Twisted Sisters

June 27, 2011


One of my favorite indulgences involves waking up early on the weekend; while it is still quiet, and the dogs and cats and humans are still sleeping, or slow and docile, at least; and meditating for an hour, to begin with. I have been meditating with varying frequency since I was a teenager; actually before, without the ‘benefit’ of a proper name for it. Long enough that I can drop into a nice little Zen state just about anywhere. Standing in line…hell, waiting in general, can be more of a gift than an annoyance if one can just remember…remember to forget.

But for the serious stuff, I have Holosync CD’s which were gifted to me. Without going too far down that rabbit trail (this time, at least), they are well made audio recordings that use FFR techniques to induce lower brain wave patterns (stop reading the links and stay with me…save them for after, or something) like alpha or possibly delta. (Forget beta, for now. We covered that, anyway.) Holosync has an extremely over-aggressive marketing department, as far as product claims and sales techniques go, but they make a good product. Chillax, guys…just saying.

So, I get some serious meditation on with my headphones on, sitting more or less facing north. I cannot tell you why I do that, just an inclination from which I would seem to have nothing to gain by resisting, really. Sitting…breathing…enjoying the internal dialog a bit as I gradually ease back away from it. Just slipping off quietly like from a group at a party, being mindful of not interrupting the magic of the story within the group by any unnecessary extrovertedness. Eventually, the words fade into the open spaces of feelings and symbols. Not quite a dream, but enough to wonder at what level are we always dreaming. I think this is what you more or less patiently dig for: a way back. Before the language, and the BS, and the clutching, materialistic insecurity. Into the darkness that we vainly try to artificially illuminate to a comfortable level. Stop painting over it. Dive down…deep. The water is fine.

But before I get too carried away on all that (can you tell I will, later

Not the real thing. I haven't asked their permission, yet...

?), I want to get to the other half of the indulgence that the meditation sets me up so perfectly for: slipping off into the woods, especially to see the Twisted Sisters. You see, we have a chunk of woods directly behind our house. Nothing vast. But large enough to have deer, rabbits, owls, snakes, raccoons, etc. Those are the ones I have seen, at least. These woods are special. I will dare say these woods are a patch of hallowed ground smack dab in the middle of middle-class, suburban chaos. Lisa and I sensed this right away. Definitely more so, Lisa, but that is one of her many ‘natural’ talents. When we initially saw this house, positioned against next to the woods, we knew it was the one for us. It probably could have been a shack, and this one is starting to realize its shack potential a bit, and we would be happy to be here.

It is just a little jump over our back line wooden fence and I am into the smaller, young trees and underbrush that can only grow at the edge of these woods; where there is open-sky exposure to the Sun. A good 10-15 yards of bobbing and weaving gains access to a world you would never think existed from the initial end of that first-down yardage. The underbrush gives way in the shadows under the thick canopy provided by elder elms, maples, oaks; and what remains is a wispy carpet of wild grass. It is magically gorgeous. Mature hardwoods, a bed of fallen leaves and mid-shin grass… Add the various fallen, rotting elders and giant vines stretching off, up into the canopy, and geeks my age indulge in thoughts of Middle Earth. Witnessing all this during a misty, mystical sunrise is something beyond words. It will change you in ways that may take time to bubble up to the perceptible surface. Not that this was one of those days, mind you, or we wouldn’t be talking about it, would we? (Just seeing if you are keeping up.)

This trip had its own calling. I wanted to go see my new friends. I feel funny calling them friends. I feel presumptuous, disrespectful. They are the Twisted Sisters that lie at the very heart of this…chunk, did I call it?…of woods. Once you find them you realize the surrounding forest here exists to protect and serve them. Serve seems a pale word here because the sense is not one of obligation or entrapment, more that of it being a privilege. To get to them, the only serious obstacle is a man-made drainage ditch that slices through the dreamscape. A methodical incision that, again, exposes the deeper skin to the light, ensuring fresh, young undergrowth along the banks to scab over the wound. I’ve learned by now that if you go after recent rain, the sound of a small waterfall will guide you to where you can adventurously cross (OK…step on the stick, then the rock, then grab the branch when you make the little jump). Of course, you run the risk of becoming mesmerized by the waterfall itself, and the small receiving pool with scores of minnows swimming diligently just to maintain their relative spot in a patch of sunshine in the slowly flowing waters. I’ll stop on the way back…

Following the source of the waterfall leads to a bit of a bog. The water here collects into low-lying, shallow ponds, forming a small, amorphous basin. This is where the Sisters live. These grand oaks have been here for quite some time. They are curiously aligned more or less in a row that parallels the ditch dozens of yards away, but they obviously predate it by many decades. Perhaps the ditch is just an ‘improvement’ of a natural one that existed here, before the surrounding area was ‘improved’ with stamped-out, suburban, shoe-houses. The oaks that break this rank seem to run perpendicular to it, along the edges of the feeder bog that is perpendicular to the ditch. My theory is looking good.

Of them, there seems to be 2 or 3 that are the oldest. And of those, one that I think is the matriarch of this little clan. I love her. She is strong, curvy, and sexy. She is grounded in ways I can only imagine. Her beautiful, majestic arms stretch for the sky, and I want to climb into them. Climb into them and sleep for a little while, but it is too soon for such boldness on my part. I believe I feel her tease me, “Took you a while to find me,” but I know she is the epitome of patience. She has become aware of the vacillations and oscillations of my kind. So she calls, and she waits…and I am here. Drawn by her silent song, I am humbly before her ready to pledge my allegiance, too. Ready to become part of her mini-empire of protectors. Ready to become part of her. Perhaps she will guide me in graduating from Heyoka to Shaman, in return…

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3 Comments on “Twisted Sisters”

  1. Andra Watkins Says:

    I found a spot like this one several years ago. A waterfall along a feeder creek. Sitting on a boulder at the base of that cascading water and watching how it merged with the slit of blue sky above it is probably the closest I’ve ever come to meditating. (If I’m still for more than a few minutes, I will go to sleep, unless I am in an airplane.) Special places – ancient places – make me grateful for life.


    • Brett Myers Says:

      Me, too. Especially when they are close enough to your home for you to feel it is part of it. 🙂
      On meditation, I can offer from my own experience. I believe it offers benefits on many levels, mentally and physically; but consciously, it has shown me 2 wonderful things: First, an opportunity to take those baby steps back from myself, or my emotional, reactive self, anyway. When the patient practice of meditation brings you past the erratic internal dialog to a place within yourself that is calm and still, this place can be more easily attainable in our daily life, as well, and can become somewhat of an observation point to your emotions and reactions. You can better develop the ability to pick and choose which you wish to indulge in, and which you may not necessarily want to deny, but just not submit to letting the tail wag the dog so much. The other benefit is a way to get back to that connection which we all yearn for, but too often pursue with the mythology, symbols and stories that have been created by others and handed to us to replicate. I think it is little wonder that these often do not truly resonate with us, individually. I believe it is the opposite of blasphemous to not readily accept and copy, but find the link for ourselves within ourselves. In that sense, meditation can be prayer at a professional level. 😉 As you are probably sensing by now, careful getting me started on this stuff, Andra. Hopefully without preaching, I can sometimes go on and on…lol


  2. kateshrewsday Says:

    Ah, the oak 🙂 My favourite tree, and though I love oak furniture I don’t have it in the house, generally, because I can’t bear to to imprison to such gorgeous living things. I love your take on the oaks in this beautiful place. Patient, indeed: though even the oaks bow to the Yews, so often the guardians of sacred places.
    There’s now, you’ve brought out the closet dryad in me 🙂


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