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.