The Seeking

Recently I wrote about an upcoming writing workshop I am to attend, focused on the theme “The Story You Have to Tell.” I confessed that I’m still searching for the tale worthy of telling.

Readers kindly gave encouragement, suggesting clues were close at hand. I wasn’t getting much inspiration, just thoughts of the roses at Paramahansa Yogananda’s Lake Shrine in California.

Searching, seeking, questing, looking…I finally surrendered and took a morning walk. And it was there, between my footsteps, that a patchwork of stories revealed themselves in random order. The common thread being the very essence of my circumstance: my seeking.

It became clear that my pivotal life experiences have all been rooted in a quest to connect with the Divine. There have been moments when I have been brushed by Grace. Others, when I have fallen into a deep abyss of nothingness. Sometimes I am quite conscious of my search. At other times, I am absorbed in all things earthly, barely remembering that there is anything more than clock-time.

The very premise of this blog stems from my desire to find the profound within the mundane. I sense that the key is in the simplest of moments, always contained right now, if only I can pause to perceive it. Yet, so often there is some veil hindering my full awareness.

With an intent to sketch some highlights of my searching, I’ll be adding pieces to the Archives as part of an ongoing series, I’ll call “The Seeking.”

My first memory of feeling connection to something beyond myself, was at the age of six. I was tucked deep within the rows of an orange grove, on the front porch of my house. Just me and a cattle dog.

Realizing that I may have written about this experience already, I checked the Archives and found a poem posted in May 2011. I’m re-posting it here, as the first in the Seeking series.

Recently, the media has highlighted scientific findings that suggest a release of the bonding chemical, oxytocin, when humans and dogs gaze into each other’s eyes. I’m not well-versed on all of the research, but I remember my own love-bliss, human-dog experience. The dog and I were both fresh to the planet, and sweetly unaware of concepts, definitions, or chemicals.

 

“Dog Spelled Backwards”

Maybe you were six
that first time that you remember
sitting on the red cement steps by the ivy
just you and a cattle dog
gifted a rare moment off the chain
all of you

looking into those liquid brown
border collie eyes
you sang softly
caressing velvet ears
rubbing whiskered cheeks
his black damp nose poised
transfixed
in the words that swirled from your sweet throat
“I love you, I love you, I love you”

a simple tune
turning
from your small mouth
surrounding his rapt head
an essence
soaking through fur

you sang those words
gazing into dog eyes
your own little lashes
brimming with tears
that were not sad
just feeling
moving through your fresh heart
extending through dainty fingers
singing through your baby teeth

the purity of puppy and child
needs no name
though adults may try
and reference
Grace

awareness
presence
shared
it was so easy
readily received
circulating as breath
between two heart beats

mammals
in a moment
down a gravel drive
in the oranges and the ivy
1979

 

courtesy of smerikal
courtesy of smerikal

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