November is the transition of fall to winter.
November gives up the red, orange, yellow, and gold for brown into grey.
The sky gains depth, definition, and clarity.
November is laid bare at your feet and we head within ourselves to find warmth and answers to the probing questions and immediate need to cope with change.
To the outside we are primitive specks of dust lost on some distant chunk of molten rock destined for an uncertain future defined by the egoistical driven actions we take for ourselves with little regard to the sphere of influence we exert on those around us.
We are primitive in our methods and usage of earths resources and limited in our knowledge to expand beyond the current landscape.
We blindly walk through night and dust and through each other.
When will this end? Where is the desperately needed shift to open closed eyes and minds?
Just finished moving to a new house (whose idea was it to move in winter?) and we have emerged from the boxes and disarray. So much going on, so many changes, but it is the start of a new chapter. Each day is a reminder of who we were yesterday and who we can become tomorrow.
January has come and gone and February is still a frozen landscape. Snow piles have quickly reached over mailboxes, around corners, and now threaten to block out windows. We don layer after layer and become indistinguishable from one another.
What do you do when it is below zero and the snow is up to your knees? Snowshoe of course! I took out a new pair of MSR Evo snowshoes for the first time, and was a bit disappointed. The binding system requires the use of bare fingers and at 10 below zero, was no fun. Atlas snowshoes are still the best overall for cold weather and snow in Minnesota. They are easy to setup and adjust with gloves on and the decking material takes a lot of abuse and does not crack or stiffen.
To help with my writing funk, I’ve been reading a lot more than usual. And that advice is always given to writers: read more. Read different genres or subjects than what you are writing about. This helps to expand your mental awareness and give a larger pool of ideas and images to the mind and imagination.
I finished the first book about Zen Master Ryokan “Sky Above, Great Wind”. This has provided two straight weeks of new writing each evening. The most productive I have been in some time. I feel there is much more I can learn from him and have started another book titled: “Great Fool: Poems, Letters, and Other Writings”.
While reading about his life, his writing, source of inspiration, and how he chose to live, I feel a connection of sorts, and a desire to continue on a path of simplicity and immersion in nature. What else can we do but embrace what is around us, and care for each tree, each blade of grass, and each dew-drop.
The moon rises near Orion and the recent snow glistens as I listen to nothing but the footsteps of a rabbit and the quiet breath of Leroy as she watches over the land near a fallen leaf, a gentle reminder of change and the resilience of what we live and breathe within.
Trying to get my head straight.
I stare carelessly out the second floor
windows at burnt yellow and green leaves.
Not much wind is blowing.
Even with a stifling heat and little
wind, there is something calming about
this later afternoon, some other
white noise is present.
On the verge of sleep
my eyes are heavy and I
work to get into a different place
far from that other life, back into
the person I am or that I am supposed to be
regardless of the reasons I am here
trying to get my head straight.