A Crown of Rowans for St. Brigid’s Feast Day

Today, I praise the rowan tree. This is her season, as ice breaks to the season of water and birds.

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Rowans with Elf Stone, Eyjafjörðursveit, Ísland

She’s a tree, yes, but look how she wants to lie on the ground. None of the towering heights for her.P1350817

Rowan, Skriðuklaustur, Ísland

And when the light comes, ah, then she is a torch.

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 Good Friday Rowan, Valpjofstaður, Ísland

The Rowan is sacred to Brigid, Saint of Holy Ireland, and to Bride (or Brigid), who came before her (and was no saint), and to Mary, Mother of Christ, and to Thor, god of lightning and thunder. The gender crossover is no big thing. Don’t give it a second’s thought. There was a time on earth when all things that signified the earth’s power most strongly were considered hermaphroditic, neither male nor female, and, after all, don’t humans, who come in several genders, tend to unite and make unions that are neither but are one?

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Male and Female Fruit From a Hermaphroditic Pacific Mountain Ash

Wells, British Columbia

Unlike those sly sumacs and gingkos, a rowan has neither male nor female trees.She knows where she is. Look at her, earth tree, reaching up for the spring moon, with her feet planted firmly on the ground.

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Skjaldarvik, Ísland

Wherever a rowan is found, it signifies the presence of her deities, who might have many names but are also one.

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Thor, Brigid, Bride

For all of you who are of an empirical bent, don’t worry. Gods are just names for powers of the earth. The powers are present, even without the names, although perhaps not yet empirically defined. It’s just a kind of short hand. For those of you who follow the stories of the gods and goddesses, you know what I don’t have to say.

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 Rowan in the Birthplace of the Gods, Ásbyrgi, Ísland

Much of (nearly treeless) Iceland was one treed like this: a few rowans, and a lot of willows and birches. Then people got cold. 

There’s more to the story of the rowan than is written down in history books, but not more than meets the eye. A lot of it has to do with environmental sustainability. A lot of it has to do with her name: in English, rowan, for red; in German, Eberasche, or red ash, or, more precisely, “red spear”. More on the spears in a sec. First, here she is, surprising us and all.

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 Pacific Mountain Ash, Quesnel Forks, British Columbia

Mountain Ash, Rowan, Eberesche, Bird Berry, Thrush Berry, Sorbier, well, you get the idea: a rose all dressed up.

She is glorious in summer, but look at her in her winter time, just last week…

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Rowan has a profound story. Don’t look for it on Google, though. This is one you have to learn from the birds.

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 Yes, Today the Cedar Waxwings Have Come Back Home to the Rowans! Yay!

The story of rowans is a story of sacrifice, androgyny, magic, Christianity, nationalism, survival, life and hope — always hope. It is also one of the oldest stories of all. It begins with a Himalayan god of the air, Thor. He’s known today as a Nordic god, from Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Germany at the north of the world, but he started out far to the east and south, and migrated with his believers across the continent. Thor has a hammer, that’s sometimes an axe, and, as you can see below, blood spatter, a phallic spear, and a weird right hand, and, yes, he’s been repainted with good old-fashioned wheelbarrow paint. Hällristningar_Lilla_Flyhov-1

Thor at Lilla Flyhov, Sweden (c. 1000 – 1500 BC) Source

That blood spatter? Well, look:

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Rowan Berries in the Snow

They don’t call these bird berries for nothing!

That weird right hand? Here:

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Rowan Berry Cluster After the Feast

And that axe? Well, Thor, remember, is a thunder god, from a time when thunder and lightning were the same thing. This is where he lives:

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Dragon Tales in the Sky

People used to be able to read this language. It was a kind of writing not in words.

Thor used the axe to split that sky apart, so that out of its unity came lightning (on the one hand) and thunder (on the other). That is the moment in which consciousness is born. Into this air, that is all one (and out of which thunder and lightning come)…

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… a spear …

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Rowans Were Traditionally Used to Make Spear Shafts

… is thrust. It’s a curious kind of spear…

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You wouldn’t want to thrust something like that at a wild boar or something. I mean, how pointless (literally). Sure, if you’re thinking of weapons being physical things, with pointy sharp bits, ya, but weapons are also extensions of the mind, and for Thor, and people who believe in him, this is mind, given body in the world…

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You might want to have that magic and balance on your side when you go out to stick a wild pig that’s intent on sticking you (especially if you have the other kind of spear from the other, straighter, kind of ash (spear) tree. The darned things grow in thickets, ready made. You just need an axe to cut one from the ground and you have a weapon that extends your range and does your will at a safe distance from your body. A rowan spear, though? It’s both the thrust and the moment of reception, which is to say that it is a kind of symbolism or visioning, which practitioners call magic. Look how the boar’s blood and the spear are both present at once, and how the weight of the blood lowers the spear.

