I’m pretty sure no one ever thought of Petty as philosophical or scientific but…
… I’m listening to him sing about a freeway running through his yard as I sip a cup of once hot coffee now going cold and think about that freeway.
It is Life and it is constantly moving at millions of miles per second through the cosmos with no particular destination. It just is.
The yard is my life. A tiny pasture that interacts with the much larger, empirical, Life. It would be easy to think that my tiny corner of Life could not have any impact whatsoever on that mass of energy. It can feel like being a single molecule of water in an ocean and, in a way, it is exactly like that but it is also more than that.
Here comes a quick geology lesson:
Epigenisis is an accumulation of a mineral mass without loess properties, perhaps with a high silt and lime content, which under weathering and soil formation acquires loess properties and is transformed into loess (seriously, I swiped that from some geology site).
Eolian: the winds ability to shape the surface of the earth.
Loess: silt-sized sediment that is formed by the accumulation of wind-blown dust.
Syngenesis: the accumulation of a mineral mass that is mainly of eolian origin and the acquisition of all loess properties occurs simultaneously, under the influence of soil formation (also swiped because I have no memory for such things).
So what the hell does any of this have to do with Tom Petty? Well, nothing. He just got me to thinking. Free falling, so to speak.
Here’s where I landed: Life’s affect is eolian. That is to say that we are often blasted by it. It throws us this way and that. It wears us down until we are like loess. Tiny silt-sized sediment. Infinitesimal in that ocean.
But we are in syngenesis with that energy. You and I and my dog and the chair I sit on and the trees outside my window and the coffee I drink and the keyboard I type on… all flow in that river of Life. All part of it. One with it. The ocean simply can not exist without all the separate molecules of water. You. Me. The attendant at the gas station. The grass. The air in our lungs and the dust on the street which accumulates and coalesces and one day becomes the stone and soil upon which we walk.
My little yard, that tiny pasture in the great green field that is the Universe, is also the Universe itself. It exists because we exist. We exist because it exists. It is us and we are it.
How cool is that?
Thanks, Tom 🙂
There are basically only two Paths in life: Reactive and Proactive.
The Consequential Life is primarily an Unconscious Path. Shit happens and you instinctualy respond. How you respond dictates where the Path leads you. This is Reactive.
The Intentional Life is a Conscious Path. Shit happens and you choose your response. Other times shit happens because of your choices. Your intention and the choices you make that arise from your intent guide you on the Path. You guessed it, Proactive.
Either method is a choice. We either choose to be aware or we choose to go through life with eyes and mind closed.
Most people live a reactionary life. Here’s a few examples of living a reactionary life while on an unconscious path:
- A goat shits on your path. Step in in, rub it in your face, sleep in it, don’t wash it off. “Good things come to those who suffer.”
- A goat shits on your path. Make a shit sandwich and eat it in silent gratitude. “What good things?”
- A goat shits on your path. Its a sign! A goat has been here. Hang around and pray for its return so it can be sacrificed. “Good things come to those who wait.”
- A goat shits on your path. Its a sign! The path is unclean because you have sinned. “Sinners don’t get good things…until they die.”
I’ve known many people who suffered to the end and gained nothing. Known people who turn their backs on the good things in their lives because they can’t believe they either deserve them or that they exist at all. And I’ve never met a person who didn’t feed themselves…. something.
Personally, however, I prefer a proactive/conscious way of living:
When a goat shits on your path I say gather it up, mix it with sand and straw, and make bricks to smooth the path. Or mold menagerie from it, bake them in the sun, and give them as gifts. Or use it in a floral arrangement. Or turn it into incense.
There must be a million great things to do with goat shit and none of them have anything to do with moral causality or a reckoning of the scales.
What it comes down to is this; if you can’t find a good use for it, simply walk around it.
In the end, its a goat doing what a goat does. It shits. And shit happens.
Today is the Autumn Equinox. Day and night are of equal length for a few days and then the days will become shorter.
It is the time of harvest. When we reap what we have sown and labored so hard to produce. It is a time of harmony and balance. When everything is exactly as it is supposed to be.
