I am the butterfly

I was trying to explain this experience the other day and failed miserably – so I wrote it down.

I am the grass dancing in the breeze, the butterfly that came visiting in wings of technicolour. The warmth in the winter sun, the bare branch dreaming of April blossom. The suffering of the coming daffodils, the storm bending me out of shape, freed at last: here you no longer believe in who you think you are, where you no longer mark out where the cushion meets the sitting.


© 2022 Copyright Rick Frame

Inspired by Martin Aylward – Awake where you are: the art of embodied awareness

A country walk

Today, blue above everywhere. We went walking through the Sussex countryside. First the speed of the road felt by the whoosh of the cars passing. The noise an assault. Some minutes later, the launch through the muddied gate and the frosted field crunched under foot. The road was quickly forgotten. The first talk of national events.

‘At last,’ I said. ‘A public outrage. I have been waiting twenty eight months.’ On this one my friend, J, agreed.

We came to a cross path, took the wrong one, walked back on ourselves. Hardly a hardship in the brilliant sunshine. Into the woods, we had the time of day with some walkers with a two year old.

‘That’s a Peppa Pig beanie!’ the grandpa added, after I had complimented her on her wellies.


‘Oh, no,’ I thought. Even that to me had been sullied.

Back on the main road and the speedsters like bats out of hell, we beat a path through woodland, skirting a reservoir, sliding in the mud and scrub.

‘Did you walk on the veld?’ J asked.

‘I suppose we did but snakes were involved. It was tougher and the heat drained us.’

I was trying to remember what it had been like. It was ancient history.

‘We walked in the Matobo hills and did some rock climbing.’ It sounded more adventurous than it was.

Back in the mud, J waded through looking for a way around the fence. The far hill was our destination. From there we could walk down through the village of Catsfield and regroup at the pub for a coffee.

‘My shoe has got stuck!’ J warned, with his foot now exposed and a half capsized shoe listing.

Mindful of my previous personal experience with mud, I gingerly picked my way through to retrieve it for him.

Soon we walked along the barbed wire fence, until some trees had made a path for us to hop over and, at last, we were out of the woods with only a hip hill to saddle.


© 2022 Copyright Rick Frame

Diary 20 May 2020

This is my entry of the 20th May 2020.

I can safely say that this is becoming a diary of mornings. An aide de memoir of looking back. I had made my way through the early hours quite asleep, and only woke after light arrived from the east, just after four, the cheerleader for the early sun. As usual, a plugged in podcast put the world to rights, sending some politicians packing for a while. What a shower. Emerging then into the morning, a good old brew, the porch was a highway of song, bird-flap, early bird-bathers splashing, sweet tunes from trees, playing the greatest hits. Early morning sun worshippers enjoying the honeyed light, they are the agony aunts dispensing wisdom, the wild bird-cast, breathing in me wildness, another kind of light.


© 2022 Copyright Rick Frame

Unfolding

An invitation to come home. Leave behind what went before. You may well ask. It was the fixed stories, the dead ends. Nothing ever changed in the story line. A child’s memory frozen – and not like a favourite fairy tale. Too much feeling, shame, separateness had wrapped itself around it. Yes, I often wondered why it returned over and over agin. Was there something sinister, deep-seated, inexplicable? Was it part of a neurosis that developed into a drama that was never there in the first place? I suspect it was that which you suggested in the invitation. Here I sit. I will strip away everything. Journey to the interior. Sense and breathe. Listen. Lighten up. Befriend it all.


© 2022 Copyright Rick Frame

This is a kind of meditation. Dropping into my body. Looking for the tension. The conditioning. Relaxing into it and playfully consider the drama that unfolds and then let go.

Without this

Arriving here where it is the totality of being neither
in the past or the future. Open to things as they
arise and fall. Without taking a position.
Not defining or giving words to experience.
Nothing fixed. Trusting the entirety
without judgement, with nothing extra to add.
No thoughts. Just the scan of the breath
of senses – the softness, the coolness,
the hardness, the jumpiness, the calmness –
without greed and aversion, without delusion.
A kind of creation of our lives
where we cease to act out our habituated patterns.
The release, allowing the flow
like a river, not holding it back, not pushing,
only awakening. Without this
we are swept along.


© 2022 Copyright Rick Frame

Making room

Continuation of a piece from yesterday.


Writing this opened up space. To allow the good stuff and the bad stuff. There is room for both. It is more complicated than I had said earlier. Seemed so clear yesterday that I did not love him. Of course, writing that was harder afterwards. Made me realise too that he was most probably dealing with his own shit. It has hung around a lot since you saw it in words. Wondering what you thought – it does not matter. All of this bugged me once like being on an ocean seasick. There is of course the aftermath and I live with that now and I can feel grateful for the life he gave me and the times I think he loved me. I think I was just a disappointment. Didn’t come up to his standard of success and I loathed what that meant. Irritated him with my long hair and lying on my bed propped up by a pillow reading endlessly. And Mom would say, ‘He’s alright.’ Ever the peace maker and I was lucky I had the love of a godfather who also propped me up.


© 2021 Copyright Rick Frame

Only silence

It’s only when you have been through it. You realise that you never loved your father. That there was fear. That there was guilt checking to see if the sleep was the brandy or death. That there was other guilt when he was absent and life had an easier feel and freedom about it. You know when blood is not even thicker than water. Boiled down to not feeling anything. Yet – mixed up missing him. I have spent too much time wondering how it had come to this. That it is a quarter of a century since his passing and still I feel nothing and have no answers. What was it he had done to take me to this place? What was it that I had done? Only silence remains like the times he would barely greet me as I stumbled after rugby into the passenger’s seat.


© 2021 Copyright Rick Frame

 

More than nothing

The siren call to direct experience,
to drop thoughts, the way to manage
the boxed in mind.

Finding out is like music beyond the instrument.

How we love our specialness –
the promises, the fantasies –
The next exciting thing.
The insulation, forgetting to put
value on living, then the dog comes up
and licks you.

Here sitting, feeling all the juicy messiness,
the goodness, the beauty, even the mystery.
The mastery is never complete.

Thoughts are just guests,
the intoxicants, the lostness,
the tin pot dictators
like the Past and the Future tangled.

You are bigger than these stories.
Be the experience of the breath in the body, even
the aches and pains, daring to not to know,
to clear out where thoughts are
little more than nothing.


© 2021 Copyright Rick Frame

Remains

It’s been awhile. Like most of my ancient life.
I never thought of a space between, beyond.
I wish I had captured this pre-history in words.
Without curiosity to venture elsewhere
to experiences, senses. The release finally
you are not confined to your head.

I can now inhabit the breathing bloodstream
beneath the skin, below the brain; feel the pressure
points, the tension, know when I am
lost in thought and find the remains of my body.


© 2021 Copyright Rick Frame

Profound love

I think grief is the embrace that we no longer get to share. I think grief is the thanks that we can no longer express in person. I think grief is the love that has to find a place to go, now that the person we’re grieving is no longer here. And I know that my grief and the grief that so many other people are experiencing in the world right now, it cuts as deep as it does because the love is as profound as it is.

Jeff Chu, in conversation with Krista Tippett..