sunrise from Morningside cottage
7 september 2014
All lake photos on this post date back to the last time I had started writing to you but got interrupted which would be right after September Squam.
Um, you know-- six months ago.
There were also a bunch of words but I deleted all that. They were old and if I have any kind of credo for blogging (full disclosure: I have no credo for blogging) I can only share what is of the day, of the moment, of the hour.
Blogging is, for me, truly online journaling. I sit down at the laptop and type.
Live streaming, as it were.
photo: Forrest Elliott
Today is a Tuesday. Late morning. Dogs and I got up at 5 am as per usual. Went across the street in the dark to let them investigate diminishing snow banks. Came in to hot coffee topped with foamy almond milk and sprinkled with cinnamon. They eat their breakfast like animals, no savoring, no slow paced conversation to punctuate mouthfuls. Water slurped noisily they come and curl in around me.
We sit. Me in the white chair, cross-legged. Candles lit, a thread of white sage smoke curls up to the ceiling. Later, I take them to the woods where we walk through the perfect stillness of snow and early morning light.
Right now? I am sitting upstairs in my new living space that has also become Squam HQ once again.
photos: Forrest Elliott
if I ever got a tattoo it would be of cabbages
the touchstone reminder alike in success + failure
curious only to witness the flow of life.
work for the beauty of the action alone
no concern for the outcome
Any of you who know me well, know that the odds of me ever getting a tattoo are exactly zero. Just not something I would ever do-- but I am not immune to the ritual of what doing something like that can offer-- a chance to stop, review, mark a time of transition, or stake a claim on some kind of life code that helps to keep us rooted in our core truth.
Cabbages are that symbol for me. The source is from an essay by Montaigne that I read as a sophomore in college. It hooked me then and has never left me as my touchstone philosophy. I'm too lazy to go find the passage and type it out here for you (plus I don't think I like the English translation, anyway) so I'll just give you my interpretation of what he wrote.
When Death comes for me, let it find me in my garden
planting cabbages. Equally indifferent to death
and, to the fate of my cabbages.
What this means for me is I am home. Home, in my self. The ego is no longer the wild child careening around the house, out of control and leaving wreckage in its wake. Or, from a more yogic perspective, there is no longer a searching "out there" for my happiness. Not gonna feel better by eating cake, having a cocktail, buying the perfect shoes/lipstick/t-shirt, etc.
Whatever "it" is that I think will give me love/bliss/comfort I have crossed over a threshold to a space where I know better.
I no longer clutch at people for support
I no longer cling to pleasure
I no longer depend on appreciation
I am satisfied in and by my self alone.
And so I plant cabbages, you know - metaphorically.
I live my life. I create as much physical beauty around me as I can. My radio channel is set to kindness. My day, my routines are as simple as possible. When I engage in creative projects the intention is clear: I do it for the process, the joy of the doing. All attachment to the outcome is down the street somewhere chatting it up with the neighbors -- nowhere in my space.
Sometimes the project succeeds, sometimes the project fails, always I am ready to meet Death with a smile, satisfied that in this day, in this moment, I was awake.
Alive. Fully conscious of the magic of this dream. Ever ever ever drenched in gratitude.
p.s. from my old friend Emerson: