Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Brenda Littleton - It is Brilliant Here

I don’t have much left in my life these days: my parents and brothers have passed.
Lovers' touches linger in dried alter petals and fading poem-ink. 
Their photos point to another time; their echoes live in Joni songs. 
Like David Whyte’s line, they've turned sideways into the light.
It is brilliant here, at times.
The Road to King Clone
Active, income-bearing projects have ended. My suits are buried. My heels now flat.  Material things like vacation condos, income properties and motorhomes are gone. Family farms are paved; the plow a museum relic. The beach is a public park.
My own home is far from being complete: the ceiling peels, the carpet stains, the kitchen wants to be open and white. I sleep in a garage of northern windows, eastern French doors and ragged drywall. Expensive rugs keep the peace. Much of what is supposed to be there, is not. The makings of containment don’t live here anymore. I actually wonder if they ever did. 
Yet, my Ego is contentedly receding, as James Hillman professes happens at the threshold of sixty, and in this recession, She takes with her most of the constellated patterns that no longer serve me.


And, in place of this space, an illuminated foam of Soul roams in; the continuing high tide now occupies and resides, as the owner of the next thirty years. Along with Soul, I have these animals. Desert-bred Arabians, an ancient lot, used to warm camel’s milk and eating dates, live on the edge with me, as do other cats and dog, all refugees from desert trauma, who found their way to my side. 

Their souls are now free here, too.I have them.
And, I have my art, my creative heart.
It is mine; it is me. 
No one can take it; it is not up for question or debate.
Like the horses, it breathes, it pounds the ground 
when in want and in need of attention.
It may not be loved by the others outside of me,
but I am loved by it, 
I am courted by their dreams to be seen. 
I share when I have to,
or when I believe there is a hope-link to being seen and understood.
I don’t have much left in my life these days:
It is brilliant here, at times. 
It suits me just fine. 
Brenda Littleton, 2018
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You Can Eat Off of My Horse Stall Mats


Circe Leaving Her Greek Island
You can eat off of my horse stall mats. The grocery bags stowed in a ice chest are alphabetized by store names. Two hundred and forty papers written for my dissertation are reorganized by themes, and crossed referenced by the dates I wrote them. Thirty-two cookbooks once boxed in the shed are scattered on my bedroom floor, waiting to be called into duty. Some of them are my grandmother's and inspired eating during the Great Depression, the pandemic ofpolio, and rationing in WWII. My once diet of no bread, no sugar, no flesh, no animal product, has switched in a heartbeat to sourdough scones, mac n cheese, tuna casseroles, rice pudding and toast with cinnamon sugar on top. I meditate, eat, write, clean, eat, write, meditate, and clean some more. 
I no longer walk the dogs in my Mesa neighborhood, but instead I search for those spindly, dirt yak paths that lead close to hills and rock croppings. I feel very David Whyte-ish as I move among my own moors with Border Collie and Sheep Dog with me, Jack and Sugar-Butt Lu. I wear my Haida touque, a loud, squash-colored neck scarf, hoodie and boots, with my face mask attached to my left ear, just in case I run into specula. The wind is up as a stiff leash. With each step, I wonder about all the weird, odd, torrential upheavals I've lived through, and realize each one takes me further and farther out there, to where I get a whiff of some long distant lecture about how personal phenomenology is always cued and ready, with the ability for us to catch-up with our event horizon. In other words, our unconscious goes before us, and within our intentionality, we somehow unwittingly find ourselves having arrived, right up to the edge of our existence. Some quantum cosmologists call this edge-point a Black Hole. I call it my Monday Morning Walk. I walk further and try to remember was it Husserl, Heidegger, Gadamer, or Merleau-Ponty, who gave us this edict of how our unconscious goes before us and as we catch up, we then live life. I collapse into a snort-laugh, and I immediately worry if I'm shedding specula on the yak path, to then grok how my moment of homing like the pigeon to track that thought is just another one of concentric circles emanating from me trying to find my way. Cleaning the surface helps. Digging into this event horizon, unfinished and chthonic, is the larger version of dumping all of those cookbooks onto my floor. 
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The poem, "What to Remember When You Begin" circles overhead, as I walk in my best David Whyte-ish way: "What you can plan is too small for you to live. What you can live wholeheartedly will make plans enough for the vitality hidden in your sleep. To be human is to become visible while carrying what is hidden as a gift to others. To remember the other world in this world is to live in your true inheritance. You are not a troubled guest on this Earth. You were invited from another and a greater night than the one from which you have just emerged" -David Whyte. 
Time for some of that rice pudding. The wind has had its way with me, and I have an appetite for what I have forbidden myself.
Brenda Littleton, March 2020
Dark Ages 2.0

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The artwork, The Road to King Clone and Circe Leaving Her Greek Island are original pieces by Brenda LittletonWriter, poet, professor, literacy of place, Jungian archetypal psychology, equine psychology, alchemy, dream-tending, community, meaning-making, working with gold, silver threads and silk. Born the backside of Vancouver Island; renewed on the black beach of Santorni; risen from ashes in Aguanga; tenderly unfolded in Topanga, busting wide high with inner sky in Joshua Tree.



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