Saturday, June 26, 2004


Written June 24, 2004 – on the road

Sylphs have been on my mind.

As we drove to the east coast, clouds whirled like white lace on blue silk above the highway. Legend says that spirits of the air called Sylphs disguise themselves as wispy clouds as they monitor the Earth’s atmosphere. Sylphs govern the winds, clean the air, create windstorms when needed. They are cousins to the Undines, spirits of water. Both serve as balancers and regulators of the elements, according to those legends. A person might catch a sylph dancing as a cloud, and never know it.

We saw one for sure in Maryland. Gary and I sat on a cliff overlooking the Patuxent River. Swans swerved through the water’s ripples, slower than the lazy sailboats. The sunset turned the river pastel pink and blue, reflecting the cloud patches above. Four white swans wove back and forth across the sparkling gold path linking the beach to the setting sun.

I glanced up. The clouds had formed a perfect swan shape. Pink swan, dark gray beak and wing, dark blue strip beneath to represent the river. We stared, amazed. What perfect coincidence! After fifteen minutes the sunset passed, the cloud dispersed, and we were left in the wake of awe. Was it a sylph?

These legendary creatures really appeal to my desire for a just and innocent world. Unicorns: only the pure in heart can see them. Brownies come into peoples’ homes at night to help with tasks while they sleep. I want to live in a world where Sylphs swirl over the highway cleaning up the fumes from our cars, while Undines scrub the ocean.

As Gary and I recreate ourselves, maybe we should shed our jaded skepticism too. Some cultures view absolutely everything as alive. Why can’t we? This is a good day to look for Unicorns. I’ll leave a job list for the Brownies tonight, and check the sky for Sylphs.

I just hope there are no Undines in my bathtub.

© Copyright 2005 bonnie willow.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Chess Board Ballet

June 22, 2004

There are times when the Hand of the Creator reaches into your innards and rearranges everything. Heart where brain used to be. Courage where chicken used to be. Blank slate where once a vision of the future grew. A ripe Present suddenly feels like an intolerably mouldy Past.
What is s/he thinking, that Creator of ours? My life was lovely, progressing along a comprehensible path with verifiable milestones in an orderly way. Marry wrong man, have adventures and suffer, get divorced. Travel around country, find way-better partner and marry him. Have adventures without suffering. Buy nice home, make it reflection of us, plant big gardens. Buy a gallery in a beautiful paradisical mountain town, make it into a big success, become part of the community, make big batch of friends. Study other things, sell gallery, use profit to start exciting new business.
Then came the confusing part. Start thinking of selling everything?? Dream of having nothing and being free?? Notice that husband is having the same dreams?? Long to travel unencumbered, finding things that call to me and require my attention in unexpected places?? What kind of next step is this??? I'm supposed to be planning sensibly for eventual retirement at this point. *nuh-uh.*
I am longing to give myself over to the Flow of Spirit and Grace. I know the One who made us all loves it when we do that; I've seen it happen in my life and in the lives of others. Somewhere, someone is sitting around with an answer to a question I've been asking. Somewhere else, someone is sitting around wondering about a question that I have an answer for. Or they need something I have. Or I need something they have. I know it because I've lived this way for short periods of time. Magic pervades every hour and every breath, when we allow The Flow of Spirit and Grace to move us like a ballet of chess pieces. I'm really in the mood to pirouette across the chess board, instead of continuing to decorate my own square.
Fortunately, The Flow has seen fit to sweep G. along at the same pace. We are itching to pitch everything overboard and live like Gypsies. Speaking of Gypsies, our dog Gypsy is confused and looking forlorn. We have no idea - yet - how a dog might fit into our future. That's a weighty issue to tackle. Very sadly but very fortuitously, our creaky old beloved cat Puff is descending into her last days. Our hearts are breaking, but we are glad that her life's timing dovetails with the larger changes.
It's raining this week, in our dusty drought-thirsty Rocky Mountain home: moisture to slake the thirst and encourage new growth. It's raining Grace in our lives, as The Flow fills our hearts and souls and encourages new growth. We're sprouting all over the place. Flowing.
With love to all,~ Willow ~

Sunday, June 06, 2004


Here is a story I wrote during our cross-country soul-searching drive this spring. It represents the kind of things you think about long and hard, when you're stuck in a car for hours and hours and days and days.

June 2004
In the middle of the U.S., a mystery waits to be unraveled. We noticed this when driving cross-country recently.

