Nature in my Backyard

Nature is the most practical metaphysicist. Every morning I sit outside, quietly observing. Today I was awe-struck by a multitude of interesting things happening in my backyard, all speaking to the complexity and yet deep practicality of nature.

I feed the squirrels, chipmunks, and blue jays – they all know me and approach me in different ways. My town is a nice, clean and quiet place, but also known for a high rat population (apparently some junkyard was disturbed and dispersed them). Having had several pet rats in my life, I enjoy watching them dig up worms and eat from the feed pile. We leave out simple deer feed that attracts just about every animal around. Today the baby rats were out as they are just getting big enough to romp beyond the nest. Then I saw a squirrel carrying its fairly small baby back to its tree – it’s odd for October, in Canada, to have such a late litter. I’ve noticed evidence of second or even third litters happening here this year.

Other things caught my interest — we had good winds last night and a huge branch has fallen off our maple tree. Doves were walking along the ground with their wings outstretched. There has been a hatch of little midge-like insects – again, a little odd for October.

But nature is clever. She knows.

 

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Yanantin: Dancing with Duality

I have always been happy to suspend my beliefs in order to dance with opposite concepts, such as the Everything and the Nothing, the Infinite and the Instance, Self and Other, good and evil, or spirit and physicality. With some investigation it is apparent that seemingly intractable dualities are intricately, deeply connected – perhaps just different expressions of the same thing.

The Q’ero shamans of Peru have a word for this. I was thrilled to discover their concept of “yanantin”, which is the harmony of complementary dualities, because it speaks to me at my core, and I’m sharing these words in case someone else would be just as enthralled.

I think that situating myself in reality means being aware and present within the whole picture: the yanantin that encompasses both what seems “real” to us and what doesn’t. The truth is everything is real. (Remember the physicists who are happy to say that in an infinite universe, everything you imagine and everything possible must actually manifest in physical reality.) Dancing with opposites situates us in the bigger picture of potential and wholeness.

As Hillary S. Webb writes in her excellent book, “Yanantin and Masintin in the Andean World” (a book she was kind enough to send me at a difficult time in my life when I legitimately couldn’t afford it):

“Similar to Chinese Taoism, Andean philosophy views the opposites of existence (such as male/female, dark/light, inner/outer) as interdependent and essential parts of a harmonious whole. Because existence is believed to be dependent upon the tension and balanced interchange between the polarities, there is a very definitely ideological and practical commitment with indigenous Andean life to bringing the seemingly conflicting opposites into harmony with one another without destroying or altering either one.”

At its best, the concept of yanantin expands our awareness and challenges us to go deeper, to think beyond dichotomy and live in the balance between body and spirit. Yanantin can teach us to be in better relationship with things like giving and receiving, ego and selflessness, and so much more.

Imagination’s Wormholes

She shuffle-sways up and down
the train’s aisles, the lurch
a warp in space, a tug
on time. Waiting
for Mongolia, she leans
out a window, her thoughts streaming
loose from her skull, wind-swimming
behind her, each wish armed
before it tears away into air, into freedom, to change
the present, the past, and the future.
Spirit has wormholes too, she thinks,
getting down from the chair,
still imagining Mongolia and train-sway
in her own domestic kitchen.

The Strangest Birthday

I’m not sure what’s been going on with me this past week. First my vision went, and it still hasn’t gotten better. Now I have very intense abdomen pain that we’ve narrowed down to be either my pancreas, gallbladder, or an ulcer. The next step is an MRI and a consultation with a surgeon. I’ve been in the ER for the past two days and today’s my birthday. I can deal with not feeling well, but all I want is a peaceful day without the kind of pain attacks that bring me to tears.

I’ve never been to the hospital in my life before this and am wondering what lesson spirit is trying to teach me…

Learning to See in the Dark

I have suffered an injury to both my eyes, to the extent that I cannot read without a magnifying glass and I had to use the accessibility options on my computer to magnify everything by 250% just to get by. I don’t have a drivers’ license but I don’t think I’d be allowed to drive even if I did. I can’t read signs, I can’t see the traffic lights, and sometimes I can’t even see cars at a certain distance. Not like they’re blurry but like they aren’t even there to my eyes.

My prognosis is unknown. It could take a couple weeks or a year or never get better. I saw the optometrist today and I’ll see him again in two months. For now I’m adjusting and trying not to be upset, but I don’t know yet how this will affect my art. I only recently started to consider myself an artist, and now I have to find new ways to see.

Shamans have been described as those who can “see in the dark.” This is what I need to learn to do, now more than ever. I used to have an uncanny ability to spot animals at night. Sometimes it was more like a psychic seeing as I wasn’t really seeing the animal in the first place. I just knew it was there.

Now more than ever I need to sharpen my other physical senses, and my spiritual senses, to navigate this world.

Spirit on Our Algonquin Journey

We made it home safely from another trip to Algonquin Park. This time was very different and full of surprises. Unbeknownst to us, the park was undergoing serious construction on the only road that crosses it (Highway 60). Naturally the park doesn’t warn its visitors of this, but it was a real pain due to single-lane delays. Since our favourite activity is driving up and down the highway looking for animals to photograph, we decided that spirit and the universe were trying to tell us to try new things. Luckily the wonderful ladies at our little motel told us of a very secluded road in Whitney, where we were staying. It was a real treat – technically part of it is in Algonquin, and during the roughly 6 hours we spent there throughout the trip, we only ever saw one person near the beginning of the road. So it was like a private Algonquin just for us.

Not only that, but the road was absolutely full of bear poop, wolf tracks, moose tracks, turtles, frogs, and other wildlife. It also had some of the best views we’ve ever seen. When we went up at night we saw two moose and I nearly cried, as it all seemed so spiritually right. The next day we went back, saw the moose again, and we were able to get a photography session in too.

hydroline moosehydroline moose2snowshoe harehaycreek hawk

During this trip I gained new spirit guides and learned to have such faith in things turning out for the best. It was absolutely lovely.

Sale on Readings!

Etsy just rolled out their sales and coupons option, so I’m running a week-long sale on readings and healings. The price is 50% off, now only $20 (Canadian dollars).

I’m going on a spiritual vacation tomorrow and would love to do some work for others while I’m there. Please note that my internet will be limited, so I will only be able to send the full readings when I get back on the 19th.

Consider visiting my Etsy here!