Land, Wellsprings, Layers
Casey Kochmer 2004
Personal Thoughts About the Poem
Like the land, to move in pace with the geology of our life, we need to let time erode deeper aspects of our hidden self into the light of day. Personal knowledge, discovery, self-revelations: each comes in stages, exposed by the whims of the wind of passing happenstance.
River of Birds
A river of birds,
thousands schooling past…
Wings buffeting muffled.
The sound, as a stream, around the corner: up in the sky
The sound of a twisting living tornado.
It lifted me high
this wind running past.
Not as a flock of birds
but as life flowing.
It’s in our nature
to always be moving on.
Casey Kochmer August 2006
Life: only as complicated as we make it.
Life: as simple as we free ourselves to be!
At times I feel an urge to stop writing. At the moment I could walk away from the Personal Tao. Indeed I have stopped writing the next four sections. No real need is pressing me to say anything else at this moment. “A Personal Tao” is about living, about exploring. By being myself every day I am working on the book, as it’s a reflection of the journey thru life. So, of course, I will write those sections later when the whim sparks back up.
My nature is moving on, never to finish anything but always fulfilling the possibility of each day. Self-discovery is revealing, never to be penned in by fear of what others think of my expression.
This brings me back to watching birds swirling moving onward in the twilight hours of last Sunday. Always flying to the next day.
Sitting on the edge of the wood, silently.
Rains came down for a few hours.
Now it’s all jumping
Into becoming morning steam.
Directed by the sun yet resisting
Drifting lazily back into the sky
A mist defiant to the sun.
Two adult wild turkeys and ten young walk pass me.
We reflect against the other and no worries
Each going our own way.
Other birds chime in
I have nothing to say.
The world speaks enough.
Life passes by, without a care
In being together, the world is being aware.
I might be homeless, but I am at home
Casey – July 30th, 20008
My morning notes/journal as I move on with the day…
No sneaking upon, silent cat paws
Age is quite blatant in approach.
under the ribs
Age started with a pin prick jab
then the invisible bastard went to work.
Trying to bust, bust into my gut
Twisting me to the side
Twisted to a cracking, breathless, cracking pain
Leaving me gasping for a slip of air.
Surprisingly, as quickly it came,
it also went away.
Leaving me asking: what just happened?
on the outside
looking back to me
looking in my eyes
forcing someone, my-self,
to look back inward.
Leaving marks upon body
Writing lines of tales in skin
Leaving notes, pangs in Calypso tunes
It is the master of the tempo,
in temples concerning the body.
Showing me a truth:
I haven’t known myself for years,
only a wrong pre-conception of who I’ve been
To discover I am not: the sum of past decisions
I am actions reacting to worlds’ whimsy.
Engaging, myself in a winding down dance.
Passing my body to elsewhere
as my mind wanders, becoming scattered
as my spirit rests, becoming sleepy.
Age is a teacher
the lesson: nothing matters except style.
spinning of prayer wheels
of actions themselves.
Age the metronome to practice against
ticking each hellfire heavenly blue moment
giving the tempo, of our passing lives.
Casey Kochmer August 2004
age was pondering me
so I pondered back.
Immortals and Aging
A story in China once mentioned a journey of the Eight Taoist Immortals. In their wanderings they encountered a vast ocean. Each Immortal used super natural powers to cross the sea. One took the time to share stories with a sea turtle.
In crossing over the barriers in our own life, is it any different? Super natural powers are not outside of our life, they are of our life. It is when we use our natural abilities to elevate ourselves, it appears to be super natural from an outsider’s perspective.
We are all on a journey to discover our essence, when we hold that essence to be truly our own, we also discover the nature of being immortal.
We become more in the crossing of each barrier.
“Be humble for you are made of earth. Be noble for you are made of stars.”
This Serbian proverb shows, how across the world, we as humanity already know secrets and truths on how to be whole.
The reason we might feel lost is that each generation tries to make this truth their own. It’s easy in the rush of experiencing life to forget our essence while playing the stories of what we might be.
At times we stray,
At times we forget
At times we break apart in order to come full circle back into the simple truths.
Yes, we are building a brand new global world now, but all of what we are building is still based upon the humble truths that
- We are made of earth, so we must take care of that earth to be whole.
- We are from the stars and climbing to reach our light but again must stay humble in our path lest we fall to becoming merely stardust rather the star itself.
When feeling hopeless, when feeling powerless, when feeling out of control. Take a humble step and pause. Listen to your heart. What you need is already there. It’s a matter of being present rather than rushing.
At this point, I can expand this out in a thousand ways, but at this point, the advice should always tailored to fit your heart, so as not to get lost in all the variations of truth.
A Side Note:
While it is easy to say to someone: listen to the heart.
We must accept that for a person disconnected from the heart, this type of advice is also the most confusing.
You have to show small tricks that will guide them back to their center, show a person their smile, reflect a moment of “their” joy, reconnect a person to a moment of pause so the noise of a high-stress life can for that moment go away.
It is for us to be calm and be a calm place for reflection. Not to keep saying: “listen to the heart” but rather to hold peace to allow a person to connect to the heart.
