Flying Dreaming Loving

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Reflections

The dream is unobtrusive, glowing where no one can see it, following beside me but deep in the ground, visible only by looking straight down through the center of myself, from the inside of my senses.  It’s a thought immune to the semi-annual dental check-ups, the unsolicited catalogs that arrive in the mail, the bouts of automotive repair and immune system reconfiguration, and the dangerous lines of cars queueing behind plow trucks that plod along flashing orange in the night.

It’s a feeling about the way one post transforms into the next.  Words are enfolded into vision, and encounters into awareness.  Moments steep within moments, fractals of hope, and we spill open again and again into an uncut silence.  We pick up the words we find, clean them off, and try to put them in order.  These gifts.  We gather speed, and momentum.  We wonder.  We shake and we threaten to come apart.  One thought transforms into the next– spinning, whirling.  Trees watch us whip past, until the wheels leave the ground.  Until the last rope is cut free and thrown back to shore.  Until forever is the whistle in our ears.

As kids we ran in the park, with our arms out beside us, thinking of this flight.  We ran and ran, stumbling over uncut grass and sunken pockets in the soil, until we came to the railing.  The sky didn’t stop at the railing, but we did.  We did and something else didn’t.  It kept going.  Going and going and going, until we looked away.  And then we ran again, down the path this time, with our arms out beside us, filled by our memories of everything else.

I read a book once from the library.  A history book.  It had a story about a small group of people, a small village’s worth maybe, that went down to a lake and remembered how much they loved one another.  I don’t know what they did, if they were silent or if they spoke.  The book called it a ceremony.  But that just means an opening.  A time for powers to intersect and draw near.  I don’t know if they sat by the lake and remembered specific things together, or if they took turns talking about things inside of them they couldn’t understand.  Or if they even talked at all.  One of them had a name with the word Kettle in it, I think.  I could be wrong.  It was a translation.  A historian’s name.  There’s an assumption that one word can equal another, and bring everything about the first word along with it.  I don’t know if you can do that or not.  And the story went that for a window of time, none of the soldiers’ bullets could touch them.  They stood together by the lake and couldn’t be harmed.  That’s what the history book said, from the academic library.

You don’t hear about power like that so much these days.  It’s a little taboo.  To think we’re so close to the unexpected.  To think it could interrupt our regularly scheduled programming at any moment.  It’s frightening.  Do we really live our lives in such proximity to a power of particularity and need?  A non-conforming power.  A hidden power.  Power that strikes swift and total in a single fragment of space and time, and then is gone forever.  Power that invents the rules as it goes.

All our power now comes from systems and structures and codification.  It has to be beta tested.  It has be considered– its up sides and its down’s.  It has to comply with the rules that have been accepted before.  All our power now is powerlessness that’s gotten organized.

But if you think about it, life is the story of pan flashes.  A gene or two went AWOL, and now we can see.  Sight wasn’t there in the beginning.  Boundaries had to be broken for that to happen.  The past has to be transcended.  Life never really pays all that much attention to what has been, does it?  It just folds it into itself, and responds to it the way movement responds to movement.  But what is Life responding to?  This is the kicker– the thought in the ground following me around.  Our modern talent is knowing what we’re responding to.  We are reasoned.  We must be.  It’s the promise we made to one another.

When we decided to make this world in our image, and then made up the image too, we lost our way a bit.  Now we do things the hard way.  With reasons and precedents.  With indictments and proceedings.  With influence and sway.  It takes four miles of walking to equal one mile.

Then you think how much beauty Nature offers, on such a limited budget.  It’s nothing really but starlight and gravity.  Gravity is a millionth as strong per unit of mass as a baby’s joyful touch– her grasping of your finger, her slap of your face and arms.  But it’s everywhere.  From that alone– starlight and gravity– holiness echoes in all directions.  The thing I find in Nature’s beauty that is so startling is the utter absence of motive.  The absence of reasons.  It’s what makes it real I think.  All of it is just because.  Because.  All of it is like a power by a lake.  It is immediate and unprecedented.  It is a story about Love.

