then, I remember, then, I forget

Then, I remember, 
then, I forget. 
Then I remember...then I forget.

then I remember then I forget then I remember then I forget then I remember then I forget...

I was repeating these two sentences like a mantra as I hiked up the hill that had called me earlier during my meditation. The fierce wind loudly blowing through the pine trees all around me welcomed me Home just like that. 
"This is where I belong" I said softly to myself, out in the wild, in close encounter with the elements, in conversation with more-than-human-world.
I remember...till I forget it again.

Earlier today I'd listened to a moving interview with Mary Oliver - one of my favorite poets - on "On Being" with Krista Tippett. She says "she was saved by poetry and by the beauty of the world" and I could really feel this sentence resonate in me during my walk. Even though I've been weak with flu, I felt light and energized as I made my way up in the afternoon sun, accompanied by the song of the pine forest. I trod happily, proud of myself for having exposed myself to the fierce elements generously.

The power had been down almost the whole day and my frustration and righteousness had grown by the hour, for no good reason. I didn't have anything urgent that required electricity, so what was the fuss about?
I felt "disconnected". 
But as my resistance slowly disintegrated and my mind quieted down, I connected with a Presence so vast that I immediately felt gratitude for the absence of power that connects me to a virtual web in which I sometimes get lost mindlessly. I just sat in front of my altar and rested in this freedom of "nothing to do, nowhere to be". And that's when I saw myself walking up the hill near my house which called me almost immediately out to play. 

Then, I remember, 
then, I forget.

When the comforts of modernity are minimized to the level of simplicity and necessity, I feel called to step out of my complacency and actually work my hands and my body to satisfy my own needs which is empowering and energizing. Especially if this doing is putting me in touch with the elements or if I can remember to go out to meet the more-than-human-world, to greet the Mystery, to make myself available and vulnerable to be touched and moved by it, to be humbled by my own insignificance and the wonder of it all that the world might be singing just for me in that moment. If I slow down, pay attention and listen...something reveals itself to me and some other conversation starts that involves a larger sense of my Self, not just my ordinary, strategic mind. 

"The human body knows that it needs a multiplicity of relationships with the whole of its surroundings. Our bodies have co-evolved with all these other fleshly forms, all of these other bodies—with cedar trees and salmon and windstorms and moon and sun, with critters and plants and herbs of every shape and size. The cultures that we all inhabited for some fifty thousand years practiced relationship with every aspect of the sensuous surroundings."
David Abram

As I walked up that hill, witnessing and being witnessed by the larger world, my awareness expanded beyond my little bubble and included the wild wind and the pine forest singing and swaying all around me. Meanwhile I kept repeating
"Then, I remember,
then, I forget,
then, I remember, 
then, I forget, 
then, I remember, 
then I forget..."

Then I thought to myself, isn't that the faithful summary of the essential human experience?
How many times have I/we forgotten what life is all about and how many times have I/we remembered? 
or rather had to be reminded by life? 
And not only you and I, the mere human being but also the sum of us, how many times has the humanity forgotten and then re-membered? 

We are living through such a time - a great forgetting and a greater re-membering happening simultaneously. Every time I feel despair about what we are conspicuously forgetting, letting go, loosing - traditions, species, languages, songs, stories and so many distinct colors of life - I try to remember that this might be just how life renews itself, that Creation certainly has a plan and an intelligence greater than my limited understanding.
And I bow to the life-death-life nature of existence.