offering and a place to
receive the vibration of the singing. The blackbird belts it out. Beside
him, robins and other birds weave a complex rhythm of shiny glissandi and
arpeggio, with such flourishing joy that I can't help smiling.
My face is raised to the glory of the sound. I allow the cheekbones to
receive the silver bath of vibration and call it in, to fill the toad shaped
space that is also the Schwannoma. Ah, beautiful.

The blackbird sings on, not now filling the space, but offering it between
other songs. He grows quiet and is suddenly gone. But his twilight
serenade is not complete. I hear him singing, some gardens away as he grabs
the final light of day, for the night is at last falling.
The birds grow quiet. A bitter little wind reaches sharp fingers through my
clothing, reminding me that, with dusk, comes the coolness of night.
Stiffly, I rise, and bowing to left and right to the spaces left by the
singing, I give thanks, and walk back into the warm house.
Out there tonight, the songs of the birds felt like my friends sending their
healing. This healing is free. I can always have it where the birds sing.
It's a date, blackbird, I promise, I'll be back for more.

P The wisdom of swans

P The wisdom of swans
Sunday April 14, 2013:
The sun is out. I lean against our Samhain Ash tree, connecting in with her
loving energy. The trunk is warm. I don't know what I ask, except for some
aid regarding the Schwannoma.

I sense the white serpent beautiful lady ash. Her swan-like neck is elegant
and curved. Her tree limbs arch out on either side and curve down as though
she has her arms around me.

The thunder of galloping hooves shakes the earth. Coming closer now, they
slow until the heavy purposeful tread of a horse tells me she is
approaching. She whickers softly just beside me.
Ah, here is the white horse goddess, pale and creamy like the ash serpent,
her arched neck a little like the curving ash serpent's graceful body. Her
long face framed by her shiny mane. I softly stroke her cheek.

We canter across the heath, her hooves pounding on the soft muddy tuffety
Heathland. Faster and faster we go, the wind snatching her main and blowing
it into my face.
Buffeted by the wind of our speed, I feel her lift from the ground.
Suddenly we soar up towards the bright sun, propelled by great white wings.
Their updraft is cooling and exhilarating. I hang on for dear life as the
heath, north London, the city, the south east and finally the whole country
circles beneath us. We soar up to the stars and fly amongst them. They are
singing in the stillness, vibrating it seems with the energy of the beat of
the horse goddess's wings.

We circle the world. Descending, countries and seas spin beneath us,
spreading out, growing bigger as we move earthwards. Somewhere in the midst
of the turning green and brown landmass edge by the shining blue sea,
mountains appear, then forests, then Heathland in the middle of which lies a
great spreading lake gleaming in the morning light. There in the middle, a
wooded island is dark and richly green. Around it,Paler objects move in the
water. We alight onto the muddy little beach, where I see flotillas of swans
and geese are gracefully drifting towards us.
Two stately and elegant white swans arrive at the water's edge and climb out
onto the shore. Sliding down off the horse goddess's back, I kneel down in
the mud, for these two command respect. They stand there, just looking. The
moment is a little awkward. I breathe shallowly and keep as still as a
statue, lest I frighten them off.

How can I love and encourage this Schwannoma to do her best for me, I think?
The two swans lean towards each other. In their embrace, their long curving
elegant necks entwine.

Maybe I must be loyal to myself, like they are loyal to each other, I
wonder? Could I seek an intimate relationship with myself, love myself
deeply? If I do this, need the Schwannoma grow anymore? Might doing this
help to shrink it perhaps?
The swans united and content-seeming, are still. They are observing me as I
kneel before them. What is the Schwannoma's positive intention for me, I ask
myself? Something to find out perhaps?

Still kneeling, I reach out my hands to the two swans. Gently, I lay a hand
on each soft snowy white breast. Patiently, they allow the impertinence.
Their feathers are so fleetingly tender almost.
They move back to the water and launch themselves gracefully into the lake.
I watch them glide away. Behind, soft white fluttering breast feathers lie,
teased by a gentle wind. I pick them up, stroking my right cheek
experimentally with them.

The horse goddess blows through her nostrils and shifts. I climb back up
and we spin out into the sky. Below me, the two gliding swans become pale
dots on the shining water and then the lake disappears into greenness.

The heath rotates beneath us. We land, gallop, trot and walk until arriving
back at the ash tree. I slide off the horse goddess. Laying my hand
tenderly on her neck, I lean my cheek into hers in silent thanks.

She is gone. The tree is warmly supporting me. The sun on my right cheek
is a soft gold and loving touch, like the quiet breth of a pony at rest.