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The tree is the embodiment of action. The mountain ash doesn’t make a great spear, but it certainly is a great way of focussing mind and body on the act of spearing.

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There is, however, another angle to this story (as there always is in the world of indigenous thought and the language that speaks it best, poetry.) The red blood is the blood of a victim, the blood of a virgin, menstrual blood, and both life and death in one. Thor of Lilla Flyhov said it perhaps as simply as it needs to be said: the spear and a phallus are one. It thrusts upward, pierces the belly of the sky, and rains bloodwild10

 

 

Wells, British Columbia

Sacrifice and birth, male and female, action and reaction, in one representation: this is Thor’s presence, the concept of creating action out of stillness and seeing in stillness the potential for action. It is consciousness, for sure, but it’s also the body. Look again at that weird right hand. rowan

It’s a placenta.rowant The tree has many of them. It bursts out into them all over. P1620927The rowan is drenched in the blood of life and death. It is Bride and Groom, or Thor, in one. He cleaves unity to bring it together in a different form. This is the ladder one climbs to the stars.P1620928I hope those of you reading this post for science aren’t scratching your heads at all this poetry and wondering when the science is coming. It’s coming. It’s just that this poetry thing, well, that was science once. I don’t mean bad science, full of childish explanations of the root of physical processes, the ones that science has done such an amazing job of parsing, or cutting part, after Thor. I mean, poetry’s way of finding correlations and moments of doubling, uniting seeming opposites or creating them out of thin air, applied to the world, is a powerful tool for understanding it and for manipulating it — not through manipulating its physical stuff, as contemporary applied science does, but through manipulating the minds of the people acting and living within it, and changing the earth through that energy. I know so many scientists with such deep concern for the earth, all looking for a way to bring their message across and effect meaningful change. Poetry, written out of the earth and with the language of the earth and human bodies, has always been able to do that. The other kind of poetry, the one written with words on a page, can do it among people highly trained to cast their selves within books and to bring back, so to speak, the fish of thought, but it’s not completely the same thing, and might just be the reaction to a passing technology. The thing about these sky gods, though, like Thor, is that they are embodiments of a central knot within hunting, butchering, and its ritual form, sacrifice: the act of killing in order to bring life. Thor’s not the only one. Christ stands in this tradition. The god Mithras, who also came from the East, and whose cult very nearly won Rome over in place of Christianity, was one. With his dagger, he slayed the sacred bull and created the universe. We are sprung from the drops of the bull’s blood.

P1620826And, like Thor, he had an axe (and a dagger, which is kind of a short spear, but does the trick.)

Mithrasrelief-NeuenheimMithras Killing and Creating

Relief from Heidelberg-Neuenheim, Germany, 2nd Century AD Sourcerowan8These placentas, though. That’s where Bride comes in, the Goddess. If the spear is androgynous, and holds in time both the fertilizing thrust of a phallus and the blood quickening in a placenta, then this is as much the goddess’s tree as the god’s. It has that power of transporting one from one state to another, like the Roman god Janus, who was a doorway, that went both ways equally and transported you from one state to another every time you passed through him (and who, dear scientists, wasn’t a god in a simplistic sense but a way of remembering that cognitive power, and focussing it, for what could come from its development), and, more than Janus, of being both states, male and female, killer and victim, at once. rowan1It is also, as you can see, drawn to the sky, and bowed down to the earth as a consequence of this grasping, which always ends in feminine fruitfulness. That is a good lesson. Another is how this tree’s lightning bolt shape …P1620839…ends in a flowing (quite the different thing), which is a hand, that has the capability of grasping. P1620843

 What does it grasp? The easy answer would be that the early church, needing to gain converts from celtic practitioners (the Celts, too, came from the East), simply replaced Bride (or Brigid) the goddess with Brigid, the Saint of Kildare.

