Oh So Content Except for the Get


Who you really are can’t be “interrupted” by a thought or some dark emotional state anymore than a passing rain cloud disturbs the open sky through which it passes.  – Guy Finley

Warm winds blowing hard from the West are testing the stamina of earth, home and creature but here they gentle our oppressive heat into a peaceful pranic cocoon. Those storms will soon be upon us but the preceding calm says sit. Sit with the waves of cicada banshee screech that begin with the ch- ch- ch -ch of a garden sprinkler and rise from rattle to the eiyiiiiiiyeeiiiiiiiiyeeiiiii pitch of an Indian war scream. Listen for the ha-lalalala cry of the Arab’s fluttering tongue that woodpeckers mimic between song bird melodies. Landscaper’s lawnmowers intermittent vibration melds with motors of the occasional passing truck and airplane.

I sit with a cup of dark coffee sweet with white foam and rock in the restful cushions of a swivel chair under a large black umbrella. No one is home but me. I have nowhere to be for hours. I am soaked with satisfaction.

There are holes in the earth around me. Thousands of cicadas have crawled from these holes as perfectly round as a carpenter bee’s circle leaving the ground tattooed like a peg board. I marvel at the underworld of voles, moles, snakes, insects, larvae: those waiting to be born and those that are dead. The wind circles in the limbs high overhead and I think of the Rapture recently invoked and the tornadoes that flung people and pets to the heavens. I reflect on our image of heaven above and hell below and wonder at the layers and myself in between. Beyond reason I remember some primordial reckoning that makes clear my place born from water to this land and sky.

I imagine our solar system flung so far in every direction and others farther still. I imagine the ocean floors and those that live below them.  I do not feel small but bigger than my skin which is a porous veil between me and this sky, this ground, this space.

In this blustery heat I recall the beaches of New Jersey summers. I feel the coolness of the salty ocean that tastes like sweating skin. I remember sand between toes and the sharp surprise of hidden shell or coral beneath it. In this wind heavy with the energy of all that it’s touched before me and all that will be swept away by it later I remember a pretty young girl sitting alone in a hollow at the top of Ajax Mountain wearing hiking boots and a faded pink peasant dress, journal in hand, surrounded by weedy yellow wild flowers. I want to sit with sweet memories.

But the word “get” appears like a highway warning sign.  Though I have no schedule, habit suddenly demands I get going, get groceries, get the laundry done; get on with the day. I may say no and linger awhile more as the urgency is false but there are more gets waiting for me. Get to the acupuncturist for that inflamed elbow. Get gas for the car to get there. Get a job to pay for the gas. What about the career I meant to nurture. Get to the internet. Get information. Get a resume done. I notice how many times a day I use that word from get up in the morning to get to class to get to bed. I’m perfectly content except for the Get.

Get; get away from me! Get out of here. Get lost.  But there’s a reason and a time for that worn out word and I reluctantly relinquish my seat mindful that Get has gotten to me and now I will put it in its place. I informally schedule a time for it.  I know how loathe I am to follow schedules and so I determine to bring the cosmos to accompany me when I go.  In this way I avert disharmony and send myself on with invisible allies and back up. If there is no better company than myself, it is me accompanied by all that makes me more of myself.

Get becomes a whisper in the wind and part of the bird and insect song. I’m getting over myself and into the rhythm of the day.

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