May we meet at the crossroads of body, mind and spirit. Together we will enter the magic and learn to fly.

Apr 18, 2013

Step in Line or Run

I step into line and shuffle forward.  I look ahead and try to prepare for what's coming.  I move a few more steps.  I'm in line, the path I'm on is roped off.  As I get closer anticipation builds, should I try and get out?  I shuffle forward to the front of the line.  I step into the car and sit down.  A bar comes down in front of me.  All I can do now is hold on for the ride.

I step into line and shuffle forward.  I've done what I could to prepare for what's coming.  I push forward a few steps.  The path lies open before me.  I'm nervous with anticipation as the moment to start gets closer.  I step up to the line and take a deep breath.  I lift my head and focus on the road ahead.  The starters gun goes off and I run.

Feb 26, 2013

The Way of Talib: Crossing Thresholds

A canoe carrying a young man and a falcon emerges from the edge of a forest into open fields.  As sunlight washes over them the boy lifts his head to see what lies before him.  His shoulders are slumped forward and the falcon's wing is wrapped to it's body.  The boy's cloths are ripped and dirty, his face is thin and drawn.  The boy barely guides the canoe down the center of the river, allowing the current to carry him forward.  Perched on the prow of the boat, the falcon intently scans the river and fields ahead.

The river meanders slowly between open country port side and walled in fields off the starboard side.  There are three sections of fields, the second one containing a large flock of sheep.  In the third field there is a man repairing a large section of collapsed free standing rock wall, he looks up and watches as the canoe passes by.  The fields enclosed by rock walls open up to a cluster of stone buildings with thatched roofs.  As the canoe approaches the first and largest building, the boy steers it up to the rivers edge, hops out and pulls the canoe up onto the river bank.

The man repairing the wall picks up a walking stick and moves briskly towards the boy.  The boy picks up the falcon onto his arm and holds firmly to the jess.  "Hey," the man calls out "hold up a minute."  At the sound of the voice the boy turns to confront the man quickly approaching him.  The man brushes off dust and dirt from his dun colored overcoat wrapped tightly around his waist and wide shoulders.  A shock of white hair can be seen under the man's hood framing bright blue eyes and a strong jaw line.  In moments the man is standing directly in front of the boy.  With a slight bow of his head the man speaks "Good health to you Peregryn, you may call me Kai."

Jan 23, 2013

The dung beetle

Day after day the dung beetle goes out in search of dung, collects it and rolls it from one pile to another.  One day an unexpected mountain blocks it's path. It is unable to climb over the mountain so it is forced to find another path.  I move my foot and the mountain is gone.  The dung beetle stops, perhaps perplexed by the appearance and disappearance of mountains, recalibrates it's trajectory and then resumes it's dung collection.  Mountains are only mountains depending on perspective.

Jan 9, 2013

The Journey

I follow a path marked out on the ground with small rocks and pebbles.  The path spirals inward, moving clockwise around a circle until it finds itself whereupon it doubles back, progressively getting closer to the center.  I could easily step over the parameters of the path and reach the center within moments, but I can clearly see that there is nothing there.  The journey inward is the destination and it can only be reached by following the path.  Life often seems to be going back and forth in the wrong direction, only after looking back can I see the growth and progression towards an unforeseen destination.  Upon reaching the center I find tokens and markers left by other travelers, I have nothing to leave for I realize my journey was only superficially physical, but what I leave with is priceless.

Dec 4, 2012

The River

A single drop of water slowly flows down the contour of a rose petal.  For a moment it clings tenaciously to the edge of the petal.  It then plummets down, past the windowsill, along the grey stone wall and finally colliding with the concrete sidewalk below.  A constant stream of feet rush by as the city grinds on through another day.  The sky is overcast and grey, covering the city within it's shadow.  Rain splashes against the window pane, flowing down the glass in rivulets and streams.  I sip my coffee slowly as I prepare to throw myself into the onslaught of life.

Nov 26, 2012

The Way of Talib: Flight

The night is clear.  Moonlight floods the shoreline.  The fire has died down.  The air is cool and calm.  I see the boy lying on the sand.  He sleeps restlessly, tossing and turning.  He cries out "no" and then rolls over, pulling his knees up to his chest.

I hear the call of an owl from deep within the forest.  I listen for the sounds of the night.  Except for the waterfall it is quiet.  I look around the edge of the forest.  I see nothing out of place, nothing is moving.

I hear the rustle of leaves, the air is still calm.  Alertness, fear.  I stand up and flap my wings a couple times.  I screech, the boy does not stir.  I search the trees by the rock wall.  I see nothing.  I hear something close by in the trees.  Increased fear.  I screech again, he begins to sit up.  He reaches for his stick.

A rush of black fur leaps out of the forest.  Fear, adrenalin.  I take to the air.  The panther is on top of the boy before he can bring his stick around.  His back is torn up and bleeding.  I dive at the night hunter.  I pull up and rake the panthers back with my talons.  He turns toward me.  I attack again.

The panther swipes at me.  Searing pain.  I drop to the ground, one wing is too painful to lift.  I back up against the boat.  The panther prepares to pounce.  I spread out my wings and try to fly.  The boy swings his stick around and hits the panthers hind legs.  As the panther turns around, the boy spears it in the side.  The panther retreats into the forest bleeding.

My wing is torn but not broken.  The boy speaks to me gently, brushing back my feathers.  He slips the hood over my head.  I relax.  The boy wraps my wing to the side of my body.  He places me on the canoe and removes my hood.

The boy goes down to the water and washes off his back.  I watch the forest.  The sky brightens, the sun comes up.  The warmth feels good.

The boy picks me up and carries me to the end of the pool.  He places me on a rock.  The boy spears fish trapped in the rocks and cleans them.  I watch the forest.  There is no movement.  The forest is calm.

