From paper journal.
Hoyt Arboretum, Portland, Oregon
At a small wooden bridge on the Creek Trail. There is a large Coast Redwood on the edge of the creek. Bamboo line the quiet and still summer creek all down the sides. I love this trail. Where other trails move along ridges and hillsides, this one goes down into the ravine, or draw, and it is cooler, darker, quieter down here. A scrub jay lands in the bamboo and looks around before it decides to take a drink. The neighborhood watch is busy again… that is, little chipmunks are on their branches around me in the forest, sounding out their alarm calls and whatever other gossip they are spreading to each other.
I am growing. I am renewing old associations in my heart and mind. I am letting go of dysfunctional ones (it is not easy). I am creating new ones.
Thank you gods.
It is hard to let go of ways of being, of habits and patterns and roles. Even ones that are difficult to maintain or hurtful to one’s self or spiteful to others… are hard to let go. In a depression it is often overlooked by some that the melancholy is addictive, that when things around you are uncertain (how will she react to me? will she accept me? will I perform well? ) that there is something that is known, that is tried and felt, and that is a state of depression. In this depression one feels more alive than in the state of uncertain anxiety otherwise felt. I am not depressed and haven’t felt depression in some years (melancholy sure, but not the depression that I felt in 96 or 02), but the same phenomena can be said of other ways of being, of reactiveness, of distrust, of quickness to judge, of keeping barriers, etc…
(typing add-on end)
When some ecowriters write of a clearcut and a forest that “screams” in its rape (referring to poetry and writing by activists fighting, bravely and rightly, against clearcutting practices), I wonder what their writing would be like if they were to write of a natural forest fire.
Yesterday, while walking in the Fanno Creek park, I passed a group of ‘rednecks’. The vibe of three of the five adults and one sweet little girl, nearly bowled me over. I passed them twice as they played a round of frisbee golf. Yet three of the males were exuding all the worst feelings as I neared them. Poison, closed-mindedness, violent, prejudice, abusive, reactive, selfish, messy and harsh. One male seemed half in their world, half out, wiht a bit of self awareness and lessened poison about him and not as much harshness. The woman, physically attractive but such was lost by her demeanor, carrying the cooler, was invisible with no projected personality of her own. She seemed more a cup, an empty vessel, filled with the expectations and roles of those around her. Unfortunate for her that she was with such harsh brutes. In typing this out onto my LJ I think of the child again, perhaps six, and filled with bounding energy. I hope the kid is able to escape the confines of what the men around her were vibrating.
On my return walk through I found a litter of empty beer cans at a frisbee golf tee. It angered me greatly and I picked them up and called on spirits and elemental forces around me in a vocal prayer to go after those responsible. I picked various manifestations that matched each element, flat tires for air, broken engine for fire, blown radiator for water, messed up transmission for earth, and sent it out.
As I sit at a table in the park, having walked two hours in contemplation and meditation, I think of this now. This raises an issue in magic and ethics. Given that there is the Law of the Rebound for our actions, is it needed that we act at all? We are wary in giving healing to othes as at times our bodies are sick so that we are learned of a lesson; our unconscious, our Self, will certaily grab our attention if need be and by healing someone we are doing them more harm than good. It is an old question, who is able to judge the actions of man? Yet we have this gift of consciousness, as witness of our own existence, a gift from the gods for us and for them. this self awareness does hold responsibility for right action, or non-action, does it not? How then to choose?
Stewart Farrar, in his book “What Witches Do” says of Alex and Maxine Sanders’ coven, that there were no explicit hard rules for morality, but that they were highly moral people. He says that there is an inherent understanding of morality that wicca seeks to have the witch more attuned with.
(end paper journal)
I am left wondering if what I did was right or wrong, or if such labels as ‘right/wrong’ are applicable here. I am inclined now to think that I was ‘wrong’ in that what I did was retribution and not justice. Had I seen the rednecks littering at the time and had said something, perhaps reprimanding them (and likely getting into a physical fight as they were not the ‘talking kind’ of people) then they could have seen a connection between an action such as littering a public park with beer cans and a reaction. By having car problems they will not make any connection at all that they senseless littering gave cause to their breakdown. Unless of couse one were to post signs everywhere in the park that ‘littering will bring the ire of local witches who will hex you and your car’… which would be ridiculous and dangerous. It is too close, for my taste, to the oppressive religious police in Islamic countries. No, the better course would have been to ask the spirits and elements to give teaching and understanding to those responsible, for them to learn and to grow from their mistake, and for me to pick up the trash and discard it, and to spread the behavior that we are all responsible for our environment for others to see as ‘normative behaviors’. That hopefully this would spread until, socially and culturally, the rednecks would have felt an immense pressure not to do so even if they feel no internal moral guide keeping them from doing such.
Again, I am reminded of Fire, of impulse of action, and I am very much impulsive at times (most of the time) and that the goal for me is to achieve greater balance and a strengthening of the other elements within myself so that I can move through this world with more right action, more understanding and wisdom.