Halfway between the solstice and the equinox.

I find myself breaking the year into smaller pieces. Looking more closely at how time passes. How the earth moves in a rhythm, in a circle of coming together and falling apart.

I have an image in my head of dolphins breaching the surface of the ocean in enthusiastic arcs. But never in unison. A staggered pattern like raindrops, or lifetimes.

I read that in Ireland the lambing begins near Brigid’s day. But here, we won’t see the animals until grazing begins in May. The fields are covered with snow. There are warm bodies in barns that reek of close quarters. Smells that pull us toward the wet, fluid spring.

Yesterday we ran along the lake. “A blanket of snow” lay over the thin ice. I have no fresh metaphor for the sight.

Dried reeds still rise 2 or 3 meters high along the shore. Below the snow, they’re rotting – making the ice especially fragile, though the water is shallow here. There’s also a warmth that belongs to death.

It’s easy to overlook, until it takes us by surprise.

When I walk Leonard these days I can’t distinguish the path from the field from the pond’s edges. The ducks gather on a patch of shining water. E. and I bought dried peas this year to scatter for the birds since we aren’t sure how long the snow will stay. There are so many of them. So many ducks.

A single, round robin hopped along in tandem with us yesterday, in the field on the other side of the stone hedge. Leonard was oblivious, having caught the scent of something that was just as oblivious to me. A hare maybe. Rat, cat, blackbird?

Four ravens watch me
from their street lamp – as I pass
through the no man’s land
they turn on their perch, silent –
they watch me returning home

I’m trying to make sense of every little thing. Every book on the shelf, every spoon in the drawer, and every must-do on my to-do list. I’ve been using new software at work to sort through the information I share with students, and for the tasks I need to do. I’ve done the same thing with my writing projects.

It’s (probably deceptively) satisfying to get everything organised this way. Having an overview only gives me an illusion of control, I suppose. But it does stop my muppet mind from fretting. I can tease apart every concern and spread it over the computer screen as separate entities. With a space between each. Nothing in its own shape seems worth fretting over. Nothing in-and-of-itself seems vital.

Muppets GIFs | Tenor

What I’m still searching for is a way to do this kind of thing with all of the thoughts in my head. I want to – lovingly – sedate every little moth-like idea and pin it to a kind of bulletin board.

I suppose in some ways that is exactly what it is to write in the mornings.

This dawning space: where the contents of my time
spreads thinly, shallow as the sea
flowing over the sand – where
every gasp for breath becomes visible –
this moment of pause before
the day’s rush and the slower ebb
into the dark and the deep
chaos of dreams.

It is exactly what it is to sit on the cushion and let every thought wash up, and pass by.

Without drowning in the process.

May we have the attention to hear when something changes, the perceptiveness to know when things aren’t working, and the wisdom to try something different.

(Adapted from a prayer on a Unitarian Universalist website.) –jobe

The first of the four seals of Buddhist thought is that all compound entities are impermanent. Everything falls apart. And when they do: when they scatter as fragments, as potentials, over the nothingness.

I envision it as a depth of black felt, not cold space. And though this nothingness isn’t really nothingness, since it can itself still be teased apart, it is as far as my mind can see.

It’s here, against this incomprehensible nothingness that every temporary constellation might be perceived and admired, seen and heard. Maybe synesthesia is the beginning of understanding? Maybe it is the universe recognizing itself at play?

In the Christian tradition, God created the world in his own image. This morning I’m thinking that every coming-together, every illusion of form is just the universes’ joyful shadow play for itself. I’m some bit player: both insignificant and indispensable. My presence is vital, my role is not.

But it is so easy to get caught up in the drama. We forget we are looking at our own mind from inside our own mind: just fragments- just potentials.