Archive for September, 2010

There was a waterfall here, a tiny one, and the walls of granite glistened bright green – but that was in the spring. looking at it now you would not imagine it was there. How much else do we not imagine, that which was before and that which will return – but we do not know, we have not seen it, but having seen it we can have faith, faith that it will return, that something will appear, that there is more than meets the eye.

I wrote that the first day i came to the park about a week ago, when i went up the Vernal falls trail. The falls i had seen across the valley were also gone, but the Vernal and Nevada Falls still have a flow – minor compared to what they must be in the spring, but i have never truly experienced them at that time – in fact never glimpsed at Nevada Falls before. Since then i have visited several of the “falls”, places which now stand empty of water, or have but a trickle – and the famous Yosemite Falls are gone.


Yosemite fall have all but disappeared to a trickle down a sheer cliff, a wet spot on the granite, and the upper falls are not there at all. If you came here now and had not seen photos of them when there are full, would you believe that they were there? If someone told you about the falls after you had seen that place, would you have thought them crazy? But a you “know” that they exist, are you disappointed by what you see and yearn for more? Do you see what is in front of you, or do you imagine the famous pictures you have seen too many times. They are a trickle – so quiet, unlike in the spring when you could hear them from afar, beckoning, and the mist covering the path where people now stand looking at the trickle from a distance. If you arrived unknowing could you envision the spring birth, the cycle that they are? would you?


Would you even pause? this place below the “falls” still feels special to me, the trees more alive, the energy high, and the boulders and rocks special – but is that because i have seen? because there is a path that leads here? Because i have come to believe that it is special? Or is there something truly there at all times? I have returned again and again, especially in the early morning, when the sun slowly lights up the cliffs, and the area is quiet – the people have not yet come in, and the falls are almost silent from the path, and i sit and drink my morning coffee and take in what is here.

And i think of cycles and the cyclical nature of so much or maybe of it all. We have been taught to perceive of time as a linear progression but the falls show that it is an illusion – the falls are not progressively, linearly growing stronger or shrinking away, but if we arrived in the spring or lived less than a year we might imagine that they have gone – but we have faith in their rebirth. The sun is rising over the valley floor, and we do not imagine that it will continuously grow stronger, the walls will brighten and then the sun will fade. and i think about waves and tides, when it comes in will also goes out, and the moon which is close to full will fade away in our eyes (but with the sun and the moon, when they are out of sight, we believe they have not disappeared). We see these cycles, and so many more, but still imagine time and history as linear and often fail to conceive of cycles much bigger than ourselves, or of ourselves as we exist on earth this time. And the falls are a cycle – i cycle i have seen, one that others read about, and a cycle in which we have faith, faith that the snow and rain will come and the falls will appear once more. but is any less faith required than that for other cycles that we have not seen, that are longer than us.

But it is not truly a circle – a labyrinth, a spiral of sorts perhaps? for the walls of the valley alter over time, rocks fall, cliffs fall, valleys are carved, people come in, paths are built, a crash – not always a smooth movement like what we see as the flow of water over stone – but movement that is at the same time barely perceptible and with huge instant changes.

I look at the dry creek bed and find it hard to believe that it is the same creek that i saw in the winter frozen with patches of snow or in the spring rushing along. But then again is it? Is it truly the same? And i must say no – though some of it is. I have faith that the creek (which looks like a path of stones) will be filled with snow and water once again – but it will not be the same snow or the same water as before, and even when it is full, the water is in motion. Thus will it be the same creek?

Still the rocks remain and endure. i assume they are mainly those that were there before – many which were hidden away beneath the water and are now visible. And what endures is exposed to so many conditions – rain, drought, cold, heat – and they thus appear (or are) different over time. Now they are all dry not wet, and their temperature is not the same – so are they the same rocks – parts eroded over time. Or is the cycle merely much longer? I look at the face of the cliff, the moss that grows and the damp spot of the lower falls, and the lines of darks and oranger stone which mark the path of the upper falls, and see what is hidden by the water, and is now revealed. While it looks enduring, it changes too. And we assume that this stone wall is still there even when hidden by the snow, ice and rush of water.

