“Nothin’ But Time” part 2!

A young forest is now growing 39 yrs after Mount St. Helens’ destructive eruption. New ecosystems have begun flourishing. Wetlands now dot the plains and valleys within the blast zone of St. Helens- becoming home to frogs, amphibians, water fowl in species and numbers that did not occupy this area in the past. Some wondered if this region would ever be habitable again. Their valid fears did not come to pass. Volcanoes in the Ring of Fire have also made these same places habitable- creating rich forests, waterfalls, life for millions of species & prime real estate across the planet.

Things fall apart. Nations are rocked by injustice & wars. Couples deal w/ divorces. Families get shattered by tragic deaths. When things don’t work the way you planned- it doesn’t mean you failed. I only began sharing my writing one year ago. It’s become second nature to write, publish blog posts, and hopefully contribute some positivity or challenge w/ words & photos.

It makes sense that you feel despondent and hopeless after a difficult ordeal- especially if you’re still wading through the mire. The more daunting the circumstances the harder it feels you will get to the other side. And though my recent difficulties seemed- most of which were 💯 my own doing (mental health problems or not) there are so many others who have lived decades in pain, abuse, poverty; who have seen horrors & come out on the other side.

Devastation can never be justified and we can’t choose our struggles. Do mountains want to shutdown and die when faced with the aftermath? Do volcanoes feel guilt regarding the molten core burning in their bellies? Are they beyond apologetic about the effect their destruction had upon loved ones, upon holy places in the wilderness?

There’s no way to know this answer except that the mountain is still there. Trees continued to leaf. Animals kept procreating & adjusting to their habitats. Life continued to grow in an inhospitable environment. But all of that growth took time to come about. A year in our perception might as well feel a lifetime. A year to Earth is a less than a nanosecond in its history.

We are quick to judge ourselves & each-other when working towards a goal and results aren’t immediate. Is the new forest any less of a forest because it is young, because it lost everything and had to build again?

Getting up, trying, accepting your current situation, & working towards future goals that’s what counts in the end. This whole process of becoming relies on standing on your own two feet, a willingness to be vulnerable, to admit you’re not at your best, to admit you need help, that you were out of control, that you are trying.

The horizon begs us to sail outwards to the farthest bounds as it follows the curve of Earth. Most of us begin to see dreams as remnants borne from the zealous pursuits of youth. But the adventurous heart never ceases to feel at home within wanderment. To be at home anywhere you must be at home in yourself. After a year of being on the road, brilliant heights of mania, the depths of depression anchored to the sea. I’m no longer held captive by the past.

The caged bird sings because the door to freedom isn’t solely quarantined by latch and bars.

Most everyone deals with worthiness issues on some level. The need for validation is within us all. Especially those who were brought up in religious households, or in homes where abuse and neglect occur. How about the ones who are noiseless and never voice the issues they find themselves struggling with? We are taught that humans are wretched beings needing to be saved from an archaic god used to separate & divide human kind.

If Jesus, Buddha, Socrates, etc. were guiding us to anything perhaps it was to believe in ourselves- to believe in the beauty of every person & being.

To believe that we are each able to lift our own latches so that we may lift the latch of another. To know that we are bridges to one another. That we are to live unshackled from the constraints social tyranny have enchained us.

Each of us carry struggles that can’t be shared and secret burdens that can’t be buried. We can only shoulder our own weight and lean on those when it becomes too much. Still there is important work we must do alone. It’s interesting that destruction occurs in the sky, in neighborhoods, out where we discuss and tweet and go to battle over. Healing so often happens alone, in secret, among rivers and pine trees, in CPS offices, in hospitals, in homes.

I’ve been mostly solitary for a year. First time I’ve been on my own so long- even the year in China. I see the beauty of solo living and standing on your own validation. Being alone is not a worthiness issue yet our culture tends to make us think we are damaged or obscene if we’re not in romance, without going on vacay w/ gaggles of gays, to celebrate victories in secret.

Aloneness became a sacred ritual when I discovered the power in private excavations of the soul.

The art of non-attachment is rooted in acceptance of self. Acceptance is a by-product created by unconditional love. When we consistently remember that everything is connected and every being is a reflection of god, the Cosmos, as belonging to the Whole- we become more gracious to other people, our blessings, we finally feel home in ourselves.

We call them mountains when they are beautiful & quiet. We call them volcanos when they misbehave & fuck things up. But are they not one in the same?

Kamcatchka, Russia (not my photo)

We call it love when relationships are good and hate when love can no longer cover the faults any longer. We operate in so many dualities. We must see the shadow within ourselves. Of believing there is more to come. That you are enough. I want to become a person who does not live or love others conditionally. Who does not castigate myself for blunders. Poetic words are pale ghosts- reminders of beautiful moments & people who truly lived. Love must be lived and tangibly expressed.

You can see far stretches of the mountain since it exploded 1/3 of itself out hurtling into the valley. Perspective lies in the eye of the beholder. There are 5 mountains you can see from various vantage’s in the Portland/Vancouver area. The only way to see them all at once is when you’ve climbed to the top of another mountain.

The discipline of love is etched within our hearts & found within our forests.

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