The Kindly Ladies: Mama Spider’s Invisible Story

Mama spider. Mama spider.
Weaving and forming. Teaching and feeding.
Out of your bowels we ate.

Out of your spirit we grew;
to hunt one more day,

and tomorrow.
So was the spirit of my mother, even when I did not see her.

From the depth of her corpse, I grew and came out.
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I Give Myself to this Moment

I sit in resolute resignation, folding my hands, allowing the weight of my spine to be grabbed by the gravity of earth. I see the angel of non-compassionate-presence. I copy his visage. I become its mirror. I observe the moment as the moment observes me.

I stare back at the eyes of the void. I do not try to move. I do not try to escape. I do not attempt a resolution.

I sit.

I observe the eyes of the void. My heart becomes full of love and gratitude for he who sacrifices himself—he who renounces any movement and any expression, surrendering to the will of the moment.

My heart fills with gratitude for what that being has been doing for all eternity. I copy him for just a moment. I take a breath for him, for he cannot. I feel the rushing of warm blood on my body, for he cannot feel the rhythm of his own heart. I allow the electricity to flow through me, burning my skin, for he cannot have the respite of death. I ease myself into the eternity of this moment.

I give myself for him. I remain in the here and now, no longer seeking to escape, no longer wanting, no longer searching.
I sit.
I breathe.
I hear the words I speak.
The cycle is complete, for nothing is meant.
Nothing is sought.
Nothing is obtained.
I sit.
I am.
I give up becoming.

I give myself to the moment.

The Faint Memory of What Once Was.

There was once …

(Every being, every sentient being, somehow remembers it—buried deep, deep in the cells, in the code that directs our movements and direction. It is faint, like a whisper in the middle of the night, faint like the softness of the breeze that caresses the skin. There is the memory of this time that was, when there was no disturbance of the flow of the light, and just the empty wind stirred the surface of the dreaming. No experience was yet so deep and entrenched as to produce anything remotely close to suffering and pain)

There was once, if you remember, no sense of owning or belonging.

There was only the allowing, the floating, the surrendering into that nurturing something that enclosed our senses.

 

This Elusive Self

Place your hand on your chest. There is a presence there.

This presence, untouched by the things of the sons and daughters of Adam, is not the product of history.

Look within.

Feel the space between heart and hand.

Feel your body within. And that which feels has no birth place, has no beginning, has no end. It witnesses all that unfolds before your eyes.

It’s dreaming your life.

It’s awake when you sleep.

It knows when you forget.

It loves without body.

It moves in the spaces between light and dark.

See it again. Do not let it escape. See again.

The Kindly Ladies: God’s World

I remember standing with the body of a child, looking down into the cement floor of the street in front of my house. I remember looking down as if I was a god or an angel, as if I had the eye of an eagle. I remember looking at a world small and remote. I remember leaning over a small fence, watching these tiny creatures—impotent and unaware of the one observing them.

I looked at this world of God, and the more I saw this tiny world made of concerns and intent, the more my consciousness was pulled into it. I became fascinated. I didn’t notice when I passed that tipping point. It happened in that silent moment between breaths, where no thought passes trough you, where no stories are told—that place in between moment.

I fell into God’s World. And it took me a while to get my bearings.

The sequence of ages happens to be only a feature of the moment I’m in.

I didn’t know some times if I had dreamt my memories. I didn’t know if I was me or my brother. I didn’t know if was dreaming that house, or if I had dreamt that other place in the jungle among pyramids. Had I just been born, or had I just died from that wound? Sometimes I got confused remembering things not from the past, but happening right now in different bodies.

I was living all these lives, all at once. I was confused by all these things happening to all those bodies. I started up asking a question and ended up telling a story. I would start a story in one body and continue it somewhere else, and in the end I had done nothing in this body.

I moved about this life between story and story, putting a lot of attention on making things slow down, so that the story I told of my life could be told as if it could happen, as if it made sense. Putting much care in the spinning of each piece, weaving each strand, forming a work of art with the cacophony of color and events: to make something whole out of non-sequential chaotic star dust; to sit as an old woman weaving the story now. Or, like a spider, extracting the web from within my womb to lay out for the wake.

This is the beginning of the Kindly Ladies, and the spinning of stories and the laying of worlds.

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The Kindly Ladies: stories before civilizations and the wars

I heard the stories as the world who was old was disappearing.

I heard the stories with the unequivocal assurance that they were true exactly as they were told. It made me wonder how many stories were hidden in the darkness, after the light of humans came, after the subconscious myth of gods and voices was erased from the light. Made me wonder what was lurking in the shadows of my racial memory.

What remained behind corpses under the ground and what was to come out if I was to open my mouth bigger than my face and look at the sky with eyes of infinite sadness?

What would happen if I would let something spin and spin and spin around until I became centered and everything disappeared and fell and moved?

What would happen if I spun these stories not with words, but sensations and moments with small movements and gentle spans, and the darkness within illuminated through infinite spaces?

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The Telling is an Experiment on Cultural Transubstantiation

In medieval times, the Church’s theologians argued about the nature of the catholic mass. Was it a symbolic act or a miracle, a magical act? Did the wafer and the wine truly became the flesh and blood of Christ? It is a true miracle, they claimed. Even though the wine tastes like wine, looks like wine, and smells like wine, it has now become blood.

How? Well, the medieval philosophers made a distinction between primary and secondary characteristics. The primary characteristic is the essence of something, while the secondary characteristics are those phenomenal manifestations that we use to recognize something but it is not part of its essence. For example, the soul of a person would be their essence and the true meassure of who they are. Everything else would be a secondary characteristic: external appearance, color of the skin, or even their particular life story. In the case of the wine, the transformation into “the blood of Christ,” according to the Catholic theologian allows it to retain all the secondary characteristics. The signal to the senses remained unchanged, but the substance had been transformed. It is, in the eyes of these theologians, a type of miracle that affects the essence, not the outward or secondary characteristics. Similarly, they would argue, prayer and the sacraments affect the soul, but not the body of the supplicant. This effect of exchanging one essence for another was called “transubstantiation.”

Now, look at the traditions that seek to preserve the past. Take a dance, any dance, performed thousands of years ago, perhaps to prepare for the hunt. It was a preparation for the one act that could mean survival or death for the tribe. Today, you go to a park in your vehicle, you see people dress in feathers drumming away and you think you are watching the same dance the tribal people did before the hunt long ago.

They dance. They follow the same external steps. They play music, perhaps even dance to the same tunes as before; but what was a dance of survival then is now mere entertainment. What was sacred in a raw sense is now performed to educate and entertain. The audience, and the performers, do not have now the same experience that the ancient artists had. They’ve preserved the external manifestations but not the essence.

The Telling is an experiment in cultural transubstantiation. It seeks to bring in the essence of something live and potent from a different time and make it do what it did, make it come to life in a context that delivers the essence. It does not seek to retain the externals, but delivers the true substance and the audience knows that something happened that is not part of the known.

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The Old One of Years

From moment you were born, you had an intelligence with you. One that was millions of years old. The one that knows how to live and grow and learn. The one that learns how to navigate an ever-changing, shifting environment. The one who knows how to walk around the jungle. The one that knows how to die and decompose and feel life. This intelligence knows how to heal and destroy. That intelligence was already there from the moment that you were a one-celled entity in an ocean filled with Life on whose surface shines the clear light of objective reality.