Saturday, June 6, 2009

Knowing Nothing

Tell me all your thoughts on God?
'Cause I would really like to meet her.
And ask her why we're who we are.
Tell me all your thoughts on God,
'Cause I am on my way to see her.
So tell me am I very far -
Am I very far now?

--Dishwalla, "Counting Blue Cars"

This morning I was feeling wrung out and rather disgusted with the general state of affairs around humans. I took the dog and ran away to a place in the woods where there are hardly ever any people, and I can let the dog and myself off the leash for a bit.

Upon arriving at the gate to the old logging road, I noticed a truck parked off to the side; I'm not the only one who ignores the gate, walks around and hikes up the hill. But there were crude cardboard signs, duct-taped to each and every window of the vehicle, which warned, "PRIVATE PROPERTY. DO NOT DISTURB."

I noticed the fallen pine needles and rain-spotted dust on the truck, and figured it had been here for some weeks. I continued around the gate, and when I reached the top of the slope where the two-track road takes a bend, there was another car parked in a wide spot with a small, dilapidated camping trailer, as well as a second trailer covered with a blue tarp. And buckets, and junk, bags of trash, propane bottles, a firepit. Lots of evidence that someone was living here--not just camping.

I called the dog closer and continued. The scene was disturbing on several levels, kicking up little storms in my thinking process. There are more and more people living on BLM land, you see, because they have no place else to go. Signs of the times, pointing to me, because I could conceivably be in this exact situation in the not-so-distant future. Not such a big deal (and I would respect the land much more than these occupants did). But I could feel the despair hanging in the air. I had come here to escape the same feeling, hanging around inside my house.

I climbed until I was breathless, until I came to a level place in the road where the surrounding trees were at least a hundred feet tall, and I could see through them to the next ridge over, across the river. I spun around in the road and said to the trees, "Tell me all your thoughts on God...", and waited for the inevitable response.

It came within moments, the rhythmic silence, punctuated by occasional birdcalls and small rustlings and pebbles shifting under the dog's feet. I gave in to the urge to dance in the middle of the road while a faint mist fell. I explained that I was angry somewhere, and sad, and I made my steps hit the road hard enough to bring home this emotional point. The trees nodded wisely and urged me to continue. So I swayed my arms to express how much I longed for some ease. I said I didn't really want to feel my angst and the frustration of the lonely, unemployed, lost people all around. I didn't really want to feel anything. The wind called me a liar. A red blossom opened up in my belly, and my throat I danced down the road, back the way I came, and then ran the rest of the way, past the silent trailers with the people inside being very quiet, all the way down to the river.

I sat on a rock near the water so I was facing downstream; it felt like the rushing went right through my back, and I could watch myself drift with the current to the place where my vision ended. The river is glad to do all this carrying of dead thoughts. It knows exactly what to do, exactly where to deposit all the future nourishment of earth and hearts. I sat there until I was free from ideas of freedom. I watched the dog go through his manic chewing of fallen branches until he tired himself out.

Now...this is what I know, without any doubt, today, since giving in to the dance. There is a higher use for ideas, words, art, feelings, being, and god. Our perception and descriptions and explanations emerge spontaneously to dismantle themselves--that is the ultimate "right action" in these events. When the longing for freedom breaks through your chest like some monster in a movie, you can bet that the sweet pain is freedom, itself, disguised as something you can't seem to find.

When you come up with the ultimate name for your god, you can be assured that what is forever nameless has spoken.

When you assert your own awareness as proof of your experience, you have just pointed out how incredibly busy you are establishing the imaginary density of yourself.

When I insist that I am tired of feeling, that is the strongest feeling there is, continuing its long, long journey.

Peace and blessings to all the loved and unloved, as this is the state of grace we were hungry for!

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