Seeing that balance isn’t always easy so I’m going to refer to the Oxford Dictionary to help:
bal·ance [ˈbaləns] NOUN 1. an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady: "slipping in the mud but keeping their balance" · synonyms: stability · equilibrium · steadiness · footing
I appreciate the example they provide, “slipping in the mud but keeping their balance”. I can relate to that. It defines balance as tenuous yet firm. Precarious and cautionary but upright and steady.
Balance doesn’t mean sure footed. In fact, I am most likely to be seeking better footing when balance is even, but slip and slide aside, I remain upright.
Tonight I celebrate that balance and while I do it while physically alone, I do it forging ahead with plans to join my Beloved.
The past and future are even tonight and beginning tomorrow the days grow shorter and each shortened day brings me closer to her.
Whether you call this day Mabon, The Second Harvest, Wine Harvest, Feast of Avalon, Winter Finding, or, my personal favorite, Cornucopia, I wish that this Autumn Equinox finds you in harmony and balance with all that you do and that your own harvest is as rich as my own.
Image: “Effervescent” by Christina Rivera
In the Tarot the Hermit stand alone on the top of a mountain with lantern held out to see and to illuminate. He is both student and teacher and he tells us that the answers we seek can be found within.
The card has two basic meanings;
First; the need to withdraw from society to become comfortable with himself.
Second; the return from isolation to share knowledge with others.
Several years ago I decided to withdraw from the world. There were many reasons for doing this. Some of them were valid. Most were not.
One of the biggest reasons I did this is because being alone hurt. It hurt so much that I became a hermit. Funny animals us humans; we withdraw when we feel alone.
I’d like to tell you that in those years I became wise, all-seeing, all-knowing, but I did not. What I did do is learn much about myself. Where I came from and how that affected who I am. How to reconcile my life experiences with where I was physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.
When I raised my lantern on those things that shaped me, there were things that came into focus that made me uncomfortable and though they initially made me want to remain in isolation they also became the things that drew me out of it. By examining each act of rage or insolence or passion or love or joy or whatever, without passing judgment, neither good nor bad, but simply as a thing that happened or that I did, I was able to gain a clearer image of who I was and, more importantly, who I was not.
In that process I learned one simple truth: If you want to be who you are meant to be you must first stop being who you are.
Once I gained that clearer view I began the excruciating and liberating job of dismantling who I was and recreating who I was meant to be. I say “recreating” because I have come to believe that we are born exactly who we are meant to be and life, doing what it does best, getting in the way of living, rewrites that person. We may be raised or live in a way that is destructive and damaging or make mistakes or have experiences that reshape that person, but that original person, the ego-free infant with no concept of time or space or tragedy or love or hate or pain, remains at our core. Always there vying for our attention. Waiting to be realized.
This process is never ending. I am complete and whole but my work, examining and re-examining and freeing those parts of myself locked away and learning to become a better person, will never be done.
I chose to release myself from the isolation last fall. For me the process took seven years. It was long and painful and lonelier than I can possibly express but it was worth it. I am beginning to realize that person I was born as. Become the person you see now. I like this person.
This is not the only way to become a fully realized human. Not even close. It was my way and the methods I chose ran a high risk of failure so I won’t share those methods but for me they were worth the risk.
What I will tell you is that it came down to this one thing: Courage.
If you are not who you want to be all it takes is the courage to forget who you have pretended to be. There is nothing more liberating than being yourself.
I hope your own journey brings you home.
Today we enter into the final moments of what I truly hope has been an incredible season of change for each one of us.
I have been working on personal growth and change for a long time now. Years. What I am doing here is just the beginning of the task I have set myself.
As the eclipse passes keep your intentions, the person you want to be, the person you know you are, close to heart. Know, without a doubt, that during this sacred time we are closer to the Divine than we will ever be. That She is listening. That She knows our hearts. That She will listen to every single one of us. That this is as close as we will ever get to truly choosing the direction of our path. To choose who we really are. That the Divine will help us because She want us to be those people. Because She loves us.
It doesn’t matter if you’re in the outer edges or nowhere near this event because it’s a global event. Literally. Our moon blocks the sun and our planet lines up behind the moon.
You can not say you weren’t there.
We will all be there.
I’ll see you on the other side.