Murky Landscapes

My roommate in college used to wash her face with mud. I thought this was a particularly strange practice and talk about a rock in your SHOE, try stepping on a stone in your shower. I like raking my mini Zen garden and meticulously stacking the stones as much as anyone, but the unexpected nature meets civilization experience before Biology class on Monday mornings was enough to turn any pebble of one’s day into the rock of Gibraltar. As I matured and grew wiser, or maybe just the very next day, I stumbled across a more fancy, expensive version of mud in a health food store. You know, the kind they put a ridiculously high price tag on because it’s Indonesian prayer mud, or Himalayan mountain range mud? I guess maybe she was onto something…

I am looking around these mountains right now and watching as the pristine, white snow-covered peaks are becoming a little less “I’ll be Home for Christmas”-esque and a whole lot more like…well…like the crappy cookies I try to make (because I suck at baking) all getting mushed up (which is what they deserve they are so gross), mixed with snow (which would make them moister), and avalanching down a mountain (to save anyone from eating the darn things).

Spring is on the way! The great thing about this is that I get to sit outside and sunbathe all day and I also get a mean ski goggle tan; the only downside…no pun intended…if you even grasped the pun in all that…. is the muckiness. You know like when you’re going for a jog in the spring and mud splashes up on the back of your coat? Or when a bus passes you and you get a puddle in your face?

The snow melts away it’s heavy 8 foot blanket to present to us an earth that has been VERY much hidden for awhile, buried…it’s not the most lovely process while it’s all happening, but if it weren’t for some of the less glamorous parts of nature, we would never get to enjoy summer. Which is the only season we all live for anyway, right? Maybe that’s just me. 

The same process happens to our bodies, emotions, and relationships. Sometimes the most unpleasant things are revealed during the crucial melting processes in our lives. Leaving us to set our eyes upon things which would have otherwise remained buried. Buried in our tissues, and coming out in the most unlovely ways like a giant abscess on your neck. Buried in our hearts, and eating us alive emotionally. Or rotting away by not being brought up in a relationship.

I guess the key is to let nature uncover what it will and then let the landslide bring it down. Letting the muck wash away and transform the grimaces on our faces into springtime smiles. And yes, I am pretty sure it’s a myth that smiling gives you more wrinkles.

— Emily —

Constantine P Cavafy

When you set out for Ithaka
ask that your way be long,
full of adventure, full of instruction.
The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops,
angry Poseidon – do not fear them:
such as these you will never find
as long as your thought is lofty, as long as a rare
emotion touch your spirit and your body.
The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops,
angry Poseidon – you will not meet them
unless you carry them in your soul,
unless your soul raise them up before you.

Ask that your way be long.
At many a Summer dawn to enter
with what gratitude, what joy –
ports seen for the first time;
to stop at Phoenician trading centres,
and to buy good merchandise,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and sensuous perfumes of every kind,
sensuous perfumes as lavishly as you can;
to visit many Egyptian cities,
to gather stores of knowledge from the learned.

Have Ithaka always in your mind.
Your arrival there is what you are destined for.
But don’t in the least hurry the journey.
Better it last for years,
so that when you reach the island you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to give you wealth.
Ithaka gave you a splendid journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She hasn’t anything else to give you.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka hasn’t deceived you.
So wise you have become, of such experience,
that already you’ll have understood what these Ithakas mean.



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