Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Soul of the World

Epiphany in the City: 1/15/11*
CC Jean Stimmell
The writer in his loft exclaims,
believing he has birthed a brilliant idea
not aware he is merely channeling the recesses of his soul
the collective unconscious of Gaia, our living, breathing Earth
who has been incubating this truth for ages in the wood beams
and clay bricks of this converted old mill building,
steeped in wisdom and soul.
Epiphany in Nature: 1/15/14*
CC Jean Stimmell
Just as beams and bricks incubate the word until the time is ripe,
So do the sparse but persevering dead trees cradle these nests
holding them in sacred trust for the Great Blue Herons
to lay eggs in when they return in the Spring
birthing yet another truth.

*Amazing synchronicity: These two photographs were taken exactly 3 years apart: January 15th 2011 and January 15th 2014.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A new telling of the Adam & Eve Myth

The Descent
Wetland heron nests at dusk: January 15,2014
CC Jean Stimmell
To my way of thinking, the Adam and Eve Myth shares common ground with my first big dream about the fierce, Buddhist nun passionately grieving her dead baby. This was transformational to me, igniting an instantaneous paradigm shift, which, among other things, brought me into therapy: I saw in that instant that the Nun’s visceral, raw passion and fierce, primal emotion were what is really real,  more so than the pale, stale, static image of Buddha sitting under the Bodhi tree.

And infinitely more really real than the conventional telling of Adam and Eve story – and the conclusions drawn about what it is to be human!

Here’s what I mean: In the Jewish, Islamic and Christian religions, Adam and Eve were created by God to live in his creation and to have a relationship with him, something like a human getting a dog. Their very names are indicative of their roles. Adam comes from the Hebrew meaning "man." Eve is from the Hebrew for "life."

God wanted for Adam and Eve to live with him in his transcendent life, pure, cerebral, static, unchanging, unemotional–an eternity of no surprises. He made a deal with them: They could live in the Garden of Eden, a perfect place with no thorns or weeds, cultivate the garden, name the animals, and eat of the garden's fruit, everything but the dark fruit from the tree containing the knowledge of good and evil.

This sounds to me like the master of the house telling his dog that you can live in my palace and eat the finest food but don’t ever bite me, piss on the floor, or go outside to have fun chasing the mail man or fucking the neighborhood bitches. I’m warning you, if your do, you are out of here! Do you understand!

How boring thought the dog...that’s no fun al all.

No doubt both Adam and Eve felt the same way: You can’t have yin without yang, you can’t have up without down, you can’t have heaven without hell, you can’t have the transcendent without the descendent.

[Enter Stage Right] At that point, the Serpent appears to get the plot moving. She represents by her very shape her connection to the earth and moist mysteries, to emotion, intrigue, betrayals, and dark passions: the ecstatic, irrational, imaginal: the Realm of Dionysus.

But not according to the Bible which claims that the Serpent was not Dionysus but Satan himself!

Specifically, the Bible says that Eve was seduced into eating the fruit by Satan, who then disguised as the Serpent deceived Adam to get him to also eat the fruit (of course, he was no fool:  he damn well knew it was against the rules, but didn’t have the balls to take the lead, so he let Eve take the Fall.)

Because they disobeyed God by following Satan’s advice, God expelled Adam and Eve from the garden. How dare them! What a nerve to place their earthly desires above God’s transcendent vision.   It was very bad! According to the Bible, it was “through this act that sin entered the world."  

My alternative version is that the serpent was the voice of the Earth, freeing Adam and Eve from being eternal captives, programmed robots in a stale, unchanging, transcendental mansion in the sky. The Serpent sprung them out of dullsville, allowing them, instead, to to descend into the uncertainty, dread, and wonder of the land of the living.


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Is Shiva casting a spell or dead tree casting shadow?

Dead tree casting a shadow in the woods behind our house
or is it Lord Shiva ?
CC Jean Stimmell: January 2014
Shiva the Destroyer and Restorer

Heading through the woods from my house to Wild Goose Pond,
I found myself in the last light of this sun-shortened, solstice day
drawn toward an enigmatic shadow cast by the gnarly roots
of an ancient toppled tree.

The wind rustled paper dry beech leaves as I approached,
a drum roll in anticipation for what happened next:
The emergence of Lord Shiva,
He of many limbs.

Shiva, the destroyer, zapped my brain, erasing all thought
 Shiva, the restorer, rebooted me to my primal state,
reconnecting me to my body and sense of place,
grounding me in the precious Earth.

It seemed like it was over with before it started:
I was confused and couldn’t quite remember,
dazed like after electroshock therapy.
Did something happen or not?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The New Year: A madness or a beginning

Sun rising over ocean at Odiorne Point: New Year's Morning 2014
CC Jean Stimmell

On this the first day of 2014

The sun rises over the ocean at Odiorne
glowing like a digital blowtorch,
stunning but surreal,
radiating neither warmth
nor juice to cut the gloom:
“A madness or a beginning?” *

“in the dawn confronted Shiva, the cold light
revealed the “mindborn” worlds, as simply that,
I watched them propagated, flowing out,
or, more simply, one mirror reflecting another.
then broke the mirrors, you were no longer in sight
nor any purpose, stared at this new blackness
the mindborn worlds fled, and the mind turned off:
a madness, or a beginning?