Trying

Fuck Yoda.

We all know his words of wisdom, right?

“Do or do not. There is no try.”

That’s all well and good if you’re a super-monk toad-midget with a glowy sword, living in an imaginary swamp, created by a man who’s getting closer by the minute to exhausting every good idea he’ll ever have. But in real life, sometimes trying is all we’ve got.

No one is perfect. Not all actions, no matter how resolutely performed, will be successful. The nature of the scientific method is all about trying, trying this and trying that, seeing what works, seeing what doesn’t. And life is pretty much the same.

You want to “Do or do not, there is no try?” Then only act on simple things, don’t aspire. Stay in your safety zone.

Trying is good. Trying is noble. If you try and fail, learn from it and keep going. That is wisdom.

My status on Facebook as I wrote this:

  • Tim Byrd

    is trying, in both senses of the word, but trying not to be trying, so it can be just the one sense from now on.

“Fireflies” (Song of the Week, 6/20/11)

My depression is rearing to tell me it hasn’t been vanquished for good, but I’m not gonna let it take over things anymore. This Owl City song reminds me of a really happy time, and it makes me hopeful. Plus, it just makes me smile and want to dance.

“Though No Horns Adorn My Head” (A Poem)

Though no horns adorn my head
My spirit points to the moon’s sky.

Though my legs don’t end in hoofs
I walk a cocksure prance ‘cross sacred Earth.

My body is hairy.
I’m a proud-hung young buck.
Behind sharp eyes my soul stalks wild.

Horned God–
Horny As Hell God–
Reviled by  fundamental debasers of flesh sacredness–
You still live
in me.

I will drink red wine
I will eat bloody venison meat
And I will dance and sing and fuck and live
So that you may be sacred still.

So that I may be sacred still.

So that life will be sacred still.

“Threshold” (A Poem)

Planks solid underfoot

then

storm and waves and
wind bash and batter
splintering
that on which I stand.

I drift
looking at stars for guidance.

The dark god
has struck
is trying to keep me from
landfall
I have yearned toward.

My heart is strong.
I swim like a bastard.

Estuary.
River mouth roaring turbulence
and it seems I’m lost
just as I am saved.

I pray the god of this river
for sanctuary:

O great flowing god
god of life and motion
and change; 

O great god,
I ask your mercy
I am on my knees
your suppliant

and I see that in your flow
is wisdom gained
and strength born
if only I swim, and look,
and realize.

Grant me, o god,
sanctuary and
sanctity;
safe harbor;
calm shores to salve
my wounds…

and spirits to guide me.

And then were the waters
calmed;
then, the sky grew blue;
then, the bright sun
burned away darkness,
leaving shadow, plain to see,
but woven into the world of light,
unhidden
undangerous.

Landfall.
And I am alive.

And living.

Prayer In School As It Might Be…

Newt Gingrich wants to change the Constitution:

Nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to prohibit individual or group prayer in public schools or other public institutions.

Thanks to Cairelle Perilloux for this…

Run For Deer Life (A Poem)

you run for        deer life
blood shoots through veins of flesh
horns       rattling branches       as
hooves          sink in dark autumn mulch

and         rifleshot cracks         the cold air
shatters your ribs          blood exploding     spraying
you stagger         pain       and run on          pain
world reels in your eyes

rifleshot cracks

your head jerks       odd angle
bony point on right antler        splinters
in near miss       pain   in   side         inside

but        then      eyes clear  as lovewarmthstrength
fills you      pain washes away     spindly legs become
muscled springs launching through forest faster than
before      ever before     and       in mind mixed
of personal moment and species past is sudden
recognition of        GODHOOD       in you but
also utter terrifying            aloneness
other deer in forest      but you the last of herd
of line from out you heaved       bloody sticky awkward

cold air      run     no pain      run      hunter far behind
you reach sweet drinking creek      slow      blood flow from
side of mouth     hot sweet       stagger       fold
to earth        painless grace     vision rolls       breathe
breathe      breathe                   not
two spirits die        in you
your herd         your line
are no more.

