Truths, paths and callings

It has been some time now that I have felt distanced from shamanism. I am thinking and writing for myself a great deal, but it is hard to write for others just now, since everything seems undefined like shadows within shadow. I am wary of any claim or commitment. Yet I have made progress in discovering my own path — or, rather, in cutting this path myself from an untamed prehistoric jungle.  It occurred to me that someone might appreciate these vague notes of my process, because it seems like a lot of people are setting out on similar new beginnings. I think for some people, myself included, the path is a perpetual fresh start.

I have tried many belief systems, searching for something outside myself to place atop my own core values. Over time I have shaken them all from my crown like leaves to cover the ground and rot — yet continue to nourish me in some way. For my core beliefs move slowly, deep-rooted, patient, unconcerned. Their needs are simply met. I try to listen to their wisdom, but they don’t sing so much as hum — and more often than not, I find the hum is merely the work of sucking up life from the Earth or drawing down life from the Sun. Still, there is Truth in it that cannot be easily explained or identified, and I honour it.

I’ve taken to wearing a headcovering from first thing in the morning until bedtime. I don’t have the words for the reasons. There is a rightness and a beauty to it, but I accept it is a temporary and even arbitrary thing. Everything is infinitely meaningful and infinitely meaningless. The Everything and the Nothing exist simultaneously and I do my best to take it all in.

This past weekend my wife and I came across what was likely a coyote, if not a wolf, running across a field. We managed to get a photo from afar, and it looks enough like a dog that we called our local humane society to report it. But I know it was wild. The following day we rose at 4:30am and drove out to look for it again, catching sight of deer along the way. The trees were all thickly dusted with crystalline frost, looking far beyond ordinary. We came to the field by the Grand River where the coyote had been and found a handful of track lines in the snow, some tantalizingly fresh. I followed them half-way across the field, in excruciating pain from the chill on my bare hands, yet was captivated and sorely tempted to follow them right into the bush. They drew me along with all the suspense of a story but in a language I was ill-equipped to understand. Then I saw one line of tracks abruptly branch out into two — one animal had been following almost exactly in the pawprints of another! This meant there were at least a pair of animals roaming the field, and for me that proved what we saw was not a lost dog.

It calls me as if blood-to-blood; I am listening.

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2 thoughts on “Truths, paths and callings

  1. Since you first commented on my blog, I randomly forget about your blog, and when I remember, it’s always awesome. I’m very sorry to hear about the car accident; I’m very glad to see you posting. The pictures in this post are beautiful, and I’m glad you’ve shared them. (There are days when I miss actual winter. It’s February. We’re well into spring now. I have enough New England in me that that still seems wrong).

    This post, your words, speak to me at a very deep level, and I want to say, “Look, this is where it’s touched me, this is how I understand/where I’m at/thank you for posting” except none of the words do it justice, so I’m not going to even bother to try. But still, had to comment.

    1. Thank you! I’m so glad you could connect with this. Spiritual experiences go beyond words, and my heart does a little leap when someone can relate to mine. It reminds me, vaguely, of how when we physically touch something we are only encountering the force of its electromagnetic field — we cannot really touch the thing itself. In many ways we are infinitely separate and I sometimes need the reminder that we are infinitely connected too, and that people can somehow touch upon my inner world. And I can touch upon theirs too — that’s magic in itself. Thank you.

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