Yuna

Animation by Selah Loevy

Imagine an apple drifting on the sea. Day breaks and a piece up 

towards the top turns 

a little brown. One singular leaf stuck to the middlest valley in between two red mountains curving to meet at the bottom. Like a wilted umbrella, little width, much rain. Soon, like a child’s tooth that has hung on for a little too long, that sliver of leaf breaks from its fruit, finds itself adrift. And this apple of the ocean toasts a little more hastily; a sunburnt sinking ship sailing towards all the nothing. And as that soaked strip of leaf, paled with photosynthesis, goes dripping down the apples’ perimeter, she stays hidden inside, the core of this fruits’ lifedeath. She, an infant, cuddles in her form, with the juice spread around her, and she doesn’t move. Her head sunk down into her bellybutton, her toes splayed in applesauce mash, her eyes squeezed

Shut against the liquid sugars. 

She has always been this way. She would always be this way. 

Yet,

As the sun kissed stronger, and the oceans’ wet lips smothered faster, that apple 

the safe zone

the home

Would disintegrate 

There, it’s disintegrating

Caving in, becoming shriveling, embarking on the adventure of rot. And the babe, stuck in the midst of this hurricane

The eye of the storm

Would seem to grow bigger to burst 

Through the sunken insides

Breaking through skin

Flushed out the bottom

And gravity would speak:

Sink, child, see

Yuna fall into destiny

Yuna goes to the depths of me 

And the child went obliged to seek nothing, to understand nothing 

Passing through

Until, with a tug something caught. Perhaps it was the lifedeath conundrum. Perhaps it was fate. For it seemed rather unknowingly that a segment of Yuna 

Her gums to be exact

Had clamped around a string

And her stronger-than-sun kiss with stronger-than-ocean lips

Puckered

Gaze shooting up to rest upon a savior, an anti-gravity pull, a life tug 

Surrender up, succumb to the rise

Said the balloon.

Yet with all its good intention and freedom of weight, Yuna got caught up in the clouds of the sky

Where the air is too thin

And her lungs became dry. What left to do but become like a rock?

Yuna curls, crutches, crouches

Till the tips of her toes and the crack of her butt

Entered the tip of the oceantop

And as if starting over

From babe to balloon

Yuna the child had an expansion to do. She had to tread mighty hard and swim mighty far, and perhaps one day find land. Until then, Yuna the ageless will deflate

will pop

will wait

will drop

Into her lifedeath, whatever it may be, whether she remembers her apple, keeps the balloon, travels in circles of lines or backwards, sinks to deeper blues, floats to higher heights, finds something new

A survival of impermanence

Once clasped

Now 

soaked,ripped,Unglued

The Green Eagle

Illustration by Abigail Loevy

Heart Chakra

Funny how little a bee can see, as it searches for pollen, as it lives without knees. Without problems, without pleas, it just flits about. Having sex with all flowers, enjoying life without doubt.

And then, there is me, and woe it to be. Walking and trudging and with two knobby knees. Wondering when the next pollen will show; are there flowers for me too? How many, do you know?

So I sit and I wait for the smell that’s just right. To remind me, hey you! your pollen is in sight!

Yet the smells come and go, and my heart says go left. So I turn and keep walking, and the waiting never ends.

One day, I was looking at the bees and the trees. I saw all the yellow and green in these. I thought, my! I haven’t looked at the forest this way. For some reason, my eyes often turned down towards the gravelly grey. 

Well, onwards and upwards, staying grounded is good. So I take off my shoes through squished mud and soft wood. I wonder if Mother Earth will relinquish, the smells that I long for, the flowers of abund…ish.

In my own heart and soul I keep searching and knocking, asking please tell me, what is it that I’m longing? What is it that will bring me back home to all love? To inherent and unconditional, soft joy, incredible dove? And with the thought of a flight, I look up to white light. And there, just above, flies a shadowy eagle heading right.

So I trip and I stumble, and I move through the brush. I untangle my path and press forward with a push. And there goes that eagle, not mine, yours, or his. Even the universe can only say that it is. I notice, while flying, through the crackling leaves, that the eagle is me and we are together in these. So I relax my head steady and I keep pressing on. And now and then we relax on a tree or a lawn. Sometimes I misjudge, and my eagle flies by. But, well, sometimes I catch that I judged and I owned, so I let go of both and eagle shows up right along. 

