TRIUMPH OF SPIRIT IN LOVE, NATURE & ART

Posts tagged “Nature

It’s been a long, hard time since I wrote.  But unlike the bird above I was not alone, thank the Lord. Beloved husband was at my side.  I have thought of many of you and wondered how you’re doing, if you’re still blogging.  Kit, Running Elk, Bert, Paul, Michael, Sue, Palestine Rose, Joshi, Ashley, Didi, Val and so many others.  I check my hundreds of blog emails unread and see you are.  Have not only not been blogging but not reading the blogs either.  Been sick, selling our barn, moving and withdrawing from a major benzodiazepine, Klonopin, a “benzo” as they are called.  My doctor got me addicted to it.  And, while selling the house I took extra because it was so stressful and I had to function no matter how sick I was.  Now I am paying the price.  Withdrawal is at a snail’s pace and fraught with physical and psychological symptoms.  It seems futile to be angry with my doctor.  He didn’t force it down my throat but he did dispense a very dangerous drug.  This is one of the seldom talked about pitfalls of being mentally ill.

The house is finally sold and all the headaches with it.  We will miss the nature and our home in the depths of it.  I have lost my inspiration.  My muse.  Pictures were everywhere.  Now in New York City there is so much stimulation I cannot even see images to capture.  But in many ways it is  good to be here.  Although I remain sick and sick at heart with what is happening to our country, even so, my husband and I are blessed to have each other.  But today, with the March for Our Lives, I finally have new hope.  Perhaps the new generation can succeed at peace where we have failed.  Perhaps the world can stop destroying itself.

And finally now, at last, I can find time now to look within.  I continue to follow Sadhguru and his Inner Engineering.  That is my priority now.  So I don’t know if I can go back to blogging as I used to.  Inspiration is at zero.  But at least I hope to visit sites now and again. Let me take this opportunity to say hello and happy Spring to all of you!


Stolen Heaven

(Turn speakers up high)

Dawn
One chill morning
Of late spring
Early summer
Beat the heat
Birds arise
Singing
Bhajans
To their creator
As they awaken
In a celebration
Of life
Replete
With ecstasis


Blessings of the Winter Solstice

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Christmas and Winter Solstice blessings to all those who have visited Moonside and especially to those to whom I was unable to respond due to physical or mental illness, a HUGE THANK YOU!!  

And to all… may you feel the joy of Christmas no matter what your circumstance, color, creed or faith and be blessed by health, happiness and peace in the New Year!

Love, Ellen

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My Cathedral

The wilderness
is my cathedral
Spring Trees at Sunset  (digital photo)
The sky
my steeple
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 The trees
my buttresses
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Hay bales
my statuary
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 Flowers
my stained glass
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A babbling brook
my organ
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Frogs and toads
my choir
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Fields of wildflowers
my incense
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 Thunder storms
my high mass
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A very diverse congregation…

From cows

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to snails and turtles

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to gazillions
of insects

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Deer sometimes come round

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Butterflies abound

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Moths, too

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Birds of every hue

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All that’s missing is you

but you worship your own way

doing charity every day

more than I can say


Beyond the Stars

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Sitting in the sun, acclimating to the gentle June heat, swatting away an annoysome fly who keeps returning over and over, I know this swatting is definitely wrong—a stirring of the killer instinct. I remember naturalist artist and writer and turtle man, David M. Carroll, keeping his hand steady, while being bitten by hordes of mosquitoes,  so as not to scare away the turtles as he paints them . Clearly he is a superior soul in his patient endurance of being bitten and as his, almost spiritual, beautifully poetic, writings and drawings reveal. I remember, too, the words of Pema Chodron, Buddhist teacher and nun, who teaches and preaches practicing compassion on little things, learning not to “bite the hook” of anger.

So I let the fly alight on my ankle and he seemingly happily stays on my leg and does not bite. I begin to try to image feeling kinship with this fly who likes my leg, fighting the idea that he is laying eggs in my skin. Pema Chodron has clearly inspired a city girl, afeared of bugs, to make friends with a fly as I watch the universe of insects beneath my feet. A Daddy Long legs crawls on my camera bag, hitches a ride to our bed when I go inside the house. I bring him back to his home outside.

This compassion things feels right, start small and grow big. As if to reinforce this point a butterfly lands on my chest when I return to my contemplation spot in our back yard. But all is not sweetness and light. Later the same fly (I swear it is) who landed on my leg now activates karma for my earlier murderous impulses towards him. He lands on my toe and bites me. A cautionary tale against getting too carried away with being virtuous. Still worse, later as I walk in the coolness of early evening, a bug lands on my arm and attempts a vigorous bite.   In an instant, a reflexive smack smooches him dead.

So it would seem I have to start even smaller with my acts of compassion. How much smaller can one start? I wonder with daunting discouragement about the many, many more lives I will have to live to learn lessons of compassion and no anger. I contemplate the prospect of how many, many more films I will have to view in this movie house of Maya we call life. When, oh when, will I learn all my lessons? When, oh, when, will the sun set for good for me on this circle of life so I can exit the orbit and rest beyond the stars??