329px-Saint_Non's_Chapel_-_Fenster_3_St-1.Bride

Brigid, Saint of Kildare Source

St. Non’s Chapel, St. Davids, Wales 

The better answer would be that the Christian shepherd’s staff, and the rowan were recognized as one …

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The crook is there, with Christ’s blood, at the intersection of Earth and Heaven, life and death, and Christ cleaves them with his presence and the axe of his love, so to speak. This is no distance at all. The movement to Christianity wasn’t a conversion but an enlightenment, like the scientific Enlightenment of the 17th and 18th centuries, a kind of purification, extension, or manifestation of what was already known.

 

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For this reason as well, rowans were considered an effective charm against witches — not against practitioners of the old arts, but against practitioners who hadn’t moved over to the new understandings of them, finding flower and fruit in the Christian story.

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Rowan, Hólar, Ísland

I’ve shown you all these images of Iceland for a reason here, beyond my love of rowans and the beauty of the place. In Iceland, where the trees were all eaten and grazed away, independence from centuries of exploitation and misery under a regime of Danish traders came about through poetry, and the replanting of lost birches and rowans in Iceland. The attempt was to make the country a poem again, to rebuild, so to speak, the first moment of settlement, and reclaim that creative potential and independence. It worked, or at least it helped. Today, Reykjavik is still rich with these nationalist trees …

ice6 … that are kind of in the way, but no-one wants to cut down such magic.ice5

They might try, but they just can’t go through with it. The trees have that much of a hold.

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Reykjavik

The churchyards are rich with rowans, too. They signify not only the transfer of energy from pagan to Christian understandings of Thor’s axe and Christ’s Word …

800px-Mårten_Eskil_Winge_-_Tor's_Fight_with_the_Giants_-_Google_Art_Project

 

 

Mårten Eskil Winge’s Thor (1872) Source

Note that cross that Thor is wielding there, the clever lad.

… but the balance struck between them …

ice12

 

Icelandic Stallion Grazing on an Elf Hill Under a Nationalist Agricultural School Churchyard Rowan (Laugar, Ísland)

In Iceland, you throw nothing away, because it is all alive in time. That is the balance, too. 

The result is a way of being in balance in the world we live in and the world to come.

 

 

p1550060The Rowans of the Reykjavik Graveyard

Graveyards aren’t for the dead. They’re for the living. They focus the mind and so change the world. Every rowan does that …

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… not just to those who know its stories, but to all who know how to read its language in the wild. By bringing that into our social structures, we become the world. We become changed, and the world we imagine becomes changed in turn, and so it comes to pass by the action of our hands. The ancients knew this, and worked hard to protect these relationships. For young men, Thor’s axe might have been there to gain advantage by cutting through the wisdom of the world and recreating it as action, but there were large social structures to guide that strength into productive and ultimately feminine forms.

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In historical terms, it means that in the lands of the rowan, the Christian staff can be a magical one at the same time, with no contradiction. The rowan’s staff, or bloody spear, has led to such concrete social acts as the creation of states, science, and female power.

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I hope you will find a rowan on Brigid’s Day and find your balance by being in its presence —for personal development, if you need that, for spiritual purposes, certainly, and for social development and renewal of the principles embodied in this tree and in the powerful, earth-altering symbolic life to which it has been dedicated.

In Praise of Wetlands

These are the people …

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This is the time when the water rises.

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It is the time when seed descends.

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It is the time when rushes draw water from the cold…band

… because they once grew high in the sun …

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… and did not let it go…

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…(until now). Today, the sun they’ve held through the cold…

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… is turning the cold to water…

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… and the sun is being drawn into it ….P1620716 … deeply into it …P1620710… while the sedges have begun new growth …

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… as their old leaves empty themselves of light between the rushes …

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… and begin to fill the water …

P1620605… draining themselves of light …P1620630 … and quickening the water into life.

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The water lives.
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It quickens, multiplies …

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… and becomes a world of spirit, making the old world new. It doubles it…P1620657

… , so it can replicate it.  This is the Way of Life. So, too, for the marsh grasses. The sun they kept for a year pours into the water in this season …P1620698

… and is born again, under the water, as new grass. It is not yet time for this life to be birthed into the air. P1620694

That time will come soon enough. For now, though, life has come.P1620636

It is never still. How could it be? It is life!

