Christin's Words from Sunshine Hill

If it is to be music
you must be present to it, must offer to it
a profound self-remembering.
-from Altar Music

Monday, July 21, 2014


This is the land which ye
Shall divide by lot. And neither division nor unity
Matters. This is the land. We have our inheritance
               -T.S. Eliot, “Ash Wednesday”

The land thirsts.
The earth cracks open like old skin
Like hands of the farmer, bleeding
As he digs through stones that surface
From the hardened clay.
The sky has turned to flame.
Lungs ache breathing the triple digit air.
Attempts to bring water up from deep aquifers
Deplete the natural wells.
Star thistle, goat’s weed, and poison oak
Flourish in aridity;
The wilderness will not become a garden this year.
Green is a luxury earth cannot afford.

Here in the dark container of night I sit in artificial light, working out a plan for sprinkling systems although at this point in the devastation what power or intelligence do I have? Nature will not submit to being fixed. Earth will not be moved. The man-made pipes crack and break in the farmer’s bleeding hands. He sits in the rocks and hits at the stony ground. I watch him, a man from the caves wielding the tool of inadequacy. Neither he nor the world can weep.

Here among these rocks in the darkness of my soul I sit remembering. Others have visited this place where gardens become desert and life’s bones lie scattered. They have heard the locusts’ song.

Who can surrender to this?
Who can surrender?
Because it won’t be worked.
Our strength is puny here.
Mind fails.
Heart slows or beats too fast, and neither matter
because nothing can be done.
It is the end of doing.
Surrender is a must. But who can?

How much must be lost before we let it go?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Life According To Dreams

You haven't seen me here in quite a while. It isn't that I haven't written anything. I have. But journals tend to be private documents, and dreams are keys to the soul for those who have a knack for interpretation. Since I last wrote here my dreams have taken up all my writing time. When the flood of dreams began it lifted me on a surge of images right out of my bed to my computer where I wrote for hours. Do you dream like that? Passionate dreaming. Integral dreaming. Dreams that intuition declares must mean something, must be doing something to you, changing you somehow that you don't yet comprehend.

Sri Aurbindo--a King's College (Cambridge) educated Indian man born in Calcutta who became an activist, a philosopher, a Yogi, and a saint (1872-1950)--placed dreams within a universal context of being. "In sleep we leave the physical body, only a subconscient residue remaining, and enter all planes and all sorts of worlds. In each we see scenes, meet beings, share in happenings, come across formations, influences, suggestions which belong to these planes...Planes of supraphysical existence, worlds of  larger life, mind or psyche which are there behind and whose influences come to us without our knowledge. Occasionally we get a dream from these planes, something more than a dream, -- a dream experience which is a record direct or symbolic of what happens to us or around us here." [from Integral Yoga]. 

Meanwhile Carl Gustav Jung, exploring his own psychological experiences, was reaching a similar awareness. His dreams tapped into something so vast and beyond his individual consciousness that he found himself in a timeless experience of the blood bath in Europe that hadn't yet happened, but that he would recognize later as the First World War.

Neither of these giants of the human soul were the first to engage in this exploration. It's been going on since what we call the Dream Times in most ancient and not so ancient cultures. It's just that they both spent their lives studying consciousness, and they wrote about their findings in a language that strikes us as more scientific than the language of the mystic. This is not to say they didn't also use poetic and mythic language. They did. Read Aurobindo's Savitri. Read Jung's Red Book.

 Many writers begin with dream. A poet, a novelist, a writer of memoir, the musical theorist, the philosopher of art. Those are obvious. But who is not telling us where they begin? The cosmologist? The theoretical physicist? The historian?  Go deep enough into reality and eventually one passes through the realm of dreams. Its language is one everyone would do well to learn.

If I learn this language will it change my life? Even this old life? Dreams may be constellations in the sky of the soul. If I travel through the dark, should I not pay attention to their light and the map it provides?

I chart my being by the stars
By constellations
In the skies and in the cells
In whorls of ancient trees
Along the pathways of the soul
The heights and deeps
Fire and emptiness
A new leaf emerging from the stem.