Monday, September 23, 2013

I am heading back to New York this week for a vacation with my nice boyfriend. Historically, New York and I are in love like Bonnie and Clyde, all high spirits and total destruction--last month's trip left me unable to speak for almost a week--and I am itchy with the zugunruhe as usual.

Sometimes it feels like a waste of my bones to go back to the same places when there are so many other places to go. In my daydreams we go in search of the rarest--the flowers in Jamaica that only bloom every 33 years (2017, friends), and the ocean jasper. Ocean jasper is a kind of orbicular jasper--a stone seeded by needle-like crystals--that is only found by boat off the coast of Madagascar at low tide. Most jasper stands for healing, and we could make bouquets of the stones and cure all the world if we could just get there first.

More recently I read about a town in Bavaria called Nördlingen that is built from the stones of an impact crater made something more than 14 million years ago. The meteorite that made the crater hit a graphite deposit and birthed stone laced with tiny diamonds, and it is these stones that the townspeople used to make their village.

On my first trip to New York, in July of 2001, we walked out of a Broadway show to sidewalks laced with mica. I had no idea how it was possible for the ground to shine so much, but I was enchanted with that night and everything that surrounded it.

One of my favorite things about going places is how much of the world sparkles, and how frequently you can find what is rare.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

They're digging up Neruda to see if he was poisoned, which is one of those things that you know but don't think about until the weather starts to turn and everything is the greenest it might ever be. I like to think that on top of the murder or not murder they might find will be the discovery that all the poems he left unwritten will have worked themselves out of his bones. That his gravesite will be littered with words. Above the ground it starts to rain and the air tastes like Neruda, all love mixed up with nature. "At night I dream that you and I are two plants/ that grew together, roots entwined,/ and that you know the earth and the rain like my mouth,/ since we are made of earth and rain."

Sometimes in recent years I can feel a four-leaf clover before I see it, sure that one is in the grass nearby. I think in general the odds are in my favor, but mostly what I think about is all the luck I'm not finding, snuggled down there in the grass. 

In Japan the practice of repairing a cracked vessel with gold is called kintsugi, which is a way of making something broken more valuable than when it was whole. I like all these pots and cups that wear their cracks on the outside rather than trying to hide them, to fit everything perfectly back together but weaker at the joins. There's nothing wrong with having once been smashed.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Here we are now, 31 but still also kind of five years old. There's a Dzogchen tantra that I mostly forget about that goes, "As a bee seeks nectar from all kinds of flowers, seek teachings everywhere. Like a deer that finds a quiet place to graze, seek seclusion to digest all that you have gathered. Like a mad one beyond all limits, go where you please and live like a lion, completely free of all fear." Which might be right and all, except I'm not sure about that part with the lion, since all these years of nature documentaries have taught me that nothing at all lives completely free of all fear. And rightfully so.

Lately I've been thinking about this poem that talks about flies and the way that their brains rewrite themselves when they accept the pheromones of another fly, that talks about reincarnation and the possibility of committing enough injustices in this life to be reborn as flies in the next. That talks about loving to the fullest extent of our brains.

The other morning I looked at an app on my phone that randomly selects two categories of poems and brings up what fits beneath that. That morning it gave me almost 200 poems on contentment and life. Today it is contentment and youth. Both of these are true.