With time various topics, most connected to the 'ancient ways,' will be covered. Some of these might be controversial in nature - you're most welcome to contribute.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Whispering About ...

 I took the new bow through some heavy country today, hoping to run into something ... but this is not what it is all about.  It's all about walking where others don't walk and seeing things others would never see ... it's about reading things, little things that tell stories, stories of the night before ... tracks in the sand ...  That place under a tree where some bird roost every night, you see the droppings and you wonder ... what is your name bird?
 
 The new bow ... Kassai Wolf I ... the quiver part of the pack ...

Hollow burned tree ... droppings of various creatures underneath ...
My life in Africa was full and interesting ... today many ask me, how can you live here?  The answer is simplistic ... when you see 'little things' painted by Nature, you'll be home anywhere.  The scat and tracks of a fox tell a story ... is that story that different that of a leopard?  The stomping of a kangaroo, because it sensed you first ... is that different from the alarming bark of a kudu?  Your eyes must read the same signs, your ears must pick up similar sounds ... you must read the same signs on the ground ...

Scat of a pig ...
Walking these areas, not even a kilometer from my place, I feel free ... because I must pick my ears, watch my back, read the ground, look through the bush, keep track of where I am, watch where I place my feet.  Every cell in my body suddenly awake ... I pick up the smell of pigs, the nesting place of the roo's.  I'm alive like never before ...

Last night's pig diggings for nut grass ...
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You walk with your bow in hand, arrow ready ... because anything can happen any time.  Every single time a roo spot you first ... or a rabbit, the white tail of a deer ... you know, you're lacking way, way behind.  It's time to pick up your game, time to adapt ... if you don't, you'll go hungry ... you'll die.  This is the game, the game the prey animals play with you ... some you'll never, never get ... and that's the way it should be ... they are the ones you'll sing and dance about around little fires.  You'll paint them on rock walls ... you'll respect them.  The others will fall to your silent arrows and you'll take out the weaker genes.  At the same time, you'll put yourself up for a challenge, because soon you won't be able to stalk and track the superb survivors ... now it's your turn, you'll have to pick up your game ... if you don't ... you won't eat and your genes will be scattered all over the place ...

Discovered this little waterhole, where the Dingo stopped as well ...

There are little places like this all around you ... you don't have to kill anything, but you can take up the challenge and test your own abilities against the greatest of all ...


Good mud is scarce in the granite country, but the pigs found this little wallow ...


Come spring ... I'll cross this dam with my horse ...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Stress of Life ...??

Somewhere in '96, on the flight from South Africa to the new country ... Australia, I drowned myself in an article written by a South African scientist, who's name I forgot.  He studied and lived with baboons for several years, concentrating on the stress levels of the troop under various conditions.  This article caught my eye, because I was familiar with Eugene Marias's, 'The Soul of the Ape ...'

From a personal point of view, I'm very much aware of the stress levels in all living things ... humans, horses, dogs, fowl, game and of course ... myself.  I assume that this comes from close observation, only found in the stillness of Nature ... the same road Eugene Marais and this scientist walked.

The result of his study interest me, because it confirmed my own view of our 'Flatwhite' society.  This is what he saw in this baboon troop ...:

When things were tough, environmental conditions were dry and the predators ... mostly leopards in this case, were a threat every single moment.  Neighboring troops were desperately trying to take over their territory ... life was tough, but ... the stress levels in these baboons were nothing compared to the following ...

During good seasons, the predators concentrate on other game, the neighboring troops didn't bother, because food were in abundance, but ... the members of the troop had plenty of time to give each other a hard time.  There were constant 'disagreements,' fighting amongst each other, the picking on 'weak' individuals ... the constant push of upsetting the peace.  The stress levels measured during the 'good times' were much higher than during the 'bad times.'

This reminded me so much of our Flatwhite society, the constant "I'm so sorry I live" attitude ... the constant negativity, the fault finding maneuvers, the finger pointing, the back chatting, the back stabbing ... the walk with a thorn bush in the hand, looking for an arsehole to pull it through.  When life is good, we turn into arseholes ... on the prowl like hyenas to make someones life miserable.

... and how I've come across this ... life is good, you take care of others ... out come the thorn bush, straight through you backside ... before you could blink your eyes ...

Life was never meant to be easy ... me thinks.  How many of us have ever known hunger, death, fear, torture, war, watching a child die because there's no medical help ... but, we make others suffer, a suffering worse than all those I mentioned put together ... the slow intentional torturing of the mind and soul.

Life was never meant to be easy ....

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Spirit of the Bow ...

