The Dead by the Side of the Road

THE DEAD BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD

How did a great Red-tailed Hawk
come to lie—all stiff and dry—
on the shoulder of
Interstate 5?

Her wings for dance fans

Zac skinned a skunk with a crushed head
washed the pelt in gas; it hangs,
tanned, in his tent

Fawn stew on Hallowe’en
hit by a truck on highway forty-nine
offer cornmeal by the mouth;
skin it out.

Log trucks run on fossil fuel

I never saw a Ringtail til I found one in the road:
case-skinned it with the toenails
footpads, nose, and whiskers on;
it soaks in salt and water
sulphuric acid pickle;

she will be a pouch for magic tools.

The Doe was apparently shot
lengthwise and through the side—
shoulder and out the flank
belly full of blood

Can save the other shoulder maybe,
if she didn’t lie too long—
Pray to their spirits. Ask them to bless us:
our ancient sisters’ trails
the roads were laid across and kill them:
night-shining eyes

The dead by the side of the road.

~Gary Snyder
    Turtle Island

 

Yoga philosophy

Patanjali’s 8 Limbs of Yoga

Yamas (Restraints)
– Ahimsa (non-harming)
– Satya (non-lying)
– Asteya (non-stealing)
– Brahmacharya (of Brahma)
– Aparigraha (non-hoarding)

Niyamas (Observances)
– Soucha (cleanliness)
– Santosha (contentment)
– Tapas (zeal for yoga)
– Svadyaya (self-study)
– Ishvarapranidhana (surrender)

Asana (pose)

Pranayama (breath)

Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses)

Dharana (intense focus)

Dhyana (state of meditation)

Samadhi (state of oneness)

My dad died

I believe in the Big Bang and I believe it is the breath of God and it is God. Exhale creation, inhale entropy. And it is all Now. That part of the Now that forms into Ingram is part of Us before we are born and part of Us when we separate out of the moment we inhabit as individual particles and return to the greatness of All. And the part of Creation that was his life is still happening.

I am still laughing with my grandmother. I am still gossiping with my dad. I am still holding my infant son and I am still fucking up all they ways that I did that, too. And my future is unknown to me, but it is already happening, too. Not as it is supposed to happen, simply as it does happen.

So, that part of the liturgy that talks about “as it was and is and evermore shall be” really works for me. My dad is with me forever, I just can’t hold his hand any more.  The particle of Now that is “me” misses that and cries sometime.

I do not believe that the Breath and God are separate.  I believe Singularity.

Vanitas

DSC05457This is my bad photography of François Desportes’s Urn of Flowers with Fruit and Hare at the NC Museum of Art.

I learned about vanitas still lifes in the winter of 2012.  The museum had an exhibition of Still-Life Masterpieces: A Visual Feat from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.  I wasn’t enthusiastic about the exhibition, but it was available to wander through during the holiday gala; so, we did.

And, we learned something important.  We learned about the style of still life that is a memento mori.  Some of them are pretty heavy handed.  Full of skulls and clocks and hourglasses.  Others are more subtle.  There will be flowers in vases that would only last for a day, never for the amount of time that was necessary to paint them.  Or less than perfect fruit that has bruises on it.  Sometimes, there will be Spring flowers with Autumn fruit.

This painting is a great example of the second kind.  Notice the bruises on the peaches.  And the irises in a vase with morning glories.  The lapin corpse and grey butterfly aren’t so subtle.  But, I really enjoy this painting.