Danny James

403: Banks and Angels

You were cautious this time to restrain the hearts heat and slow the imaginations hurry to dilate the moment o the hearts insisting, but lo; how you were shaken of your plans when strolled thee into your life unapologetically happy and glowing against the evenings lights. But for many-a-days with thoughts spent swelling the past, when enters an angel expressing interest in going with you a-ways promising at last a life serene would you have found far nearer than had forever implied, the haven of your days. How we struggle to receive what we have not practice in giving and despair at the injuries in our Nature, contracting afraid against that loveliness before us we suffer most to behold.

402

Write it. Cast the overflow of your grateful heart toward the white clouds, peaceable there over the mountains, might it carried be lovingly, like a Dandelions seed on the wind across a whispering field. How pleasant for him, upon whose shoulder might your words fall; him wondering and in desert.

401

All this incessant preoccupation with productivity. To be deified of harmonising many errands, an unrelenting metabolism for busyness ever striving and dissatisfied. Success, that mountain with heights supposed upon the climber depends. From what desolation would you escape if arriving at a higher tier of achievement you take the same cold unfulfilled self you brought from the valley? What sits at the summit you have not? How few who reach for the top have filled their depths with the Sunlight.

400: Without complaint

Strange, where can one year place you. Or rather, what winds you no longer permit access to your sails. You recover eventually, when softly serve the seas to your harbour home, past what tempest inflicts its bitter tutelage that they do not cease so much as change in form and verve. The survivors and the tellers of their accounts have these insights passed down many since the very first interruption, – how strong men disappear and all kingdoms become dust. That he who is not prepared for disaster has not yet approached the defining torment of his tenure. Not yet had his greatest efforts curtailed by the instant, his hopes dashed upon the rocks like glass, nor been thrust helpless and broken upon a distant shore to contemplate long and lone, the final fairness of fortune. These are the years a man needs to carve his character and rebuild his principles from which might he rise again to reach for the horizons that hold his home.

I would sit by my window each morning writing letters to my friend, enjoying the pleasing song of the Auroral birds and moments of first sunlight. Soft Spring afternoons walking beneath halls of bristling trees that celebrated along the back streets. Autumns quickening across the Eastern Coastline trails groaning against the cliffs. These were quiet days in Bondi, where my heart did not shudder to where I took it and a calm had prevailed there at long last. Finally had I forgotten myself and saw grow in the warm fading afternoon light, a healthy recognition and respect for my surroundings once more. I felt in and through me, careening every pore and corridor the dynamic current of a deep and satisfying attunement with existence. I saw but only better days ahead, and breathed in long and happy the atmosphere of the life I was living presently and nothing could have thrown my down.

Yet, I had allowed a clumsiness with blessings to defeat me. By not daring to think myself deserving, I found myself quite unprepared for fortunes favour much less the ramifications of abiding my own impossible moral code. I looked for complexity and escape, a trapdoor in the rainbow, a reason to leave, to strive, to discard what peace and guiltlessness had I gathered because I knew not how to no longer struggle. It can be fatiguing being amazed all the time and preferring instead the comfort of falling and familiarity in moments of forgetfulness, you lay down in submission and allow the tensions overlap. I stopped marvelling at the Nature of things and sought instead to turn my back on Nature Herself and leave Her wide-eyed, agape and utterly alone; cut Her off of Her sweet intent, and succour all that would aim to render Her ridden. So I did thus, closed the shades, put down my pen and thought myself right out of the Nirvana in my lap. I strayed, plain and simple. Wandered from all that was possible of life because I was afraid of just what potency of rational spontaneity I did possess, and I do none or myself justice attempting to calculate it now, by fertilizing those plains where none from which but utter desolation grows. Because in the end, nothing is quite as important as you might first think at the time of thinking it. I strayed. The mind its own mountains can make, and one who for none but hindrances seeks so shall create them. What does not endeavour to cast a light across the plains embraces the cold and restriction of the valley floor. I took an interval from the life that I had constructed up to then. I’d packed my books and walked away, stole into woodlands remote and bustling cities not my own. I sought to be silent and welcoming to the ulterior perspectives of poets, philosophers, the vagrants and the drifters all getting along in the ways they new best. To let the thoughts come that Naturally may, that all the rest no grave import might prove and lo, like most things one decides to warp no further with imagination, shall begin to suddenly into its appropriate proportions fade. It needed to become clear again what it was that I did value, and who; What would I withstand for whom I love, what hardship could I absorb to uphold those precepts that I treasure most, and, within the kernel of those reflections I found reasons instead of rules for which to save my place in life and not go sauntering off into the woods resigned. Reasons that would implore me thus to emerge from my hovel with a greater surge of energy and an outlook far grander than ever before, to immerse myself engaged and ready so completely into all the possible experiences that this world as we now know it has to offer, and to make the very most of it all.