And i think of each of us – what is that part which endures and what merely passes through? And does anything endure at all – or is it always in the process of change – and if something disappears do we not expect it do return, or do we count on it coming back as it was. For even when the falls are full, they are never the same – each moment is different as what we see as drops of water fall over the cliff.
At the base of Vernal falls was a rainbow – both on the way up and on the way down – the seven colours, of the rainbow, or the chakras, of the energies we perceive. but it appears and disappears and moves around, showing all colours of the energetic vibrations of life. and all this that we see is but energy made visible to us, the word made manifest. we see the falls are gone right now, but “know” that they are there. They remind us that there is much more than meets the eyes, but also that all really only exists in the now.

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This time i ride facing forwards on the train. i return to a place where i have been – a place where the spirit speaks strongly and another where i felt off kilter – my final destination unknown. but for tonight, and the night after i will sleep part way up, in the midlands, in midpines. i had not thought about camping up there yesterday, but seeing other packs with camping gear attached i feel the call, i feel the call – will i still feel it tomorrow? i do not know. but for now i go, and the doors opened up for this trip. i try to go without expectations but i know i do – for memories of smiles come back to me – though i know that is not all that is there. i take this journey, i ride the train, i feel stiller once again. i look outside at the world manifest – from graffiti to horses by the bay, by older homes and new developments, through many zones i will pass. i am carried through these lands on a train, riding on well laid out tracks, on a defined route, a route and rails made manifest by others long ago – an idea, a vision, hard work, labour, and more. for all we see it but manifest, and in yosemite where i go i have seen beyond and through. it is a land of the giants, of something more, of gods – all is, but there it is divine, all is gods creation, but also ours, ours – the fallen angels who inhabit this plane, who create and destroy with contradictory visions, impure motives and more, we can feel the divine, we contain the divine, we are the divine – but have let the other forces in, and in travelling this land we feel all. And what is it that i see as i look out the window – low lying lands that mere into water, people, seagulls, concrete and more, the sky, the hills across the bay. in this journey i rely on my sight, the vision, through my glasses, and the glass of the window, framed. And in this container, i do not smell the air, or feel it, or hear the sounds, or touch, for i am contained, a barrier less porous than the body which contains my soul – i do not touch, but am i untouched, can love penetrate these walls?
Scents enter in – manure – or is it a diaper in this car? I am not sure for this car – number 2 – is a container, linked to others, on a train, self-contained, moving along at its own rhythm. and as with our containers there is a life inside, seemingly independent of what goes on outside – the sounds of conversation, between the cells, or on the cell phones, connected to the beyond – and what is the beyond? A variety of languages, some incomprehensible to the other bodies, but another that is shared, but imperfectly. the climate controlled, the temperature, though the sun heats up some seats, but here, inside, it is altered as is the air we breathe. and some contents of this car are fixed, the floor, the chairs, the baggage racks – or at least more enduring, but other life, the people, and the luggage, pass through more quickly, for varying durations, even emptying out and refilling, coming in from the outside, less controlled, a ticket needed to board, but what will board today, and what will leave, and how much do the contents change from day to day, and how much are similar energy forms replaced, leaving and coming in new, different containers, but for most purposed interchangeable. and how much is this contained interchangeable with others. we stop, and more beings enter in.
And how do i feel as i take this journey. for the moment i feel calm, as i often do as i am carried along, not having to carry myself. protected or contained from the transitory energies outside, still for a moment, going along a path, not having to flush it out, or determine the direction, just letting go and letting it happen. i had to decide to embark, get a ticket, show up, but then, i give my power over and let it take me. and have trust that it will.
i now yearn to camp as i see gear getting on but it was something that had not entered my mind – yosemite as an alternative to cold camping in lake tahoe. a pain arises in the back of my neck, comes on suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, it is unfamiliar and i do not know what it means. my joints stiffen, what am i being told. we have passed through martinez and away from the bay.
I wait in the station in merced for the bus that will take me into the mountains. i feel off once again – there is something about the central valley, something off kilter that lurks here and the energy makes me crackle. and i know it is not just memories although i have felt this way each time i have passed through this corridor – a crossing i have come to dread, but even when i forget about the dread of thinking, there is something that comes upon my when i enter here, something that feels evil to me – up and down this corridor. And while i can state reasons why i feel this way, point to material things – i will not do so for i am tired of feeling that i must justify all my gut feelings and perceptions, and i know that the material merely provides clues to that which lay beneath.
i now sit at the yosemite bug, beneath the pines and ask myself why i am here. i was lifted passing through the lowlands with golden hills giving was to oak and gold, but the bus was full, the energy within i do not know if meshes with mine, was coming here not letting go, for i do not seek what in my mind lays on the other side, the parched out lands which i must cross if i am to get to the other side. or can i just be here, looking neither forward nor back?

