It’s been a really weird week here, not to mention the weeks before that, the election, Standing Rock, and all the other escalating craziness all over the world. I keep thinking of Blue’s Journal, which is a recurring thread in Wolf’s novel The Kokopelli Seed. Wolf started writing this book way back in 1980 (incidentally, the same year Kiva was born, which is interesting because it was the same year the character that Kiva was named from was formed in Wolf’s consciousness, more on that maybe another time!) Blue’s Journal is the collection of notes by one of the main characters that chronicles notable events—natural, as in earthquakes, political uprisings, terrorist attacks, and random very odd occurrences. It’s been way too long since I read the book but I believe I remember there being things like birds and salmon with very disrupted migration patterns, killer bees running amok, viruses that become impossible to kill with modern medicine, and many other things that have either come to pass or come close to happening. It’s too bad that the book, which Wolf finished the same year that I arrived in the canyon (1993), wasn’t published in time for these events to be recognized for the strange kind of prophesy that they undoubtedly were. We often think of the mythological figure of Cassandra, who was blessed with foresight and cursed with the inability to change any of the events that she knew would happen.
Here in my new household, the weirdness has been pretty profound lately. My housemate awoke with a dream that proved to be prophetic twice over. Days after her mother’s death, she found herself taking two more loved ones to the hospital. And in the middle of all of this, there were flooding toilets, a broken dishwasher, a sick dog, and a stomach bug that all of caught—relatively normal disturbances,, sure, but piled up all on top of people’s lingering trauma over the election, it was all starting to seem like a Twilight Zone episode.
And yet, in spite of all this, I would have to say that my new life has been shaping up rather well. It’s felt really great to be able to be of some help to my housemate through all of her recent challenges and to witness the beauty of her love for her mother and the love her friends have been showering upon her. I’m still having a really hard time sleeping more than a few hours each night, partly just because I am way oversensitive to normal household noises like heaters and fans and refrigerators and the cars on the road that start getting extra noisy around 4 or 5 am. Partly because my brain is still much too busy trying to process all the changes I’ve made. But I’m really enjoying other things, like simply riding my bicycle all around town and smelling all the scents of Autumn in the air, and looking at the mountains in the distance, their peaks covered with snow. I love going to the co-op and the farmer’s market and finding the best deals I can and thinking about what I might bring to the next potluck supper. I’m enjoying getting into random conversations with people in the checkout lines, and people who come into the place where I work.
I’m finding out how helpful it is, especially in the middle of so much activity, for me to live and work in places that feel open, spacious, and artistic. Both my workplace and my home here have great attention given to lighting, furniture, what’s put on the walls, and even to how the place smells. My workplace, Essential Wellness/Café Aroma sells high grade organic essential oils and diffusers are on all day scenting the air. At home, we often have our woodstove going, and there is often a healthy flow of fresh air and something interesting happening in the kitchen. Sometimes even in the middle of the night! It gets me thinking a lot about the medicine of the elemental world, and how even in cities we can find sacred space in our daily lives, and create it, and share it, and how extremely important, and powerful—even profound—that making that effort can be.
Maybe we can’t change the course of Nature, or influence politics on the scale many of us would like to, or stop terrorism, or the people we love from getting sick and dying before their time. But we can pull over onto the side of the road to honor a migration of butterflies, or a sunset, or simply to honor our own hunger, or thirst, or our desire to smell, or read, or look at, or share something lovely.
And at least for me, this is no small thing.