Photos by Noelle
I spend an inordinate amount of time staring at mud. My love affair often draws the attention of the neighbors. I squat down over huge mudslides, a mud vulture surveying for something to eat. I love the way it swirls and forms after a storm. New channels spring up where none had been before, each with a story. The mica glints in the sunlight flirting with me and only furthering a feeling of dark, gem-like sculptures.
Photos by Noelle
Life unfolded on the planet in these rivers of mud. Plant life germinated from seeds carried by water and mud far upstream. It picks up everything in its path and absorbs whatever it can. Thus, the same streams of mud can appear with different colors and hues, depending on where in the river you find them. As with water, only slower, it moves down paths of least resistance allowing whatever is to come, to come. There seems a spiritual lesson in this for me.
In Jewish folklore the golem was often an evil creature made of mud. In recent times the most famous might’ve been the golem in the X-Files episode on the creepiness of HOA communities. Very funny, but I can’t imagine evil in mud. It feels the most life giving of substances with changing patterns, new tributaries or old ones made anew and in that, I find solace and hope. I can transform, change, become something else, travel new paths, with just a little rain. So I dance my rain dance and wave at the neighbors. They cannot help their ignorance of mud. Few people are schooled in this magic. I may, in fact, be the last one.
Photo by Noelle
Mud: Photo by Noelle
I touch the surface with my fingers. I find it’s kind of an artist’s Braille. There’s something about the craggy mess, especially when there is moist gooey mud underneath that captivates me. Sometimes I wonder if what I’m really looking for is a picture of Elvis or Jesus to appear. “Look… Don’t you see? Right there next to the half squashed dragonfly and below the willow stick. If you turn your head slightly to the side you’ll see President Putin’s face.”
I don’t know what I’m after honestly. A great masterpiece in earth and water. In my smartphone apps you can clarify a picture, which is to say you can pull forth all of the color and light available in an image with much higher clarity. It doesn’t add what isn’t there or detract, it just shows you the mass of what is available. I’ve had photos of pink and purple mud, blue green and so forth. The camera pulls up the conglomerate of minerals and rock debris in the mud. Sometimes it has algae mixed in or red stone sediment and voila! we have something completely new.
Clarity in all things is like this. The clearer I see myself, circumstances, other people and events, the more I perceive the depth of light and color in each. I see who I am, really, in the presence of all of these other things. I understand the mineral make up of my mud. A great masterpiece in earth and water.
Mud at Dutch Creek Farm: Photo by Noelle
My love of mud continues. I think of it much like water. It begins slick and wet and molding into anything it touches. Later, it dries into cracked patterns and curious shapes, all affected by light and time of day. Something in my spirit finds this immensely appealing.
A story in mud: Photo by Noelle
When I was young everything had to have order. I liked symmetry and balance. If there was a block of blue on the left, than there must be a block of blue on the right. A proper picture of my family home had a sun and green grass. Beauty was related to this curious and predictable pattern of things. I have left that land and wandered into a story of randomness and chaos. What completely lacks symmetry and order possesses the most exquisite beauty to me. A sense of inner balance discovered that clearly was lacking when my outer world was perfectly planned.
Mud over flowers. I am deeply happy here.
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