the sky exploded with color

the sky exploded with color tonight. Not ostentatious color like a vivid orange, red and pink spread in clouds all over the sky. But all blues swirled and their progeny imagined new colors, and those bled together as well…

and I wondered if it were possible for me to be so deeply grounded, so fully in the earth, and yet have my spirit so high up above the tail lights, up in the infinite shades of twilight blue. I am taking off, or settling in, and my spirit just blew apart to corners of the sky, dematerialized…

Later, I am with two very handsome, very very sweet, men. They are both, respectively, a foot taller than me. I feel very small. They are good-naturedly walking over to the bar to buy us drinks, they are laughing and slapping each other’s backs, they are talking talking talking, and my body is completely relaxed into an expansive feeling of beautiful sadness that is making it hard for me to enjoy talking or listening. My body is calling me to be with it, there is almost a drug-like quality to how textured it all feels. I am at peace here, there isn’t anywhere else I want to be..

Driving home I am fantasizing about heading up to the lost coast for a two week ramble up and down. I am thinking about the rain and the weather. I am thinking about the storms, I am thinking about being alone. I am thinking about getting angry. I am thinking about breaking things. I am thinking about writing and writing to my heart’s content. I am thinking about silence, and walking, and the sound of the ocean, and those nights where the weather breaks and the moon is full and it is pouring bright beams through dark clouds. On those nights there is a power that you can feel viscerally in the air; it makes you look around in awe and fear as the wildness of a place without people trembles under the fast changing sky scape. I am thinking about letting go and climbing inside of my own peace and quiet. A stillness that I carry with me and act from all the time, and yet get to spend too little time fully inside of.

Part of this is a big tired fuck you that almost immediately turns into a deeply reverential thank you once I am out there. When I arrive with my feet on the ground and sleeping under sky I let the earth take the things I don’t want to carry anymore. The earth and the water can take those forces and turn them into waves, sunshine, rain, and the energy that makes a hummingbird’s heart beat so fast.

I go outside to be small, powerless, powerful, and free.



6 thoughts on “the sky exploded with color

  1. D-

    This entry particularly struck me. Especially the following:

    “expansive feeling of beautiful sadness” -yes…so relaxing and oddly warming

    -I like how you not only are in tune to the signals that your body/spirit is sending to you…but you listen to them without filters. Few people can accept their spiritual/bodily callings and actually follow them, especially when circumstances one from acting upon these callings. Don’t lose this strength to listen to and confide in your inner self.

    -And pretty much all of the last paragraph. You’ve poetically expressed what I have felt so many nights embracing the chilling stillness, wildness and peace of the natural world from the warm of my sleeping bag.

    Oh, and the last part talking about surrendering all of your unwanted energies to the earth to turn them into beauty. I’ve never reflected to much on this idea, but its a very interesting one. I’m gonna pay more attention to this…you have any other examples?

    1. ooh, That is a good question! I will look for other examples…and get back to you, I’m gonna think about it a little. I think it starts with energy not being created or destroyed and some interpretation of the theory of entanglement..but yes, let’s talk about that

      1. So yeah there is that second law of thermodynamics stuff too noting how energy is never created nor destroyed, just transformed. So it is interesting to consider consciously diverting our unwanted energies toward positive manifestations. Anxiety over meeting a deadline for example…to acknowledge this energy buildup and consciously transform it somehow or send it off somehow…I don’t know…is this kinda what you were alluding to?

      2. Hey Dave,
        That is kind of what I’m talking about, but not exactly. When I go backpacking, or hiking, or surfing, my body opens up energetically. Sometimes it takes a couple hours, or days for this to happen completely. When I am open I don’t consciously choose or not to have an interaction with nature, but in a sort of entropic way, something equalizes. At a cellular level I am interacting with my environment and things shift and change. For me, and I believe that for all of us because we are at heart creatures of nature, going into nature, when we can be open to it, is a healing process. This is not something I have always felt. But over the last few years my relationship with the outdoors has grown more intimate, and I feel very deeply supported to let go when I am out there, and that is the result of my slowly cultivating that relationship. So, sort of in answer, for me it’s less about conscious diversion which sort of implies a mechanistic or mathematical exchange, and more about a transformation or transcendence that is held by the intelligent forces at work in a place filled with life. There is intelligence in a system that exists in a balance with itself and that intelligence is transmitted to us in the form a peaceful wisdom when we are open to it.

        At the same time, if I feel anxiety over a deadline, or frustration in a relationship, I do often shift, divert, or consciously go about expressing it. One of my tools for that is going to a place of natural beauty, another is working out, even in a gym. By thinking of my frustration or anger or anxiety while working out, 99% of the time I leave feeling more settled about it. I think it’s very important for us to not allow energies like that to get stuck in our bodies. Sometimes, it takes words, sometimes physical movement, sometimes change of scenery, and sometimes all three, to help us release.

        When I say that nature takes that and turns it in to those things of beauty it is partially metaphorical in that nature is the ultimate transformer. But it is also real to me. In nature there are no bad or wrong emotions, those are human judgments, but the feelings are energy, and we can release that energy, and it does go somewhere. I remember when I had my heart opening experience, which I wrote about a week or so ago, when all that stuff came out I got very cold, there was a literal physical release of energy that I held in my chest in a way that was negative for my health. Emotions are real and have energy.

        hmmm. I’m still thinking about this. what else? Where are my unquestioned assumptions?