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I am learning to feel, learning to feel the energies of a place, learning to feel the effect of consciousness made manifest, not merely that which i claim, but that which is larger than i, the collective as revealed in form. and as i enter into a space i listen and see not only that which lay outside but that which comes from within – what thoughts bubble up in my mind, and how does my energy feel – smooth and light, dancing or frenetic, calm or heavy, and what does my physical body, that space in which i am located, say to me – do my shoulders tighten or loosen?, does a pain appear or fade away? for in all it speaks and i feel. not only in reaction, but what do i put forth, where do i consciously go and where do i find myself?   

And when i find myself in a place that brings up pain, i do not fight it, but try to breathe it through, especially if that place is familiar and i find myself back there once again – especially if i had told myself i would not return there – for in saying that i too give it energy, and feed its hold. And i also begin to recognize that which brings forth joy, and let that flow through as well, with gratitude.   

My past few days here in this city where zones meet up, butt up and quickly switch, i have explored much of all that. and even how a place clings to me, or holds me, depends on my state of mind. And yes, i find myself repeating past actions, and still ask why – a less harsh why, as in why again alice, but more a wondering of what really lay there.   

i sit outside under the eucalyptus trees – trees that bring me peace, but i do not cling, for it i do that peacefulness disappears.   

A big free festival in golden gate park – power to the peaceful – i go, stay a brief while but no longer in festival mode and i know it has been a while since i loved the crowds, and have not been to other festivals of hippie zone. but i explored, went feeling that, knowing i might feel that way, and i did – appreciate it for what it was, know that as a teen i would have loved it, critical nature came up a bit, but then walked away letting it be – not needing to apologize for not being drawn in, with a feeling of i should, nor the need to focus on its faults or find them amongst the all.   

i went to the beach and lay on the hill after smoking a butt in a familiar locale. i saw the energy in all as children played on water’s edge – fading in and out of hardened form. Still, i knew when it was time to say goodbye.   

i took the train – neighborhoods and buildings, consciousness manifest – avoided the park and the crowds and did not get off in a neighborhood that called, with decorated buildings and cafes and restos with outside chairs and people on the street and once again found myself in darkness zone of business buildings. a crowded train – tourist zone – cutting through fishermans wharf – became agitated and off – and i could feel it in myself, in those zones of passing through, and i passed through and returned to the center that the hostel has become for me, but took a while to shake it off and merely let it be. panic of planning came over me, that searching zone, that calls up fear, and then with that and stress the hearing and seeing becomes less. but i calmed.   

The day before all over the place, a ride to the park, golden gate that is, content, then sad, a church where i prayed, in a place given to the spirit, a place to worships and give thanks and i could feel the energy there, the energy made manifest in the structure and beyond. I walk into a cafe, begin to search and then see sad kids of the panhandle as i walk along and then the positive energy of divisidaro – another locale where people live, and i wanted to pause but did not and i found myself walking back to the darkness around the civic center, i breathed it through, and took a bus back down into the town,   

The day before – a walk on the water by the bay – felt power in places that were felt before and familiar disappointments – a line through the city? Found myself by the bridge with traffic sounds and the desire to come back here – and i ask myself why do i walk out that far. Then bus into the city – civic square – what lay there, some weird energy in that square and the sadness of the tenderloin and market street – feeling of homelessness and ill ease in that triangle. I walk through empty downtown core and along columbus feel as empty as before and am happy to return to the wharf – not the wharf of tourism but of the place where i stay. feeling and knowing it, patterns of my time here.   

and i feel and allow it to be, and realize that i need to do more than walk around, as before the tourist places empty me out and those where people live fulfill to a greater degree. but i feel and i learn – or do i?   