Wild To The Heart

An inspiring passage from writer Rick Bass…

If it’s wild to your own heart, protect it. Preserve it. Love it. And fight for it, and dedicate yourself to it, whether it’s a mountain range, your wife, your husband, or even (heaven forbid) your job. It doesn’t matter if it’s wild to anyone else; if it’s what makes your heart sing, if it’s what makes your days soar like a hawk in the summertime, then focus on it. Because for sure, it’s wild, and if it’s wild, it’ll mean you’re still free. No matter where you are.

Watching Hunters

A memory from an old journal of mine…

I am sitting uncomfortably, strapped with my back to a pine, thirty-odd feet off the ground. It’s dark and cold, not yet five a.m. A periodic wind pushes the branchless length of trunk this way and that and cuts through the layers of clothing I wear. The worst part is my feet feel like ice sculptures in my boots. I can’t feel my toes.

I’m on a deer hunt, this autumn of ’91, but just as an observer. It’s bow season and I am unarmed. The men I’ve come with are spaced in hopeful stillness across several miles of night-dark Georgia forest, participants in a ritual much older than recorded time. Hunters. Predators. There is camaraderie, even when everyone is alone, frozen, quiet. Camaraderie building to beers to be shared, observations spoken, well-meant insults inflicted. But now there’s just stillness and darkness and cold.

Uncomfortable as I am, I have a thrilling sense of connectedness, an awareness of how alive I am, and how alive the woods are around me.  This place, this rural, undeveloped parcel of land, still dreams the deep dreams of wilderness, and I, not back in my bed partitioned from the earth’s breath by walls with their own vented, heated breath, am a part of those dreams. Continue reading

She Rises Lunar (A Poem)

She rises lunar above the crumpled flannel horizon
Heavenly body shimmering with lambent light–
Beaded sweat–
And the tide of blood in me flows toward her.
Then my Rising Sign waxes
Called by her–
And her fullness wanes
Across the dark-wall sky
And by the moonlight beacon of the window
I am eclipsed
Wet
Once again
By her darkness.

Earth moves.

“She Stalks Starlit Wilds” (A Poem)

She stalks starlit wilds
Hot sweat slicking her skin.
Naked skin.
And under that, Blood.
Hot and Red and Lusting.
Life blood.

Her hair is a wild mane cascade
Catching the wild winds–
And scintillating stars spark and spin
In its curls.

She loves to Hunt
To Eat
To Fuck
To LIVE
Feeling her godness in her body moving
Muscle and bone and tendon
And Blood, tided to the Moon forever.

She stalks the Wild.
She hunts for Passion.
Blood. Moon.
Life.
She stalks starlit wilds.

And I dream that she is hunting
For me.

“First of May” (Song of the Week, Beltane 2011) [NSFW]

To my pagan friends, and anyone else of good will, I wish you all a happy Beltane.

I had hoped to celebrate properly this year, as in the Jonathan Coulton song below, but ’twas unfortunately not to be. I hope your day is more enjoyable.

Taken By The Wind (A Personal History, Part 5): The Got No Friends Blues

If you’ve been with the blog a while, you’ll be aware of my depression. It cripples my daily life, and I’ve suffered with it since I was a kid. Wasn’t until I was in my thirties that I realized something was wrong, and I’ve been battling it off and on through various means ever since. Tomorrow I do the biggy, ECT, electroconvulsive therapy, and they’ll knock me out and strap me down and zap some lightning through my brain, hopefully stimulating my hippocampus to do its fucking job.

I’m actually looking forward to it.

