“Without contraries is no progression. Attraction and repulsion, reason and energy, love and hate, are necessary to human existence.” ― William Blake
It was terrifying living through the California fires. I took a picture across the street then of what I see as a fire monster. At least it looks like one. The fires approached so close to our home.
When Spring came so did the Monarch butterflies. A flying path over our home called us to visit the burned hills. I was beside myself with wonder. How resilient nature is. I know these hills well, and I saw blooming flowers I had never seen before. A multitude of creatures and fresh green hills. Roadrunners and rabbits have also returned.
Today I study the ideal of contraries. It is part of who we are as human beings and nature and the cosmos. I cannot think of a better quote then William Blake’s above to understand what we are going through right now. I want to share a hopeful part of nature as well. Contrary as is may seem now. It is a dependable pattern we can trust.
“According to Jung, humanity holds a special role in creation: to contribute to the act of consciousness, and the point of view of morality, in its highest sense.” ~ Johnson, Robert A. Ecstasy (p. 64) Harper One. Kindle Edition.
Dad was a WWII Captain Pilot stationed in Australia. He flew a B-24. He flew with the Jolly Rogers Bomb Squad. He was shot down off the shore of New Guinea. His back was broken. He survived of course. July 31st is the day it happened. When I was a kid mom made up a cake with the shoreline of New Guinea with a B-24 on it. We always celebrated this day.
I did not realize until this morning that it was his special day. I have not celebrated it for a long time. Maybe dad is looking down and wants a little remembrance. I thank him for all the life he gave me. Rest in Peace and have a beer on me.
The film The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) brings up what my dad and mom went through. It is a film about their generation. Dana Andrews as Captain Fred Derry reminds me of my dad. Especially his struggles in life and with drinking. Dad was one of the fallen angels. I love watching this film because it helps me to understand and feel close to him. He was a real characters who was often hard to be with. I love him dearly.
Driving towards home the dark night held all the romance that a woman could ask for. Falling in love after 30 was not a goal. Looking out of the passenger seat coyote was eyeballing my lover. He looked back at the wild thing that was part of a mythology deep in this hill’s subconscious. Hadn’t he been on top of coyote hill and tasted the nectar of adventure? Once on top years earlier coyote turned to look as coyote defined his territory. A wild thing knowing all those living there. A sacred path that went on for generations.
The Infant Bacchus (Dionysus) painting (c. 1505–1510) by Giovanni Bellini.
The Bibliotheca seems to be following Pherecydes, who relates how the infant Dionysus, god of the grapevine, was nursed by the rain-nymphs, the Hyades at Nysa. Young Dionysus was also said to have been one of the many famous pupils of the centaur Chiron. According to Ptolemy Chennus in the Library of Photius,
“Dionysus was loved by Chiron, from whom he learned chants and dances, the bacchic rites and initiations.”~~Diodorus Siculus
Wildflowers have taught me to be authentic. You cannot mess with a wildflower. It does it’s own thing Too much water or love and if will die. One must look at a wildflower with a sideways glance. Appreciation is appreciated. Don’t expect a sweetness without an inward determination or discernment from the wild thing.
Today while shopping the Sunday crowds were noticeable. The checkout lane was accepted. Yet even with the self-check out open and the 15 items or less open, two young men with several Styrofoam cups wanted to go first. They loomed close to me. Thinking my old women ways would be forgiving and stupid to the fact they would eventually ask the question.
And then it happened the young man said,
“Can you do us a favor…”
I said with well learned flower intention and assertion,
“No. There is a self-checkout over there and a 15 or less over there. Otherwise you need to chill and wait like the rest of us.”
I went ahead with the checkout process. These two young men then decided to enter my space. I had to tell them to please step back.
“You need to step back because you are invading my space.”
They were in front of the cash check machine. I had to bag my things. They were shaking their heads like I was playing the wrong card.
You cannot expect older mamas to be sweaty pie by force. If these two young men were older and needed my help, I would have let them through and bagged for them. But these guys thought wrong about me.
It felt good to say “no” and “back off.”
I did not use fuck, or stupid or use my hand finger. I was assertive and authentic like the wildflowers in my garden.
“… but rather that it is the intangible things that imprint on us and we imprint on others that are most important… allow that magic to spread to your soul and enlighten you spiritually.” ~ Bear Medicine Walker / omtimes.com
Often our lessons in life come through illness. We all go through these experiences. As well as our ancestors, loved ones and friends have. My illness has taught me a mindfulness of others who have gone through similar experiences. A family member or a friend that went through illness and died. Wasn’t it Madam Blavatsky who said, “We have neither friends nor enemies only teachers?”
An illness may be only a physiological illness, but I am experiencing mine as more. My illness is in the area of my heart. It is in my lungs and esophagus. The area of our hearts and lungs are what connect us to our friends, family and ancestors. As practicing mindfulness, it is helping me to see that all relationships are what Madam Blavatsky taught. Also, that we all have a dark and light side.
Today I am writing an essay about two people who were, and still are, a big part of my life. I experienced their dark side and light side. Their joy and sadness are with me. I am hoping that this Tibetan Buddhism subtle mindfulness will help my two relationships that have passed on. In return helping me to let go of resentments and promote healing. As Raven from the Native American Medicine Wheel teaches, “Be strong, have faith and remember within all things are lessons and positives.”
Today my mindfulness is focused on two relationships, my longtime girlfriend Lynn and my oldest brother Steven Jarva . Both were independent, shy and creative people. They both had an addiction. Lynn died of an overdose before she turned 50. Steven Jarva was an alcoholic and I was not close to him when he died so I do not know what illness killed him in his early 70s.
I am sad they are gone.
Now for the good part of this story. They both caused me pain, stress and unhappiness. They also brought me so much fun, joy and love. This also is a mindfulness of how they experienced me in life.
Lynn and I grew up playing as a profession. We were wild as the wind. Later in life she drove me and some other friends to high school every day. She had a little brown VW Bug. She always had a tape of Crosby Stills Nash and Young on her cassette car radio.
Steven Jarva was my brother who I looked up to as a kid. He was 11 years older than I was. I painfully watched as he left our home at 18. He was a movie extra for years. He was a lady’s man and sailed on his own sailboat to Hawaii. He was a licensed scuba diving instructor. He took me sailing and I sat on the front tip or the ‘stuck.’. Flying on the waves as a seagull. He had a Ford Falcon that he raced when he was younger. I learned about the Beatles listing to his 8-track tape of Rubber Soul while he worked on the engine with his cute friends.