Just as at this time last year, there are some fine times ahead that will for many more afterward linger like a last lance of sunlight across the fading meadows of memory. My dear sister and husband have extended an invitation to visit them over Christmas and finally to meet my nieces I have heard so much about. Their cheerful slice of paradise they’ve crafted for themselves resides in the Tropical North Of Queensland among the surrounds of the Atherton Tablelands. I expect hikes in the hills and through the rainforests in search of hidden freshwater streams. Un-hurried walks in the cool shade of dawn, then eggs, coffee and reading on the back patio. Warm evenings in the hammock watching the stars awaken one by one, as the barbecue hisses followed by a gathering of smiling faces, great company, conversation and merriment the much long into the night. There’ll be S, of course. Strong, sassy and quietly brilliant, laying by the fire of our campsite next to the creek that drapes its way among the dunes and wilds, on and on and evermore. S runs along sunsets like a portrait and her bronzed sinews glisten fantastically in the blood orange sun. A few strands of sand-coloured hair escape their bonds and hug her cheek and I’ll want nothing more than to kiss her supple lips and leave my rushing life in Sydney to stay with her on the blanket by the fire. Instead I’ll slowly walk home from visiting with her and it’s the fact that I cannot simply pack up and start over again that makes our time together among the most heart stirring and perfect. Because though everything is now in focus and determined does not presume that it will be entirely likeable and never mind. The evening sky will convulse a haze of violet and glowing tangerine swirls behind the high hills and a gentle breeze will complement the warmth. The Universe and whatever particles make up my soul will seem to be mingled, same and jovial. I’ll finally give way to a smile sincere and knowing that with all the bitter and the balm, the noise and the calm the Universe is just, and all will be well in the end as ever. I’ll be happy and content in this moment with everything to be grateful for and everything to look forward to and I’ll ride this state without complaint unto my home somewhere in the gold and purple sunset.

Cairns, Christmas 2014

Cairns, Christmas 2014

399: Startle the Heavens

We climbed with Olympian vigour and reserves of immortality, with speed tearing space and time. From our astral thread fell away the stars and comets attempting to overtake. We brushed an outer ceiling and dared the edges, fatiguing Nature and contesting the rules of our make, waging a war worth all the while on the human bargain. We scorched the lands and startled the heavens, bounding with such force that each stride caused the Earth to groan and shudder beneath us, staggering in its cosmic sling attempting to stabilize.
We plunged unrestrained into what depths required us; physically, intellectually, spiritually and wholly. Our smiling mouths filled with dust. Our brows bore the struggles mark; eyes, glazed the reward lust of a reaching gasp, a leap across the chasm of an everyday existence, a hard-fought climb to the spires of our contents; A final attempt at one moment of everlastingness. One waned of resource, does feed by the exert of it. To seek and strive extracts the essentialness of the situation at hand and on the road, you hollow out on and something else, something more glorious and spirit preserving replaces what is spent. The depletion seems to be on a parallel trajectory to what is built and the more difficult, perilous and costly the ascension, the firmer a resolve to overcome is driven up from the depths. When the only finitude recognised is what holds within. When close to the heart sits a hunger that will not be covered over or silenced but engages energies otherworldly in the full pursuit of its own exhaustion.

