I’ve been here before, dreaming myselfbackwards, among grappling hooks of light.True to the seasons, I’ve lived every wordspoken. Did I walk into someone’s nightmare?
The Song of Wandering AengusI went out to the hazel wood, Because a fire was in my head, And cut and peeled a hazel wand, And hooked a berry to a thread; And when white moths were on the wing, And moth-like stars were flickering out, I dropped the berry in a stream And caught a little silver trout. When I had laid it on the floor I went to blow the fire a-flame, But something rustled on the floor, And someone called me by my name: It had become a glimmering girl With apple blossom in her hair Who called me by my name and ran And faded through the brightening air. Though I am old with wandering Through hollow lands and hilly lands, I will find out where she has gone, And kiss her lips and take her hands; And walk among long dappled grass, And pluck till time and times are done, The silver apples of the moon, The golden apples of the sun.
Since I’ve been home I’ve been trying hard to mend my relationship with my mother. Asking her to do things for me instead of brushing aside any offer of help, as I did for years out of anger. Letting her handle all the money I won. Returning her hugs instead of tolerating them. My time in the arena made me realize how I needed to stop punishing her for something she couldn’t help, specifically the crushing depression she fell into after my father’s death. Because sometimes things happen to people and they’re not equipped to deal with them.
I’ve come down from the skylike some damned ghost, delayedtoo long…To the abandoned fieldsthe trees returned and grew.They stand and grow. Time comesTo them, time goes, the treesStand; the only placeThey go is where they are.Those wholly patient ones…They do no wrong, and theyAre beautiful. What moreCould we have thought to ask?...I stand and wait for lightto open the dark night.I stand and wait for prayerto come and find me here.” Sabbaths 2000 IX
I’ve often thought of the forest as a living cathedral, but this might diminish what it truly is. If I have understood Koyukon teachings, the forest is not merely an expression or representation of sacredness, nor a place to invoke the sacred; the forest is sacredness itself. Nature is not merely created by God; nature is God. Whoever moves within the forest can partake directly of sacredness, experience sacredness with his entire body, breathe sacredness and contain it within himself, drink the sacred water as a living communion, bury his feet in sacredness, touch the living branch and feel the sacredness, open his eyes and witness the burning beauty of sacredness
I’ve been thinking about that proof I spoke of last time – that you’re where you’re supposed to be. And it occurred to me, can you prove you’d be better off somewhere else? If you’d have left the state, your relationship would have ended still. Maybe you’d have even blamed yourself, not knowing that it was doomed because of him, either way. Instead, you’re here. You got dumped, skipped class, and met the best econ tutor at the university! Who knows, maybe I’ll make you fall in love with economics.
I’ve heard it said many times when talking about going to heaven, ‘You can’t take it with you.’ It’s true that you cannot take with you your house, car, money, or other things you have valued here on earth, but how about your husband, wife, parents, children, friends, and acquaintances? You personally will never be able to get someone into heaven, but God certainly can use you as a tool to spread the good news as He brings more people to Himself.
A number of people who I’ve talked to about this assume that I got into a fight with the cops. (Because of, y'know, the militant politics.) I actually had an audience member come up to me once and ask me if I paid taxes. Of course I pay taxes! I pay taxes for exactly the same reason that I hate paying taxes — because I think my government is terrifying and stupid. I don't need the IRS kicking my door down and taking my meticulously alphabetized collection of Tijuana bibles.