To be a spirit walker in this place today is our challenge: A challenge in helping people find their hearts by keeping grounded while seeing the stars.
If you feel stuck, it’s OK to ask for directions back to your heart. If no one is around to help, then simply take your hand, place it on your heart and smile, and follow the actions that best keep you smiling.
Don’t make a mistake thinking that comfort is the same as smiling; it isn’t. The path which keeps us strong and smiling often contains many discomforting challenges.
But here is the truth: You will still smile against the challenges that truly reinforce you are made of earth and come from the stars.
A Snapshot of My Life on April 25, 2006.
How do I express a thousand feelings bouncing around me right now?
On the one hand: the excesses and greed of modern society being painful to watch
On another hand: I am so very joyful in simply being myself.
On another hand: Reaching out to just help another person.
On another hand: Working a job without love.
On another hand: Supporting those I do love.
On another hand: Just living, not worrying about anything except this moment.
On another hand: Realizing I only have two hands yet, my hands seem everywhere
On another hand: Pondering juggling thoughts 5, 10, 20 and 30 years old: all these ideas weaving together as I riddle out the answers about magic and nature.
On another hand: Just sipping some warm green tea.
To living as living in living,
one moment at a time,
to the whims of the wind.
Somehow all this made me feel better.
I can be the wind
ever tightly spiraling
etching eroding out
aspects of my nature.
It’s never easy to be yourself, is it? And here is a secret, ready?
People live through the hard times on purpose
to give time to the forces of nature
to erode away and reveal
the inner beauty of who we are.
To Live as the Wind
What does it mean to live as lightly as the wind?
How does one go about becoming a breeze?
Why would a person even consider becoming a “spirit” to travel the world?
In Buddhism people are taught to release attachments, to go beyond a form of self and just release everything.
We teach how to release attachment also in Taoism, but in my opinion, Buddhism goes too far, since as a Taoist we strongly believe we are here to live our life fully, but to live fully is to live without most attachments.
So Taoists retain the concepts of me, kindness, compassion, grace, heart. The idea we are a loose collective soul: comprising of many elements, stories, and aspects. But no concept tightly bound to any single definition and always with the free will that arises in the Tao.
To accept Tao is to discover free will
Free will allows life to be undefined from outside expectations and forces. Living without expectation means we can leap from moment to moment as a breeze itself.
Not defined by our material shapes but by the motion of how we live instead.
Empty Space of vacuum has no wind (well solar wind but solar wind is not a breeze of air) the fact is wind travels lightly across the medium of air. At times to pick up dust to become visible in the dust, but the wind is not the dust, it is the motion of the air itself, just as we are the motion of our life lived.
Likewise, people confuse the attachments of the physical things they pick up in their life, to define them since you can more clearly see their spirit of motion as defined by the attachments they carry. But that is a burden, a burden that creates tornadoes and dust devils that just slow and tie the wind down to the earth.
So to live like the wind means to travel lightly and to embrace your nature of “me” which is slightly different than the nature as a single ego-based “self.”
Why would a person become as a spirit to be as the wind… ?
To explore life more fully and to go places the dust does not cover.
Exploding in bees
Kicking off petals
As spring snow
Vibrant fulfilling humming
in the thousands
Pushing spring into summer.
Casey Kochmer April 2008
Buzzing the bee trades
peony for peony
with the butterfly
Aborning sun lit the morning to flame
Rising from pink embers
Growing, lifting , shifting as a ball ablazed
Orange , then yellow,
burning straight to white.
“Where does nature get these colors?”
The colors are nature itself.
It is only we who insist upon
beating the skies
black and blue.
An older day comes forth.
A sun being gentled to sentry duty
marching across fields of blue.
Joining the pace I follow along
our paths as furrows
marking daily duties.
Casey Kochmer 2006
Personal Thoughts About the Poem
The pace of our life isn’t measured in our duties, but simply in our movements.
in the middle of a dream
Leaves letting loose to be free
to swirl and dance upon the wind
Once upon a summer
They tried so hard
to reach in growth to crack the sky
Imagine the joy
upon colorful bursting to release
Spiraling finally to be free
with this last dance to the ground
Casey Kochmer October 2005
The Seasonal Dam Breaks
Golden Yellow Streams
into an aftermath pool
of paper thin leaf
Kicking feet, pound, swish, brush aside
that which drank deeply of summer
now blanketing in oranges, reds, yellows
dancing to decaying brown..
Casey Kochmer Nov 2007
Tracing out living skeletons
The trees bared
Leaves as words flowing down
ground, paper, leaves, words
mixing together statements
of what we were and are
Casey Kochmer Oct 2004
Autumn’s bright moon,
However far I walked,
still afar off
In an unknown sky.
Being outside, amid bared trees
Cool swirling air meeting me
The cold scent of fresh
Snow, coming down
melting around my bare feet.
How I wish
this needs to come down
to be measured in feet.
Bringing back so many memories
of a younger child,
wishing so hard
for enough snow
to cancel classes
to sled upon
Past and now merging
I am happy
being my own child
in each and every moment.
… Walking barefooted in the snow.
Casey Kochmer, Prescott, March 2008
green leaves or fallen leaves
in the flowering snow