Missouri, Kansas and Indiana grow enough corn to feed all the cows on earth and probably on several other planets too. Driving the interstate highway through these areas is boring, due to the unchanging scenery. Corn. Then a dirt road. Then a town with 8 buildings. Then more corn. For days.

The mystery glares from nearly every exit off the interstate. Billboards all across the states announce the proximity and convenience of something I’d never realized existed: “XXX Adult Superstores”. We didn’t see a single “XXX Adult Superstore” in any other state. Maybe we just didn’t look in the right places. No prominent billboards, anyway.

I personally don’t care whether or not these super stores exist. I’m sure they fill a niche. But what’s with the quantity and overblown stature of these places??

We came up with a couple of theories.
1) The farmers are really, really bored. All they can see stretching before them, til the day they draw their last breath, is an eternal parade of identical green shafts, identically spaced, growing identically slowly. Little skinny green soldiers, marching, marching, marching, marching in perfect formation, going nowhere. Marching, marching. With little yellow tassels on their hats. That spectre in my future might drive me to an XXX Superstore myself.
2) Or maybe the residents feel that their states have nothing of sufficient interest to bring in tourist dollars from the interstate traffic. They may have heard from their road-tripping visitors that the monotonous parades of marching, marching, marching corn were driving them mad. Perhaps they dreamed up these Superstores in a desperate attempt to capitalize on the only other up-and-coming industry they could think of. Something dramatic enough to really take a driver’s mind off of corn. Porn.

They just go together, don’tcha think? Corn and porn. One boring, one not. One fills the need to sustain ourselves physically. The other fills the need to see and think about something more interesting than endless identical green stalks. Porn and corn. A match made in heaven. Or not.
* * * * * *

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Zen Spider Web

June 27, 2004 - Solomon's Island, Maryland

A spider hangs in an invisible web, draped between shady sycamore branches by the river’s edge. I’m confident, I have faith, that there IS a web, but all I can see is a spider, suspended, encircled by branches. All traces of its methods of arrival, departure and support are obliterated by a trick of the overhanging shadow.

The spider herself weaves and hunts and eats as she always has. What’s required still must be done, no matter what the status of light vs. dark. Surely she can see her web better at some times than at others; regardless, she goes about her business. As in the old Zen saying, “Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.”
Is it myself she’s mirroring, hanging in suspense? I can’t see what supports me, nor can I see where I’m headed. Less and less of my past remains, and none of my future is sure.

Time to chop wood and carry water.

~ Wandering Willow ~

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Across The Face of America

Gary and I have just returned from a three week drive across the face of America. You could call it a Vision Quest.

The original impetus was to attend my nephew’s 21st birthday party on the east coast. We expanded it into a driving adventure, stopping to visit relatives and old friends and old places. We wanted to reconnect with significant pieces of our pasts, learn from them, and let go what needed to be let go of. The scope of this endeavor grew out of control, until we weren’t controlling it any longer. A birthday party trip turned into a vehicle to scrutinize and reassess everything we lived for and everything we planned to live for.

Driving turned out to be the key. Hours and hours in the car left room for long meandering conversations and ruminations that we would never find time for in our busy daily lives. We chewed on tough concepts that we could never fully digest before. I’d doze off and awaken with new insights into something we had been discussing. The hypnotic monotony of endless passing cornfields seemed to induce an altered state, to open up new parts of our subconscious for assessment.

Every day or two we stopped at someone else’s home for a visit. Those interactions would spark new insights into the situation, for us to talk about in the car on the way to the next place. Sometimes billboards espousing some current issue would set off explorations into the nature of existence, and right and wrong. In one area, we saw billboards about the importance of being “Pro Life” and holding all human life as sacred. OK, I also think life is sacred. Alongside were billboards about how important gun ownership is, as well as signs celebrating the war. The juxtaposition seemed so odd… the sacredness of human life seemed limited only to those who haven’t been born yet.

Then we’d need a break from all the heavy discussions, and start singing along loudly with the music we brought. I had a fine time singing the old Beatles song “Love Me Do” in the style of Louis Armstrong: “Love, love me do…. yesssss” (I guess you had to be there to appreciate it.) Overall, it was fun as well as deep.

I wrote several stories along the way, inspired or mystified by one situation or another. These will be posted within the next few days.

With an e-hug to everyone.

The Willow, temporarily back from wandering