On Landscape and The River Is the Path

 

photo Luis chumbe

On Landscape

Texture and Heat. Having been there makes a difference (does it?). (It does).

What I say is: “My body misses Latin America.” What I mean is: After 3 days in Iquitos, my body has recycled most of its water. I am now a living exchange with the air breathed by the Amazon River via the trees. I am made up of madura tierra, dolphins swim my blood, my body re-orients itself as a boat—after all the river is the path (dummy). (Wow, that one took a long time. 10 years maybe.)

As I am re-inhabited by the river, my body re-orients itself as a boat. The river is the path. As many times as I need to hear it and lose it. I lose it again.

Presently my body feels hollow, greedily metabolizing rare sunlight, missing the rainbow-haze droplet filtered quality. The water is life component. The swimming in the water-air component. The each footfall is a blessing communicated to the earth and lifted back up and out through the trees to be reabsorbed component. The roundness of walking as blessing and being blessed by the moisture in the air component. The Softness—if earth can be silty, slip silky, this is the quality applied to air. A warm stone feeling, hand warmed clay as walking environs.

Yesterday someone asked: How could you not miss the forest (la selva)? I miss the forest like I miss my sister, like I miss a birthplace, like I miss knowing where I actually AM.

Well! That was true! And elicited some breaking up of the dam inside of myself. I place myself there inside of it and the river land calls me, immediately, you can come home, you can come home. Yesterday I thought about it as my “spiritual birthplace” and that is not really it. It is the place where I became (and become) re-oriented to myself and to the world. My first and dearest long-term, long-distance relationship—with a river, weaving herself underground. Yes, I’m getting it, I’m hearing it.

Do I have to say, so obviously, the paintings with the black backgrounds are true. They are dreams, map flashes of landscape, they are connections of the human turned back in to communion with/of the larger experience. In the realities of Westernization we have an idea that perhaps were are floating in a kind of void, why we are obsessed with a cold-metallic-alone version of space craft and exploration, instead of an organic, community version. In the forest, I met a tree who is a spaceship. The presence of this craft-self was so obvious that it reminded me to myself, and that is a feeling that no longing for it could match. Coming home. Coming home.

That I will not be returning to this beloved, to this mother, this sister, this homeplace this turn is suddenly present with me. The recognition shuts something down in me, in the relationship, in the dreaming. But perhaps something else is being born in me, some hybrid seed of self that is both river and boat.

And to think–I was trained to feel that weaving myself back in to the dream is lonely. But that’s not true. It is Full To Bursting with Life, Blessing, Purpose, Meaning, and Beauty. It is filled with Truth. It is filled with the Real World.

Blessings on Your Heads,
Ashe
Charlotte

Iquitos, Freaking Center of the Universe, 2018 ed.

Iquitos, Freaking Center of the Universe, 2018 ed.
I.

+swimming in the energy of Belen

+pink dolphins like twisting flags, traveling

+tossing friends into the air

+dancing and throwing limbs to the edges

+deeply surprising lunches and motorides

+witnessing transformation, mastery, awareness

+making a magical, medicinal space

+being held by the Amazon, swimming in space

+being healed by the hands of my community, creating a space for safety and direct contact

+listening and being delivered treasure

+receiving indigenous wisdom via community and plant medicines

II. Thank yous

Thank you
for the gifts
the gift of murga
the gift of seeing and being seen, of being heard
the gift of meeting, encountering, moving together like a cloud of birds, vapor,
molecules in a container, together, and flowing out to join with what is, with other, with water

Thank you
for the gift of your eyes
the gift of your heart—wide
thank you, thank you for your pouring
of intention and commitment to task
thank you for your sensitivity, your sensibility, your gentleness
your creativity, your flexibility

Thank you for bringing your magical self,
your mystical, mythical self,
your self as you walk in this land and other lands.
Thank you for bringing your awareness,
your care,
the extension of yourself in this and other worlds—your love,
your body full of medicine

Thank you for your kisses,
your hugs, your squeezes
around the middle,
your loving gazes

good morning, good evening, good night,
blessings, blessings on your heart, your eyes, your life

Thank you for being light bearers
thank you for being
thank you for thinking of water, and
river, and
grass, and
eyes, and
plants, and
hands, and
carrying,
carrying the gifts in
your hands,
your eyes,
your heart.