The boy caries the fish and I back to the canoe.  He makes a fire and hangs the fish on sticks close to the fire.  The sun is high overhead.  The boy always keeps his stick close.  I search the trees for movement.

"It is time to go" the boy says.  The sun is lower in the sky.  The fire is out.  He places his stick and the smoked fish into the boat.  I am perched on the bow.  The boy pushes the canoe into the water and jumps into the stern.  He paddles us to the mouth of the river, leaving our campsite behind.

Nov 19, 2012

Out

I see a small caterpillar traveling around the base of an enormous cedar tree.  Beyond the tree there is a stream that winds it's way through the valley floor.  A thick fog lifts off the stream in the coolness of the early morning and envelopes the surrounding area.  The stream continues on to fall over the edge of a cliff.  From there it tumbles down the side of a mountain, sending up spray and creating a rainbow.  It then joins the crash and surge of the ocean far below, which stretches around the world connecting all the continents.  Evaporation forms into clouds that swirl around this globe teeming with life, hurtling through space encircling the sun.  One star among countless others in an ever growing, expanding universe.  If only we could get beyond the tree that stands in our way.

Nov 15, 2012

Inside

I stand
motionless
enveloped by mist
unable to see
I am unseen
I reach out
into the swirling fog
and grasp
nothing
unsubstantial air
impenetrable cloud
I am trapped
within walls
of psychological perspective
blindly
I take a step
and hope
beyond the limitations
of perception

Nov 8, 2012

Can't See the Forest

I am standing still in the middle of an old growth cedar forest.  All around me large cedar trunks reach up high above me, their foliage creating a canopy that obscures the sky.  With the absence of light the forest floor is devoid of all competing life.  In front of me stands a particularly large tree blocking the way forward, encompassing my view.  It's trunk is twice as wide and tall as all the other trees.  I am unsure in which direction to go to get past.

Nov 5, 2012

The Way of Talib: The Grotto

 I thought I heard something behind me.  I walk up to the edge of the forests and look around.  I don't see anything except for a few animal tracks.  I must have just imagined hearing something.  I'm sure the falcon would have seen anything that moves.  I go back down and sit by the waters edge.  I stare out at the water and let the thrum of the waterfall wash over and relax me.

I look around the shore line and check out my surroundings.  At one end of the pool is the waterfall dropping over the edge of a high curtain wall of rock.  On the opposite end, the river continues on and is instantly swallowed up by the forest.  The trees at that end crowd right up to the rivers edge, their branches intertwining over the water.  Across from me the water transitions quickly into rock and then trees.  On my side there is a short stretch of sand which gradually rises out of the water then turns into forest.

Something catches my eye at the end of the beach where the river leaves the pool.  I get up and go see what it is. I find a paddle caught amidst some driftwood.  I bring it back to my camp site and decide to check over the canoe.  Except for a few scratches the hull and keel look sound.  I turn it over and inspect the interior.  Everything looks in remarkably good condition for having come over the waterfall.  Under the seat at the stern I find a small inscription of a name, Alesia.  I wonder if the name has anything to do with me, perhaps someone who knows me.  I place the paddle in the bottom of the canoe and drag the boat further out of the water.

I remember seeing fish when I went swimming and decide I should help gathering food.  I go up to the tree line and find a strong straight sapling.  I start cutting it down with my knife and then break it off.  After stripping away any branches I split one end into four points using my knife and a rock to hammer the knife down about a foot.  Next I tear off a strip from the bottom of my tunic and lash it around the base of the split.  I then drive a couple of twigs into the splits in order to drive the points apart and secure them with the remainder of the cloth strip.  Now to try it out.

I position myself in the shallows where the river enters the forest and wait.  My first attempts don't work out so well, the fish are never where they appear to be.  I try again with the spear tips just below the surface.  Finally I catch something but have no more luck after that.  I create a semi circle of rocks in the water, leaving one end open and having the other end loop just inside the start of the circle.  I'll see if this makeshift trap will catch anything the next time I go fishing.  I clean out the fish I did catch and roast it over a fire.

The falcon is sitting on the gunwale at the prow of the boat.  "Would you like some?" I ask as I offer her a piece of fish.  She just sits there and stares back at me with her solid black eyes.  "I guess your not hungry right now."  She starts to preen her soft, speckled white underbelly.  Her head and back are a charcoal blue color.  It is interesting, from below she would blend in with the clouds and from above she would blend in with the dark ground.  I brush my fingers along the side of her neck and murmur softly.  She looks up at me and our eyes connect again, this time I am filled with a rush of emotions.  There is an image of a younger me cresting a hill connected to a feeling of unease and excitement.  I can feel the warmth of the sun on my back and a twinge of hunger.

The connection fades and I remember the time when we first met and I purchased her.  My Kestrel had died and my father believed I was ready for a full sized falcon.  He had given me some silver and sent me over the hill to buy one.  The breeder had a hack a little ways from our village.  When I arrived he offered me a brown, that was hooded and perched on his glove.  I saw the grey sitting on the top of the mews and just knew she was the one I wanted.  "Are you sure?" the breeder asked "she's a bit small."

"Oh yes, I'm sure" I said "she has not stopped watching me since I arrived.  I believe she has spirit."

"Okay" he said "don't forget she will still have to be manned.  Come back tomorrow and I will have her hooded and jessed.  What will you call her?"

"Arwen."  We haggled the price a bit, then I gave him the silver.  As I was leaving I heard the grey call and I return to the present.

"So Arwen, we are indeed old friends" I say to the falcon sitting on the boat.  She drops her head and calls softly as if in response.  She returns to preening and I return to sit by the fire.  Another piece of the puzzle has returned to my memory.  I know who the bird is but I still don't know who I am.