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inward journeying...

...outward unfolding

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17 June
External Services:
  • whipporwill@livejournal.com
We are grateful to be looking out over our five-acre field recently planted with prairie grasses and flowers, to replace the old tangle of quackgrass, foxtail and other stuff, to provide a home for dicksissels, pheasants, boblinks, savannah, field, song sparrows, yellow-headed blackbirds, and maybe, if we are lucky, a Blandings turtle will come up from the creek across the road to lay her eggs in our field! Our house lies in a small cove, facing south, surrounded to the east, west and north by a long, curving ridge - part of a system of ridges in this area. You can still see the leftovers of sandstone formations tumbling down the steep slones, leftovers of the great glacier's leading edge. Two hundred years ago, this area was oak savannah, some of the rarest ecosytem in the world. We are trying to restore just a taste of that old, nearly forgotten beauty. Prairie grasses and flowers, and spreading burr oak trees flourished under the guiding hand of the American Indians who used controlled burning to shape the habitat to their nomadic ways. Came here from the smoking, raucous city madness in Minneapolis, Minnesota about six years ago. Cats, dogs, chickens, rabbits, wild things, air you can breathe, and cool well water you can drink, and then smack your lips with pleasure. Skies changing every minute. Deep woods, high meadows, wild blackberries, morels and puffball mushrooms fried in butter. And best of all, silence.

Admittedly, we miss Orr Books and the Lotus Vietnamese restaurants, the old friends, the variety of skin colors, the smell of diesel, the seething mass of unhomogenized humanity...
it's only an hour and a half drive from here!

But I've never stopped searching for the layers that lie between this present world.

My favorite play is "Waiting for Godot."

What do we do now?
I don't know.
Let's go.
We can't.
Why not?
We're waiting for Godot.
(despairingly). Ah!

And if there is nothing between these thin, familiar molecules, then Beckett was right. Existentialism is the dry grass to which we cling at the edge of the abyss.

I'm tired. I've been a lot of places, lived a lot of living. Suffering makes the soft heart weep. There's a lot of suffering at the nursing home where I work. I walk around all day, putting my hands or voice softly on them, comforting, holding, feeding, offering a cool drink of water, redirecting and helping them when they are wandering in the fields of their century-old memories.

Am I a depressed old, tired existential thing? No!

There's love! Love permeates the molecules of existentialism; makes them shimmer. Through love, we glimpse the glory of that which is beyond. There's light, truth, joy, peace, faith, color, finding, and most of all, because there's love, there's hope.

I discovered the Orthodox Church out here in the middle of a Wisconsin corn field and are eternally grateful...

It seems good now to end with a favorite Robert Frost poem:

The Pasture Spring

I'm going out to clear the pasture spring;
I'll only stop to rake the leaves away,
And wait to watch the water clear, I may.
I shan't be gone long - you come too.

I'm going out to fetch the little calf
That's standing by the mother; it's so young
It totters when she licks it with her tongue.
I shan't be gone long - you come too.

Pasture spring

animals, apostles, asimov, astronomy, bach, bach cello suites, bantam chickens, baryshnikov, beethoven, birdwatching, blanding's turtles, blues, bob dylan, bronze casting, butterfly milkweed, c.s. lewis, calder, calypso music, cape town, catharsis, cellos, celtic art, celtic knotwork, chaos theory, charles williams, children, chinese tea, classical music, creation, cryptograms, cuttlefish, dark beer, deep sea creatures, e e cummings, earl grey tea, eastern orthodox church, existentialism, fasting, faulkner, finding, flatland, fractals, francis crick, friendship, gardening, gauguin, george macdonald, glenn gould, good cheese, great lent, gully jimson, haiku, harold and maude, hemingway, hoeflin, holiness, hummingbirds, iconography, indigo buntings, inspector morse, integrity, iowa, iris, itzhak perlman, jackson pollock, james joyce, jazz, jean arp, jesus prayer, john barth, kaibab squirrel, kandinsky, kingfishers, knowing, kurt vonnegut, learning new things, life/death, ljmaps_whipporwillcanning, logic problems, m.c. escher, manet, merlot, michelangelo, minneapolis, minnesota, modigliani, morris louis, mstislav rostropovitch, mycology, mystery!, namibia, new york city, north rim, northern lights, oceans, old people, old testament prophets, opera, origami, orion, orthodox church, pascha, pentecost, pet rabbits, prairie, prayer, puzzles, quality, rahab, robert frost, rooibos tea, rothko, sculpture, septuagint, silence, south africa, spider solitaire, st justin the martyr, st mary of bethany, st. raphael of brooklyn, st. thomas sunday, stillness, stravinsky, t s eliot, table mountain, tea with milk, the thin places, theosis, thunderstorms, toads, tobit, tolkien, trinidad, trisagion, truth, van gogh, vegetable gardening, waiting for godot, water babies, welding, whip-poor-wills, wisdom, yo yo ma

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