There he is flying, all sun and all focus. Heading directly towards whatever the motive. And under my feet, the Mother, the Child, play with twigs and muddy puddles, and fruits from the wild. With the two, yin and yang, I go past many shrubs. I see flowers a plenty and I dance with all love. I try to reach out, but they just wiz on past. I wonder if I’m not meant to have them? I ask. 

I look up towards the eagle and I see he’s turned green. I look down towards a purple-y earth with blue streams. It seems that despite all my separate thinking, the universe stayed complete, one single whole connected being. 

So flowers wiz by, but I smell them all the same. And Mother Earth and I laugh at this silly running game. Sometimes we let eagle fly on and we sit, to play and get dirty and giggle a bit. Sometimes I start running and I feel I can’t stop. I’ll run forever with all the energy I’ve got!

So the game keeps on going, and i wonder and such. I can’t say I don’t keep on falling and getting stuck. But it seems more and more that this pollen I long for, is already in my nostrils and in my grumbliest core. The abundance coats my heart and beats through veins with every pulse. And the wind moves through me and feeds me with a rush. We are we, there is no me, and behind all the thoughts, we all float with ease, and what we don’t need simply rots. 

The Tiger and The Tick

the sacral abyss

It came to pass, everyday, a magnificent tiger, striped and glistening, strode across the soft forest floor. Her prowess was uniquely powerful and incomparable. Her gaze was steady and held that canine hint of deadliness. She moved on padded paws; her tail swished effortlessly, carving imaginary lines in the humidity. Her fur, smoothed down, swept perfectly back, hugging her skin and her thick, massive muscles. In her throat she held the potential for a mighty roar, and with each step, the forest and its animals vibrated with her energy. 

The tiger was laced with the power to commit and dispel order; she held within her the essence of thousands. Like a river, she was a fluid assimilation of all that is. Her breath rang of fire and her metallic eyes whispered the known secret of her danger. 

As our feline crossed her rainforest kingdom, another, far more discreet, lay just underneath her. Attached to the tiger’s lowest belly, a threatening tick was swaying daintily, like a potato chip in the breeze. Clear and expanding, the tick sucked away at the energized blood of the tiger, taking her power and mysterious might into its own small body.

As the tiger passed through the forest each day, she began to notice her body become weak. She could not feel the tick, but sensed something askew. All the while, the tick continued to expand it’s transparent body, growing like a small baby just outside the tiger’s tummy.

A few days passed and the tiger felt herself sinking into sleepiness. She stopped to rest and clean herself and, when arriving to her lowest of bellies, she spotted the now bulging tick. In horror, she scrunched herself and went for the kill, but she could not reach!

The little tick has tucked himself away so impressively, that no matter which angle or with what she tried to attack, the smallest of beasts had managed to outwit her. And so he continued to suck away.

The tiger called with a desperate growl to the nearby areas, asking the forest to send her relief. Yet, the other animals were shrunken far away from her, fear and respect vibrating every small pupil that watched the scene from the safest of distances.

The beautiful feline’s stomach began to tighten in agony and her whole body gripped reality. Her mind, buzzing electrically, passed through every possible solution. She was up! Running in circles, crashing into trees. She was flying towards falling branches, rubbing her stomach down into muddy passageways. She roared, tumbled, and galloped through her kingdom, and many onlookers felt she had gone quite mad. She finally decided, in a last desperate effort, to reach the forest edge, where a rushing river lay quietly. Splashing emphatically, she rushed into the tumbling waters and they took her quickly as she whimpered amidst their wavey power, willing the current to grip the tick and force it away.

The tick, meanwhile, was having a very similar experience. Little did the duo know that they were oh so similar! After the tiger had realized his existence and gone into her gallivanting, the tick had become quite afraid of losing his own meager purpose and existence. 

So he held on.

Quite tight. 

And the more the tiger rushed and raced, the more our little tick gripped her skin and sucked her blood. As it goes, with such an intense desire for both to survive, their thoughts had become interlocked, and their passion focused on willpower alone. So now, amidst tumbling river rapids and the crashing into of rocks and the tanglings of algae, the two headed, unbeknownst! to a waterfall, a true beacon of possibility. 