We have to throw our reasons back into the water, I think.  Nevermind what we’ll eat for supper, or what bait worked before.  Maybe those are not the fish we’re trying to catch.  Maybe we need to stop seeking explanations of one another, and just let one thing tumble into the next for a few nights.  Maybe we need to become free of all motive whatsoever, so that Love, weaker even than gravity and starlight, can defy the rules and gather Herself once in a while.  To claim a flash of space and time as Her Own, when we least expect it.  When we’re silent, and forgetful of who we used to be, and once wanted to become.

39 Comments

    • Hi David,

      There’s something to be said for the pants we had with us when we rode bikes up and down the mountain and camped in a snowy forest. But I also read somewhere that dreaming of a new pair of pants is symbolic of good fortune. You can’t go wrong. That is the thing. You just can never go as wrong as you think you have, or think you might.

      Peace
      Michael

      Like

  1. The part about the playground resonated with me the most. As children we think we’re invincible, that we can fly and soar and we are told we can be whoever and whatever we want to be. As we get older the boundaries are laid out, like staking down a tent so that it doesn’t blow away, we conform to what we are told, we become replicas in mini form of everything around us. A sad state, yes….I remember a boy who jumped off of his garage roof with a sheet of wood and a cape because he thought he could fly. Broke his leg and missed a lot of school (perhaps that is what he was really trying for?) and all the adults exclaimed how stupid he was, but I always thought him quite brave, just for trying. He was always a daredevil and did quite well for himself because he didn’t listen to those who told him he couldn’t. I admire that thought process and as I became older started changing the can’t into why not? So I wrote, and wrote some more and I dreamed, and magical things began happening. Storytellers are dreamers who are changing minds one word at a time, and your parables and life words always give rise to that special place in me that says hey, here’s someone that thinks like you do, we’re not alone floating on the big blue marble. Those people shine like the stars and we find them by their guiding light. Thank you Michael, for always shining your light so magically and bright. I think I’m blind now😀⭐️ Oh, thats a good thing! Peace and love to you and Hafiz too😊

    Liked by 4 people

    • Wow, Kim… thank you for such a lovely comment. I think that boy was courageous, too. There’s a line of thought at work in this place that says if we believe it strongly enough we can make it so, and the sad thing is that I think it has gotten more than one of us into trouble. If you listen very carefully to your heart, sometimes you can see how you’re fighting it in these moments. You’re will says, “Yes! I have the power!” but your heart is uncertain, confused about this strange going around and “willing” everything… Something isn’t quite right about all this “decidedness”… Over time we learn the way beauty works. Unexpectedly. Indirectly. Far more deeply and perfectly and intimately than we could ever have “willed” on our own and for a fraction of the energetic cost. We just have to be content with how it all works, and stop insisting it would be better if conformed to our ideas of what it should be! Every few hours I have to remind myself of this. 🙂

      Hafiz bows politely, and springs off the end of the board into a double twist reverse tuck and into a black hole.

      Love and Peace to you, too, Kim!
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hafiz scores a ten for my first giggle today. Thank you Michael. Happy craziness here with the move. One week from today, no internet makes it worse, not that I don’t appreciate patience as I do, just not when I have three hundred emails to get to….it’s like snail mail….but this morning first time in almost a month, perfect blood pressure….when you stop worrying about it, it improves too…flipping with Hafiz joy. Peace and love and as always, Hank You for the gift you are to my life. A day with your words is an amazingly perfect day indeed.💜⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
        Peace and a 💉shot of patience for me,
        Kim

        Liked by 1 person

  2. footloosedon says

    As always in your writing, Michael, you provide me with new ways of looking at life: new perspectives on the miraculousness of just being here in this reality, and the magical possibilities that are always available if we just choose to believe.