398: Of the things I wish I knew

There’ll be some cold years son, and for the most part you’ll make them yourself. And though still you may not yet be all the way through, this much know:

The road that you take is the only one there is.
Who you are, is the only one who can make it.

Let the things that make you afraid, awaken in you who it is you need to be, to overcome. Do not go wandering off alone into the woods, there’ll be no retreat there. Put that thought out of your mind, and learn to let in again the love that you came with. Learn to love the world as it is and more importantly, your place in it. Because you’re going to be needed. Love, with the entirety of your gentle heart without the expectation that it might be returned; for a long time it will not, but that’s none of your business anyway. Above all do not lose your well-meaning and good cheer for anything.

…for anything.

397

It was a fascinating dance between night and day; a gorgeous undulation of haze and glow that made you forget quite suddenly and succinctly the things that had occupied your mind only moments ago.

Bondi

Bondi

396: Mastery

Sometimes, you are lost. Strayed from yourself to some outer edge of a dark expressionless abyss where seem there the stars to contradict and misinform. Then, when once more you are by your own matter, some small and deathless gleam guided back to strength and health, by what Galaxy presses back your bounds and goads from the depths a precious spark of mystery trace. Nature hold her breath, the Entire Universe stops to stare. The very stars, silent marvel.

395: Patagonia part 7 (thaw)

After some time abroad, being suddenly home again endures a spectacular dilation. It’s like the sight of the first visiting snowflakes, the falling fascinates like none after. The plain and recognisable circumstances glisten afresh with seemingly new and engaging qualities as everything slowly drifts back into its usual recognisable place, settling into a blanket of familiarity. Before long the rain of pleasantries will again begin to irritate and you’ll tell yourself at first that you just need to change something in your thinking this time, adjust the old lens through which you look at things. You understand that you’re not altogether wrong, because the larger share of life will be used up on tedium tasks and the routine actions and engagements necessary for simply existing, much less for making fair and civil progress in this world. You’ve been too long between living and missed some wonderful experiences and insights that might have helped, because you’ve been busy trying to wedge into your life some of the lessons you took from the last time you got it right the third time and you’ve been making up ground ever since, but still; nothing prevails quite like the emptiness of a life layed out in full and supposed before it’s even commenced it and worse, without having the faintest idea of how so much hope lies in the available choices, and thus pressing on and completely void of interment spells of spontaneous adventure and surprise and everyday a bare and unsatisfying effort. Contained and under stimulated and barely perceptible tones of activity compressed to a humming ineffectual lull, until reanimation of your blood and return of your wildest strength and happiness as returns by such a trip as enjoyed to the Patagonia’s. It is deeply vivifying, and renewing of what unnameable qualities stand spellbound and silent amid the rain of sensation and fresh, un-dreamable experiences that elevate us brimming into a modest Euphoria. But lean they must, in pitch and power. So as to maintain and not drain the host in a constant feed of enthusiasm and to fit the pressed halls of perception and memory. The effect of where you have been is noticeable, uplifting and even tiring, and like many things that saturate no matter how incredible the stimuli, temporal. What you’ve noticed most, is how simple convenience stores now bear an intimation; Entering them initiates an automative study of the shelves for border-easy dry goods, computing the comparative cost of bottled water. Coffee, any kind, to quicken the senses waned from an all night drive, when some small yawning section of your being quietly revels at the start in the middle of the night, and promise of that first breath of new evening air. The excitement stepping off the bus and out into the cold, your faculties quite unprepared for the chill, but riveted and inviting of any commotions. The newness of a new gas station with friends who share your lost and delighting meagreness. The smell, the buzz, blinding lights, coke cola signs and the curious glares. A pause in the middle of a somewhere, an interval and a never-ending getting by; it’s the same in rest-stops the world over. They hold mostly only the barest necessities of respite and refuelling with the same isles and arrangements as any and lie at the end of the same dirt road of an outskirt and in them still we are gladly lost. That is the travellers lesson. You understand the various and similar constants of human need. Interaction and communication and everyone once in a while a blessed intermission from going someplace to rediscover your own simple humanness. You would not have known this had you not needed to go to see for yourself, and we all need to figure out this Labyrinth on our own and when you do, you finally realise that we don’t much do different things as much as do the same things a little differently. It mustn’t be forgotten, amid the circling fear that you will step back into the same old exhausted habits of constructing a mechanical existence that only forges forward and does nothing to lateralise with the view. That fails to stir the emotions or rouse the sanctified instincts of your fantastical bearing awakened by sunsets, open roads, friends by the fireside in cold mountain valleys and her eyes the first time you caught a glimpse of love in them. When Amy had looked through you and into some sad future that she knew was coming, and achingly, tenderly desperate said something so incredibly touching, as though if it were then surely her last act on Earth it was the only one that mattered and it had to be said. Amy was wonderful like that, but you did not hear it. You’d never hear it, and the look on her face after was ample to cause the world to halt, the bars over your heart to dissipate and the very centre to fold in upon itself, overcome. Amy, knowing her sweetest truth had missed its mark and went drifting off searching into the infinitude from which it came said nothing more but smiled gently and dipped her little head upon your shoulder, closed her misty eyes and fell softly to sleep. You have not failed since to remember that golden moment, it outshines any have you ever had. Though it has been the cause of a recurring and cataclysmic grievance ever since, that you could have no whit of recollection or imagination of exactly what it was that Amy had gathered up all of her resources of courage to say, the shadows and suppositions of which as it escaped and evaporated were enough to profoundly and instantly redirect the emotional course that you would choose to take in life. You were simply absent then. A spectator of your own life than rather the participant, and you find yourself now attempting to recall the many preceding miracles mistook for everyday occurrences that are fewer now, and paler that you are looking for them. As is the afternoon sun of our time compared to its morning heat, the best is always done. You have slept too long, that waking now none too late, the Sun has begun to set. Staring out of the window at everything that’s new and will never your eyes see or your bare skin feel the brushing of again in this lifetime. Gazing at a vastness of land between all the places never adventured, stretching for miles and miles still. There could be layers of new experiences yet, – the overcast of old memories with more blankets to come of snow. Her eyes, as your own close.

