Nay_ho_tze's Medicine Musings

Cracks in the Universe
                  ...or, what to do when the world ends

cape cod sunset

most everyone has a personal day of infamy – mine is april 2nd -

april second. nineteen hundred seventy four, to be exact –  

around sunset, if you need a time -

eight days prior, i had just turned 21

grey Cape Cod clouds had enshrouded the sky that day – all day -

we had just moved into our new apartment nestled in the peninsula’s elbow –

when i'd been house-hunting and first told him about what i'd found,

i couldn’t contain my excitement about the apartment complex

designed to look like a neighbourhood of single mansions -

it was brand new and utterly gorgeous, i told him -

later when we went to see the apartment together, 

as we rounded the corner into the complex,

i remember he'd laughed. looking at me funny 

so i'd asked him, what was wrong?

nothing, he said, grinning, quite pleased with himself, and with me -- 

it’s just that, well, i built these

he was a carpenter by trade, and i adored that his hands had built what we lived in -

he loved that unknowingly i'd fallen in love with his work –

just a couple weeks earlier, amidst our birthdays, we'd moved in 

this day, that april second, walking into town for supplies, i watched the sky,

willing it not to rain until after i'd returned home –

i needed beets to make his favourite dish, garlic beets,

and while he wasn’t due home until Friday, 

with this dish, longer marination meant better-taste to his discerning palate 

heading back with the beets and miscellaneous,

i continued to scan the sky’s dark ash clouds for signs of rain, but none came -  

the clouds just hung heavy with threat ...

after chores,  i turned my attention to my latest creative foray,

weaving thread (not 'string') on nails into a 3D colour dance i called simply, mandala*** 

at that time most westerners had neither heard of nor seen a mandala

regardless all responded on a primal level to what i was doing,

instinctively and subconsciously responding to its inherent sacred geometry

even the word, mandala, no-one had ever heard before …

i found myself explaining it to everyone who saw what i was doing 

an NHT original - thread mandala

i tapped a final nail into place and put the hammer down. his hammer, 

with its splotch of white paint on the black handle -

i looked out at the sky my attention caught by the light of a slash wound along the horizon 

which smeared muted corals and pale reds into the overhead gunmetal gloominess...

a few minutes is all it took for the odd colour play to darken and disappear altogether into dusk -

i took it as a sign to break for the night.

i had not yet met the teachers of different cultures walking different paths

who would speak to me of sunrise and sunset in ways i hadn't before considered them, 

most notably as the day’s two marked breaks, or ‘cracks in the Universe’

cracks recognized by medicine walkers as the best times 

to travel in journey for healing,  for knowledge, for manifestation …

but i didn't know any of that then ...

instead, that night, that april second so very long ago,

i was learning that sunset can also be a good time to die --

for in that very moment on that very night, eternity reached right through that sky gash

and stole my heart's light when a small private aircraft slammed into an icy April Atlantic.

after all these years, april 2nd still remains one of those tougher days to get through

MTGs hammer with paint splotch

©2015, 2017, 2018, 2019

***The word mandala means 'circle' in Sanskrit, the ancient language of Hinduism, and a mandala is a symbolic representation of the Universe in art form ... mandalas appear in sacred art in both Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism as well as in American Indian cultures -- for example, with Navajo mandala sand paintings and the medicine wheel in general ... the ancient idea behind mandalas is driven by a primal belief that sees geometry as the purest expression of the created.


related reading: "Stranger on a Greyhound"
                          "the birthday"  


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