P1620628 It is always moving. This is the Way of spirit, that has held for all of human history except for the age when men and women replaced themselves with machines and machine codes. It is not a science, but it does have rigour, as great as that of any science.P1620627The life in the water is the shapes of the rushes, sedges and grasses, tall in the wind, and stirred by the wind, as it twirls the stalks, and gravity as it draws the water onward …P1620625 … and stirs it. P1620624 If you go out to meet this life …P1620622 … I hope you will set aside for a moment the good science you have been taught about the sun, and seasons, water and biological life (Although it is a beautiful thing, it is not the story we know in our bodies. It is not wisdom.) What you find may be simple, like this … the things of the earth are still….P1620614 … but the water is alive and quick.P1620611It will quicken you with wisdom, understanding, and new life (what science and the romance of the self call creativity), if you just live in your body for a moment, like the new shoots of grass among the old leaves …
P1620610 … woven with water and light …P1620608

… and being drawn, even now, into the sky (which is the breath of their ancestors) by the sun.

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(Bulrush) 

You, and the way you live, are art. And art is life. Now it is the time of quickening, but look at what will soon come, or, at least, it did last March 6, among the thulies (bulrushes) in Priest Valley, below my house.

P1160247 Bulrush tea.

P1160300 Add dissolving ice, then rain.

P1160307 Add sun.

P1160332 Perfect!

P1160325Let us praise.

 

Two Ways to Turn Winter Into Summer

1. Pines, Sun and Water

Look how this ponderosa pine’s needles are designed to radiate heat. This helps for cooling in the summer. In the winter, the design helps the tree to collect water from the air in the cold of the night, and then release it in the warmth of the day (when the fine needles are unable to retain cold, fill with sun, melt frost and drop it to the tree’s base instead of allowing it to blow on by.) Just because there’s snow doesn’t mean it’s not still a desert!

pine

 

2. Sage, Sun and Water

Look how the sage does it! It melts its way out of the snow. Here’s how it starts …

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Look what happens a few days later, from this small beginning, deer tracks and all:

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See how the sage has made a sphere of heat around itself and melted the snow as if it were on flame? No? Here’s a better image, perhaps:

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Any snow that melts within the sage’s sphere of heat (a re-formed sun, after it has been transported by photons across cold space) goes to the community of mosses that cover the soil…

microbial

…which provide a lung-like interface between soil and air. After that, the water passes on to the roots of the sage itself. The sage melts snow, in other words, to take a breath. This is not a conscious action, but it happens just the same.

Beautiful!

 

When Horses Walk the Earth (A Winter Prayer)

Let us praise giant rye grass…tallgrass2 … that grows as tall as a horse …tall-grass

 

… and let us praise its dark seed …

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… and the fog that blows through it …

P1620261 … and weaves it with the light …P1620260 … and the light that blows through it …P1620259 … and weaves it with the fog.P1620258 Let us praise the snow that brings giant rye grass down to earth as it falls …P1620257 … and the giant rye grass that weaves the snow with the sun ….P1620256 … and neither rises nor falls …P1620255 … but lives …P1620254

 

… sometimes taller than the sun …

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… and sometimes collecting it on its dark seeds …

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… so it can rise in summer, when horses walk the earth.

 

Air: The Primary Human Habitat

Our earth is not just a glob of rocks …

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spinning around the sun, and not just vast seas of water sloshing around at the pull of the moon …

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… but is also an air. Like the ocean coast…

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Heron at Willow Point, looking East. That’s Quadra Island to the left.

… the air has a shore.

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We are intertidal creatures on this shore, like these fellows at Willow Point …

seastar and blob

It’s not just us. The sagebrush, bunchgrass, trees and weeds here…

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… are also intertidal creatures on this shore, reacting to pressures of light, air, wind, atmospheric water, and heat (and to human reactions to them.) It’s easy to think that those are all instantaneous pressure effects, but I don’t know. Look at this snow:

 

P1610800It fell all at once, flat as could be, but it’s melting now, according to patterns, waves shall we say, of wind, and how that has driven the snow, partly in reaction to energies of air and ice crystals, but also to minute edge patterns of heat…

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… and in reaction to the forms of the bunchgrass below the snow, which shapes the snow as much as the wind does, and both through this shaping and through the heat tubes of its stalks, shapes the way in which the sun is drawn into it.stalksnow

 

And not just that! Here’s the snow itself…

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Every grain of snow repeats these effects of sun and shadow, acting in concert, along the vectors of the wind and the other vectors of the hidden grass, to create waves and rivers of focussed light.

