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Posts from the ‘Ravenrock Sanctuary’ Category

I Need This Palace

Late night. The crickets sings. I don’t sleep. I wake, light a candle, and read beautiful Hafiz poems and Koran. My cabin is a cranium, the door a mouth, and the deck its tongue. I walk out of the head, through the mouth, onto the tongue, and fall into space as a song. Quiet settles in me. It grows too cold for the cricket. I close the window and lean toward the candle. Read more

Sponge Bath

I enjoyed this evening’s sponge bath more than usual. I lit a candle and put the blue enamel pitcher and basin on the old wood table. Next to these, Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap, a blue wash cloth and, for after, a white towel. I washed slowly, listening to a podcast of Radiolab about the emerging neuroscience of embodiment— of proprioception and body-mind sequencing and Air Force pilots’ out-of-body experiences— all rather old news to me. Autumn’s cool evening has come. I had to heat water to keep this from being a chilly bathing. The radio drone, the wind outside, and the water splash were pleasant, soothing, normalizing for me while I methodically washed one part after another.


This morning, the Bower is all comfort. I feel inertial.

As I woke, I lay in bed, cool, smoke-tinged air, round as a cotton ball, pushed in the window. I savored being under the covers. The sheets softness matched the silky air. The trees seemed to clean the air that has been carrying smoke from the uncontained Carson Forrest, AZ fires west as far as Ohio. I curled under the covers and waited for the impulse of rising to fill my legs and spine and arms. The time of waiting, which isn’t really waiting but my body’s gathering together into a gesture or act of rising, was delicious.

I wasn’t aware of going toward rising. I was aware of floating away from sleep, from the night. My ears and eyes drifted over their domains, sipping sounds, sipping snippets of view, bird shadow, gilded pine needles. My nose weighed the ratio of smoke to pine scent. A little inner engine assessed and organized these fragments, feeding them to my flesh until I curled into a ball or spilled onto my belly to modulate my core temperature or to nudge my skin to lap the sheet, an awareness coming after-the-fact, ‘Ahhhhhh, that feels good.” The accumulation of these bits, like the building of sensorial friction, revved my little engine into action, and I sat up. No effort. No thought tractor-ed down my nerve branches, pushing sluggish muscles through a brain fog.

There I sat, empty, not standing or lying down or changing in any way. Time ticked by. My fine-pointed awareness faded as the wave of morning routine washed in—make the bed, get the tea going. The day of thoughts, plans, actions began.

And then I arrived with my tea tray in the Bower. It is all comfort. I feel inertial.

Difference in Waters

This morning, as I wash my silver tea spoon, I notice the difference between waters. I filled one plastic jug at my friend’s house in Glorieta. Their well-water is full of minerals. I rinse and rinse and still think the item, skin or spoons, is soapy. It is odd to drink this water straight-up; it feels beautiful and silky as it goes down, but filling, and after a while its minerals have a medicinal effect. Once boiled this goes away, so I use it for tea and washing.

Yesterday I filled five gallon jugs from my neighbor rancher’s well which reaches six hundred fifty feet down through rock to the mesa’s aquifer. This water is sweet, clean, fresh. I could drink and drink and drink…It washes over my fingers with ease and clarity. Both of these wells reach into the deep rock, both are in high terrain in an arid climate, neither are polluted or processed or altered, but the water lets me taste the different rocks.

The Road

The way up to my cabin is a steep switchback climb up a gravel-paved road to the mesa top, leading into seven miles of relatively level ground over a dirt and lime shelf road to my property, then along a rutted dirt drive that eventually leads to a windy, tight way through trees over immovable rocks and at last a walk down the rim rock ‘stairs’ to the cabin door. It is a journey in itself. The eight miles total takes me thirty minutes to traverse if nothing comes up, like rain that would turn parts of the road to sticky guacamole, or neighbors temporarily blocking the access as they do repairs or move livestock. That is where I start and end my time for the present.