The first time
The first time I felt it was during the autumn. The leaves falling - golden coins in the breeze. I walked towards those flashing flickering gold leaves, my arm in a sling. A car had hit me as I was coming home from school. My rendition of the accident could never be like coloured pencils flying high-reminiscent of a circus- slow motion.
I was walking towards the falling leaves. Time was not apparent. There was only the moment- strangely warm on my face, the tall poplars, the white fence, the shutters on the cottage house.
And I was transported. Removed from my physical self. There was only that moment, and I was of it. I can still recall the sensation with vivid impact.
I gave up athletics when I was fourteen but I never stopped running; around the block, at the grass oval, up at the National Park, on the country roads- flat as a tack, on the beach. I’ve tried running on a treadmill but its not the same. Its the warm breeze on my flushed cheeks that I like. Its the movement, of landscape passing by, trees, cars, people, shop windows. It feels good to have the power in my legs, to push myself further. Its good to breath in that dry air in the country, that humid air on the coast and to feel the sun on my back, or see it glinting through the trees.
Running makes me feel as if I’m going somewhere, as if I’m being pointed in a direction and I’m moving forward to attain that goal.
I like the air expanding my lungs until my chest hurts, I like the salt on my upper lip, I like to look at myself in the mirror and see my red face, the sweat dampening my clothes.
But I don’t enjoy bending down in a line with other girls and racing them. Dad said I didn’t have the killer instinct. He’s right. He took the light out of my step. With him there was always a catch. So I gave up jogging around the stadium to take up running around the suburbs where my grandmother lived.
I was twenty-one when I felt God's breath on me again. I was positioned, ready, seeking transportation. My life at this time was geared towards the inner-self.
The Red Gums
I began meditating for ten or so minutes every day. Just relaxing and trying to release the hold the world had upon me. I read a lot about many different religions. I was searching, looking for an answer. Looking for something that would make sense and hold the world together. I was looking for something that would make life worth living.
I'd been in the country for about six months, helping the family I was living with in the garden for board and lodgings. I disliked the people very much. They were materialistic, pompous and geared towards living a life that the world would think highly of.
The woman always introduced me as 'Tiffany, English Literature Graduate, writing a novel...' I had several heated discussions with the man of the house. Though often they were in Melbourne and I took care of things while they were away. Peaceful times. Perfect for my conscious search.
My mind was wavering between 'determined to produce better happy times for myself' and 'sometimes I really can't help my depression. It just happens and I can't lift myself our of it. Sad in a way. Must be accepted with everything.' I wasn't sure at all how to go about making life better.
I'd been studying the tarot for several years. In the country I used the cards often as a guide to my inner life and stopped foretelling the future. It occurred to me that all this worrying about the future meant that we weren't thinking about the life we were leading now. That's one of the reasons I feel so repulsed by lotteries. The advertising encourages people to look forward to a trouble free future with lots of money. So millions of people give millions of dollars towards some totally mind-projected vision of the future. There is no now. And the slogan 'Get me out of here' sung in such a deceptively mild tone indicates the frustration and unsatisfactory lives people are leading. That more and more money is the answer for so many people should make us wonder about ourselves and our goals in life. Anyway, I was trying to focus on my life as it was happening without projecting into the future. The tarot was helpful in many ways, and the symbolism on the cards helped expand my consciousness when I needed it.
One day I walked out of the house and looked up at the sun. Golden. It was in the morning. I was feeling good- refreshed. And I looked up and breathed the air and felt the world open up before my eyes. The blinds of my eyes were taken away and the earth became heaven and I was transported.
I moved to the country in January. It was a hot summer.
I lived in one of the small self contained huts closer by the river. The previous owners had three huts built for enthusiastic canoeing weekends. We were on the Goulbourn River. My hut was the furthest away form the main house.
I had a huge pink protia bush by one side of the hut and rosemary and lavender bushes along the other sides. There were many bees. I was about ten steps away from the river bank. Two long tailed honey suckling birds with a beautiful song woke me each morning. They fed on the syrup from the half grown banksia by the door.
I’d open my eyes to a dusky light. Then I’d hear Tammy pad across the roof trying to catch the singers. Half and hour later she would meow at the door and I’d let her in and unchain the dogs.
My life was suddenly, most deeply changed. I wasn't sure what to do with my new sight. I felt my new knowledge was secret, sacred and silent. Not for all ears. So I braced myself for continual learning, experiencing and recalling.
'Dearest Freshness Deep Down Things'
Information was streaming into my mind, unbidden. I have several theories where it was coming from, but none can really explain the reality. It was merely from a higher realm. Something above and beyond the physical plane. I used Christian words such as God and Lord only because they came natural to me, from the community and the society I was brought up in.
