[Monk 55 here. I rode in to Santa Fe on the scooter late last night for a quick visit. Now this morning...]
Cut off. My personal line to the the great Tao was cut off this morning. Not sure who I pissed off or what bill I failed to pay. Chi Kung form was flat and lifeless. Meditation went nowhere. Worse than nowhere…I was overrun by boring thoughts, and lost emotions. They were all running around inside of me, staring at the Maps app on their smartphones…turning this way and that, bumping in to each other…no logic… no cause and effect…like my emotional dustbin just got spilled on the floor....and then kicked. Anger, sadness, fear all caught in a thatch of dog hair and dust.
I couldn’t go inside to Earth. I couldn’t go outside to Heaven. My joints hurt and my head ached. I went in to D's hot tub to float, watch the pre-dawn sky (last of the stars), and to get some much needed yin. Nothing. I felt hot, and nothing more. Well there was more…I felt claustrophobic. Sometimes this happens: this hopefully minor, distant relative of the Dark Night of the Soul shows up uninvited, stays for a miserable couple of days and leaves. (I’ve experienced the DNOTS twice and if it’s less than 90 days it’s a punk.) Hopefully it’s just Chamisa pollen poisoning me and nothing more. (I imagine my body is fighting the yellow pollen horde. I think I hear tiny machine guns..."they just kept coming!") The Dark Night is paradoxically both easier and harder now. I certainly have a preference but, when it shows up I offer no resistance. I just say “fine, bring it on…you are welcome in here”. Usually it just slugs me in the gut, and moves on but, one never knows and it's that "not knowing"...
Then the ravens came. They flew over the tub with the naked monk in it. They gave not one raven dropping about me. They were flying to their morning clatch down in an old, dead tree by the creek. I remember that from my last visit. What the hell is that all about anyway? They show up just before sunrise, or at least before the sun clears the ridge and fills the canyon. Today that’s about 6:15AM. Singles flying in from a wild night out (I imagined that... because it’s fun to think of them being a little hung over and covered in mozzarella and tomato stains). Pairs in love, playing with their mate's toes (?) as they snap sideways, flying belly to belly. Mobs of 12, 15, 17, talking and screwing around. One suddenly turns 180 degrees, dives and drops, turns on the airbrakes and resumes his westerly flight, a bit behind his buddies. They don't notice. I can't see if he is chewing. I assume he spotted a juicy moth just waiting to be eaten…or else he is a few cards short.
What the hell are they doing in that tree by the creek? No coffee served as far as I can tell. They land, engage in 50 way conversations, look around, and, an hour later, take off for the day. Every morning. I believe that they call such groupings a "murder" but, I think they really like each other. Maybe every so often a joke goes bad and violence breaks out? Or they are "killing them" with one-liners?
It takes about 30 minutes for them all to show up. There are stragglers, of course...fashionably late. So much like us…or us like them. The sky is lighter now…a cooler blue then it was a couple of weeks ago…more silver…a sure sign that we have turned the corner to fall…yin waxing, yang waning…another trip around the wheel (as if it has ever stopped turning). I notice that my attention had been moved out by the birds. It was out there watching the ravens, less frustrated, less aware of aches and pains. It comes back now to where I am. I notice my head hurts again. I wonder when my connection will be restored. The ravens don’t give a crap.