Monday, November 11, 2013

On Woodenfrog Beach

Painting by Milton Avery, I hold no copyrights to this image (fair use)


The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.
John Muir

This is poetry, life, summertime in the northern woods. A ride from the marina, through the woods, without traffic, on a two-lane highway with sparse traffic signs, along the well maintained side roads.  Soon, my body prone on the sandy lakeside beyond the deserted campground. The end of summer, the last chance for northern pike and trout, at least for my father-in-law and his daughter, my wife.  While they fish, I sit here, watching the dark ribbons of the brown-green waves sloshing gently just below my feet.  A passing afternoon, with long shadows of pine trees not long enough to shade over the patch of sand on this beach where I shall while away couple of hours.  

Leaning on my elbow,  the saffron colored towel beneath me, at the water’s edge, the beach all to myself, I soon grow bored. Out of the knapsack I take my paperback. A thick, well-thumbed paperback.  D.H. Lawrence.  As is the case with his writing: intense, insightful, almost too intense, always lacerating.  At once, fully immersed, I forget about the lake and the beach and the northern woods. I am in Mexico fighting these occult, ominous agitators of the ancient human-sacrificial Demons. Who better to tackle them than dear old Lorenzo?  When a book is alive, when the writer is capable of breathing organic wonders into it, the book too becomes a living organism, almost as alive as a trout that just jumped out of water, with the quicksilver quality of  that red-tail squirrel peeking at you from the embankment. Even a hawk now gliding over the top of the scraggly, barren islet in the lake, so full full of life. 

   Life is good. Your brain, like a hot turbine, gets too hot, so the cooling mechanism kicks in and you have to take those few steps for a lovely little dip, letting the left side of the brain ruminate what it might, letting the body do its own and again, this I is not you, nor is it 'always' you, nor is that 'you' your true I.  Who are you? Who are we? They so drone lately of Oneness and Non-duality and Love. Ah, 'love', how stale and boring thou art.  (I am sure Lawrence would love to hear this).  And yet gods, many gods, some ominous, a few benign, a few like the guardian angels perhaps, and all of it happening in a flash, stepping in the cool lake water, the slow drift of fluffy clouds following their beautiful non-mathematical trajectories, lovely in their leisurely slowness.

 In the vast forest of your no-mind, the neurons run rampant until with closed eyes, you surrender to the cool lake.  Swimming along the beach in short, unambitious breaststrokes, hear the car pulling in the parking lot beyond the embankment. Tensing.  Please, god, let's not be disturbed.  Nothing happens. The vehicle pulls out again.  A swift breeze giving just a hint of what is to come here. Even in mid-September the nights will get cool. Your skin, soft and tender, knows it, pleading, grateful, saluting the goddess of summer, please, Summer Goddess,let the global warming commence!  But, when, when, when?  It's always cold and colder and still colder despite the hysteria surrounding the crazy myth of global warming...

The Serpent awaits, uncoils in your dried hands, the energy of the Kundalini. How Lawrence would have despised it. And sneered at it. He could not abide by (your) Buddhism, by its nihilist essence.  The hawk still is hovering over the treetop, as if unable to decide where to swoop when the knapsack starts beeping. Hello? Yes, OK.  The fishing party 'be back by five'.  OK, Lawrence, couple of more pages, and we have to hit the road...

Goodbye then, Woodenfrog, you mutter, brushing the sand off your 43 ½ tan sandals. They've been a good travel companion so far.  Back on the back road, in and out of the woods, the sleek olive Subaru gliding smoothly, cutting the esses and curves of the road.  Your heart is a quivering hummingbird. Happiness. 

This is poetry, life, summertime. Willie Nelson on the radio. 'On the Road Again'. Rich scented conifers. Left elbow on the open window, the shadows of trees lengthening, getting darker. Driving without hurry. The hawk, the trout, the serpent. You are in everything, and everything is in you. They you is not yours.  No mind, no body. Everything. Everybody. Everywhere.


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Boris Gregoric