During the early months, while it was hot, I would begin the day with a quick swim in the river. There was a gravel path down to a sandy bend in the river. The dogs would bound around chasing each other, racing in and out of the water like children. Only old Rags would lower himself slowly and stately in. He’d stand there sniffing and then walk out to shake and lie in the sun. Dame and Jake usually left him alone. It took me a month or so to become confident enough to immerse myself in the river. I never liked the ooze of mud or leaves or sticks under my feet. I was used to the clean pressure of sand at a beach. The river seemed full of unpleasant surprises. But I soon became used to the feel of sludge between my toes, and the icy feel of the brown river passing me by.
There was a huge old tree trunk further out. Sometimes Dame used to swim out to it and lie there, barking to us left on the bank. Sometimes I’d grab my towel and run up the path, the other two following, and Dame spluttering in the water trying to get to us before we were out of sight. Delight in peeving her. Delight in being the master. I don’t know why.
I put my overalls on and tramped up to the house. They had, ridiculous to me, several gardens with European exports wilting in apparent splendour. I weeded, mulched, watered, fed and planted. I spent a couple of hours a day in different parts around the house. Though mostly I paid attention to the vegetable patch, carrots, potatoes, zucchini, tomatoes, capsicum, cauliflower, beans, spinach; interspersed with Jen’s favourite roses, onions and nasturtiums. Queer girl.
I let the sun burn my shoulders and arms- I wore gloves and a hat. I put snail bait in careful places so the animals wouldn’t eat them. Apparently cats love them. I let the dirt rub my knees, get into my boots and embed itself into my fingernails. I wiped the sweat with my shoulder or forearm. I picked wild strawberries and ate them with a prong in my hand. I fed almonds to Dame who also learnt to unshell them. She was a beautiful Border Collie with light tiger eyes. The three of them would sit around and watch me. Sometimes padding off to sit in the shade if it was too hot or lap carelessly at their bucket of water.
Tammy and Jimmy played in the over grown ‘cottage garden’. They stuck their paws out of thick bushes, frightening the living daylights out of me.
‘Jesus, you bloody stupid cat.’
I laughed though, my heart beating too quickly.
I had dinner with Jen and Dave. Nice enough. They did eat chicken. Society will not give up the convenience of meat. When one talks about it they say, 'Sh, don't mention it.' 'Don't think about it.' is another phrase frequently used. Ignorance. Deliberate, lazy ignorance. But I do not yell this in bitterness. A still day. Its hard for me to live.
Down further to the bottom of the property is a huge cluster of red gums. Most of them have been chopped down along the river, but Dave and Jen were lucky enough to find this spectacular reserve. The grass was lush and green in the winter. It was shaded from the too hot sun in Summer. I have a beautiful photo of Dame black and white in the long grass. She was such a beautiful dog. There were rabbits down there. Jimmy used to bring up freshly killed baby rabbits to eat in front of me.
I saw magpies, kookaburras, cockatoos, galhas, finches, tiny little red breasted dancing birds, pelicans, hawks, king fishers-flash of blue, willy wag tails. I walked down there in the evenings. The animals following or racing ahead according to their dispositions. There was a trodden path, over logs, weaving between the tall white trees, leading down to the river. Rabbits would scuttle at our approach, Dame and Jake excited and never quick enough. Birds screamed to each other, the breeze jostled the leaves. From a distance the trees stood tall, changing clour with the rise and fall of the sun, but inside it was as if time was stilled, and there could be no change.
There was a lush richness in those trees. The area was full of moisture and life.
Closer to the river there were lines and rows of wattles. They drooped their branches into the water and marked the twists and turns of the rivers passage.
I can feel madness creeping up to me, laughing with delight at my unstable state. A tick of a clock could have me falling in a moment.
There is no such thing as evil. It is man made.
To know is to take away the question. To understand life is to take it away.
There is a large elongated oval in front of my vision. It is darker, than on the outside of it. I can not see the lighter bits clearly. People put significance on objects, ideas, visions not on anything divine. WAKE-UP. Remain true to yourself. Do not batten yourself down under routine or expectance. You have been offered something more, something more real than all of the illusions around you. Grasp it! Take life and do as you will!
Life is this continual struggle to support both spiritual and physical health. If one is well, the other is sure to be tortured. Must keep the light of All within our breast to help guide the way. Starlight and future.
Whatever is recognized as wrong is wrong. Each for each person. We all contain our own Orisis in our heads. As soon as we fly against our natures we are suffering. Judge yourself. There's no need. Just listen and be guided by the inner self. If it is 'right' then you will know. Accept change as natural, not something that you must fight. If you must fight change, you must begin with trying to hold the earth still.
If I could explain this tingling awareness. But it must remain unexplainable to be passed on. A feeling, a power. Not dominace over me, but a steadiness of being.
