Our job as writers is to be intimate with the world and to share our experience in it. We can only do this if we are willing to expose ourselves by searching our souls.
“Ordinary understanding is seeing with the eye and hearing with the ear. Intimacy is seeing with the ear and hearing with the eye.” — John Daido Loori
In the desert of my being, coyote howls. Tells his story of life and longing, calling out his yearning, breaking the silence of loss and grief, breaking the grip of fear and loneliness.
In the distance, the hills echo his call until they fill with tears. How many eons does it take, or just a lifetime that is over in a flash?
Only after seven decades do I see a glimmer of what the great seers teach: this world is an illusion. The charade of trees and clouds, of wars and shouting, of flowers and birds and forest fires and floating garbage on the seas—all this suffering is an illusion inviting us to see our true nature. We are so enticed by what we believe will bring us joy that it obscures what we already and always have had.
I see it! Adam and Eve leaving the garden, not because they sinned and were expelled, but because this world is so beautiful and rich they cannot resist tasting its fruit. And so they/we entered the world of opposites and suffer through lifetimes trying to find our way back.
No wonder coyote howls with longing, no wonder he sings to the moon, calling her to him. I hear him like I did as a child sleeping under the desert sky. I would hear him or sometimes a whole chorale calling with yips and yowls: Come home! Come home! over and over.
And in my dreams I went, gliding over the rocks and past the cholla and prickly pear with their spiny arms, over the heads of the wild burros and the kangaroo rats, past the rattlers and king snakes to the hill where coyote dwells. Coyote, the trickster to the indigenous tribes. The wise one masquerading as a clown, the one who knows how vain is our search for what we already know but don’t want to hear and are afraid to see.
If we acknowledge that we already have what we seek, what excuse will we have for not living it?