A few people, even online friends I don’t actually know, have made a point of being supportive and positive, both in this endeavor and my struggle in general. Thank you. It means a lot to me. I’m completely out of touch with my father and paternal family by choice, and my mother died when I was a baby and I haven’t been in touch with her family since my late teens. Isolation is one of the demons depression sics on its victims, and my friends have fallen away from me one by one over the years, leaving a few I rarely see. The only friend who is around often (and is going to drive me back and forth to the ECT sessions, because you’re not allowed to drive immediately after one) is my ex-wife. And though I walk a tunnel in which I rarely see a light at the end, my son burns bright enough to keep the walls from closing in entirely.

In September ’04, during one extended and rough depressive time, I sent an email to a couple of friends asking for help. I’ve decided to post it, in its entirety,  for the sake of those who don’t really know what depression is. It might give you some insight into the life of someone you know, and if you’re stalwart and true, you can stand by them and help. Continue reading

Taken By The Wind (A Personal History, Part 4): The Sound of Her Wings

Death is always with me.

I think I first met her Christmas Eve, 1965. I was still a season short of two years old, living in Missouri with my mom who had fled back to her parents’ home to escape my father’s jealousy and rage. My mom’s name was Linda, and she was 16.

She was working that night, I think waitressing or as a cashier…it’s been decades since I heard the story, and have no one to ask now. But I do think she was working in a restaurant of some sort. And she took a ride home with a coworker. Home to spend Christmas with her family. With her baby. With me.

She never got there. Another driver–I think it was a woman–slammed into the car and my mom was ripped from my life forever.

I don’t remember her. I vaguely recall photos of her, but have none, as they’re in my father’s possession and I’m years out of contact with him. She was a cute young Italian girl with a nice smile and lots of long dark hair.

For most of my youth, I didn’t realize the impact her death had on me, except for the fact it put me in the path of a couple of incredibly damaging step-monsters, and left me in the hands of my mean-ass drunken father.

But as far back as I can recall, my greatest fear has been the loss of a loved one. Continue reading

“Wild Soul – Nature, Civilization, and the Ecological Spirit” (Now Available, Just 99¢)

 

JUST 99¢!!!

My essay “WILD SOUL – Nature, Civilization, and the Ecological Spiritis now available from Amazon as a Kindle download for 99 cents.

In the near future, it will be going up at other online venues, in other ebook formats. (If you don’t have a Kindle, you can still read Kindle books with free programs downloadable from Amazon, like Kindle for PC. I read Kindle books on my iPhone and desktop computer.)

Traditional tales across the world describe mankind’s joyful rise in a wild paradise like the Garden of Eden. But they also tell of our fall from such lives of bliss and natural grace.

Our technology, our cities, our toys, our wealth, all have done nothing to ground us as individuals or as societies. If they had, we would live in a near Utopia, rather than the reelingly chaotic and violent world-on-the-brink around us, for surely our affluence and level of comfort is greater than it has been for any people in the history of the earth.

Is Eden forever lost, or is there a way back?

Can we access that marvelous, mythic place in our souls, find a path to its joyful, natural wonders? Or have we slumbered so long in civilized ways that our vital selves are banished for the rest of time?

Can we reclaim the power of the primitive without denying ourselves the comforts and wonders of the modern world?

Exploring sources ranging from the Old Testament and Eastern mysticism, from poetry to popular fiction, from ancient fable to contemporary deep psychology, novelist Tim Byrd finds the prescription for our ills.

We need to live and love more fully, and do things that matter.

We need a renewal of a sense of sacredness towards the natural world, and intimacy with that world.

We need wild soul.

Of Forests and Men

There is some spectacular and gorgeous footage of forests in this video. Which is apropos, as it’s about forests.

Yann Arthus-Bertrand was appointed by the United Nations to produce the official film for the International Year of Forests.

Following the success of Home which was seen by 400 million people, the photographer began producing a short 7-minute film on forests made up of aerial images from Home and the Vu du Ciel television programmes.

This film will be shown during a plenary session of the Ninth Session of United Nations Forum on Forests (24 January – 4 February 2011) in New York. It will be available to all from February 2 – for free – so that it can be shown worldwide.

goodplanet.org/​forets