Tuesday, October 9, 2012
The Catskills offer their special beauty in autumn.
Small farms lie in narrow mountain valleys.
Trees decked out in red, lavendar, orange, gold, yellow
and bronze cover the mountains.
Leaves wait for the Fall.
Days shorten, cider ripens.
Suns and Moons fill the sky.
The dry air made me breathless.
I bit into those forbidden apples behind the house, and
flirted with knowledge hidden in magical books.
I made woodcuts before going to yoga up on Byrd Cliff.
From our place we could walk to town.
The Band lived at Saugerties, and Dylan, up the Mountain.
We listened to their records in our apartment,
part of an old farm.
As the cold set in I spent hours staring into the fire,
listening to the Magical Mystery Tour,
I played my own mind’s version of reality.
“Hey Jude” topped the AM radio charts.
Snow and ice froze the roads.
I had my first tamales at a Christmas feast
with Ernie and Mara.
Ernie, a Mexican Indian, made lithographs at the
printmakers workshop where I worked.
Their cabin was cold. Their tamales, sabrosas.
We gave them firewood.
Past Hanakah, Christmas and New Year’s,
Woodstock gleamed with new snow.
I was turning twenty-four.
My husband’s brittle silence cowed me.
I didn’t know what was wrong
On the weekend I left home to seek out new friends.
Foundering, lost in unspeakable internal dismay,
I sought refuge at the Happiness House
Where some local hippies and artists shared a new,
more open, creative community
Accustomed to lost souls arriving unannounced for dinner,
They settled me with a bowl of brown rice and steamed veggies.
I studied this hippie family around the unpainted table.
They wore expresssive clothes.
There were men and women, young and older.
No one cared that I was still straight, or new to town.
I was accepted, included.
When I felt bad about being from a Midwestern nowhere,
You won my heart saying that it couldn’t be
as bad as being from Great Neck, NY. Could it?
The exact date this happened faded out years ago.
I’ve seasoned through thirty winters since.
Through yearly cycles of learning and insights,
I gathered inside experiences and memories.
I hold them with a tender love,
precious riches of my soul.
That cold Friday night,
You invited me along to a party.
My memory is of music, marijuana and
Sacred moments. Later, alone together
the One emerged from two.
Someone ancient and wild, innocent, broke loose inside me.
I felt a new holy woman get up to share
the morning’s bath tub.
Perhaps She, who I’d found in all those Goddess books,
came to know herself in me.
I woke up to direct, unconditioned experience.
My inner ice world melted.
A new river of awareness flowed out towards
what is still an unknowable destination.