As some of prepare for retreat in the wilds, fear of snakes and spiders, bears and bobcats comes along. Surya Jane and I got into interchange about fear and facing fear. Wild animals bring wonder but also our most primordial fears and dark dreams to the surface. Read more
Posts from the ‘Ravenrock Sanctuary’ Category
Late September on Apache Mesa
A towhee rustles in the scrub oak. For this I love the oak.
Sun dimples two bright dots on rounded haunches of the blue ceramic Japanese tea cup Kathy gave me. Its delicate craquelure beneath shiny lacquer is a map to unknown lands. My heart wanders along these, digressing languidly. All the inner maps in my life. Read more
Late September, Apache Mesa
Ric and I discover a large spider, the size of a first thumb joint, outside the cabin window. Every day just after sunset, she weaves a capacious web. It takes 45 minutes. By the time she is finished, it is dark. She sits in the middle. Within a half hour dinner is snagged—the past two evenings it has been an ethereal white moth with silver eyes. By morning, she has packed up her web. No sign at all. I wonder what time of night she does this but have never been awake to see it. She has been in residence for a week. Read more
I remember listening to Old Testament tales in church as a child about so-and-so going into the desert alone, and I thought of the desert as a horror. I lived in a lush green town, with lovely meals cooked by my mother, and music and dancing and friends. The desert sounded forbidding. The saint would fast and cry out, would have revelations, and it was difficult and lonely and painful. Now I am in the desert. It is harsh, but it is kind. It is full of life. It divests me of my worn personality robes, blows dust at me, and displays a tenderness I had not imagined. The desert—a secret beauty. Read more
What is Papercrete?
It is cement made from water, paper and Portland cement. When dry it is beautiful, practical, hardy, low-cost, green and, though hard work to mix and pour, not rocket science. Its attributes: highly insulative, lightweight, animal-proof, fire resistant (you cannot light it with a blow torch!), and waterproof. Read more
Work Weekend in August
A fantastic work team—Krys Statho, Ric Miccio, Iscah Paquin, Nathalie Molina, and Karleen Koen—came up the weekend following Summer Movement Monastery to help. Ravenrock is a construction site—messy. The Work Team was fabulously high spirited, hard-working, appreciative, and game. They hauled rocks, mixed and poured papercrete, shoveled colleeche into ruts in the access road—all heavy, dusty jobs but these are the basics at this point. Read more
Waking to the Snake
Yesterday, I stumbled out of the cabin at dawn to empty my pee can and startled a rattlesnake. It was curled at the edge of my doorway. I froze, it wound. I quickly backed my naked self inside the cabin but had to make sure that, yes, it was a rattler with the large jaws, the dusty diamonds and, of course, the rattle which it shook at me. The sound is wilder and edgier than I had imagined it would be. We were now both alarmed. Read more