"I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with the nonhuman world and somehow survives...Paradox and bedrock."-Edward Abbey

30 April 2013

Tea and Wonder

Classical music plays on the radio as incense perfumes the air. The hounds sleep at my feet. One of them is snoring. Nine-bean soup burbles away in the slow-cooker, getting into the proper context for supper. Daylight fades into early evening by slow degrees.

These are the rhythms and rhymes of the cosmos. The backbeat of the Divine. If you know how to listen, you can hear it.

I sip from a large mug of chai, contemplating emptiness and everything. Depending upon one's bent, saying you've been drinking all day is either the stuff of mournful songs and bad poetry, or, cause for concern. However, it totally loses its metaphoric thunder when the liquid in question is tea. I don't have a problem and could stop anytime I like. Although, fuck with my teas, and I'll eat your liver, no problem.

With a certain fondness I remember that steaming cup of genmacha I partook of whilst watching a late afternoon river amble by. I mused how the ice was all but gone from its banks and contemplated the coming runoff, wondering if low-lying areas, like out back and some of the creek-side streets, will have standing water. Two years back, the runoff was such there were sandbags in some places. A year ago, there was really no runoff to speak of, and a whisper of the river trickled by, begging for a drink.

When we first found this place, our Kashmir, I brought my daughter up to see it, as though I was seeking her approval. Maybe I was. If she didn't like someone I brought around, friend or otherwise, that cat and I didn't play together anymore. So it goes. My daughter was just as entranced by our Sahel as we were, or perhaps it was just how we were so drawn to it. Of course, back then, moths dancing around flames could've taken lessons from us when it came to borderline obsession.

One of those first visits that she was with me for, I told her how the river was the headwaters of all the great rivers of the world; the Ganges, the Mississippi, the Nile, the Yangtze, and so on. It is said all things are interconnected, so I was neither lying nor making a creative leap, because it's all true, even and especially the lies.

Although, retrospectively, I was far too modest in speaking of the connectivity of things. I could have mentioned Olympus Mons, or the Orion Nebula. Perhaps even the great black hole at the center of the galaxy or even the background radiation from the Big Bang itself. All things, interconnected, pass through in those varying degrees here. It's part of the mystique.

I was once accused of thinking too much. Imagine. I don't think it's possible, and the alternative is something I'd rather shoot myself in face-twice, in case I missed the first time-than do.

That cup and contemplation along the riverbank was finished as the sun ducked behind the ridge line and low-hanging clouds started to coil against some the high peaks in the manner of Chinese dragons. Perhaps the fantastical could engage in a little bit of misty mountain hop away from the prying eyes of those half-bald primates that call themselves Man. Such a thing could-and maybe does-happen, and I'd not be the least bit surprised, no matter how awestruck.

It's aways good to be awestruck. To find those sparks of magic-if that's even the right adjective-in the world. When that ceases to happen, it's time to get a lobotomy and march lockstep to the grave, post haste. I am no longer a child, but I still endeavor for that sort of wonder in the world around me.

I advise you to do the same; make room for the fantastic and delight in the small moments. It's not childish, and even if it is, so what? Grown-ups are fucking boring.   


  1. I read somewhere once that the key to a happy life is living as through the eyes of a curious 6 year-old...I believe there's some truth to that!

  2. Great post, Rob. The last line is perfect, and I'm still smiling, so thanks...

  3. There's a black hole in the center of the galaxy? Where exactly is that? Please be specific, because I need to know how much time I've got.

    "even and especially the lies."--love that.

    1. Oh yeh. I don't have the exact coordinates, but it's pretty well dead-bang in the middle. Although, with us being on the unfashionable west-end of the galaxy, I think the sun will have become a red giant and consumed the inner planets long before we'd be drawn in.

      Thanx ;).

  4. Robbie, you are an elegant blend of whiskey, my friend. Enough bite to scrape the taste of the world from my mouth, but with a smoothness that slides over the tongue.

    A wonder indeed.