Wolfku Musing 46

The air was so still
I heard the trees exhale their
fine, fresh oxygen

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It is not often during my morning walks along the Pacific Ocean that there is no sound at all.

The seals, or sea lions, I don’t know which but hundreds of them, out on Castle Rock usually choire it to high heavens to be heard for miles; or the tide breaks most emphatically crushing the water into glee or protest, I don’t know which; or the gulls cry or the smaller birds twitter or chase me away with abusive bird language when I stray too close to their by-the-side-of-the-road nests; there always the occasional car—never too many, though, perhaps one every few minutes or so even during a weekday’s “rush hour” (there is no rush hour in my little town).

Never completely silent.

Then this morning—and of course I realize that this was my mind tricking itself—dead quiet: you could hear air molecules, enticed by gravity, hitting and bumping their heads on the tarmac. I could hear the sunlight strike the flowers in the field. I could hear the mist out there over the marsh sigh as it reached for the no-longer-visible Milky Way.

And I heard the trees breathe.

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Wolfku Musing 45

Two crows, side by side
She’s giving him an earful
He’s blinking a lot

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On a wire, these two. Just like any other two crows sitting side by side. But all was not pure and crowy harmony in this household, no sir.

I wish I had brought a camera.

She was really laying into him (or could have been he into her, of course, but that was not the impression I got). Earfuls and earfuls.

On and on and on about something—shopping, babies (or lack of), perhaps, food, mortgage, who knows, and he, patiently taking it, looking at her once in a while but mostly looking straight ahead and blinking a lot.

Who knows what crows argue about when they do? But one thing was very clear, this was indeed an argument, definitely. Proven, if by no other sign, by the utter absence of other crows on that wire—all, wisely I think, keeping their crowy distance.

While he kept blinking.

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Wolfku Musing 44

Her forbearance is
saintly, seeding her heart with
wonderful future

For my money, Karma is the engineering feat of the ages.

Both Hindu and Buddhist traditions place enormous faith in Karma, the universal soul-monitoring system that tracks every thought, word, and action and grades it on a scale from hellish to heavenly.

And not only grades, and records, and remembers such acts, but then arranges the gradee’s current or future life in such a fashion that he or she will reap just reward to boot.

In the Christian Bible, Paul the Apostle, in his New Testament Epistle to the Galatians, writes: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Karma put Paul’s way, methinks.

Jesus puts it a little kinder in his Sermon on the Mount: "So in everything, do unto others what you would have them do unto you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." Matthew 7:12.

The Law (Karma) and the Prophets (the expounders of the same).

Now, I really believe that the principle of Karma holds true in life. I have seen it; I have experienced it. But I sure as hell would like a long, detailed look under the Karma hood.

It is an engineering feat of almost inconceivable design complexity and micro-flexibility.

As a child I was taught by my maternal grandmother that God (the up there on a cloud version) sees and hears everything you think, say, or do (much like Karma, in other words) and for quite a few years I was paranoid about this.

For example, Olga (that was my grandma’s name) told me that God will notice every time I skip evening prayer before falling asleep. Well, that had me praying nightly for years, even if after a while I could rush through the evening prayer in or under ten seconds flat. Just to play it safe.

Can you imagine the attention span of this guy (God)? Every human being, every sentient being in the Universe, one would assume; every thought, every word, every deed, registered, filed away, remembered, to be (so I was told) examined in detail on the day of Judgment and then it’s either Hell (most likely) or Heaven (crossing my fingers).

As for design, my guess is that we (as spirits) have been tricked, indoctrinated or what-have-you’ed into keeping track of our thoughts, words, and actions ourselves, and ditto’ed into (eventually) serving ourselves due rewards accordingly.

This would shift the (bookkeeping) burden of noticing and remembering and life-arranging from some unfathomably huge consciousness to many individual ones, but even so, when you consider perhaps millions of lifetimes, the feat (and the engineering behind it) is still galactic.

That’s why I think her saintly forbearance seeds her heart with a wonderful future.

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Wolfku Musing 43

A thousand horses
Manes of spray and nostrils foam
Hoofs cresting, landing

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In some paintings of the stormy sea, the artist has portrayed the cresting waves as rearing white horses, pounding towards shore.

One windy morning, on my regular walk along the Pacific Ocean shore, I saw these paintings come alive: eyes, nostrils, manes, the urgency, the joy of aliveness.

And loudly so.

A trillion trillion trillion water molecules playing horse make a significant rumble as they come crashing down, singing (I believe) for the sheer dance of it.

It is an almost never-ending arrival of white-maned herds, setting out days ago from Japan and arriving now, at my doorstep.

Yes, my world is a magical place.

