Showing posts from August, 2023


                         Sickness and medicine heal each other. The whole world is medicine. What am I?                           Blue Cliff Record , Case 87 I come from a place of creeks and rivers, and subtropical downpours that feed them. Here, even though rivers run out of the wet forest across the valley, this side is already in the rainshadow of ranges to the west and there’s not much running water – farms rely on dams, and pump through the summer to fill troughs and keep crops growing. When I first arrived I was always listening for water, always looking for its signs. The first few years I was here seemed parched to me. I remember lying awake, sick with longing for the smell of rain, for the sound of it on the roof. Feeling that if it came, softening the air and the ground, it would answer me as well, like a promise that my life too could mollify and flourish. With all my fingers and toes I prayed down the days of drought, counting; I prayed in the way I knew, for what I knew. 

Cold and heat

                        A monk asked Dongshan, “When cold and heat come, how can we avoid them?”                         Dongshan said, “Why not go where there is no cold or heat?”                         The monk asked, “Where is the place without cold or heat?”                         Dongshan said, “When it is cold, the cold kills you. When it is hot, the heat kills you.”                                                                                                                         Blue Cliff Record , Case 43 Strange windy days and nights, like the equinox, out of time. Spattering of driven rain and the mountains shrouded in snowclouds again. Before daylight, in the lulls, currawongs call like a rattling of silver ingots; wattlebirds clear their throats and the falcon goes cackling away to hunt. Walking with the dog down by the river I hear the first pardalote – some of the migratory birds are back already. Patches of wattle come into bloom in the gullies. Again and again th