How fine to see the dogs run in the shaded wood, to circle up around the trees whose leaves wait along branches in the late afternoon quietude. I could see near the entry that there was a man again, homeless, in his car. He nearly always waits and waits. The Blue Door Shelters is up the way, not far off at all, and once being a front line worker there, I could have ideally informed him of their location and services. But how to broach a subject like that. In actuality, I can do it like no other, and there was no person that I could not talk to. However, I am more of the school of thought these days that it’s his own personal business, and not for me to meddle in. Besides, the chances that he does not know about the place are low, and he may have his own reasons for not going there. He might be happier on his own. He might be couch surfing with some trusted friends or contacts in the night. He may have been ejected from the shelter for any number of reasons, or else on a waiting list. Who is to know? So I let him go his own way. I am sure by now he has been questioned by certain people, - and informed of the place. My hope, if he is a good soul, which he probably is, - most are at heart, - and if he is indeed outdoors, - that he find the best possible way. In any event, - there is nobody else there. I proceed down the long asphalt way. They have redone it and it is sturdy and clean and new. The small bits like pyrite shine in the sun, - the heavy lurid heat is absent for a bit, as the oppressive high temperatures have dropped a few degrees.
Parking, I leave the windows open and we begin to make out way. The old farmer’s tractor is in the distance. I can hear its engine hum. He is felling trees, he is clearing pathways, and he is working with gasoline, with saws, with his hands. The job he does is done well, and the paths, right in the verdant and otherwise labyrinthine innards of the forest, - are clear, curt, smart, welcoming. This cuts down a bit on the insects and such. He takes pride, and this is work done well. We eventually bump into one another as we sometimes are apt to do. There are light greetings, well wishes, and he goes on his way and I go on mine. There is not any heavy or burdensome talk on the one hand, - and no extra pleasantries, phoney or flowery, on the other. We are both solitary but great in our momentary aloneness. Why interrupt the other any more than need be? He is something that William Carlos Williams would like. WCW could re-write his famous lines, and say also something akin to- SO MUCH DEPENDS ON THE SOUND OF AN OLD FARMER’S TRACTOR IN THE DISTANCE…
Then there is an opening, and the large circular, no, oval fields. They are impossibly large, and the dogs can hardly run them in their entirety. There is a road far in the distance, and some electrical wires in the sky. Some hawks talk, warning of me, or yelling at me, and fly off, with what like some smaller ones in tow. A bird flies out from a hole in a sand pit. There are crickets, hidden garter snakes, and tall bushes and chaparral to the sides. It’s very quiet there, - and the wind, the light breezes that blow, - seem to stop for a time. We rest by some shade. I try to remember what the place looks like in the autumn, - all the reds, yellows, oranges. I then think of the winter,- an outdoor palace of sorts,- the ice making little parapets on this slope or that,- the extra joy that a dog may have who is made really for that season,- the firm spirit in his gait, the jumping that is reminiscent of a rabbit. Who would need literature, music, film, or even people at a time like that? The dog, in the February or late November snow,- not running, but sprinting,- racing across the way,- and he becomes for quick moments more like a phantom, a spectre, a dream or a benevolent and mysterious vision than a part of this reality…
We rise, - take some water, - look around. Our friend the wind has picked up again. How nice it would be to see a bit of rain I think then. Not too much, but a light showering. It’s not coming yet though. No worries. There is nothing rueful or heavy here,- only a certain light heartedness at being in the open, away from all the sins, from greed and gluttony, from envy and pride, from haughtiness and from ego,- that ego that lurks in people even when it seems it does not. So we are upright, we are, for the moment, as the so-called apocryphal gospel of St. Thomas, explained so well in The Mustard Seed discourses by Osho,- blessed,- because we are the ‘solitary and elect’.
But nobody would understand us. We only look then to a bird’s eye view or any view, - like a man and two dogs. And that is good enough, for we are that also. Slowly we go past the land around the large circle. There are about five places one can re-enter the forest. One of them does not loop back up with the main path, and it is not the furthest re-entry point either, but one that looks innocent enough. So we carefully pick. It will the second to the main one.
Berries, raspberries, and the wildflowers have peaked and are wilted, many of them are dispersed, disappeared, dissolved into the wind and earth and even somehow the little riverbed up the way. I muse. I received the spirit message hours before, in the late-late-late- night,- in the witching hours in fact,- of something called TETRAGON, if in fact that is the right word,- a pyramid it turns out, that has its different sides. This message has less to do with sacred geometry and more to do with saying that life is all at once multidimensional, even, against logic,- in this dimension. It’s a way of saying, in more prosaic terms, that,’ one has many balls in the air juggling’ So be it, - SPIRIT knows. And sometimes souls show up for soul rescue, - and they are sent on their way. There is no audio heard, only vision. That is the way of it.
And eventually, among the birches and pines, the oaks and other, and among these peculiarly esoteric and mystical thoughts, this odd nomenclature, - we make our way out and out and out. We take more water at the vehicle, circle around, stop and listen for a moment. The sound of the tractor is there, echoing like a dream. We drive with the air conditioner blaring like a one note radio song. The man is there again, in the car, as he is for many hours and many days together. The sun glints of shards of this and that and I have to focus, to concentrate on the drive, to rejoin the stream of vehicles waiting on the larger one lane highway.
I have to rejoin them, but do so only to the barest and necessary minimum, for they surely don’t know about the great solitude of the literal and figurative inner forest pathways.