The Secret Ingredient

Yesterday, I really felt a need to get up into the mountains, so I took my dog and headed up to the Uintah National Forest. As always, I stuck a camera in my pack, but unusually for me, I set out with intention of NOT taking pictures. Rather, I just wanted to walk, throw a stick for Jack, and look.

About halfway through the hike, we came to a deep alpine lake at about 10,500 ft. In the shallows, the grasses were curling, undulating with the small waves.

The whole time I shot, I thought “I can’t believe this is being given to me…”

Recently, a Shambhala teacher told me “I’m going to give you the secret ingredient.”

“Patience,” he said.

Amen.

 

 

Poems From Retreat – Shambhala Mountain Center July 2014, Part I

Poems sometimes surface while on retreat. Most simply rise and then fade away, but a few linger long enough to be written down. Here the first of several from a recent retreat in Colorado

golden heads

mountain center

Part I

grasses, tall

ready to seed. sage

intermingled

 

the incongruity

of six bright

blue flowers

 

across the path,

yellow columbines–

aliens everywhere

 

Part II

vetali, vetali

life, life!

 

so little water here, so

precious

 

grow spines

so as not to be eaten

 

then explode three

impossible

yellow flowers

 

for each of us

its either bloom

or die

 

© oldbonesnewsnow/J.A. Fink

 

 

cactus head

Centennial, Part 3- homeless in america

Image

homeless in america

we imagine we were born

here. if home is where the heart is

then why are we so anxious

to leave? why can we see it only

once we’ve gone?  it’s not about walls

and floors, windows and things. america

is a place of coming to, not from, the land

of the rootless. we roll across this landscape

like dunes stepping along a shore. we

are the forgetting ones, the ones who’ve left

are leaving, will leave- homelessness

the scourge of our age; even the cleanest

among us sleeps under a bridge

of his own imagining.

we are late to this land

if you’re white, you’re not from here

where did you come from, where

will you go? so little time to build anything

of consequence. the land is indifferent

the land can wait us out

the lakes in this valley are shallow and wide

like the valley itself. the swans come here to nest

blowing primordial trumpets. in the fall

the ragged V’s of their white bodies press hard

into high white clouds, their trumpets echoing

across the valley. the young birds need to fly

after months of rest, to rebuild their strength.

the birds remember. soon, they will rise as one

body, will rise white against white clouds

will rise up and over the white snows

of the passes, and be gone. somehow

they have always known precisely

where they belong. and for this

we must surely envy them

©J.A. Fink/Oldbonesnewsnow.com 2013