I Am Vertical
But I would rather be horizontal.
I am not a tree with my root in the soil
Sucking up minerals and motherly love
So that each March I may gleam into leaf,
Nor am I the beauty of a garden bed
Attracting my share of Ahs and spectacularly painted,
Unknowing I must soon unpetal.
Compared with me, a tree is immortal
And a flower-head not tall, but more startling,
And I want the one’s longevity and the other’s daring.
Tonight, in the infinitesimal light of the stars,
The trees and flowers have been strewing their cool odors.
I walk among them, but none of them are noticing.
Sometimes I think that when I am sleeping
I must most perfectly resemble them-
Thoughts gone dim.
It is more natural to me, lying down.
Then the sky and I are in open conversation,
And I shall be useful when I lie down finally:
Then the trees may touch me for once, and the flowers have time for me.
“I have met with but one or two persons in the course of my life who understood the art of Walking, that is, of taking walks, -who had a genius, so to speak, for sauntering: which word is beautifully derived “from idle people who roved about the country, in the Middle Ages, and asked charity, under pretense of going a la Sainte Terre,” to the Holy Land, till the children exclaimed, “There goes a Sainte-Terrer,” a Saunterer, -a Holy-Lander. They who never go to the Holy Land in their walks, as they pretend, are indeed mere idlers and vagabonds; but they who do go there in the good sense, such as I mean. Some, however, would derive the word from sans terre, without land or a home, which, therefore, in the good sense, will mean, having no particular home, but equally at home everywhere. For this is the secret of successful sauntering. He who sits still in a house all the time may be the greatest vagrant of all; but the saunterer, in the good sense, is no more vagrant than the meandering river, which is all the while sedulously seeking the shortest course to the sea. But I prefer the first, which, indeed, is the most probable derivation. For every walk is a sort of crusade, preached by some Peter the Hermit in us, to go forth and reconquer the Holy Land from the hands of the Infidels.
“It is true, we are but faint-hearted crusaders, even the walkers, nowadays, who undertake no persevering, never-ending enterprises. Our expeditions are but tours, and come round again at evening to the old hearth-side from which we set out. Half the walk is but retracing our steps. We should go forth on the shortest walk, perchance, in the spirit of undying adventure, never to return, -prepared to send back our embalmed hearts only as relics to our desolate kingdoms. If you are ready to leave father and mother, and brother and sister, and wife and child and friends, and never see them again, -if you have paid your debts, and made your will, and settled all your affairs, and are a free man, then you are ready for a walk.
“To come down to my own experience, my companion and I, for I sometimes have a companion, take pleasure in fancying ourselves knights of a new, or rather an old, order, -not equestrians or Chevaliers, not Ritters or Riders, but Walkers, a still more ancient and honorable class, I trust. The chivalric and heroic spirit which once belonged to the Rider seems now to reside in, or perchance to have subsided into, the Walker, -not the Knight, but the Walker Errant. He is a sort of fourth estate, outside of Church and State and People.”
-Henry David Thoreau, from his essay Walking
1) Walt Whitman. His energy is big this year.
2) Craft vs. Art. Craft is Art. Craft as meditation.
3) Gender Roles. Feminine vs. Masculine. Bi-polarity. Balances of male and female energy in every person.
4) Death. Rebirth. Flow. Intention. Change.
5) Mysticism becoming a “new” ritualized religion. Beware.
6) Travel. Dreams. Lucid living.
7) Creative economy. The value of a trade.
8) Sun Sign. Moon sign. Cusp energy. The advantages of duality. Zodiac. Indian Zodiac. Chi.
9) Be here now, remember. We are at the dawn of a new age. The silent rucksack revolution continues. The pursuit of human evolution is to find the point of perfection for a happy existence. Living now is better than anytime before.
10) Embrace the New Aesthetic!
Poem by e.e. cummings. Enjoyed best when read slowly. Pay attention to your breath too. There’s meditation in the words.
i am a little church (no great cathedral)
far from the splendor and squalor of hurrying cities
– i do no worry if briefer days grow briefest,
i am not sorry when sun and rain make april
my life is the life of the reaper and sower;
my prayers are prayers of earth’s own clumsily striving –
(finding and losing and laughing and crying) – children
whose any sadness or joy is my grief or my gladness
around me surges a miracle of unceasing
birth and glory and death and resurrection;
over my sleeping self float flaming symbols
of hope, and i wake to a perfect patience of mountains
i am a little church (far from the frantic
world with its rapture and anguish) at peace with nature
– i do not worry if longer nights grow longest;
i am not sorry when silence becomes singing
winter by spring, i lift my diminutive spire to
merciful Him Whose only now is forever:
standing erect in the deathless truth of His presence
(welcoming humbly His light and proudly His darkness)