Somewhere in Patagonia, 2013-2014

Somewhere in Patagonia, 2013-2014

394

Dusk is falling over the prairie and what wild colours and tranquility ensue. Overcome with peace and gratitude, seeking now nothing further have I crossed as far as I mean this fine evening, and will lie here to the Earth with the rarefied equanimity of the occasion. Travellers know this, too, the stars; that tomorrows are no place to lay ones head-filled dreams. When ones bliss is found, how higher fares to hold so little attraction. How far I have come, what troubled days behind. That here should I think on them in this place and splendour where shall I pass but once. I know not where hereafter will I pause, nor what great adventure or adversity there anticipates me, and it matters none. The experiencing is the juice of the thing, not the knowing. The span as ever, it provokes. Goads me always further toward what ordinary things may in the horizon hide. I think on the faces I have met and leave behind to the ever diminishing edge and it is enough to know that they wish me well, and I them as we make our own ways dispersed as stars burning and convulsing an imperial appetency and dazzling like jewels strewn across a black ocean. O happy hazard, liberty laden chance. There is a rush in randomness, a certain excitement in the living by accident that inspires the blood and gives a freshened youth to all ones days. Only a man out of mind can only calm find on such an evening as this. The sun descends of its perch and will not for branch or cloud, its last light suppress. It gives to the last, as I must. While I lay in the grass, a gentle wind of Natures interest brushes the field making waves that go on and on for many miles of quiet tides across the land. She has stopped alike, interviewing me with playful intrigue and all is well.

-2008

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