Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Fabric of the Univerise

She wanted to ask him if horses understood the wind.
His glass eyes looked at nothing. His mane was stiff, glued by the knacker to sit perfectly smooth in wind and stillness. She knew he was gone, that what she heard was only an echo.

But that echo reminded her how to listen deeper than her bones, to listen for what no one else heard.
And as the days passed, and she learned how to listen, when the wind touched her skin she began to hear much more than just her name.

The Goose Girl, by Shannon Hale

Those were the words I opened to in the book. Just like that, in the library last Saturday. I’d loved the cover art, and so, judging by the cover, had taken up the book.
Something transformed me as I read. Silence pervaded everything.
I sat there for some moments simply trembling. Looking about the room. Hand stroking the pages of the book.
What was That?
What had these words done to me?

I have read other words this week – emails that have also stayed with me.
Like these words from a young woman I have never met, but with whom I correspond:

I woke up an hour after I'd gone to sleep last night and I didn't know who or what or where I was, or if I was dreaming or awake.
I just was.
It was the most vivid and scary thing, and then I sort of settled back into my story.

I'm not sure how to feel about it but I know I couldn't understand it in any way until I came back to myself.
I do know that earlier in the day I had sort of made a statement to the effect I may not be cut out for any great wonderful Buddha-like experience of enlightenment, and realizing I could just accept that…

Or these words are from a dear friend, a mother mourning her son on her own birthday:

Peter brought me flowers and a composter
(I tried a “pile” before and mostly we got rats).
I have been asking Charlie to “come to me” in meditation and at bedtime for several days now.
Last night I had a convoluted dream in which he called me on a cell phone that I couldn’t figure out in time to pick up…
He sang a few bars of happy birthday. It makes me weepy now.

Simply little snippets: a retelling of the Brothers Grimm, my friends just checking in.
In the fairy tale the young princess will one day learn the language of the wind.
As for my friends, they don’t seem that different to me. Our stories will unfold.

On the way to work today, proceeding at a crawl, at some point I had the thought,
“I am lost in traffic.”
But, I had accepted my fate and so I was at peace.
Except, perhaps, for the fact I could not find a single station that I liked on the radio.
I kept trying a new button, cycling through all six selections until I switched to an entirely new “page.”

There I found Eye in the Sky. And was delighted.
Alan Parsons Project, 1982, my original hieroglyphic calligraphy.
I turned up the volume.
Was the instrumental intro particularly long?
It was beautiful, and the words- the words were once my anthem.

I am the eye in the sky
Looking at you
I can read your mind
I am the maker of rules
Dealing with fools
I can cheat you blind…

Bitter days. Was I really once like that?
Now it seems just another love song.
Is it not about God after all? But those words…
“I am the eye in the sky…”

I am lost in traffic going nowhere fast, singing
"I am the eye in the sky."
I think of the painting I did this past weekend, “Fabric of the Universe.”
I think of the wind. What language might it speak?
I think of what my teacher told us last time I was with him:
“Enjoy the little things. Learn to enjoy and notice little things.”

And so I look. I turn my head.

It’s all there: grain of sand, or in the little green sprouts opening by the roadside.
There is a fabric to this Universe – we are connected.
Fairy tales, Love stories, of course the rats are in the compost.
We are dear fools dealing with it.
Debris is everywhere.
The traffic all a snarl as power crews are called out to clean up.
It seems the wind has spoken:
“Slow down, the Light will come back on.”


Anonymous said...


Pat Bralley said...

Thanks! ... good material.

jruthkelly said...

I haunt your blog, wanting to comment, finding it difficult to do justice to the response evoked by your words and art. Suffice to say, the richness you unfold nourishes parched earth.

Pat Bralley said...

Oh, wow! - How nice of you to say... such things. Thanks.
Haunt on, it's nice to have the company.