Saturday, May 16, 2015

6. Skin

10 May 2015

Of late you have been observing how the bark of each tree is so different. The striations, the texture, the design, the various methods of protection. The feel of them against your cheek. How they look dry, dead, tough, but hold so much life inside them - ever-growing, ever-changing life.

Skin. How it envelops everything we are. How we hope it will protect us. How we say we have no skin, when we feel vulnerable. How on our stronger days, we are tough-skinned, and nothing can hurt us.

How the skin shields us, but at the same time is also our biggest means of contact, connection. How we crave touch, its reassurance that we are real, we exist. How suicides experience un-real-ness in their increasing isolation. How babies that haven't been held enough never recover from the feeling of un-wanted-ness, all their lives.

And how we struggle to get the balance right, of openness and safety.


To be a giant and keep quiet about it,
To stay in one's own place;
To stand for the constant presence of process
And always to seem the same;

To be steady as a rock and always trembling,
Having the hard appearance of death
With the soft, fluent nature of growth,

One's Being deceptively armored,
One's Becoming deceptively vulnerable...

Howard Nemerov
Today when you approach the silk cotton tree, the first thing you notice is that there's cotton on the ground! And small tufts of fluffiness floating down from far up above, passing through shafts of morning light. You imagine the bird and squirrel nests lined with silk.

The kites are fairly quiet today. Though you follow the one with the twig and discover the second nest. You notice how they never come directly to the nest, but fly out in a graceful arc, return, sometimes to another tree, and then finally to the nest. Their guard is never down.

The barbet is busy, going in and out of its tree hollow. You wonder whether there are babies inside, or whether it is still building its nest. It is amazing how it goes into the small hollow with its head first and then flies out again - the hollow must be big inside for it to turn around so easily.

The kites are being chases by the crows. You wonder why.

There are mosquitoes now, you never noticed them before. You must remember to bring mosquito repellent, if you want to watch birds and squirrels. :) You must be still and merge with the background of their small beautiful world. And hope to be blessed by their approach, the reciprocity of trust.

The full series here:

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