 I am a strong believer in the 'Spirit of Things' ... some 'things' dead or alive were made just for you or destined for you.  The Aboriginals believe that the design of a proper didgeridoo can only fit one specific person, only that person can play that specific didgeridoo.  The Japanese belief in the spirit of the blade and the true archers from all over the world believed in the spirit of the bow ... the spirit of the arrow ...
 Hunting grounds yesterday

Today few of us make our own bows, therefore it is hard to transfer part of our own spirit to the bow.  The ancient archer took great care in selecting the material for his bow and arrows, he then very patiently sat for days beside small fires and sometimes months 'transferring spirit' to his bow and arrows by creating it from buried memories deep within himself.

Today a great bow maker or arrow maker will make these with spirit and that just might suit you.  It is possible that by touching bows and arrows that were produced in larger numbers, you can select something that carries a bit of your own spirit.  Next time you see bows and arrows and something awakens within you, touch it ... go with the feel ... try it out and see it there is a difference compared with just 'another bow and arrow feeling ...'

As I child a few traditional African longbows were made just for me, others I made myself ... only a few had spirit.  When a bow has spirit you must carefully choose the arrows with like-minded 'spirit' and only then can you test it against the ultimate ... can the 'combination of spirit' ... bow ... arrow and your own, place food on the table?

Due to the 'spirit' involved in all three participants nor the bow or arrow need to be complicated.  A 'simple' bow, a basic arrow launched from a place with Spirit will always find it's target.  No need for arrow rests, nocking points, fancy draws ... each person develops his/her own Way of the Bow that comes from Spirit ...  These techniques of hunting are still used today by the remaining hunter/gatherers and some archers that feel comfortable 'connecting' with the retained memories of the past.

I have been involved with archery all my life, starting off with very 'simplistic' longbows, made by either the Bushman of Namibia, Angola and Botswana or the Kavango tribes of Northern Namibia.  Later 'shifted' to compound bows and recurves with all the features and bling ... but there was no Spirit.  I recently touched a bow which awakened very ancient and early memories ... memories of Freedom and Spirit.  The first arrow I shot, I knew  ...
 
 Food for the table via 65# Kassa Wolf I

I took this bow to a place of Stillness, a place of small streams and thick blackberries ... red-feathered arrows flew with Spirit and placed food on my table.  No arrow rest, no nocking point, no thinking about where to anchor, how to stand ... just a natural shot with Spirit that happens long before the bow or your muscles can start to argue with the Spirit involved ...
  
 Places of Stillness where you only leave footprints behind

This to me ... the ultimate Freedom of Mind and Spirit ...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Places of Comfort for the Domesticated Mind ...

Lately I've been 'investigating' my own mind ... the reasons for not 'feeling comfortable' in environments created by 'domesticated' humans.  These might include some parks, National Parks, zoos, some farming areas and most gardens.  I can handle it for a while, but then I have to walk places where the domesticated human chooses not to walk ... I have to sit at places the domesticated human avoids.  I have been told on occasions that some managed to get me out of the bush, but it's impossible to get the bush out of me ...

Last night I came across this:

"The mind is more comfortable in a landscaped park because it has been planned through thought; it has not grown organically.  There is an order here that the mind can understand.  In the forest, there is an incomprehensible order that to the mind looks like chaos.  It is beyond the mental categories of good and bad.  You cannot understand it through thought, but you can sense it when you let go of thought, become still and alert, and don't try to understand or explain.  Only then can you be aware of the sacredness of the forest.  As soon as you sense that hidden harmony, that sacredness, you realize you are not separate from it, and when you realize that, you become a conscious participant in it.  In this way, nature can help you become realigned with the wholeness of life."
                                                                                                                         Eckhart Tolle

Now ... this makes sense to me as I feel a discomfort in places 'landscaped' by the 'domesticated' mind.  Possibly the reason why as a landscaper I naturally steer away from formal precise lines and features.  Personally I hate lawns and any formal design structures.  Nothing is more beautiful than nature and that is where we should start ... not by taming it, controlling it, changing it ... but by working with it, blending in ... be part of it.

For some reason I can sense the 'destruction' and emptiness in these places.  For some reason my mind is not comfortable in places 'planned through thought.'

These places in nature not planned through thought ... we can't understand through thought ... the places we need to be Still to understand ... the places I like to be ...

Some places planned by a Wild Soul ... I do like ... some places were created with Stillness in mind ... no thought ... these are the places I like to create ... no thought, no mind ... only Stillness ...

Monday, July 15, 2013

Shadows of your Soul ...

Slowly following the river all the way down to the sea,
a grey horse and a quiver filled with red-feathered arrows ...

Picking up a track here and there, a slender footprint,
long dark hair caught in the dryness of a Tea-tree bush ...

She's running ... for the first time ... he's catching up,
hunting for years ... then suddenly, her eyes disappeared ...

Nights without her eyes in the light of small fires,
the whisper of her breath in his neck ... all gone ...

He pushes the horse in the heat of the day,
hoping to catch her in a moment of weakness ...

