Sweet Tangle of Spring
Hello dear ones,
Last weekend was a big sweet tangle of forces - Easter, Ramadan, Passover, Full Moon, plus the Planet Parade this week ushering in Earth Day! Can it get any juicier than that? Needless to say, I was sidelined from newslettering to you until all these Great Beings had cleared from the atmosphere somewhat.1 And it’s been cold outside. Brrr. Isn’t it supposed to be springtime? I’m cold in a thin jacket.
On Monday, when the long weekend was over, I asked myself, “Do I have anything for this week’s issue?” Yes, but I have to dig for it. They say one way is to stay quiet and still, then to go down, inside, down and deep. It is the old and ancient way. Patterned after the dolmen and the mounds. It is a cave teaching, a deep and old way to release the figures of the past DNA of our generative human source. These figures are brought back with us into the light, but only some of them. Others remain in the deep, tending their hearth-fires, keeping watch, holding our survival in their care.
I’m interested in retrieving encoded patterning that has always existed since Paleolithic times. The awakening of intuition is the beginning of this kind of research, then functioning in intuition is another stage. Yogis, Sufis, shamans, all practice this. It could be seen as our natural inheritance. We can do it and it’s time. The Diamond Sutra said that this is the last 500 year period and predicted that people born in these times would become Buddhas all.
Discovery always feels new but this is actually very old, a venerable grandmother, a wise old wrinkled sage with twinkling eyes. She points up with a gnarly finger to one of the origin stars: "You see?”
I’d put the parka back in the closet, then cold-weather came. April. I think about how my own “coat” has changed—like a bunny or hare, from winter white to what we think is the normal—summer brown. Nature’s camouflage is always in action, but there is the flash of exposure when changing coats. And always the risk that we should wait a bit, since the brown could be too visible against the snow. But spring can’t wait. Those changes come from the solar rays and their infinite geometries— not so much the minor back-and-forth of weather’s variations on a theme of spring. Exposure is part of it, powerful and necessary. The risk of spring, of being seen. Vulnerability and adaptation.
What a great bundle of energies!
Friends or fans or curious onlookers, family or strangers, people met at a conference 20 years ago, former students, acquaintances of acquaintances, all of you are in this nest of mine, a tumble of connections like an unravelled ball of string, an elaborate cat’s cradle, a 3-D dreamcatcher or a tangle of hair at the nape of the neck after days camping at the beach. All together, whether you know one another or not. The connection is like neurons, like a forest, or stars.
We humans are in touch with each other inter-dimensionally and by chaotic-seeming complexities, inchoate geometries - sometimes a straight line for a brief time but maybe never that. When genealogists see these synchronous constellations they tell long boring stories about a cousin of an uncle who came from the same village in Wales as the friend of a dog trainer back in World War I when a star was named after a dance invented by an American descendant of that same cousin’s great grandmother, who now lives next door to someone with her maiden name, coincidentally her daughter lives in that same village.
No linear connection, no easily visible hierarchy or pattern overlays this deep and rich action of life patterns perceived in emergent synchronicity. So we puzzle out the life-riddles and somehow it makes sense, for there is a response to every invocation.
This is a great research —to see the encoding patterns — and follow them holistically as they move and change through time. I think of this as a tumbling tumbleweed rolling along the plains. Tracing its path downwind as it wanders, I wonder if these aggregations are like the “heaps”, the skandas that the Buddhists describe?
Inside and outside me
Now I know the shift into spring happens. But what exactly is the line we cross into a new season, a new embodiment of the life force?
When does it happen? Leap over fire or over a ditch, a barrier. Something is left behind after leaping over the fire, after going through the door at the threshold of my own spring time, passing decades of spring times, years and years of renewals — marked and noticed but often not, just seen and noted later.
Wake up in the morning—what was the moment of sunrise? It happened while I was still sleeping. Did I miss it? Is my time waking up just now a moment within myself, my own sunrise?
"The force that through the green fuse drives the flower… drives my green age." Dylan Thomas said it. Poets sense this innate connection. They know we each find our own spring and leap over our ditch — it’s open, ready to hold our body when it is time. Until then, leap over the line of fire. Spring is come but at night we may feel it still enmeshed in the tangle of winter’s grasp. But that is just memory.
When this quarter of the circle comes in, it runs around and through us. We don't see it in a direct line, it is a dance, a dialogue. The line between winter and spring has been crossed with some of winter seeming to try to hold back the turning of the wheel. We understand this, we hold on ourselves as changes occur in the natural progress of life's passages. In fact the entire Being of Spring seems to be just this dialogue — blossoms in the cold sunshine through the blustering winds. We know that even so-called "unseasonal" snow storms are temporary – when the same storm in winter is a portent of more to come. Winter is surely gone, only its echo or reflection remains. It’s old news.
Let's not be confused by the presence of spring’s activating life energies, in ourselves and in the world around us. Today, Earth Day, people are connecting to the promise of spring. Does spring ever keep its promise? Not in the way we might expect. As spring progresses, ALL its promise always is eventually fulfilled. For it opens the doorway to summer.
Spring doesn't play by our small human rules, it is more beautiful than that. Spring is not a linear transactional promise: “if this then that”. Its direction is not logical but metaphysical. It dances its opening, awakening.
When looked for with too much expectation, spring will disappoint. A beautiful day seems to promise many more, but such a day is a singular being in its own right. Rainstorms are not broken promises. When wind-torn blossom branches fall to ground, another day still begins. It is all spring, part of it all.
I peeked through spring’s portal and glimpsed the coming of summer. Spring’s tendrils were waving and extending far along, as the wheel turns towards summer.
Blossoms brush my face as I pass through, as if I were in a car wash—wind, rain, blossoms, birds, storms, sun, the warm breath of the earth in the afternoon.
Yesterday I saw a nest in the middle of the road. It had blown down from a treetop in the windy night of the full moon.
Okay, so Spring was late, but it IS here. The daffodils on Salt Spring have had their day, and all the leaves are out and flourishing among the blossoms. For those of you in other parts of the world still weathering spring storms, here’s the great Bill Evans, with You Must Believe in Spring.
Personal Papers Update
Nothing firmly lined up yet for the location of the Insider Issues for May. There was a verbal invitation to locate at the "resonant interval "but a whole month there could fragment my publication schedule even more. There is a shoreline where it would be possible to enter the interval from time to time, so I'll make arrangements there if nothing more comes up. I’ll be leaving the Liminal Shamcher Institute at the end of this month, Stay tuned!
The upcoming issue for Paid Subscribers will feature a full summary report on the Liminal Shamcher Institute and next steps.
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Personal Papers schedule is still loosely flowing around the calendar weeks. Regular posts come to you most weeks, with a special Insider issue going out to paid subscribers as often as possible.
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Well, also I was working on preparing one of Shamcher’s memoirs, A Sufi Went to War, so it could be available before month’s end. It’s almost done! whew.