A Slow Invasion

We’ve had a lot of rain lately. When I go out into the yard there are slugs making their ways across the flagstones of our walkway.  And I’ve noticed something. Slugs will eat a worm. Did you know that? I looked it up just to be sure, and yes they will. I get that. The constant movement of protein. What I don’t get though is how a slug catches a worm in the first place. Do they run them down? Do they lay in wait and ambush them?


One day I awoke
to an obligation of joy.

I looked at a recent picture of myself. I looked at this picture and saw my father as an old man.

The last time I saw him his hands were folded on his chest. And I thought, his hands and my hands are the same.

Thich Nhat Hanh said that his footsteps and his mother’s are the same. He said that all of his ancestors are in him.

That’s not to say there are no endings.

This body has an ending. [I mean that figuratively. As I understand it, what I’m calling my body is the perceptual apparatus’ resolution of an energy nexus. It does seem to have continuity over time, but that’s more apparent than real.]

I’ve been livin in it like it was real anyway.

But I’m fading away.

If I get any whiter I’ll be invisible.

I get to thinking this life belongs to me.

Thinking there is a life… that is what it seems to be
and there is a me… that is what it seems to be
and that one of them belongs to the other.

I get to thinking I, Man, am different. I am smarter than a tree.

The trees I know all excel at being what they are. Sometimes they fall down in a strong wind. Sometimes it’s a slow crumble, a slow fade. But they always get right back up. There’s a process of course. First they turn to dirt. And then a shoot.

Is it the same tree?

Does the seed contain the tree from which it fell?

Is consciousness a personal, one-shot event? Do I leave things where they are and just fade away?

And if I return, conscious, with shiny, new molecules, a nexus of energy wrapped around a mandrel of soul…

Will I know that I was Me?

Not likely. I’ve heard that it happens. But I’m not counting on it.

What is left undone remains and must be done.

And what will be the sign that what must be done has now been done?

The sign will be that some distant, future I will have no fear.  Because fear does not arise in the selfless heart.

Ashes to ashes.

Wonder to wonder.


I went outside in my socks, a quick trip. Not paying good attention. And I felt something soft but resistant give way beneath my foot.


8 responses to “A Slow Invasion

  1. Breathe in
    Breathe out

    We come, we go

    Breathe in
    Breathe out

    The universe hums and listens

    Breathe in
    Breathe out

    We ask, we receive

    Breathe in
    Breathe out

    Feel with the heart, see with the eyes, hear with the ears, feel with your soul

    Breathe in
    Breathe out

    All that was, all that is, all that will ever be; all contained in you and every other creation. The container matters not. The location matters not. The time matters not. Bare awareness of what simply IS. What IS remains free to go where the wind blows, where spirit calls…across time, across space, across lives.

    Will we know ourselves when we see ourselves again? Do we see ourselves in others even as we are still here today? Are you able to catch a glimmer of yourself in the eye of another; do you catch a glmpse of another as you walk by a mirror in your own body? Where does one end and another begin…or does that ever really matter anyways?


  2. About time you realized Peter Pan is alive and well inside of you…took me all this time time to fly around and find you moonlighting as a yoga teacher 😉


  3. All this talk of Peter Pan! And I was thinking of you fading away like Tinker Bell and so I clapped to keep you here. Can you hear it?

    This is a most most most beautiful rendering of all that is the truth of our biggest question. What is this energy, where does it go, how should I manage it?

    As for your father’s folded hands and yours…..so beautiful and here is a song a fellow named Mark Bailey sang long ago to my kids. Don’t know if he wrote it or not but;

    “Oh the hands of my mother watch and keep over me,
    And the hands of my grandmother are the hands you see on me,
    From the house of great-grandfather rivers run down to the sea,
    And my father’s sister’s mother’s husband’s grandchild is me,
    Don’t you see?”

    It is considered true by some that we hold the energy of the person at the beginning of the line however far back that is. In some ways we are clones.

    And by the way, the slug eating the worm is horrifying in an irrational way. I can’t get the image away from me but it is grotesque. And why, I wonder. Perhaps it’s because they seem so much alike or because I imagined slugs to be vegetarians. And why does that matter? Got me there.


    • Thank you, Hilary. That little song is wonderful. And we’re clones of our eldest ancestor? That’s a great vision! Can’t you just see it all happening in this very moment? All the untold millennia right now! Too awesome to grasp, but I can kinda see it out of the corner of my eye.

      And the slug on worm thing, H? It’s still kind of messin with me, too. Just a little.


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