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This was written over several days during my retreat at harbin. more that was written during that time is to come.
I think of my trip in the times between here – and the story i wrote. i had been given the opportunity to rewrite the story or to write a new one of the same old places, and while to some extent i did, i also got caught in the familiar plot lines – or was it the theme. but in many locales i created new experiences and stories and added them to what was – did i alter the script, was i trying to recreate the old? and as often, i did not fully understand the opportunity i was given, did not fully appreciate it, and did not fully use it. did i cling onto the old or by returning to the familiar places, like actions, was it inevitable? for as i read what i have written, and remember what remains unwritten, the ‘place’ and my moods and visions went through several alterations – i would remember, but often would pass on through – or would remain caught. but what story came up to me and which did i make so real? which was real, and the remembered, the story, becomes real and perpetuates itself. And in the process of writing stories i came to this discovery. For not only conscious memories of “my story” came up but also those that were unconscious and i saw beyond it all too.
What is this story i have written of my life and how often do i live in the book that i have written rather than continue to write. but the story does get written, but only after the fact and i continue to live in “the” past – but “the past” is also but only a partial view of what was, for it has been interpreted and reinterpreted, certain scene played over and over again while others are forgotten about, only to reappear at random moments – not random, but when called forth by some thing or thought form in the present. but the past continues into the present when it exists in thought forms in the now – for it becomes the now. and what is the quality of this script i have written. how do i alter it, reinterpret it once again, or can i abandon the script altogether, the need for a cohesive or even scattered story that tells me who i am. for as long as any script exists can i be truly present and write something new. is abandoning it but mere delusion if it does exist but i fail to recognize it. or can i see the script as just that, a script and nothing more. and does failing to write about my experiences here make them less real, and does writing about the past serve to hold it in place. but writing is an action in the here and now, it is creation – of something.
Do i alter my story with actions bit by bit? if the thought forms are similar, does the script get altered, it must, but does the story line stay the same? how to change the direction mid-plot – can one do it without rewriting what occurred before. Can i start a new story part way through my life? a dramatic twist of plot without the theme remaining the same. yes, it is the theme that is to shift. can i rewrite the story with a different thematic slant – yes i can – my life so far an adventure of learning and exploring, of moving closer to god.
a journey of learning to gather stories of others, or seeing and feeling the world at large.
I have posted so little in the past month for i grew tired of what i had written as “my story”, but i cannot help but write. but to write it in the now, not cling to a script of a grand drama. the script may enter, but to realize all that i write need not follow it, be set in sequence, have a plot or a theme, just to write it fresh. to write it fresh.

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the meaning of a day

Today is September 11 – that fateful day in american history that changed all – or so we imagined. it changed some – for a while – removed rose colored glasses of illusions and disbelief in karma, and although there have been both profound and subtle changes since then, the pivotal event a capstone of sorts, a focalizing point, there is much that remains so similar.
Today i find myself in the place i was supposed to be that day – yes in the same city – san francisco – where i was, but at the hostel that i never made it to. I walk out of this place onto a grassy field with eucalyptus trees and a view of the bay, rather than out the door on a city street with porno shops and films and a view of the transamerica building in my face. i have circled back but i know i am not the same as i was – but in some ways not all that different either. A week later i left this city and this country and ran back to what felt safe and peaceful, but i did run back (or hopped a greyhound bus) afraid of the changes that were to come, the unknown darkness that lurked both in the shadows of my mind and in the greater consciousness at that time. But today i find myself here once again, in this very place i had planned to be. and once again i am soon to move on.
September 11 marks another anniversary for me, one that is much more personal but which is linked to the global. it is the day i crossed over once again, the day that i sailed back into this country three years ago – was it really only three years? i ask myself that time and time again for it feels much longer than that. it feels like a lifetime of sorts, it feels like forever ago. And how much have i been through, and how much have i grown and/or shrunk.
How this date has significance now – how until 2001 it never really stood out in any which way – other days around this time – my birthday, that of friends and family, the beginning of school and the end of summer – all something – but not this date, one like any other – and will it be once again? Now i attach significance, meaning, and expectation of change, of unpredictable change to this date, and give it meaning. and what does that mean – just what do we give meaning, and what passes through, unnoticed, or just passing or flowing.
But here i find myself, and it has been a long journey to come here – not only in terms of outward miles travelled, but in terms of internal changes and movement. it has been such a long journey, but that is life, a journey. A journey that cannot be stopped, a journey that will flow. and i realize how many places i have been, places that i intended to go those nine years ago when i turned back, a return i thought, but just another path through a different landscape, and i have passed through so much. can i remove the stagnations to let positive energy come in to those places within?
The day has flowed – buzzed, slowed, energies of all types passing through, manifesting from the inside out, and back from the outside to within. And slowly i am learning to feel them more, to listen, and to recognize what i feel. but still i make mistakes, learning experiences i hope, but to let the lessons be learned and not hold the feelings – especially those of agitation.
September 11 and i find myself here – and tomorrow in a new place – or rather another space – one that i have been to before – but where i feel called – am i listening? Will i let my story do – have a 9/11 be just another day, let it be afresh, in the moment, whole and new?

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