Heard a recent story about a group of musicians, smoking in the street outside the club before their set. Fellow came up and was giving them his story, asking for change. He was talking mostly to the overtly compassionate one [how does that radar work?], meanwhile Bill brought through some gung fu – cutting in with interrupting questions: “What do you think about blue, it’s a good color isn’t it? How about candy, do you like candy? Do you think sugar is bad for us? That kind of stuff, stalling the guy who had interrupted their pre-show chill, by flipping his energy back at him.
Gung fu practice has many forms. I been out in the studio this afternoon, sticking pins between my lips and getting the feel of fabric between my fingers, internalizing words like drape, and hang. RL Burnside and Pearl Jam on the stereo, a cup of tea, small scissors, the insistent prick of needle into the top layers of skin.
The wind picked up the last of the alder leaves on the pair of trees at the edge of the north field. Hundreds of waving yellow palms, spangled in the sunlight. I go outside in the rustle, move slowly through some qi gung, and shake my palms in joyous reply. All the way down to the ground these legs go, contained in rubber soles. Those trees have roots that might be almost reaching my feet, extending welcome in the soil that supports all of our weight.
“She will feed you tomatoes and radio wires, and retire to sheets safe and clean… but don’t hate her when she gets up to leave.” – Neutral Milk Hotel
My cat is again a creature of the animal kingdom. The birds have woken it in him, and so he seeks me out less and less. Gone are the extended yowls he used to greet my long day’s absence, winding in to the bathroom to trail his tail across my calves. He sits before the window by the door, extending that cat sense out across the driveway, into the trees where the many small birds sing each other songs of happy fall nibbling. The cat dreams of nibbling as well, and has little patience with the big handed affection of human creatures, who broadcast their intentions and want a sort of simplification. He is other, again, and so am I.
All this space, see. Nothing for the self to intrude upon, and nothing to enter the day but birds, circling the trailer, rising and falling through the air in a small symphony that includes us inside the windows. For a time, the potato fields are filled with morphing leaps of wings.
This evening, I did not go into town. I took a bath, sipped sailor jerry’s rum from the munchen glass, took time to be in this skin with its continuous sloughing and creasing; such a thin barrier between water and air. And danced in the dark reflection of three windows to Neko Case and Nina Simone and Neutral Milk Hotel. Sufi spinning has a centrifugal pull on the heart line, the grin comes welling up like springwater. Out beyond the windows where the birds are tucked in under feather for the night, lies a night tide and the fall fields and a quiet I haven’t heard for years. The mist holds this flat land tight between the mountains and bay. We are peeking up from a pocket of the world, that’s all.