Close or Far

When Jose and I visited the Grand Canyon we were admiring the Temple of Shiva, a mesa standing apart from the North Rim. In the late afternoon light the warm colors of the canyon were increasingly spectacular, and Shiva was shimmering in violet, rose and gold. After a few moments Jose went to read an info-graphic nearby, and came back to report that the Temple was over 9 miles away. Not only that, but the North Rim in general was 14 to 18 miles away. Our jaws dropped, minds boggled, and we were challenged to believe our eyes.

Temple of Shiva is the highest point on the horizon

NINE MILES? Really? We could see it so clearly!

One of the great pleasures of the west is the mind sensation of seeing over such vast spaces. It certainly draws visitors to the Canyon. I know I gloried in the many broad vistas we enjoyed in our travels. Even in crowded the Bay Area a trip across any of the bridges opened up into a soaring space. Our visit to Marin Highlands was literally dizzying for me.  I could swim, fly, soar and plunge in all that magnificent visual space.

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I learned a new word from Astrologer Rob Brezhny in this week’s reading. He writes:

The German word *Fernweh* can be translated as “wanderlust.” Its literal meaning is “farsickness,” or “an ache for the distance.”

Now that I’m back in lush, forested Southern Maryland, I’m finding the intimate treed locations to be claustrophobic. I am grateful or the shade, I love the greens, the rustling sounds, the many, many birds. But I’m pining for the wide-open spaces where my mind’s eye can soar. I am so glad to be home, my lovely home and friends, yet I am experiencing farsickness, feeling it like a physical longing in my bones. I am aching for distance, pining for that vastness, that wilderness of a scale that swamps my ability to measure it.

Brezhny quotes poet Robert Haas:

We call it “longing” because desire is full of endless distances.

In the rest of my weekly reading the astrologer challenges me and other Scorpios to explore the yearning and the distance, and find ways to bridge the gulf. I know that I feel much more in possession of my citizenship of this vast country, having made this trip. I stayed connected to a close friend who was moving away, in fact deepened our relationship. Attending a business conference far from home, I cemented  relationships with colleagues and potential partners all across the country. I’ve spanned some great distances within myself, stretching to be connected to people in new ways.

And I am remembering how I carry those great spaces within myself. I can return to that canyon rim in my meditation and feel the sensation of awe that reminds me:

(I am large; I contain multitudes)

Now, where shall I go from here?

Wind Song

There’s this song made by the wind and the winter forest. A hum, deep but light, begins then rises, in such a way that you think “a train is coming!”

But it’s the trees waving in synchrony, singing together.

Living in a national park, the wind can move a long way through the trees before it arrives. This house is perched in a clearing, on the shores of the tidal Potomac, ravines to either side. Tall tulip poplars, white and pin oaks, sycamore and ash thrive in this rich riparian zone.

The forest is singing this morning after a long and stormy night. The air has been moving wildly since yesterday afternoon, when warm low clouds raced north to meet the front. Later, gouts of rain sliced up from the south and lashed the roof with stripes of wet. Deep in the night the house went quiet, silent enough to wake me up. There was no electric hum, and thus, no heat, no light, no water. But these days, I keep my iPad charged, so I read until I fell sleepy again.

With the hint of daylight the engines of the world began whirring again, and the push, push, push of cool wind began sweeping the skies, allowing a clear yellow light to paint highlights on the singing branches. The house is surrounded by tuning forks, moving in resonance. Now they are but waving gently, but comes a rising hum, and the wind springs like a lion, brushing the trees together as if they were grasses, and they sing, sing, sing.



NB: I searched for a video of this effect, and couldn’t find just what I wanted. I’ll get out and make my own. I did however come across two items of interest.

Wind sculpture — a beautiful sculpture that uses that ‘coke bottle’ effect

White Noise downloads – high quality recordings of beautiful sound