October 16, 2016

There is a mountain

There’s a mountain looming
That I know very well.
I can see it ahead like the vision
Of an ancient memory made manifest.

Just beyond the old horizon,
Straight ahead,
Do you see it too?
We’re on the right road.

It’s the mountain of mountains,
As tall as the sky
With glaciers filling every crease and valley
Pinkened by the lowering sun.

And it’s all by itself;
It needs no other.
It rises from an endless desert and a boundless sea.
It rises from just beyond the bleeding edge of familiarity.

When I get there I will turn into eagle,
When I get there I will fly
To a height that would be terrible
To a valley-hugger.

But now that I see her
There is no resting.
I can feel the pricking of feathers
Anxious to sprout.

My thoughts grow more serious by the day.
I am driving toward my place of transformation.
When the mountain is all that I see
I will be what I need to be.

To look upon this world
That stole my wings
I will need to fly high,
High enough to see all the sacred mountains.

Some comments:

I have dreamed of sacred mountains before and they are always far off. Most memorable perhaps was a dream I had about six or seven years ago. All I remember is, I was looking south and way off in the distance, as I say in this poem, “beyond the horizon” there was a range of huge mountains tinted lavender or dusky-pink and I knew in the dream that it was the Andes. These mountains, some of them, resembled temples, so the sacredness of them was obvious. My sense was that, first of all, they are always there, whether I am aware of them or not, visible apparently in my deep dreaming and that I would be wise to find my way to them, or perhaps even that it is my destiny to do so.

Back to this poem that was based on a dream: I was on a straight road that led directly toward this magnificent mountain that loomed up beyond the horizon. That the mountain exists beyond the horizon (beyond the “bleeding edge”, or the suffering of the world) means that it is not located in this realm or dimension through which I am traveling. And there is something I want to say about that. In the dream the landscape that I am driving through is not literally “bleeding” and people are not patently suffering, but one thing I have learned over the last couple of decades, thanks largely to the internet, is that people everywhere on the planet are profoundly suffering from hunger, war, disease, injustice, ignorance, political and social oppression, pollution and environmental degradation and violent weather. There is no denying that much of the world is raw and, yes, wounded and yes, bleeding. That is not the only reality and it isn’t the reality that most Americans witness, except in the news, to the extent that they pay attention. But it is there.

That the road is straight just means to me, that it is the “right road”. I am aware that time is of the essence. That whatever I want to learn or accomplish I need to get on with it; I must not waste time but continue moving forward with focused intention. As the poem says: “My thoughts grow more serious by the day.” For example I find myself less inclined to get tangled in debates or discussions that don’t resolve anything. I know what I believe, or another way of saying that is, I know what I know. I am not trying to change anyone, convert anyone or convince them of anything. I do happen to believe things, about, for example, the true scope of our government’s culture of secrecy that would not be appropriate to share in conversation. But what’s the point? We all live in more than one reality, the stories that we tell ourselves and that we live in determine our behavior and how we spend our days. (I will save that for another blog.) There are plenty of people who I can only relate to superficially because our fundamental realities are totally incompatible. So what this dream depicts is an ongoing journey to a realm that is spiritual and very real in its own way. If I were to arrive there now it would be too soon. I need to prepare myself; I need to continue changing and evolving. This is not about transcendence or giving up on the world, but it is about transformation. I think that many of us can agree that the world of today is not going to change until we ourselves evolve and transform. Our dreams and visions can help us do that if we pay attention and take them seriously and honor them.


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