    I love your wonderful use of words, and the line “The thing I find in Nature’s beauty that is so startling is the utter absence of motive.” brought out a big ‘Yes’ from me: a recognition that this is when magic can happen: when we let go of wanting things to be a particular way, and allow everything to be just as it is. My heartfelt thanks for the stimulation your wise words provide.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Don,

      So good to hear from you as always. I don’t know where that line came from. It was just the cleanest description I could find in the moment of how I feel about Nature’s beauty. And I think it’s true that we have to let go of the particulars, and move into what is called faith instead. At least until we no longer need it. I read an interesting line in A Course in Miracles the other day. I hadn’t opened the book in a while, and I flipped through a few pages. I found a line that said something to the effect that faith is the healing. That when we have faith, the healing has already happened kind of thing. There’s something about trusting that sets the whole beautiful cosmic dance into motion.

      Peace and Love
      Michael

      Like

  3. This paragraph grabbed at my heartstrings:

    It’s a feeling about the way one post transforms into the next. Words are enfolded into vision, and encounters into awareness. Moments steep within moments, fractals of hope, and we spill open again and again into an uncut silence. We pick up the words we find, clean them off, and try to put them in order. These gifts. We gather speed, and momentum. We wonder. We shake and we threaten to come apart. One thought transforms into the next– spinning, whirling. Trees watch us whip past, until the wheels leave the ground. Until the last rope is cut free and thrown back to shore. Until forever is the whistle in our ears.

    You can cut a rug with your writing. The dance requires no music, no rhythm, no melody. The dance is a natural progression activated by a long ago vibration that dissolved into dust. None of that “matters” Just keep dancing until you are dizzy enough to fly.

    love and joy,
    Linda

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Linda!

      I love that you felt the way this writing builds. It felt that way with me when I wrote it. Like a cadence, a dance, a rhythm… We’ll see where it takes us! I am having great fun exploring ideas and becoming aware of new wrinkles to this experience we call life!

      Love and Joy, Indeed!
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Michael, certainly not to my surprise, this posting really spoke to me and my here and now – the beauty of nature and it’s lack of motive and then the silence, that awkward silence where I can hear it and then my motive becomes only that to l listen to it. Thanks for keeping me from driving off the road as I drift off and scan the horizon from time to time. Peace, Harlon

    Liked by 5 people

    • Hi Harlon,

      You’re bringing in a whole ‘nother dimension now with the awkward silence. Certainly worth paying attention to. I usually get those when I know the answer but I don’t like it so my brain starts doing the hamster wheel thing, or else I planned the other person’s response in advance of a speech I just gave, and in my mind the reaction was totally different than what’s looking back at me. 🙂 It’s all that motive getting in the way…

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  5. My goodness, Michael, your words are so beautiful and powerful that sometimes I have to step back, sit down and breathe. Like when you get to the mountains or on a beach sand after snowy winter, and feel completely overwhelmed by the complete expansion of it.
    I am glad you did not stop at that railing of organized powerlessness, and keep on flying. We just watched Ramona and Beezus with kids, and my favorite scene there is when Ramona flies with her parachute through the clouds. Nobody can see or believe her, but she flies.
    Thank you again for such beautiful inspiration.
    Kristina

    Liked by 5 people

    • Thank you, Kristina, for the kind words. You never can tell when you write something what will be transmitted, so I’m always grateful when it seems I wasn’t plunking in the dark on my own, but discovering something many of us can know and share.

      I haven’t seen that scene, but it sounds like a winner. I’m a little partial to the ET “bikes take to the sky scene myself…” 🙂 Nobody ever believes the kids when they fly!

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you, Michael, your words work beautifully and actually are very helpful for me.
        I enjoyed your exchange with Sue and Hariod below. I am just finishing up reading Chogyam Trungpa’s “The Myth of Freedom”, and feel like I will need to reread it again as it just hard to process it all at once (with my conditioned mind 🙂 ) – but it ties into this conversation of cause/effect/freedom. I feel like you and Hariod are saying same thing just different words.
        Best of luck with musing aloud.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. “All our power now is powerlessness that’s gotten organized.”
    Yep. Very cool observation. That is what I frequently think when I am looking at the rat race.