Both gripped their bodies with intensity. 

Rocks and debris flew past; trees blurred into a straight line of green.

A beaver dam disintegrated with their force; water bugs flew up quickly to avoid the tornadic couple.

And then, as if the universe collapsed in on itself all at once…

They fell.

A tiger and tick.

A smidgen of air between them and the cascading waterfall.

They fell.

Into a crashing unknown.

Somersaulting for what felt like ages.

They fell so fast.

They felt such deep fear.

That all at once, death seemed inevitable.

And in their failure to survive, in their thoughts, in their beings, 

they simply had to let go. 

The tiger released the tightening of her stomach, and as her belly expanded the tick undid his deadly grip on her skin. Their bodies became like powdery clouds, molding with the waterfall and its’ power.

It is said the two can be found on a distant shore, living together in harmony and solitude. Because of their complete acceptance of death, it is a magical thing that they now have alluded it altogether. And they play with attachdetachcontractrelease, but this time they know its just a game. 

Turtle

written during my time in India

In time

One. Two. Three. Four.

HUMPH.

Four thick legs pressed into a gravelly ground and a up rose a big fat shell. And so was the wheel of another day a little turtle inched across a deserted terrain.

At this time, the turtle was living in a very much mental damp. It was hard to wish to walk, willing and willing just didn’t do, and often times the shell would win the battle and there the turtle would slump, huddled inside himself for a while. 

This was an inner outer damp. It started deep inside the turtle’s badumping heart, and sifted out the sweat crystals on his back, dripped through the baby holes of his sense organs, twinkled down his extremities, and evaporated into a deserted wasteland, orange and sun-drenched, tumbling flatland for miles and miles. 

The sight was blurry and distorted by the heat, the brightness of the sun shrouded in a suffocating feeling. 

This was sometimes absolutely fine because turtles are shelly and know how to hide away.  

This was sometimes alternately stressful because this turtle, our turtle, had a migration to pursue. 

Somehow, the turtle had got into its’ head that simply moving the way turtles do wasn’t good enough. The little guy craved speed, and the craving had gotten so bone-clenching deep that he often was shivering in self-disgust in his heavy shell cave, depleted by his own slowness.

He wanted to move easily in and out of his shell. He wanted to create a magical scenario, a turbo turtle. Power and rocket ships were the forefront of his thoughts. Somehow he figured the answer may be in the distance somewhere.

Such big dreams! This turtle had a long road to travel. On the days when slow and steady felt good and powerful, our little turtle traveled with ease. On days when rabbit’s whizzed by full speed, our little turtle grew very discouraged and heavy and sometimes didn’t even dare poke out of the shell. No head, no legs, not today. And like a little planet, he would sit on the dusty road.  

Then one day, amid one of the turtle’s longer breaks, he started to feel much heavier than usual. So heavy in fact, that he peeked his head out to check the tip top of his shell. To his outright amazement, a giant planet, an actual, spherical anomaly, was balancing on his rugged husk. He took the planet to be quite an embarrassment; how had he not felt it coming? Was outer space out to get him now too? He let out a loud, monstery sound,an authoritative burgle and gurgle, the entity of complaint. He looked around quickly to see if anyone had noticed. Turtle was immediately frazzled at the thought that others may see him juggling the extra weight. But no one was around.

He lifted his little chubby arms and tried to grab the thing, but he just couldn’t reach. He craned his neck as best he could and blew on the planet. He blew and blew, he imagined himself as a big big wolf, but it just wouldn’t do. He shouted for help; but any rabbits who may have heard had long since passed him on the dusty trail.

The planet stayed balanced on the brink of his existence, so the turtle scooped his head back inside himself and tried to ignore the squish.

Squish.

Squish.

The turtle couldn’t take it for very long and reeled his neck back out in the open with a hissing spatting out of his mouth. For all he was worth, he spat and he hissed and he shouted at that planet. He willed it to leave, he begged for its mercy. He imagined its death, and, finally, he crumpled in defeated misery.

All our turtle could possibly do at that moment was sit.

And squish.

And sit.