Maya in Nature and the Nature of Maya

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If one looks at nature abstractly, one can see it is made up of line, color and form. Plato spoke of “form“. And Indian philosophy talks of Maya, the consensual reality that is a dream of our mortal bodies.  Yogananda warns us not to get caught up in Maya and how easy it is to see it as real.
My photograph is a homage to the Abstract Expressionist artist, Mark Rothko, a hero of sorts for me.  He was reaching for spirituality, too, but did not follow Hindu thought.  However, in his paintings, which I try to  emulate in photography, one can see color, shape and form. This is a step away from the dream of life or “Maya” and a step towards the spiritual.
Next time, when looking at nature, try looking beyond the scene to the formal elements, and see how the dream of life is a delusion in which our minds spend most of their time.

An Insecure Security

Gemutlichkeit* of

a rainy October morning

dry chilly warmth

in our little barn

*

downstairs

you perusing the paper

 upstairs

me pumping poetry

*

rain tip-toeing

on the metal roof

a tymphanic symphony

outside the window

a masterpiece of color

yellow walnut leaves

and red sugar maple

the steady drip-drop of water

*

what bliss is this

precious moments of Now

a heavenly haven

from a frightening, tipsy-turvy world

*

I wish to always be

in your aura of calm

and the beauteous bounty of Nature

but

for sure

death will come

*

 please take us together

and

find us in each other’s arms

*

blessed bliss

pure peace

and

true security

the everlasting Now

only exist

in the presence of God.

*German word meaning “coziness”.


White Flowers in Blue Trees

White flowers in Blue Trees

My husband pronounces this a cow

standing among greens

well if it is a cow

don’t eat him

he is a sacred cow

as we all are sacred

I see him standing among the brush triumphant

for no one has turned him into hamburger

but

I say they are blue trees

at twilight

filled with white blossoms

well if they are blossoms

don’t pick them

and extinguish their life of beauty

grabbing Nature

as if She were our own

meant to serve us

when She is there to teach us

about the Great Being

benevolent with His gifts

such as blue cows

or blue trees with white flowers

as Nature whispers in our ears

as She manifests the gifts of the Great Being

and we boorishly

 cut them down

and put them in vases

(if I am right and they are blue trees with white flowers)

where in a day or so they die

having given their lives

for the mundane, bourgeois folly

of decorating our homes

or

(if my husband is right and they are cows)

 we boorishly eat them

despite the disgust of eating flesh

at the expense of deaths by extreme cruelty

a travesty of justice

crimes against Nature

when She is to be untouched

and admired

just as She is

for She is the perfect

creation of our Heavenly Father.


September Mind


September sunlight dances on drying leaves, sparkling like diamonds against a flowing stream, an azure sky.  The plants of summer are dying.  Flowers that have given such joy all summer long are now spurned by us as they shrivel into the paradoxical beauty of old age.  The sun burns lightly on summer-drenched skin as clouds intrude intermittently into the almost- Autumn interlude–  a gentle foretaste of the cold to come.  The last butterflies of summer flit among the blossoming Goldenrod and browning Joe Pie Weed.

The beauty of Fall is the beauty of a dying season.  It is the season of death– an alternative to the dew-like bloom of youth in Spring.

When I was very young, I felt death in nature.  I could feel what it must feel like to be a tree or a flower—to just “be”—the Buddhist dictum which I cannot now master.  In my late twenties, my mind broke into smithereens like shattered glass, and I had a choice to make between going on psych meds or going to hospital.  I chose the former and have lived some 40 years more with that choice.  I will not say it was a happy choice, at the risk of sounding ungrateful, because I have become driven into a fury of manic activity and self-seeking in stark contrast to the just “being” of my early youth.  The psych meds have dispelled my “egolessness” which, in turn, makes me more able to “function”–  at a price.  For I no longer feel the waves of peace lapping at the shores of my mind and my religious feelings have, comparatively speaking, shriveled up like the summer flowers in the Fall.  “It’s always a trade-off” I am told over and over again.  My doc told me once that I am one of the lucky ones because for some people the meds don’t work at all.  That shut me up and those words periodically pump gratitude into my system.  I have remained med-compliant mainly because  the meds have kept me out of hospital, DO allow me to function, and, most importantly, I have discovered that being able to function means allowing me to love.

And although more self-seeking, paradoxically this med-induced functionality allows me to give back to the world.  My gift is to describe the “just- being” in nature that was imprinted indelibly on my mind when I was young.   Death seemed beautiful to me then, a state of simply being at one with the soul of nature.  Now I confess to a fear of dying, rather than a fear of death, but most of all, a fear of loss of the love of my life.  For we are in the September of our lives and all is intensified now that we are more aware of our finiteness.  Truth be told this was always potentially the case, but we lived, like most youth, in the inevitable delusion of immortality.

So I function now at the cost of loss of my revered altered states of consciousness.  Perhaps I am in September mind, channeling words and images of the beauty of nature that flooded me long ago are a mere trickle now, as my time to “just be,” once more for this time round, approaches.


The Night Light Show

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Tiny, twinkling stars

suffering loneliness,

fall from the sky

and become fireflies,

flickering on and off

among the trees

calling for a mate,

lighting the night sky

and exciting vision

with twinkling

and flashing lights

and one is not sure

which is which

so bewitched are we

by the show of Light.