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      Paul met Debbie

      It is a particularly green spring so far, but recently we have a small local heatwave and the sun has been burning relentlessly for several days in a row. The grasses in the meadow have grown above my waist, and Buddha even doesn’t like to go there anymore because of the lack of a view. So we have been doing other trips, along the brook where there is a lot of shade and the grass is still green and juicy.

      But today we ventured to the large meadow again and to our surprise the grass was cut, and it presented a completely different picture. Because of the high temperatures, the remainder of the vegetation had a distinct high-summery color and looked more like a steppe than a meadow. Buddha was excited and couldn’t stop running criss cross, rolling over on every place with a ‘good” smell and brushing her fur with the dry stubble. For the first time in weeks, we had a great view, all the way to the horizon where the contours of the little white castle showed clearly. This little architectural gem, built and rebuilt on medieval foundations, dates from around 1890 and is a hunting lodge in renaissance architecture. Today, painted white, it is used as a wedding facility and for other festive occasions. It is even possible to rent the castle for an afternoon, which Debbie and I  did a couple of years ago to let our students have an exhibition of their work in that year.  So, for more than one reason, it is a nice landmark for me and the little dog to aim for on our trips together. The brook that meanders through our hamlet also visits the castle, and these days all kinds of water flowers show up along its banks, for instance the beautiful Yellow Iris.

      This mythological flower conveys the messages from the goddess Hera to humanity. To do this, Hera engages the goddess of the rainbow Iris, who travels with the speed of wind to bring her messages of rain, storm and color so the farmers know what to prepare for. Apparently, she has done a great job – yesterday and last night we had a lot of rain and a thunderstorm, and today the farmer has newly prepared the meadow for us. We are very grateful for this cooperation between the ancient and the contemporary forces, and thoroughly enjoyed the new impressions of nature that resulted from this.

      Impressions: a word that made me contemplate recently about the nature of our existence, which is absolutely unknowable and cannot be translated into words. But still, I strongly felt that all we seem to be, everything that apparently happens and presents, is very well captured by this word. All is comprised of impressions. There is a constant flow of impressions going on, between the manifested and the unmanifested, and between the multitude of manifestations themselves. We are that and it is us.

      There is no need to personalize this, to try and capture, control or conceptualize all these impressions. They just are and we have no clue about their origin or composition, about reality or illusion. Our job, if any, is to make and receive the purest impressions possible. For this, we have to keep our minds empty and our hearts full. We have to tread lightly. If any, we have to write our words and thoughts in water. And we must have the lightest possible touch. Only in this way, being as still as we can, we will be the perfect messengers of the gods – just like the Iris.

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