His breath was laboriously thin. The backs of his eyelids glittered in dizzy fragments of light. He legs were so impossible to keep tucked that he found them splatting out from his shell, his head rolled out also.

And the planet just rested there, like an unwanted buddy.

The turtle braced his feets, he tried to roll over. He swung his neck forward, craving even a single inch of progress. All the while, he blamed and berated the stupid planet, for resting on his shell, for making him immobile. 

For some funny reason, no rabbits whizzed passed.

Nobody.

Turtle looked around. Turtle sniffed the air. He smelled burning. And he heard, what was that? Indeed, a little tiny squeal for help. Looking down in alarm, the turtle saw in front of him, (how had he not seen it before?!)

a beautiful caterpillar, scrunched up three times. Each of his humps was being burnt up by the hot hot sun, and his nostrils were flaring with fiery breath. He was facing the turtle directly, and they looked at each other in amazement.

“You, too, some difficulty?” whispered the catty.

“Me too, me too,” the turtle surrendered empathetically.

“Can I crawl under your shell, can you take care of me?” The turtle had so little space, he couldn’t imagine dealing with more under his shell. 

“No friend. But here.” 

Turtle spat on the caterpillar and the water sprayed across his scrunched back. 

“Oh, thank you” the caterpillar yelped in surprise. His whole back was glistening, he relaxed his scrunches for a moment and his breathing got slower. 

After some time had passed, the turtle thought to ask the caterpillar some more questions. He had thoughts about where this little guy came from. He wanted to know what made the caterpillar feel so stuck. He wanted to know how a caterpillar would find himself in such a burning situation. Turtle was curious, why did the caterpillar start his journey? What made the caterpillar get to this place? 

Turtle wondered about the caterpillar’s existence.

Turtle spent some time thinking about his knowledge of caterpillars.

Turtle digressed with himself on the difficulty of each of their situations…

Hmmmm. said his thoughts.

Hmmmmmmmm

Hmmm————

Caterpillar sneezed. And just like that, turtle saw before his very eyes caterpillar disbanding into beads of sweat crystals, evaporating into the humid air. If turtle had eyebrows, they were raised all the way up into his thick thick skull. He watched the wind blow any last twinkles of water all around the turtle, until they fell slowly, resting with gravity and laying to dry on the scorching ground.

For a while turtle laid in silent confusion, all alone, a splat of jiggly arms and legs and neck. A heavy head, facing a disintegrated catty. His organs sat like gelatin underneath the crushing shell, ever held still by the large swirling planet. 

After lying quite still for a number of minutes, turtle’s tummy grumbled and rumbled and the little guy let out a hearty belch. Turtle, impressed and somewhat frustrated by his own aliveness, spiraled his neck and laid exhausted facing his new planet companion. He noticed after sometime that the blue/gold colors merging in the planet were moving in concentric circles, and he felt hypnotized. He found exhaustion settling in, and began to murmur to the planet some of his thoughts.

Who are you….

Why now…

Why at all…

What is it that you want…

Slowly, turtle fell asleep into a deep dream.

So deep was this dream, in fact, that turtle found the back of his head dipping into the desert road. Turtle’s head sunk down down down through layers of orange rock and gravel. His neck elongated like a rubber band, stretching as the weight of his head took him towards the center of the earth while his body floated on the dusty road in the reality above. Things started to get darker, and he felt the crumbling of earth all around him. He heard women’s voices, somewhere distant, chanting softly, as though love was being reverberated throughout the earth’s innards. He found himself whispering the chants too, unaware of the words, but knowing them in his heart of hearts. Turtle’s head continued to burrow down, like a heavy, committed drill, and he started to feel heat and his temples began to pulse loudly. The chanting got louder and louder. The heat grew hotter and hotter. Down his head went, taken into a momentous gravitational pull, as the heat burned into a flaming roar, more felt than seen, the turtle squeezed his eyes shut tighter and tighter. He moved his head left to right in discomfort, in agonized curiosity, the chanting climaxing in a deafening roar, until, quite suddenly, he jolted awake. His head flew up through the rubble at rapid speed and he found himself facing towards his shell, the chanting and the earthy descent fading, lost to his subconscious as the sky and the swirling planet came into focus. Turtle relaxed his neck, his head releasing in a soft badump, and he found himself again, back on the migrate dusty path of his lost purpose. 

