Saturday, June 27, 2009

Dissolution and Augmentation

The caterpillar shakes in time lapse like one possessed. It shrugs off its skin, like an overcoat, wads it up and sets it aside. You’d think you would be able to see it now, the real thing, the caterpillar naked, shorn of ornament and true, but underneath the mask of colored bands lies armor. We can never see the transformation itself: the rearrangement of cells, the shifting of body parts, the dissolution.

Inside the chrysalis, nothing has a name, but then, before the conscious idea of a form even emerges, the goo inside the armor aligns itself, the unnamed and unnameable cells have been shunted into a pattern and suddenly there is a body. The wings are carefully folded in on themselves, like a parachute ready for use, except that no one has folded them. Instead the cells have just arrived in their places to tell a story.

Once upon a time there were wings. We don’t even know what they look like yet, but we are becoming these wings.

The story breathes and the cells remember. And in remembering, they discover what wings are. The breath of capillary action moves through the wings and they become what they always were, what they were even when the caterpillar was scrunching along eating leaves. It could feel their presence, on another plane, waiting, whispering their story. As the imago emerges from its armor, the cells remember and slowly tell the story of wings.

What story do your cells remember?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Food Meditation 1: Fresh Fruit

Find some really fresh fruit, something you love, maybe berries or watermelon or an apple. Find a fruit that just thinking about that fruit makes you a bit happier. Find the freshest one you can. If you can find a tree or a bush that is okay for this, pick the fruit yourself. Or go to a farmer’s market and get something picked that morning. Or it can be the day before; really you just want fruit that hasn’t sat around forever.

Have the fruit ready to eat the way you want to eat it. I once demanded to eat my banana "like a monkey" when my grandmother tried to slice it up and put it on a plate. But if you picked watermelon, you will probably want to slice it up. And make sure pets can’t get to it (I knew a dog once who loved grapes.) When you've got your fruit ready, go to a place where you can relax comfortably for a while without being disturbed, someplace peaceful. Hammocks are good, but it can be a yoga mat or lazyboy chair, whatever.

Get into a meditative space, breathe deeply, ground, do whatever brings you into awareness of your body. And just get a felt sense of your body. You don’t have to put names to whatever you’re feeling, but if words come, note them and let them go.

When you are ready, eat the fruit. Notice the taste, the texture. Feel yourself chew and swallow. Enjoy every moment.

When you are done, take a moment to notice how your body feels now. Allow all parts of your consciousness to notice the difference. Again, you don’t have to put words to anything, but if they come, notice the words and let them go. For the next while, however long that may be, just lie there and pay attention to your felt sense of your body.

You can fall asleep if you want, especially if you are in a hammock and the afternoon sun is filtering through the tree leaves. If you aren’t in a hammock, feel free to imagine that you are.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

At The Campfire

[Click to see all installments of the Legend of Fowl Feng .]

“I am the Wisdom of the Ages, the companion of Adam before she was Adam,” said the small child with her chin lifted just a bit and her voice solemn, then she broke out in a smile and said, “But you can call me Sophie.”

The girl turned to the man next to her.

The man's skin was as red as a ruby, and his eyes were small and black. “Oh, are we giving out our names now? Shouldn’t we wear nametags? ‘Hello, my name is…’ and that sorta thing?”

He said this smiling, but he was looking right at Sophie and leaning toward her in such a way that Fowl Feng bared his teeth and growled, “I wouldn’t be saying that kind of thing what with you looking like a boiled lobster and me being rather hungry!”

From the other side of the campfire, the pelican shook its feathers and replied, “Don’t let him get under your skin Feng. It’s just his way. He’ll argue to the death but he wouldn’t actually fight.”

“Oh, I may just come over there and teach you otherwise!” said the red-skinned man.

“Of course you may,” said the Pelican, and turned to Feng, “You may call him Rubeus. And I am Hydra, the Augmenting Mother.”

“Nice to meet you all, I’m sure,” said Feng, and then because Rubeus was smirking at him, he swallowed his fear, tilted his chin up, and added, “And who are you, big guy?” to the hooded figure.

“Hmmm,” rumbled the figure.

Something moved a few yards behind the voice and then Feng made out more motion above. He shivered as he realized it was all the same giant form rising up into the sky just beyond the light of the fire. Feng was suddenly filled with a burning need to stammer an apology, but stopped as a face loomed out of shadow. The long snout was dead white, the eyes above looked blind with pearly light, and over them two gilded horns curved gracefully.

“Yeah, he’s a big freakin’ dragon,” laughed Rubeus.

The dragon turned to Rubeus and snorted, whipping the red man's clothes about his burly body for an instant.

“Hey, it was a joke!” yelled Rubeus.

“I’m laughing on the inside,” said the dragon. He turned to Fowl Feng. “You may call me Chalydrus.”

Fowl Feng hesitated then dipped his head, not sure what to say. He had a sudden image of himself, racing across a plain, the sky above blackened with the shadow of giant wings. He shook his head and forced his hackles down, refusing to look afraid.

Introductions over, the dragon turned to Sophie and said, “Child, now that we are all here, tell us why we have come.”

Friday, June 5, 2009