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Wolfku Musing 42

My blood is happy
With every lungful of air
So many new friends

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It is usually not at the very forefront of our minds, but each liter of air we inhale contains 30,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 air molecules; a number that makes you wish you were a bushman who seems to get along just fine by counting “one, two, many” and leaving it at that.

The word, by the way, is sextillion, thirty of them, at least, each breath.

Me, counting breaths, count “one.”

My blood, happily counting molecules, counts “Thirty Sextillion.”

What really amazes me, and what should give just about anyone pause, is the sheer number of events involved with each breath. We’re talking six hundred million alveoli (lung sacs) going “Hooray” in sustained welcome of the new air feast and we’re talking busy blood, swooshing by and collecting a few trillion (or more) molecules per drop. Meanwhile, personally, I just keep typing, blissfully uninvolved in this air-to-blood spectacle.

I also recently read somewhere that there about one billion chemical reactions in each of our body’s cells every second. Let me repeat that: There are about one billion chemical reactions in each of our cells every second.

That is even harder for me to wrap my wits around. We think of a second as a smidgen of time; for a cell, a second is probably akin to one of our years, or even decades or centuries—totally different concept of time, these little guys.

Okay, so how on earth can so many chemical reactions take place every second in our cells? Well, seems it’s all about their size.

A chemical reaction, by the way, always involves atoms and/or molecules trading electrons and such so as to re-arrange the molecular or ionic structures of the parties involved—from one substance into another.

Now, whether a reaction will take place, and how long it takes to complete are determined by, firstly: How frequently atoms and molecules in a given space crash into each other, which is a function of the size of the container relative to the number of atoms and molecules it contains; and secondly: at what speed these atoms and molecules are moving when they do collide, which is a function of temperature.

Now, do not for a moment forget that the reactions that do take place are in fact by design: they are, as it were, controlled. I picture someone, with a very small clipboard, keeping track, shouting directions, herding molecules about, directing traffic, streamlining mayhem. There is intelligence involved, minute, accurate, and incredibly speedy.

That said, it just so happens that the average Eukaryotic cell, which is what makes up all multi-cellular organisms, has a volume of about 0.000000000001 liter, which while extremely small is also the size that nature (by trial and error, I guess) developed over time as the perfect size for the most efficient biochemistry, that is, the perfect number of collisions per given unit of time (as in one billion per second) at body temperature, which is 37 degrees Celsius for us humans.

These chemical reactions are the basis of life as we know it and include copying our DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid—the hereditary material in humans and almost all other organisms which is part and parcel of each old and new cell) and manufacturing new organelles and cell walls so the cells can multiply; transcribing DNA into RNA (ribonucleic acid, whose principal role is to act as a DNA-messenger carrying instructions from the DNA about the synthesis of proteins); the actual synthesis of these proteins, which are the building blocks of organic life’s structures, and also comprise a vast array of enzymes (traffic cops), which help reactions occur under the right set of circumstances—things like sugar and fat broken down into usable energy and harmful things like bacterial toxins destroyed and expelled, hormones synthesized to communicate with other cells—the list goes on.

Again, all by design—directed by cellular (I guess) intelligence; the little molecular conductor leading the cellular orchestra, waving his baton, and interpreting the DNA/RNA score.

Here's a cool aside: by the time you have read this far, trillions and trillions and trillions of these chemical reactions have occurred in your body; and yes, many of them involving oxygen, which is how we slid onto this side track in the first place.

The image does arise for me: Even at deepest rest, my body is a galaxy of trillions of chemical reactions every second—about as far from at rest as you could possibly imagine.

And to think that we’re walking around in this sea of activity.

All the time.

Well, it keeps my blood happy.

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Wolfku Musing 41

A ray of darkness
appeared, shining the dust motes
from angels to bats
 

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I once experienced the opposite of this Wolfku: stepping into a dusty, badly insulated loft—so badly insulated, in fact, that you could see daylight between the vertical planks that made up both inside and outside walls.

As I reached the top of the ladder and gazed into this loft, all was dead calm in the semi-darkness, and the air was clear, but once I stepped off the ladder and on to the extremely dusty floor, clouds of fine dust reached for the ceiling in huge, brilliantly lit sheets of gap-entered sunlight. Brilliantly.

So magnificently I literally lost my breath for a bit, in stunned and delighted awe.

As an aside, I later wrote a song to celebrate that moment of magic, called Dust and Sunrays (what else?)

And then, the other day during my Pacific walk, I imagined the reverse: dark clouds suddenly obscure the sun and rays of darkness scream into the loft between the planks and the trillion dancing angels of a sudden become so many bickering bats.