Thank you for your blessings,
Thank you for the blessings that you are.
Thank you for being kindness
Thank you for bringing joy.

xoc

Birthday Gift

 

 

Birthday writing, Sept 1 2017, Well Bred Cafe, Biltmore, Asheville NC, with Aile Shebar

I wrote to you, Aile, on the evening of my birthday to say, “look at the clouds!”

I was on the lookout for them, the memory of our write night last year with the shelf of clouds—impressive, ominous and awe-inspiring—this duality of non duality clash and uprising. Is something hiding there? or just
the feeling—TOO GREAT, must be something behind it—
GREAT, maybe something else AND
just the beauty, the great-ness the
simple combination of
super powers—air, water, wind, light. Something SO HUGE, so mystical
and ordinary.

My heart is calling me toward the color and the form— of
cloud, sunset, tree, leaf, stream. My eye is alerting me to
WATER. WATER. WATER.
Like a timer going off.

Many memories pop up in my brain like an alarm WAKEUP WAKEUP WAKE UP.

On my birthday, I sought the pool that is the color of my eyes.
Sitting, feet and hand in the water, praying,
asking,
Mother, what can I do, Mother,
what can I do for you—

singing.
Silently at first and then with voice,
(here I am starting to grip my pen closer to the nib)

singing. a breath. another breath.

Mother—
what can I do for you?
Please.

And like a wing beat the answer came into my body

you can return.
you can come home.

When I am singing
songs of longing,
longing for you,
you, you
I am waiting here always for
you
you
you—

like a drum my heart finally started beating
FOR.
ITSELF.
FOR.
MYSELF.
I have been waiting for
you you you and
you are right here.

I cried. I let the hot tears fill up and spill out. There was maybe one other person there, I don’t know if he was on the rocks and observing a part of this ritual, this silent, crying faerie in the sometimes sparkling water//A small woman crying with her feet in the pool, under a shelf of boulders.

I made the pool for myself, blocking the views other than birch and rhododendron and water and rock. With my feet I observed the small flows tucked back into the rocks. The undersides trembled a little bit.

I put my right hand in the water, to hear.

I cupped my left hand to my heart, to hear.

And I listened, until the question came,

and I listened, until an answer was there.

And then I listened to the heat in my tears and to the shush of the falls and to the color and the shapes in the rock sticking up in front of me and to the green, green leaves filling my vision.

Mother, I am here.

Growing Sunflowers

Sunflowers can jut out many blossoms per stalk.
I am amazed.
Yellows grown to greet me at my doorstep.
I have eyes
my eyes grow
wide and
tear-filled and
joyful
I can grow my own tears
I have grown my own tears of
hopefulness and delight
and it was easy
I didn’t do anything but
pick a place
that would suit
ME.
Here, grow, here, you, grow here, for my pleasure, because I love myself.
I plant you I look at you with wonder I wait and watch the leaves grow broad, the
stalks grow thick enough
like a neck
to support a head, I watch
as buds begin to pucker out
furry—I didn’t realize
furrier than I would have thought
little hairs spine-ing, pokey, what are they for.
I take many pictures, capture the little spider-looking brown-purple hairy budlets
that slowly grow leaves of their own and keep going
developing into close-fisted structures, clenched against bloom
ugh, the waiting, they seem to say
the unfurling seems difficult, like wetted chicks pushing from egg, or
petal-pupae,
they look sticky, until they dry themselves,
butterfly-from-chrysalis
in the sun.
And now I see them,
every day,
they greet me as I cross
over my threshold
they smile down on me
these beings I have given place
to radiate
life.

7.15 xoc

sunflower.budSMALL