It’s night now, and a chilly breeze is making the trees outside the kitchen window over the parking lot wave their clumps of newly unfurling leaves and the outside sounds of traffic or construction machines or airplanes seem like wind all distorted and funneled into this small interior world surrounded by countless others all busily occupied with themselves to make ends meet, to hold themselves together, self-preserve and -protect, keep heads above water, not give in or yield to the pressure, pressed and stressed and distressed though the mind is bigger and not limited by the body – as it has lately dawned on me and there is surely ample proof – the wind, the seasons’ changes, the water in its forms from society-stopping snow to late welling-up sap to this here hot miso soup to the blood pounding in the ears as one bounds up the stairs in time to close the windows against the torrent – but I can also ignore or just not notice it, that we are finite, that we are not alone and not all-powerful, and that the thought-action choices we make every day as individuals affects everything and everyone around us, I can let my mind and my ability to be conscious of myself and beyond myself be sucked into one illusion or another. Because so much of what we take in is made to enthrall and distract, and suck away at consciousness.
Long dangling seed clusters appeared on the branches of the birch trees outside our bedroom windows on the opposite side of the apartment a few days ago. No leaves yet, just the bare brown branches off the single narrow speckled white trunk between our building and the grayish decrepit stucco apartment house next door, and I find myself standing by the windows entranced by the wind-waving scattered seed clusters which I looked up earlier to learn they are called “catkins”.
Close up of our birch with a single catkin
Haloed by my phone case’s reflection
Catkins in different stages, on a smaller birch variety