All those years of tracking, watching her eyes,
those eyes in the shadows ... in the light of a fire ...

Now she's running, running like the wind,
she has left the comfort of small fires ...

She's running, running to get away,
forever .....................................

He suddenly stops in the shadows of a Baobab tree,
... if he captures her, she'll die a slow death ...

Why, why is he tracking her ... wanting her,
while finding her, is the death of her ...??

Running around in circles, searching the shadows,
all she wants ... for you to see ...

Finding all those tracks already in your heart,
the Shadows of your Soul, the streams of your Being ...

You can search and track all you want,
when you find it, you'll want more ...

She has left you, because you saw something,
... those tracks in the Shadows of your Soul ...

Friday, July 5, 2013

A Stone Cottage in the Mountains ...



Deep down, I'm a 'loner' ... I like to walk a Path all by myself.  In this life, I've tried very hard to do all the things people do today, but ...

As I walked a Path in this life, I learned a few things.  First, I'm not for this life ... the overly domesticated lifestyle ... all this stuff ... bigger buildings to store it all ... more pockets ... bigger hard drives ... all measured in Gagabytes.  This is just not for me ...

A small place in the mountains, a place the overly domesticated avoids ... a place for the soul ... a place with Stillness.  Any soul that crosses my path there ... a friend ... searching for the Stillness.

A single bed on the ground, I struggle to sleep off the ground ... I must be connected.  A place with a fire ... always a fire ... the first bush television ... it always works and it shows you all the things from way back and the new stuff coming ... why change it?  A black pot, always warm ... bows up against the wall.  My dog right there ... my horse outside ...

I'm not made for this world ... all this Flatwhite stuff ... always confusing ... always wanting more and more ... a headless chook running in circles, up the wall ... right into a tree.  I don't want stuff, I'm happy with a bow, horse, dog and a knife ... and endless horizons.  Can money buy this stuff or can I just go??

Things are happening ... all in it's time ...

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Greatest Sin ...

The greatest gift you can give anyone is loving-kindness, as this is something we all have.  Loving-kindness is present everywhere and flows naturally through those who open themselves ...

 When we look at Nature ... or those living close to Nature, we see the importance of touch and communication.  Communication through sound and silence ... through the eyes or body posture ... the continual confirmation of presence.

The greatest sin ... to use that as some kind of control currency ... to give some as a means to get some.  Withholding loving-kindness as 'punishment' ...  blocking the natural flow of it, because of fear ... getting upset or push people away who treat you with loving-kindness ...

Souls with an abundance of loving-kindness share it willingly and naturally draw people who lock it all up inside.  The hungry ghosts who devour loving-kindness like a greasy takeaway food ... the ones that do not understand or respect loving-kindness.  Empty of soul, they can never get enough and when they do, they spit you out and happily wonders on ... until the next time ...

Absolutely driven to feed themselves, they'll sell their souls and bodies to get what they want.  Still, the greatest gift you can give someone like that ... is loving-kindness, at least once ... because it sticks forever and have the potential to change someone's life way down the track ...

Getting hurt over and over again by the hungry ghosts of the soul, it is important to protect the flow of loving-kindness through yourself ... or you'll become a hungry ghost yourself.  Throw loving-kindness out there to everyone ... walk with loving-kindness around those who abuse it, just like you'll walk around an angry dog ... with a smile.  Accept loving-kindness from others ... let it flow right through you and share it with the Universe ... don't try and lock it up inside, keeping it for yourself ... it is the Universal currency that makes everything work ...

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

... someone special ...

... that day someone special walked into your life,
looking through the windows of your soul,
seeing something beyond all the false reflections.

Always touching you with his heart in his hand,
truthful smile at your beauty,
his kindness ... always present.

... that day someone special disappeared from your life,
because the reflections destroyed your soul,
the constant search for yourself ... out there.

Listening to the voices of others ...,
... you've never found your own,
always searching for yourself ... out there.

You'll walk the Shadows, searching for that touch,
you'll sell your body and soul cheaply,
... searching for that truthful smile.

You'll see someone touch a horse ... heart in hand,
you'll wonder ... why, why, why ...,
because you don't know yourself.

You'll see a lonely figure in the sunset ... strength,
but it will never be you ...,
because you don't understand your own heart.

Someone special ... walks on ... because they're special,
refusing destruction by the darkness,
... darkness of your soul.

You'll walk the Shadows ... with other shadows,
you'll see and touch many ... you'll be lonely,
always searching for that touch ... that smile.

Why, why, why ... because you don't know yourself,
not speaking your heart ... that silence,
worse than words that cut like a sword.

Standing there, saying one thing,
doing the opposite,
you don't feel your heart.

You'll always walk the Shadows,
looking for that smile,
searching for the touch ...

... that someone special ...