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Snow is time. Here’s an image of the snow above once the patterns of melting have been integrated into the patterns of the grass itself.

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And wouldn’t you know it: grasses, too, are creatures of the wind. This shorescape, this lightly breaking and focussed sky, is the primary human habitat.

 

 

The Oriole in the Coal Mine

Trees are boundaries. They are creatures of the air, but are anchored to the soil. Most birds are like that, too. Many put their nests up in the sky, supported by trees. They even ride the wind. Many even use unnatural materials to weave their nests, as the orioles did when they wove the nest below.

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To them, all materials are natural, even this invasive Chinese elm tree. Other than sheltering this pair of orioles, it really does very little else in the ecosystem. But what is this ecosystem? Why, a collection of insects that have managed to adapt to human landscaping, as these orioles have done, and a collection of fruits and flowers planted by humans for their own aesthetic enjoyment.

P1580125 Cherry Tree Converted Into a Collection of Leaf-Sprouting Logs

(In back of the tortured juniper)

If humans did not go in for beauty big time, there would be no orioles now.

P1580210 Apple Tree Cared for by an Eighty-Year Old Man

Time ticks.

That, however, is only a short term effect.  In my community of houses, most of them 45 years old, built on an old orchard, most of the fruit trees are abandoned. They won’t last long.

P1570697 The Cherry Tree in the Foreground Has Not Been Pruned for Five Years. 

Tick, tick, tick, tick…

New houses plant sterile plants that do not feed animals or birds, or even are just surrounded by gravel, with a bit of artistically arranged driftwood and maybe a shrub or two, without room for orioles.

P1570930 The Newest Landscaping on the Block.

This is 90% of the entire green space of the housing plot. Note the rocks. They rest on sheets of plastic, to keep things from growing there.

The orioles will soon not come back. That’s nature, we’ll say. No, it’s not. It’s this.
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This is nature now.

p1620979And this.

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New Landscaping, Wrapped to Keep out Deer

The kicker is that orioles are more beautiful than elm trees, gravel, golf-course inspired low-maintenance landscaping, or driftwood. How did we, the artists, allow beauty to become the agent of death, on our watch? We are the orioles. What’s next for us?

The Exquisite Beauty of Gravity

There is a tension …P1610595 … between what rises …

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…and what finds the core.P1610592 Sometime’s it’s weightless.P1610594

 

Sometimes it rises.

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Sometimes it falls.

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Sometimes it balances.

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But it never has weight.

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It has the opposite of weight.

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If such words could even touch it.

(Staghorn sumac leaves long past the time of flowering.)

 

Choosing to Be Human

“Gravity” is commonly understood as the force, devolved from subatomic bonds extended during the Big Bang, that brings things down. This vineyard hill above my house, for instance.

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The same force brings a stone down from a high trajectory into the swirls of a river, where it then tumbles down slowly to land among flashing schools of mountain whitefish in the shallows where the current just begins to pick up again after slowing in the deep pool at the foot of a mountain, where black bears come down seven thousand feet from the high country, cross the thread of the river when almost all men are asleep, and shake the moonlight out of the fur like water. It can also look like this:

P1600326 … and this …P1600477

The Big Bang, gravity, God, the tug of molten dew off of the bowed stalks of bunchgrass, the energy rippling through the muscles of black bears and mountain rivers riding over a thousand feet of gravel left by a post-glacial river as big as the Missouri and inhabited by ancient, scaled creatures whose hands are specialized wings for steering themselves through water, those are all pretty much the same thing. It also looks like this:

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The force is the same, and is unbroken — unlike the cat tail stem above, that failed to resist it. On a planet on which any difference between God, the Big Bang, gravity and a cat tail is not a quality of anything you can pick up in your hand and put in a vase in front of a window, but of experience, the missing variable in discussions of gravity is time. Rock, water, fish, moon, sun, star, man, log, bear, and fire, are not substances in the world. They are boundaries — not ones drawn around things but within them. For the things themselves there are no boundaries. The boundaries have to do with their extension, their thinning out, in time.

oldfarm

 

Time is the way in which gravity and the tendency of entropy, the way in which all energy (supposedly) decays, becomes spirit. That might be the nearly-abandoned farm of an elderly widow above, a woman born in an internment camp during the Second World War, but it contains a gift of life she is still trying to give to us. There are moments at which earthly understanding supersedes that of mathematics. There are moments at which the answer is to choose to be human. We are all born with the potential. Not all make the choice.