  2. Yeah…feel you completely on transcendence through immersion in the natural world. And definitely can relate to such heart opening experiences that leave you cold and burnt-out. I know I’ve told you before about the indescribable and unmatchable feelings of wild and freedom felt from jumping bare-assed into one of the infinite alpine lakes in one of the myriad hidden basins in the Sierra Nevadas. During one such dip I had such an overwhelming and uncontrollable outburst of emotion and a force that to this day I can’t describe. Afterwords I spent the entire night tucked in my sleeping bag with every layering piece of clothing I had…shivering, suffering, and with no energy to do anything. Almost like a hangover of sorts, eh…but maybe more painful.

    I’m curious, since I have long felt such theraputic and empowering energy in the natural world…and you state that you didn’t always feel so…what was it that developed, or better yet, brought out this affinity for the wild within you?

    I’m a little unclear what you are getting at with: “a transformation or transcendence that is held by the intelligent forces at work in a place filled with life. There is intelligence in a system that exists in a balance with itself”
    -Intellegence and Balance are adjectives I have become skeptical of when discussing “nature”. Maybe its just my science influences getting the better of me…but through extended experience in the wild I am not convinced of the whole Balance and Equilibrium theory. And an intelligence…well what are you trying to say?

    I agree in nature there is no bad or good energy/emotions…all values. But are there not destructive energies…or levels of energy that can accumulate to destructive levels? I guess you original post just made conscious to me that by…ugh…consciously noting these destructive energies we might be able to somehow divert them into constructive forces. Not sure what constructive forces might be…but it was an attractive idea. Almost like in meditation when one brings one’s egoistic thoughts into consciousness and releasing them with each exhaling breath.

    Any thoughts?

  3. I wouldn’t describe a heart-opening experience as leaving me cold or burned-out. Such experiences have been exhausting, but full of a deep warmth and sense of greater meaning that in a way gave me access to a source of energy, so almost the opposite of what you describe. But I was lucky to have someone who saw me start to fall into that cold shaking and took me outside, she knew how to take care of me and supported me through the process. Experiences that release stored hurts and pains can be scary, and leave one feeling volatile if not supported or given some safety.

    I grew up spending time in the outdoors with my family, but much of it was social for me. I was in some ways starved of the real support I needed in my family, so I was always looking for it in other people, and we took friends with us. I don’t remember feeling that in touch with or in love with the natural world, it was a place where I spent time with other people. In college I did some trips to southeast asia and India that opened doors for me in new environments. Then when I graduated from college I started going on backpacking trips. Doing it on my own changed me. It was my relationship that I cultivated not my relationship with other people, necessarily, though good friends came out of that too. On the trips I did by myself I was spending more time out there too, so instead of a weekend backpacking, or a week in a cabin, it was a week out on the trail on the ground, and that changed something too. One of my backpacking friends told me that her daily practice was getting in cold water and immersing. When I started to do that, in spite of the original discomfort, I felt a transcendent feeling in my body as I let go of the fear, and awakened to a very vibrant alive feeling.

    So the underlying assumption in what you are saying is that destructive forces are bad, and that we would want to divert them into constructive forces. What if destructive forces are part of the constructive process? Take for example, what you already know about forest fires. Forest fires are necessary for the health of a forest. Forest fires are a part of the balance. Balance isn’t static. Balance is a dynamic process that occurs through both creation and destruction. Take another example, death. We think of death as being a bad thing, yet death is a part of a greater process through which new life emerges. It is part of the process by which natural selection takes place. What is hard for many humans to grasp is that the scale of the balance is bigger than our time scales, and bigger than any individual or even any individual species.

    If you’re looking at the time scale as being your lifetime, than shit is way out of balance (due to us in many ways, but certainly there are examples of naturally caused imbalance as well). But if you’re looking at the history of the planet, we’ve had five major extinctions, are in our sixth, and life continues to rebound from those disasters and reach new and different equilibriums.

    but we can experience balance in our time scale too. When I go up to the sierras I see balance, especially in the deeper places that fewer people gain access to. But in my understanding that balance can include die-outs, fires, and changes that affect where things come to rest. Change is the rule, and balance is the flow of that change. Most eco-systems deal with change rather elegantly.

    In terms of intelligence, this question is more philosophical and really depends more on your spiritual perspective on life. I used to feel the same as you and I definitely empathize with that uncertainty and skepticism. For me, personally, I have come to sense a latent intelligence in this world, and the greater universe of which we are a part. Intelligence in a funny word, it has so much meaning and so much ego mapped on to it. In the west we have generally considered the human to be the only site of intelligence. But it seems arrogant to assume that because the process that created us doesn’t operate in the same way that our intelligence operates that it isn’t intelligent. It’s the same arrogance that allowed people to believe that animals can’t feel or have emotions. What if intelligence manifests in a variety of ways, in fact in ways as various as there are living things, or forces?
    What if intelligence means something different from what we think it means? Might there be other forms of intelligence that we are unfamiliar with?

    Here is an excellent interview with Edgar Mitchell who was the sixth man to walk on the moon and then came back to found the Institute of Noetic Sciences. I think you’ll enjoy it because as you get down into it he really is a scientist, he just is open to things being different from how they appear, or how we understand them to be.

    “Mitchell faced a critical challenge. As a physical scientist, he had grown accustomed to directing his attention to the objective world “out there.” But the experience that came to him in space led him to a startling hypothesis: Perhaps reality is more complex, subtle, and inexorably mysterious than conventional science had led him to believe. Perhaps a deeper understanding of consciousness (inner space) could lead to a new and expanded view of reality in which objective and subjective, outer and inner, are understood as co-equal aspects of the miracle and mystery of being.“

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