Love of all. Nothing, for me, should be above this.
That is the folly of preachers, to make everyone, even those who are not ready to know, pretend to a higher life. So you enforce religion and it becomes hypocricy.
'The outward ceremony is Antichrist.' - William Blake.
One morning I opened my cabin door and looked out to the red gums. They were stark white, the leaves dark, the sun low on the horizon. And there, at the start of the forrest stood two tall kangaroos, their front paws at their chest. Their ears high, they saw me at once and stood still, their slim faces turned to me.
After several moments they bent and moved low to the ground, feeding.
The dogs were whining. They had heard the sound of my door open and I hadn’t let them off their chains yet. But I didn’t want them chasing the kangaroos.
So I watched them until they moved off into where ever they came from.
The dogs hadn’t scented them. They waited for me to go down to the river but I changed the routine and went down later in the morning.
I want to join society.
A large flock of Galahs came to us every morning and evening during late summer and early autumn. They were incredibly loud and were the largest group I’d ever seen. They rose as one, their wings flashing pink and white. They were magical to watch, wheeling this way and that, adhering to some kind of brilliant system that moved them from A to B while looking spectacular at the same time.
They settled in the grasses, moving with their head low, pecking grass seeds. Sometimes it was impossible to see them they were so low, and then a little movement and I saw dozens of them appearing like a visual trick becoming clear. But they were noisy little buggars and Dave hated them. Used to threaten to shoot them. But it was just to here my protests.
It is a beautiful morning. The kind of beginning to a day that perfects part of your heart.
New fresh leaves jostling, twinkling, rustling in the cool breeze. Blue, blue sky with a faint mist on the horizon and thin insubstancial clouds.
So green! And the daisies yellow a springy carpet, a faint sheild over the earth.
Its the breeze, the air itself that is so special.
What I catch the most in my heart is the broken, curved, straight, purely white bark of the redgums.
So pure straight noble. Hardly of this world. Unrecognizable. Queer how the young fresh apricot tree looks more familiar than these sparce, dominant redgums. And their indifferent foliage! The light slashes the bark, blanching it bright, ghostly, with its shadow too.
And it wasn't until the delicate white cup sat in a stream of sunlight that its strark reality came upon me. Its outline, its full body, its reality. So much sharper, more distinguished in the bright sun, than in the pasty, pastel shade. Its shape was lost. And then the dark glitter of the tea. Rocking smoothly in the cup as I softly move my pen across this page. The darkness says 'I am a hollow! In this cup I am the hollow!' To remind us that a cup has a purpose and is not really only pasty white, but filled, a darkly black inner, and a shine of pride, a holding, used cup. It stands so distinguished with this dark liquid.
A most facinating drawing day today. Absolute. Freshening. A caress upon my anxiety for newness. Its smooth soothing calmness. Nothing intense. Nothing forced and brooding as when clouds cluster to hamper the sun and blot the sky. Just clearness and fresh bright life. An enjoyable, sweetly scented day.
Self! A search for the essence of self. There must be a protective veil over the found parts so that the pain of regret is not so often. Its not so bad as it was. A finding of self, and then to live. No wonder people don't think if it is going to lead to this unease.
There were floods that winter. The water level rose several meters above the previous record. The slight curves down by the river became pools. I heard a squealing noise and the dogs barking wildly by the river. I ran out to see, and splashing in the last throes of a horrific death was a rabbit.
I hadn’t seen a wild adult rabbit so close before- but its eyes were empty, its body spazmodically tried to keep itself from going under. I picked up a stick and tried somehow to bring the thrashing animal closer to the bank- but then there was me and the dogs barking. Its eyes were empty black holes.
The river was only half a meter or so from the top of the back. The wattles hardly flowered that year. It was my coldest winter. My feet and finger tips froze. I tried to conserve the gas heater while Jen and Dave were away. At night I wore several layers of clothing and had four blanckets but I still froze.
And I slept 10-11 hours. I would lay in bed waiting for the light. It was just too cold to inspire me to move. Though hot porrige greeted me in the winter and I was still drinking coffee. A great comfort then.
This is most important to remember. Love should never be first, and the falseness of the popular love song is a lie and a false value. Self and God is the most distinctly important. If love comes to undermine the loyalty to All, it should be cast aside. Why does love excuse so many atrosities within the family? STUPID. False loyality.
I find it difficult to keep up with it all. I have tried today, to join myself into the general jovial spirit for our new adventure and I find that I soon fall low and find a distaste in my mouth for the empty joys of mindless living.
‘Girls just want to have fun.’
‘All I want to do is have some fun.’ Insanity.
Then it comes to out an out stupidity and I feel my whole body freezing over in coldness and lack of understanding.