    “We have to throw our reasons back into the water, I think. Nevermind what we’ll eat for supper, or what bait worked before. Maybe those are not the fish we’re trying to catch.”
    Giving up our original reasons and letting new reasons be revealed to us is certainly a point to start.

    Peace and joy,
    Karin

    Liked by 5 people

    • Thank you, Karin. I like the continuation of letting new reasons be revealed. You bring up an interesting point for me, which is the observation of why we do things… and how this shifts as we heal. Our “why’s” are a big part of how we define ourselves I think. It is an interesting little meditation to reflect on for me. Why we do what we do… Sometimes it is very difficult to say, and that is probably just fine, I like the idea of moving increasingly by feel– in response to the inspiration and the feelings of connection that arise in us.

      Blessings
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I enjoyed this greatly Michael, and somehow it has the feel of wandering beside you listening to you thinking to yourself out aloud. The philosophical question posed seems to be regarding whether the mind can escape conditioning, cause and effect, call it what we will. I think it obvious that our sensory systems can only operate as they do, as they evolved to do; so there can be no escaping that, and one can hardly imagine what consciousness would look like in such a hypothetical scenario. We would not last long. What can be escaped is the constant identification with phenomena, and which clearly you are pointing to with other words. What does that look like in consciousness? No one can say, because language is couched in subject/object identification.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, I was musing aloud quite a bit there for a moment. Your use of language is typically both interesting and grounding for me. The equation of conditioning with cause and effect is one I don’t fully understand. Maybe I will if I think out loud some more… I tend to think of conditioning as the adherence to a set of beliefs or perceptions, which are themselves perfectly reliable in the way they develop particular experiences. But the initiating beliefs or perceptions are themselves of course malleable. And maybe this is the way they are cause and effect, as conditioning begets particular types of correlated experiences. I could see relinquishing our particular filters and patterns of thought as being a type of shift out of cause and effect, and sense that as a rare type of freedom almost. This is how I think of the term “unity”, as a different toolkit of experience, but it’s elusive because in unity cause and effect feel very difficult to tease apart in a way. Like it doesn’t quite make sense to do so. It “feels” similar to me as the idea of nature being without motive, yet still so prolific in the offering of beauty. So I infer perhaps this is what you mean. That the unconditioned mind steps away from the cause-effect modality of experience which is so prevalent today, primarily because the fundamental belief in selfhood, agency, or separation, is itself the starting point. Am I tracking?

      And yes, language is itself the artifact of a particular conditioning, isn’t it…

      I always enjoy your contributions my friend.

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

      • This could get terribly and unnecessarily complex as we respectively tease our apart our understandings. To strip things down, I would say that what you term ‘the unconditioned mind’ is something of a misnomer within my own way of looking at things.

        I don’t think the ‘mind’ (assuming we allow for such a phenomenon – it tends to connote a self-entity out of mere mentation) can ever be ‘unconditioned’ Michael, though it can be free of the idea of a self with agency. Thinking then continues, along with its volitional tendencies, its assumptions, a priori beliefs, personalised perceptual ‘library’; though in being free of the erroneous ‘self with agency’ idea, it has broken the back of the burden of suffering. Awareness itself is unconditioned, we could say, if we accept ‘awareness’ as the illuminative aspect of mind/consciousness/thought.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Well let’s definitely not go and do that now, Hariod. The replies will get very lengthy and unreadable. Opaque and cut a little thin at times, too. All this pointing at the mountain and trying to get the description of it just so.

          Just look at it!

          That’s all… 🙂

          Michael

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          • Hahahahaha – you quite rightly tease me for my typical lack of good grace my friend! Entirely justified! My clumsy contrarianism precedes me as ever. One thing though: isn’t it the moon we’re pointing at, not the mountain? Hahahahaha – a hopeless case am I! H ❤

            Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Responding to Flying Dreaming Loving | Walking my path: Mindful wanderings in nature

    • Sounds good, Annette. Sometimes I think the point of writing is to touch us in places we don’t immediately understand, so that we discover them. This happens with some of my favorite authors. When someone says “what’s it about?” I get all confused. I just know I like it… 🙂

      Thanks for visiting…

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Always Michael your thoughts echo and speak deeply to that part of me which often sits within the space between thoughts.. I so loved this sentence of yours where you said ” fractals of hope, and we spill open again and again into an uncut silence.”.. How many times do we go within and cut open a memory to bring it out into the light.. As we once again see our Inner selves at play, uncluttered by the pressures we now pile upon ourselves within our so called modern day world, where life is supposed to have gotten easier with all our modern day gadgets.. It has.. but what did we sacrifice along the way..