 

E = MC2 and Slavery

E = mc2 is Einstein’s attempt to express the spirit of the universe in numbers. The principle he is getting at looks sort of like this:

P1600963 Snow on Bunchgrass

I say “sort of” because snow is vaporized water that crystallizes when it loses energy below a certain threshold, which for convenience is called zero degrees celsius (or thirty-two degrees Fahrenheit). If water comes out of a gaseous form above this threshold, it looks like this:

P1600363Dew on Red Dogwood

That kind of transformation of form is not what Einstein meant. He meant that energy, such as the energy required to hold this water in the air …

snowy4 … is a form of matter (as is the water), just as matter (such as water) is a form of energy. He also meant that time is physical. It is a distance at the same time that it is the speed of light. He was talking about a theoretical and mathematical world, not about the world of matter and time found on earth. Here, the sun mixes with the planet and extends itself in time, like this:

P1570926Bunchgrass in the October Sun

That’s not relativity. Neither is this:P1570935

 

Ring Necked Pheasant in a Moment of Panic

The pheasant above is moving fast enough to change its position in space, but not fast enough to experience space bending around it, because on earth things are physical and interact by chemical means. That is in no way a duller conception than Einstein’s, and in no way deviates from it. The female asparagus plant below, for instance, represents a continuous, unbroken chain of life stretching back to early plant evolution in what is now South Africa.

P1520804 That is, of course, not the experience of the single individual above, but even in her life, as evidenced by the berries spread along her branches, all of which rapidly opened in one year, she grew into a space, that existed in potential and was then realized, shifting her centre from one growing tip pushing out of the spring soil to further extension in space through the medium of other individuals and seed dispersal. We might as well call that space time. The difference between her experience and Einstein’s conception is profound. It is the difference between a drop of water ….P1540796

 

… and the sun that makes it visible to humans.

bright

That difference is an example of what it is like to be from the earth and to live on it, as humans do. Here, on this planet, there are both individuals, and communities of individuals, and they are the same thing, just as matter and energy are the same thing to Einstein.
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Notice the Yellow Smudge of Asparagus in the Lower Right!

Individual Plants? An Ecosystem? The concepts trick us into thinking that they are different. They aren’t. They are rainfall and snow. They are light and shadow. Perhaps you can see that in the patterns of grass and shrubs in the Okanagan hill below.
P1520181 And what are those? They are effects of light and shadow, of the presence and absence of the sun, and how it is carried in water, and frozen in snow, to be released again later. These effects are as complex as Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity, and as beautiful.P1540149

 

Female Staghorn Sumac in October

The thing about energy on Earth, or anywhere, is that energy doesn’t disappear — which means it doesn’t grow cold. It changes the way in which it occupies space. It grows — not by growing in and of itself, but by building relationships. We might call those branches, like in the sumac above, or we might call them fruit, such as in the hip below…

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… but in both cases they are a means of extending relationships in both time and space. You can observe this effect in the opening of every one of the millions of blue chicory blossoms along the roads of the Okanagan in the summer time, and the way in which the wind lifts their petals but never lets them fall.

apostemonchicory

Falling is always there. We call that endurance gravity, which is just a word to describe endurance. Even the apostemon bee gathering the white pollen of these blooms is working within the bonds of that gravity, even when she sees her larvae through the winter, underground. What differs in her from gravity, is that she represents a long, unbroken line of life, back to the first cell on earth, that does not just fall but rides her falling in what is called flight. Life is an opening. It is unbroken. It is, however, breakable, and can be enslaved. Here is a plantation of cloned apple tree slaves.

P1610083 Here is an image of how wasteful this entrapment is of light, and how it turns light into geometric form ….shade…. when before enslavement, it was an image of wonder. Here it is, by the name of God, in the Convent Pasture Orchard of Prague.

wiese

 

Only one can humans walk freely through. The other is a machine, built for machines. Remember, though, that this is the planet of growth. Humans are from this planet. They grow into it. They grow through it. A child in a slave orchard, or a child in the pasture garden above, are different spiritual creatures. They will see the earth differently. They will care for it differently. They won’t both care to keep slaves. The consequences are profound.