While pondering how everything arises “together” in space, I was reminded of a poem I wrote while I was still living in Canada, which was published in “Wascana Review”:
Brown streaks slash the rough grey boards;
the old barn creaks under the drumming wind.
A rusty barrel plangs once—takes 2 bars on the run—
and then shifts into a cider-soft hum.
The rain blows off the slick grass;
it bangs into wet trees.
Slack herds of cattle tighten;
even the bulls shake their steaming heads
and fall in like fellow travelers.
And a moose—belly-deep
in the river’s plopping drench—
lunches on crisp water sprouts.
Its hooves are sunk in the mud,
an antler rim cuts the surface.
Then it raises a dripping head
into the mild racket of the rain.
Chewed slowly, philosophically,
some of the river-washed stems
slop back into the river.
It seems to fall asleep—
its soft, nubbled mouth non-committal—
then dips down again
into the calm dark of the river.
Boris Pasternak quoted a Russian proverb in one of his Zhivago poems:
“To live your life is not to cross a field.”
In order to recognize that our lives run deeper than the environmental determinants of our experience we can explore the nature of the “field of space” across which we find ourselves tramping. If an all-pervasive field is the underlying structure that determines what and how we experience, perhaps by fathoming this “space field” we can learn to swim through the walls of the goldfish bowl in which we now cycle endlessly.
This possibility–that we could deepen our experience by recognizing the “space field” which shapes it–is eloquently invoked in the most recent book in the Time, Space, Knowledge series, (“Inside Knowledge”, Dharma Publishing, 2015, Jack Petranker):
“Yet the very pervasiveness of the ‘field’—the mutually shared embodiment of the ‘field structure’ that characterizes its members—suggests that if change did somehow manifest, its impact would be dramatic. In a single ‘moment’ the whole could give way, allowing completely new possibilities to ‘embody’. Space could allow new form and time could present new worlds, while knowledge, aware of the limitations at work within old ways of knowing, could penetrate obstacles as though they were no longer there.” “Inside Knowledge”, ‘Space Field’, page 101.
For anyone who feels intrigued by this way of looking at our ordinary experience, I recommend the six-week online TSK class that will be starting on Sunday, April 3/16:
A central theme will be the “given togetherness” that predominates in the “space field” of our experience.
It seems that time is also a field in which our youth and advancing years are given together within a unifying, temporal wholeness. Each puff of breath, each traveler who tramps across some rain-swept field, the river, the rain, and minds which observe and remember—all seem to reach forth in time and space, like calling cards from an eternal mystery.