Things were so quiet.

The longer our little turtle laid splat like that, the more the wind sounded like a whisper. Barely any other sound could be heard. For a while, edging towards eminent delirium, turtle thought he could even hear the clouds congealing and dissipating, with hmmmm’s and haaaaa’s. A lone tree that he couldn’t even see was twinkling its four or five leaves in the far off distance. The branches were creaking and the roots were tickled by little spurts of water coming underground.

He started counting.

One foot. Two foot. Three toe. Four nail. Five leg. Six arm. Seven. Eight. Nine. Ten.

Eleven. rumblerumble.

Twelve. grumblegrumble.

Thirteen. Fourteen. Fifteen. Sixteen.

Chugachugachugachug. Seventeeneighteennineteentwenty.

Brakes. eeeeeeerk. 

Twenty-one.

A truck stopped next to turtle. 

Twenty-two. And turtle looked to his right.

Three burly men, wrapped in scarves and with only their eyes to be seen, looked at the turtle and his planet. Turtle looked back at his planet and, in amazement, saw that it had shrunk down to just his size. 

Turtle was so shocked, he didn’t hardly move.

It was then that one of these men, with two big fingers, pinched the planet and tried to pull it off the turtle’s back, just like that.

Nope. That planet stuck like a sore thumb to a hand. 

So the scruffy guys plucked up the planet, turtle attached, and wrapped the whole duo in a layer of sandy scarf. Turtle and the planet dropped into some kind of sack and before much else could be processed, they were up and away on the badumping truck, heading towards the nowhere turtle had always dreamed of.

Something was shifting in the little turtle’s skull. Perhaps it was the crash of the wheels as they hurdled over mini bumps in the flatland. 

But perhaps it was also something less logical. For as the truck continued onward, the turtle felt in his belly of bellies a churning, as if the planet were seeping inside of him. He looked around himself, but all was dark. His big thick legs and his clawing toes reached out for the planet, trying to ground himself in his problem. He had a problem. He was stuck to a planet. Right?

Turtle gave up after some time and his whole body went quite limp. Again, the sensation of churning started in his deep deep tum. 

He felt his shell was starting to go soft.

The outer layer getting soupy and spongy. 

Falling into the inner layer.

And then, there was just no mistaking it. There in that pouch, rumbling along at rapid speed on the dusty trail of his purpose, that little turtle started to become one with his planet. The swirling spiraling circles began to dip into him and met with the churning of his stomach. His shell crickled and crackled and seeped off his back like dandruff, like shaving his own head. The planet filled his innards void, the deep deep part that can only be felt when one sits quietly enough. 

And turtle surrendered.

And turtle grew heavy.

And turtle grew to twice his size.

And turtle felt the planet inside of him start to sing a beautiful melody.

The backs of his eyelids played his memories, and they all dissipated, drifting away just like his hard, hard shell.

And turtle noticed a marvelous thing. He noticed his he-ness. He noticed his solar power. He saw his own masculinity and he looked at it. It was also deep inside of him, yet as the planet churned his innards, as the singing chorused, and as the truck badumped, turtle saw his own he-ness start to swirl as well. 

After some time, he-ness was transformed. And she-ness was there. And she was turtle. And she was he-ness too, but she knew he-ness was only one part of the whole, only solar. And she knew there was another, lunar side to things.

Turtle slowly let he-ness and she-ness relax, the planet grumbling in delight in the pits of him. thank you. it seemed to say. you have allowed me, and you are a very nice home. 

When the truck stopped sometime later, much of turtle’s journey felt like a cloud, imprinted in the past, all fluffy and magical, faded and etched, like pale streaks drifting along a clear, blue sky. 

Turtle felt herself getting lifted up out of the sack and the scarves of her captors unraveled to show the beautiful faces of three wise women with dazzling eyes, full lips, and raw piercing energy. 

And so three humans and one turtle, the four she-ers, sat together and looked at each other and turtle took in the darkness, a new dampness; the powerful vibration of a cave. Looking around, she saw they had found themselves in a beautiful, crystalline earth, hidden from the sun, satisfied with its own deep crimson, the floor oscillating with the beating pulse of Mother Earth.