Monday, February 10, 2014

There's only one thing that you gotta remember

"There's only one thing that you gotta remember
/Every thing in this world is either a brother or sister ..."

Nests in winter in a town near-by
I'm reading a book by Charles De Lint Someplace to be flying. The tickle line/title for this post that prompts the morning of writing  is from De Lint's song Cherokee Girl. Both his book set in an imaginary town much like urban Ontario where De Lint lives and the song written in Tuscan for his friend and mythic writer-editor-artist Terri Windling were probably written around the same time, late 1990's. De Lint is a Canadian writer and musician, someone I discovered while Pete and I lived in my family homestead on O'ahu. It was his book The Forest of the Heart that tapped into my internal stream bed of creativity sniffing out a different form of expression. De Lint is a writer of modern myth and timeless connections with every thing in this world being either a brother or sister. At the time I began reading The Forest of the Heart I needed to make peace with my wandering nature and the forms of expression that I figured were not-right. It would take me more living to discover this possibility "wonder, but not worry."(another expression from one of De Lint's characters).

De Lint's characters often include the world of crows, familiarity with Cody (coyote) and expressions of Raven. His work is described as "urban fantasy", I wonder about the tag for his characters' world feeds my growing everyday life with the bird people and the Nature of things. We live with the forest and sleep in a curved room with windows that allow wind and moon and the moving roots to push at the borders of memory. Raven wakes us daily and I holler back at him to let him know, "I hear."

The rats eat out of the feed bowls down in the chicken yard. In the snowy yesterday the chickens refused to walk through the color white stuff, perched on the boards of the compost. My son and I watched, talked with the birds and the rats wore the well-run path from the old coop to the bowl. One of them, one of the rats, truly 'ratty' with patches of hair missing. In a story I have told the rat, "i'ole" is a much maligned creature. But in that same tale it is the rat that finds the horde of food cached in a net dangling in the sky. Secured from the reach of every thing of this world except for the greedy patriarch, the net held every thing there was to eat. Only the rat, much maligned but committed to feeding his starving family made his way in collaboration with the coconut tree, the wind, a cloud and a rainbow. His sharp claw tore a hole in the dangling net, and his long and agile tail allowed him to cling as all the stores of food fell to the starving every body below.

In the civilian world the rat and the Raven don't sit at the table. But there is that internal stream bed that has room for every body. Sometimes I find my way there. It may take a lifetime to sort through the jumble and the trinkets of living in harmony with every time, every body and every thing. Maybe several lifetimes. The clues for what is important come in all sorts of places, and the cycles turn up again if one is awake and aware of the patterns: some things change, but some things stay the same.

E kuhikuhi pono i na au iki a me na au nui o ka 'ike.
Instruct well in the little and the large currents of knowledge
In teaching, do it well; the small details are as important as the large ones.
-'Olelo No'eau

Beach walking 1973

Beach walking 2014

No comments:

Post a Comment

Speak from the heart