It is a discombobulated time. I for one feel a bit unmoored and adrift of late. (Perhaps we all do.) It is the season for journeying but I, like everyone just now, find myself rooted to home. Still the journey must go on. And so I go inward.
A new book, just for me. I return to old practices. With no inclination to share.
These past couple of days give the gift of a break in the weather, a lifting of humidity and oppressive heat. The break in weather affords the gift of a bit of hope, at least for me. A backing off of the blue dog which has been hovering at the doors of my heart lately. I make a mindful choice to hit a reset button.
An online music festival provides unexpected glee with workshops in flute and pipes. One instructor speaks of tunes as poetry and palindromes, the other talks openly of the magic of this music, some of it “old and outside the laws of the land.”
I am reminded of my place in the world.
“G is not a tone, it’s a place.” ~Conal Ó Gráda
I’ll admit, it all made me a bit weepy. I am deeply missing my musical mates these last months. I shall just work on my craft and connect how I can.
The noise of the online world feels unbearable as I wade through the news of the physical world day to day. I find myself online less and less in an attempt to situate myself in reality to offer up my best self to the world. This is as it should be. Plenty of times have I vowed to spend less time in the hall of mirrors of the social networks, and always I seem to drift back. Just now however, it is more of a drifting away from that hall and a journey inward, in lieu of summer’s teaching travels.
We have harvested lovely bundles of scapes in recent weeks. Garlic, sent to me from a dear one in Maine, planted last fall as we began the new bed out back – The Before Times. It all seems so far away, muted by the mists of time, dappled with a light we will not see again.
Scapes are like the “flowers” of the garlic plant. Up and up they rise and curl.
Eating them, lightly sautéed, with an egg at breakfast, I taste the garlic to come. It is essence of future garlic.
“While they are indeed a delicacy of early summer, we do not harvest scapes merely for their culinary flare. To harvest these showy curls is to send the energy of the plants down below into the ground to the very base of the garlic – the bulbs – which we will harvest later in the summer.
I see a strong metaphor here for our own meandering growth. It is lovely to flower and curl and show up in the world. But we forget to cut these flowers off now and then to allow for real development below ground.”
This is where I find myself, metaphorically speaking. I need to grow the bulbs. It is summer, and in a normal summer, one might find me off to New Mexico to teach, or to North Carolina to take in some music workshops. And often, I am too busy with these adventures to be spending much time online. This is as it should be.
This summer I devote that time to a more inward journey. To work on my art outside of the constancy of the online world and its performative pressures. To play and experiment. To read books, both for fun and escape as well as for the ongoing journey to educate myself.
It is entirely possible we may find ourselves in Maine later in July. Fingers crossed. We shall do so if we can do so, safely. This potential gives me hope. As does the deep pool of a new book, filled with good paper, some new ink for an old pen, and time to dive into it all without an audience.
But don’t worry, I’m not going far from here, this little corner of the internet that I call home. Til next time……
That’s it! File under life.