|Super Full Moon reflected in pond at Brushwood on Solstice night|
I don't know why I urgently wanted to excerpt from this 1972 poem by Adrienne Rich, except that I did. It seems to me that traveling partakes of something this poem speaks about, life lived between "points of departure and arrival", lived by increments, mile by mile receding and proceeding.to know the composing of the thread
inside the spider's body
first atoms of the web
to feel the fiery future
of every matchstick in the kitchen
Nothing can be done
but by inches. I write out my life
hour by hour, word by word
imagining the existence
of something uncreated
from "Incipience", by Adrienne Rich
Stopping for a few weeks now. The familiar forest, the cluttered common studio, even the moss garden I made deep in the woods to honor a lightning struck patriarch of an old-growth maple tree, even that remains much the same after 7 years of snow, melt, rain, spring and falls.........I reflect on how we exist in a different frame of time than does the land. Max, not even born to Teresa when I made that moss garden is now 7, tall and bright and talkative. Frank, who suffers from Parkinsons, is no longer talkative, and every word he speaks he strains to produce and others strain to hear or comprehend - I remember our conversations in previous years......and I turn away, disturbed, a little ashamed, not knowing what he thinks behind those tired eyes, not knowing how to communicate anymore. Here is one who should not be left mute in old age.
|"Stump Service" in Leolyn Wood, Lilydale Spiritualist Community|
I was happy to arrive at Lilydale Spiritualist Village in Chautaqua County, New York, several days before the Summer Solstice, where I stayed for a few days. I immediately went to walk in Leolyn Woods, an Old Growth Grove that has been preserved there, and is an important place for their "stump services" during the summer season of Lilydale. For me, it's the true Temple, the tall trees and deep silence of the wood demonstrating what the entire east coast was once like before it was mostly deforested. The trees have potency, presencee - it reminds me of the feeling I've had when I was in Muir woods, or among the Sequoias in California. To walk in an ancient grove like that, feeling keenly the elemental powers, the breath of the world being made there, the trees silent with generations of prayers invested in them.
Lilydale, like Brushwood Folklore Center in nearby Sherman, is a kind of home to me, and both places embody the unique qualities of Chautauqua County. I'm not alone in feeling the "burned over zone" is another Vortex area, but fortunately, it's a pretty well kept secret!
|Maplewood Hotel in Lilydale|
It's easy for people who know nothing about the beliefs and practices of Spiritualism to call it "Sillydale", but if you've ever spent time at Lilydale and felt the uplifting energy of the place, you would leave with a different mind. For myself, I'm hoping I will have time this summer to work with several of the mediums here I respect.
|Circle on Lake Cassadega|
|Memorial stones in Leolyn Wood|
|Registered medium's home and sign|
|Stones at pet cemetary|
|The Stump at Stump Service|
And here's a few photos from the beautiful Summer Solstice, which featured a Full Moon this year, in fact, the Moon was its closest to the earth. Real magic. And with the odd eclectic nature of this rural area, just over the hill the nearest neighbors are an Amish family, their buggy visible from the road when one drives by. How strange drumbeats in the woods must seem to them.........or maybe not. Different worlds coexisting here.
Well, it's 115 degrees in Tucson right now, which, no matter how used one is to it, horrifying. I'm very glad to be here in the green conversation of the Northeast.
|Drums in the Woods and dancing the Spiral Dance|