Six Lessons On...
Authenticity and the Pitfalls of ‘Rushing into Normality’
I: The Virtues & Dangers of ‘Cleaning’
You laugh as if in a warning
a giant telling a whole village to run
You laugh in confidence as if to signal-fire
your sleeping dragon's sweeping return
Sweeping... all images in this one word coming to mean
the need to go on cleaning away many things, but accepting none as they are
Swept off on the wings of dragon-ego,
and on the whims of a broom and dust bin attitude
"There are two types of cleaning" says the sage
"Cleaning for the sake of cleaning, and cleaning for the sake of cleansing.
Both are as equally useful and necessary as they can be malicious and idiotic."
“There is the form of cleaning all too often used to scold others,
and oneself, into quiet submission...
‘I don't like your scars, get rid of them’
or a more catching catch-phrase,
catching phrases like a cat catches a moth,
unwilling to sit and watch it fly"
‘All dirty things must go…'
‘All dirty things must go’ says the cleaner
looking at a wild forest, standing in its sovereign-mess
you immediately compare it to an unkempt room of an idiot wild child...
Is this how your settler parents treated your inner forest
when they tried to colonize your soul?
This is ‘cleaning’ of the worst kind”
“You think the rotten log from an ancient oak no sage
even though it speaks its wisdom through the beetles, the worms and the one spider that sits,
spinning web like a grandmother sits spinning yarn
There are such tales that are told every day, but you must sit and listen”
Old trees dying not from the vines that tangle down, but from their own age
they invite the vines to help them die
The fungi, like roving parades of white and brown umbrellas
come in question marks, peppering the floor with "would you please spare me?
Would you please not stomp on me? I have particles and nutrients to collect and
give to my neighbors."
Toxic flowers folding in and out, proudly declaring their beauty yet saying
"be careful not to pluck me for your stomach, or for your collection"
This is a whole community of odd attitudes, motives, and function
seeming separate but always intertwined somehow…
Follow the roots of pain and delight, joy and sorrow held deep within your own heart
follow them as if a mole digs a mile to find himself not more lost,
but more found in the oddest places
Poke your nose up from the dark and sniff the air, little darling velvet man
Is it ever so different as from where you were before?
Follow these inner tunnels
They lead to such places, the undiscovered country,
held deep in others
This rodent wisdom, clearing away the clutter enough so you can move, act and speak freely
This is cleaning of the best kind
There may be reeds growing where one's prize roses ought to be
You think them all uninvited and accosting the world of its hidden beauty
you'll find that it's hidden beauty you are unable to accept
not unable to see
Model your gardening, my dear, not on weed killer instinct
Cultivate yourself and others as if you were all gardens to be nurtured and regrown
Parts of you die as you become the seasons
Same parts are resurrected to be used, steamed, cooked and chewed again
II: Proper Growth, Patience & Learning from Sacred Slowness
Oh what were these exciting prospects, promised by those who would grant you
perfection, progress for the sake of progress?
How can one know the essence, the beauty of the process if they rush through it?
If it is true that time is relative, subjective and everchanging...
Is this not true for those who would use both rabbit and turtle time,
to measure different modes of growth?
The turtle "rushes on" in its own idea of speed according to its inner nature
it does not waste time measuring its worth to the rabbit or the rabbit's feet
or feeling worm-in-the-gut guilt for carrying its own house upon its back
The rabbit could be the wiser to calm itself and hop beside the turtle
And the turtle could mind its own journey, never admonishing the rabbit’s life of speed and agility
For if indeed the rabbit has a good reason to make a swift exit, let it be so,
its own rush-dust that it leaves behind may sting the turtle’s face
The turtle can shake this off, and keep trundling amongst the lettuce patch
“It is best, in so many ways and at so many times,” the sage says again,
“to converse and ‘take tea’ with those who may annoy or infuriate you
Oddly enough, you gain perspective by limiting yourself, or rather,
your sense of self
in small ways, modest ways, humble ways”
Yet in doing this dance, in being a shaman of gaining perspective and empathy
don't abandon your inner nature
in order to please others
And here the turtle and rabbit come back to mind…
If the turtle is clamped down on the rabbit’s backside, saying “don’t leave without me!”