    Where indeed has gone that community of sitting by a river, or hanging over a garden fence, a hand held out towards one’s neighbours whose names we now no longer know..
    We are so busy with our gadgets within our modern day world we fly yes to distant destination in metal birds.. Yet we fail to see the sparrow in need of food..

    Nature has always held me in her spell Michael.. And yes we have long ago forgotten about ceremony, that our Ancient ancestors knew so well..

    They trusted the flow of life and lived within the now of it.. Where as we want to create our tomorrows and our creations are not always beautiful

    Nature doesn’t try to impress, She is just BEing her best, growing, forming, evolving.. yes there is a little competition, for the strongest plant and animal to survive, but she doesn’t control and is not greedy for she shares all she has..

    Your writings always impress Michael.. and this certainly hit all my senses..

    Blessings
    Sue

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you, Sue. I appreciate your kind and thoughtful response to this piece. Nature is amazing to me in part because we can find justification for just about any idea that we hold dear. Even ideas that would seem as though they conflict, and couldn’t possibly be part of the same functional system can be seen in Nature. It is as if Nature is so deep and multi-faceted, she can be the evidence for anything. It was strange when I realized this… This was part of the realization for me about how strong and deep our perceptions really are… Nature faithfully reproduces them, but even in doing so, there is also always this underlying quality of beauty, mystery and peace in Nature.

      So, even though we can find in Nature evidence of both cooperation and of fierce competition, when we simply allow ourselves to have an experience of it, it so often leads to the feeling of peace. There’s something very interesting about that for me. Nature is like this black hole we look into, that keeps spinning of symbols of our thinking back to us, leading us to greater comprehension and insight. The trick for me is to remain malleable in my thinking about what Nature is really teaching, because if I’m not careful I will simply find echoes of what I want her to say…

      Much Love
      Michael

      Liked by 4 people

  10. Oh Michael ….with your first sentence I entered the ” depth of ourselves ” …the center of the earth . Your words ” we wonder ” is transcendence for me . I loved your story of the ceremony . Sometimes I too feel so lost and then I walk , I walk ( like you spoke of to me so eloquently and compassionately) in one of my posts ….I walk upon the earth and feel and partake of the deep silence of nature , the silence of love . I find it here with you and all the other ones responding so beautifully and uniquely….thank you , love , megxxx

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hi Meg,

      Feeling lost circles around for me. Like Planet X. Out of left field. The Earth is good for being found. You can’t fall of her or anything. Every side you go on, she holds you close… 🙂

      I think when we walk on the Earth, and we partake of that silence, we are entering a creative and healing state. She grows into and through us. We flower and dream. And yes, I am grateful for such wondrous friends as those who have partaken here with us…

      Peace and Love
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Such a wonderful tumult of beautifully expressed emotions and images that somehow still point to the silence beyond. There is much I love here, thank you. “The sky didn’t stop at the railing, but we did” reminding me how it is me that creates my limitations; “From that alone– starlight and gravity– holiness echoes in all directions” conjuring up the star-studded nights I love the best and the awe and wonder they inspire. Sending you many blessings for a wonderful weekend ahead.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Julia. I’m enjoying a relaxing weekend of reading and writing and wandering through time. I love those star-filled nights myself. They are in some ways my favorite part of the winter, because I’m more often awake when they arrive, and the cold, crisp air brings out a certain extra twinkle. We’re all watching this beauty, this love unfold together. It is nice to know.

      See you in the skies that lie beyond the railings…
      Peace
      Michael

      Like

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