I’m not sure this could ever actually happen—in fact, I am sure this would not happen in a real loft, no matter how dusty and no matter how strong (and suddenly dark) the sun; it’s just one of those delightful images that now and pop up into my mind out of god-knows-where and sings “Look at me, look at me, look at me.”

And I usually do; and just as usually, the richer for looking.

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Wolfku Musing 40

The long, lazy wave
lands on the crescent shore with
a white, blissful smile

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No two days, no two hours, indeed, no two minutes of this Pacific Ocean view remain the same.

I’m not sure the Pacific Ocean is correctly named.

From what I understand, Magellan, after braving perilous and very windy seas to navigate through what we now call the Straits of Magellan, his small fleet finally rounded Cape Horn and entered a vast and unfamiliar ocean in November of 1520. By comparison to the Roaring Forties (or close to them) he had bested, this new body of water was so calm that he called it pacific, which, of course, means peaceful.

I can count the times that the Pacific Ocean off the Northern California coast has been dead calm on my left thumb. Yes, once. Once in five years has there been no breakers pounding, or at calmer times patting, the sands of shore.

In my experience, the Pacific Ocean’s temperament is simply varying degrees of not calm. Sometimes (and these are amazing) true storms rage, foam chasing, racing, cascades of water climbing the air.

This one day, I drove by the ocean in the early afternoon and the water was unusually calm, just a very wide, slowly breaking wave rolling toward the sand in a beautiful foamy smile. One slowly after the slowly-other.

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Smiling.

Smiling.

Amazing.

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Wolfku Musing 39

There is no greater
beauty, nor love more profound
than this: mind-to-mind

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It does not happen often, but it does happen—this traveling across spaceless distance of a thought or a feeling or a view or a notion or a sigh from one being’s mind to another’s.

In my (limited to be sure) experience, it manifests in a couple of ways. One is where the other mind understands you so well that when you are groping for the words to express what you mean to say next (the intent already in place and glowing), he or she sees what you mean and says it for you.

Lisa did this for me on more than one occasion, especially early one fall evening in 1968.

She came from Tärendö, a small town (not much more than a village) in the very, very far-up north part of Sweden. Most people in that part of the country speak both Swedish and Finnish, the area having seesawed between Sweden and Finland over the centuries, so, I guess, just to play it safe they are bilingual.

I did not know it at the time I knew her, but she had also experienced the light that rushes in when Truth stands near and perhaps whispers. Many gates and portals within her flung open, and had not yet shut as she and I spoke one night in the early fall of 1968.

It was dark though still warm, Helsingborg, where we both lived then, being at the very southern part of Sweden.

I was sharing and explaining to her my just-then-born realization that God—as we know Him—did, in fact, not exist. I had just found this out by reading Bertrand Russell, and his dry, not a little cynical description of the various fates of the children of Jacob left little doubt: that idol in Mount Sinai was indeed a very jealous idol and demanded there be no idols beside him. And so, the Israelites took to arms to defeat their neighbors and their idols, leaving only the one they called Yahweh standing.

And to think, I realized as I read this, this just-a-few-thousand-years-old mountain idol then grew not only backwards in time to out-span eternity but in volume as well to encompass the entire universe, now the creator of all, the unheard hearer of all, the unseen seer of everything. Oh, man. I could not believe my eyes as I read this. Truly, it was an incredible relief to see my childhood (and not a little frightening) God take on proper proportions and powers. I no longer needed to fear him, that was for sure (for I was still, at this time, reeling off hurried night-time prayers now and then just in case He existed and was indeed listening in my direction).

So, I’m in the middle of explaining all this to Lisa when words fail me, and I fall silent as I grope around for the right way to cast my next thought—a thought which Lisa, and her wide-open gates, received just fine without me saying a word. And while I remained silent, she spoke my thought for me. Words as natural as rain.

I loved her very, very much then.

The other way mind-touches-mind is love. Sometimes spiritual but, also, sometimes physical—as in desire.

Marie could fill me with spiritual love as our eyes met and provided the portals for the feeling to simply flow out of one mind and into the other. You cannot doubt the feeling—it is so tangible, so purely real as to vanquish all doubt.

As for desire, Diana could and did open her gates, especially early one summer morning (around four, or so) when, as we walked past the enormous and surely ancient oak to our left, she turned to me and without saying a word almost crushed me with the large, warm, force that rushed out of her and into me. I fought for both balance and breath before I realized (knew) what that was all about. “Not now,” I remember saying.

Sex between us was out of the question, I knew that, and said as much with those two words. Perhaps, though, I really meant “Not yet.” The way things turned out speaks for that.

For sex, of course, has its own ways and means to wear down resistance, and went about wearing down mine over the next few weeks, but that is another story.

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