I have fumed and been furious, written of hypocrisy and of the entitled. The despair brought by the suboptimal, the hollow men, the straw men, the men with their empty slogans. It has winded me, flattened me, the creative puff out of breath. No after midnight flits to the front room, until now, just stirring in bed, podcast plugged in. Even the butterflies seemed to have stayed away, kept their distance, instead the days of breezy wind, the unwelcome visitor. The porch has seen green fingers and I have been a happy onlooker as it has been re-wilded, the bombing of colour bringing bees, cape daisies, sparklers in the sun. Reds and pinks and other purples re-draw the mind, a reminder that the machinations that we read of become utterly unimportant. The fumes subside, the arrival at a brand new place: the delicious difference of the letting go rather than the moving on.
Today, I take instructions from butterflies that played around us under the trees. I spied purples and yellows, and insects climbing the breeze. The sunlight washed us golden and we just watched the delight and made wishes like you do cutting a birthday cake, as they gave us the sign of life, wilding our minds.
It’s Good Morning Britain and another Dawn Patrol. A not so bright, but so early that the stars are still up. It’s waking up to the world turned upside down and what can I say. At a loss for words about how to go on, except to try to do the same. Get up, dust ourselves off. Being brave does not mean you are not scared silly. I want to lie down and forget. Go to sleep. Wake me up when this is all over, I call out across the page but then, I’m no Sleeping Beauty. And life is not a fairy tale and we never know if there will be a happy ending. What I do know is that the sun is slowly but surely lighting the garden and the birds are singing out their morning prayers – they fret not, unlike me – and I remember again to make my mind my friend. I start with myself. May I be safe. May I be happy. May I be healthy. May I be at peace. Then I will turn to you.
I waited for the light and for the bird therapy. It was an owl who called first. Early morning delight. To-who, Tu-whit to-who. Peace passes all understanding. Stirred, not shaken with no surprise. Like just being there for me. The Jung of owls, going to something deep within me. Perhaps more than that. The Mary Oliver of birds. A pigeon cooed, – and we are far away from any statue, spoiling the moment – until I realised, pigeons are important too.
Like me, you must be bored with the time of three that chimes throughout. Perhaps I will drop the context and keep you guessing. Like the times in which we live. Keeping us guessing about what next. It’s the having a not know mind and easing into the skin of not knowing that wakes me up. But it is not a fretting and a hand wringing and a why is this happening. In these early hours, it is another dawn that, in fact, all the therapy, including the butterflies who sat me on the porch in yesterday’s warmth, that has brought me to an earlier awakening, a beginner’s mind. There is a PS, of course. This still needs work – so I wait. I wait for the birds where the coming light will bring a stirring.
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 the 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.
It’s just gone two and another pre-dawn raid on the mind has taken place. Wakey, wakey is a bit much at this time of the morning but, as you know, this comes as no surprise. It’s daybreak without the light. It’s the new eye opener which I ease into and allow my mind to travel to other forced morning patrols. This one is way better than some where the memory of many, a pain, lodged deep inside has startled me awake. I have travelled far since then and I realise now that I almost love the silence of the house – like the night before Christmas, but without the mice – which is almost a soundtrack, a meditation. The inner journey is the peacemaker, meeting the poet, crafting the solace. I turn towards the breath, the fire escape.
Interiors awaken to the stillness. Honey-light breathes in the place that now sings in a chorus of impossible beauty. Hooked, drawn line of thought, bent out of shape, squiggles and shakes in giggles of wonder at infinite possibilities. Water-coloured, cloud-sky, tree-lined bird-dots the shape of the green-shaped South Downs from the train’s window-smudge. Muddy white sheep-lined field-green ploughed-brown train-reverie, remembering a childhood song of far away places, photo-yellowing with age.
Originally written as four stanzas and entitled Interiors, I have returned to this in a different format and made some changes.
You must think me mad. Writing here in the dark before dawn. Your guess was correct. You’ve seen the pattern. That early calling, but this time, revealing nothing. Mind merges like the days. Months of Sundays. Only later will it come to me. Another reminder of a light, of insight, a loosening. Or is it a melting away. I can see the place at the top through the mist. Green foliage frames the picture. It’s the summit, and from there a widening of the lens of the valley through which we have travelled. Before then, ravines and traverses, a scaling, too, of sorts and along the path, a letting go. Meeting my edge where there is no escape.
Another meeting with an early morning muse and I woke up not entirely surprised that this is happening. The thought has been hanging around me for weeks. I have had it on the tip of my tongue – that I have been waiting for this. Like shit happens to people. Being out there with all the stuff of impermanence – as the Buddha said – and deep into it and then, when impermanence arrives, it’s not that much fun and no longer groovy. The theory of impermanence rides headlong into the practice. It’s like forcing me to come to the edge of what it all means. Leaning into it hurts like hell. The whole apple cart upset in an instant. And the apples just can’t be put back.