Or indeed saying “where do you think you’re going?”,
the rabbit must shove off and run…
Yet equally foolish is the rabbit hastening to move the turtle faster
by dragging it in a net saying, “c’mon c’mon, pick yourself up, you stupid thing!”
Both suffer and resent each other…
Once again, if the rabbit is to be somewhere, and the turtle likewise
Each should part with present company, as two gentlemen part from having tea
The rabbit leaves without needing an excuse to race its companions
And the turtle leaves without expecting others of a faster nature to always slow down
III: Finishing Up A Cup of Wine, Making Sure it Isn’t Poison
All seems to be married in harmony until…
Suddenly, here pops up, with an ugly head, a reasoning lethargic
mean, unyielding, and somewhat toppling off itself
yet bearing and wielding a painful truth-sword in its claw
It says as what was said from many good-intention mouths before it,
“growth for the sake of growth is odious, a miscarriage of will. It is the same primal drive of an
unthinking, unyielding cancer cell!”
This is true…
And yet false…
Growth for the sake of growth, can be a process equally divine as that of the process of
going back to earth, going back to god
Growth for the sake of growth can be applied to the caterpillar that must, by all means, reason and
inner nature, free itself from its all too familiar cocoon
Sometimes a bed is a prison…sometimes a prison is a bed
Yet the caterpillar took its time to free itself…it took stock of the seasons, while taking stock of reasons
to grow and sleep, sleep and grow at its own pace…
Growth for the sake of growth, is not always the mindset of a growth
IV: Seedling Logic
“Here’s another proverb…” the sage might recite from one wiser than he;
“Such truths cannot always be picked or gathered, easily like nuts n fruit
So often such truths will plan to present themselves when we are distracted or asleep
Anticipating themselves as great trunks, they fall into our laps like excited seeds,
dropping from heaven, from the branches and canopy, of an unseen all knowing,
all embracing, mother tree”
Remember when you were a seed?
You had such dreams, wants and needs
But in the realm of being human,
every moment is you, reaping and sowing, watering and growing
yourself and your life like a seed
V: Truth Hiding Inside Itself
"Look! The truth lying in wait! Hurry, before you fall on your back again!"
What would the sages walking slowly up the mountain say?
“Bah! The truth is nowhere to be seen. Forget it all and just lie down for eternity.”
Again, what would the sages walking slowly up the mountain say?
Truth is such that you cannot always catch it or contain it
like you would think to catch or contain lightning
in a butterfly net
Because truth itself, in all its infinite glory, is messy and not always clear
It is hiding inside itself
It folds into itself like origami, it contradicts itself then compliments itself
like moss contradicts then compliments a rock
“I still grow here”, it says “even though I may be soft and wet, catching and holding rain and dew,
and while you sit in an ancient silence and roughness I cannot understand,
this is a dear companionship, and I am grateful to be here with you”
Truth also disguises itself among crowds of cackling crows…
only when they fly at the sound of your cries
do you realize…
truth is the crowd, and the sound of a crowd of cackling crows!
VI: The Wine Was Never Poisoned to Begin With
A wise man once said
"The road to hell is paved with good intentions"
And so, please let your intentions and motives be marked by wisdom
not mocked by it
Bless those who cannot always run or crawl as you might be able to
Honor those who speak in different tongues, expressions and inflections,
We are all visitors and guests wearing different masks, casting different shadows,
showing different reflections
Brace yourself for winds of arrogance or stench of indolence
Walk away from such things if they never seem to improve with you there
Sometimes the forest must sort out its own overgrowth with a cleansing fire
It will be reborn
like the way you are reborn in your own heart
When cleaning out nonsense to find truth
take time to walk in your own birthright to simply be
Continue to clean and cleanse with good intent
If the form is not out of love for another
or a wholesome, humbled self-appraisal
abandon the method and walk amongst the reeds again
For they will whisper truths to you
that you were unable to grasp before