The Nettle In Me
I’m surprised that I haven’t been hit in the face by now. That's another aspect of the nettle in me. One that somehow just stands you down. I have Aries in Mercury resulting in communication skills that can be just bloody-minded. Blunt. Bludgeoned. Rude, without asking. Left field, righteous, arrogant, like why don’t you shut the fuck up while I smack you in the gob Natasha. And sooooooo to the point. That's the nettle in me, each little syllable a sting of mind-bending perforation. We demand attention. And so smart about it. You feel it for days. To top it off, just so you remember, while I’m giving you the burn, it's funny to boot so everyone is laughing. It gets harder to give me the decisive fist. You have to really know that that's what you're going to do, smack me left side. And that's exactly what I’m asking for. We demand that we pay mind. My mouth fully armed in every way. The word smart resonates 180. And if you rise up to the call and grab me hard I'll crumple. Grab me hard and I'll disavow my vehement striding thoughts. Grab me hard and I’ll happily show you another point of view, swivel around and attack from a different perspective, grab me hard and hang on for the ride and all of a sudden its a joy, this urtification, the stripping down, the extremes of perception. All of a sudden, muscles of thought and movement of mind wake up, re-arise, revolt. Grab me hard and we might end up being just downright intimate. That's the nettle in me. For a long time its been a totem plant.
I know how to pick a nettle leaf and fold it in on itself and eat it on spot without getting stung. This trick is so cool that it quickly gets taught to others. Then it's in you. Nettle can become cell space.
I grew up with the nettle. When I was a child I remember how plants were. How the earth was. Something that was there always like mother and father. A concept made real. The praxis of family. That minute where we are the tribe. The memory of belonging. And a where to we are belonging. Before the break. Before the Dust settles. I imagine, in the forest, the nettle holds like watchtowers. The math of the forest, the monks in their watchtower. Hermits. Keeper of the path. Regulating. Tall, rising, keeping mind. I would love to see with other eyes, the communication lines. Golden threads under and overground. Would nettle be the central control switch? At the clusters of the mycelium communication network? The non-synaptic role of the modulator that is garnished up with drops of formic acid, activating the unseen court of histamine reactions, slow trickles of life shifting gossip as well as the fast flame of scandal. The constant play of what we perceive to be dangerous and what actually is. Peace in the present. As I spend the time to drowse in the nettle forests these are the thoughts that wonder. This is the medicine that heals as I otherworld myself and my imagining starts to pushme pullyou invisible atoms to play. The nettle in me.
I use fresh nettle as an alterative to help against allergies and for calming and modulating the immune system. It will build up my discernment in knowing what is harmful and what is not.
That's what I want to see when I close my eyes, the inner workings - as the plant feels, to slip back to my past life where I can again stand tall armed with my swords of reason, waiting for the hesitant being to walk by, the nervous one, the unwinding folk, the careless blunderer, the timed foe and say, nay, stab, point, prick, burn it in, yell with the whole of my being - Wake up! Pay attention! And then for your own sake, sweet gods and mercy, grasp, grasp with lungs of your mute ancestor's silent chokings, grasp your share of momentum, your shining magic in this particular space in time and with every single breath that's yours, rise up and be.
Over time nettle will fortify and add vigour to my general well being so I can resist, revolt and rewild. Over time I will gather the strength to step forward and live a life I can believe in.
It's like Berlin in 1939 I imagine as I go out to lunch with friends and we laugh and in the background starving polar bears trundle across a thousand remote iphone islands on their way to extinction. The satire has become a collective. The matrix has been broken. And what are we doing as we rampage with our sad, so fucking sad desperation of not having enough? Not being enough? Every time a receipt flies out of a shopping till I get to think of the dying breath of trees. Where is my grounding? How can my adrenals stand another minute of the silent scream called daily life? And that could be the tagline of a fucking commercial selling "natural" adaptogens in a bottle. The only sane left is the mad, honest enough to wear the right expression of aghast disbelief. What to do? What to hold on to and let go? How to discern as the waves of it all as it overwhelms in the inhale and exhale, as I break food out of yet another endless plastic packet. Caressing the curves of plastic bottles instead of basket willow, cedar planks, aspen leaves, the overwhelm of it all and then I’m down in the forest, back to that single layer, the monk in the watchtower. Calling to the nettle in me, looking me down, telling me to pay attention, to what I can. To embrace the fall before the next step rises me up.
Nettle will help restore and improve kidney function, allowing me to properly filter toxins out of my life, restoring parameters for what serves me.
I long for when we are embracing our medicine again. That's the nettle in me. Wept hot tears over the madness of it all. Seen friends struck down with the confusion of function so departed from the heart. The loss of touching earth mother day to day. How I long to be moving within her embrace, the deep nuzzle of loam, the only currency emotional. Caress, murmur touch through the seasons. My tendrils go deep into the crust and when we stop to embrace, when we have a connection we become changed. We start to belong again and our weeping is more nourishing. We are more nourished. Our blood is calmer, our platelets slip and slide and we can negotiate the twists and turns. In fact, you could almost begin to sense the power of ourselves. The endlessness of us all. We guard the earth. The nettle in me
Nettles may be found by feeling for them in the darkest night - Culpepper
I should have come up with this. I mean it has everything, witty and deep with that chord of otherworld wisdom. A resonance ringing on truth. And Nettle, like all boundary medicine, makes itself known when you're not looking. Of course, you don’t see the nettle, you feel for it, whether with intention or not. You're not navigating this shit with your mind, your hearts not engaged with the mentally extensive or just downright fecund lie of a story as you tell it to your self over and over. You know when nettle is there coz it reaches out and bites you. Blam - The knowing that can’t be unknowed. Everything felt and nothing learnt. And as you sit in pain, stunned, blinded by the lifting of the veil. And as you sit, frozen in place, for if you move the whole mirror will shatter, or as you crumple to the floor exhausting the groan, the noise that comes from behind yourself, the resurrection begins. The grace. The shifting of tension so now you get to be the thing in between. The very present itself. The pause in the breath, the resting in the break. Resting as something else comes in. The grace space. Don’t ever forget to thank the nettle for giving you that moment. Or anyone else who has, in your life, been brave enough to let you down. Deliver the unasked for truth. There's a reason why more than I have called it the nettles kiss in ages past. That suspended sensation of blinding white, the pause in between where you can regather, regain, re-emerge. And that's what this simple line from Culpepper indicates by placing it in the darkest night. Putting it in the land of the unseeing, the land of feeling. Feeling through. When you are truly lost, your ego surrendered to all that is greater. When the terror has consumed you and you lie in the belly of the beast. That is how I receive the Nettles Kiss, how I hold the nettle in me. We are not alone. Every moment we are all one or another and then we get the pause in-between, bridging alone and forever connected, we get the universe.
By consuming fresh nettles I have a source of nutrients and amino acids that help me repair my structure, enliven my muscles and heal after deep internal wounds and trauma.
The medicine works with blood. I like to engage with the histamine aspect. The math of the Monks. The Hermit with the single shining light. Illuminating. It's that fresh formic acid that I crave - the sting. That readjustment of my overactive immune, my constant companion of unhinged fear. My terror happily recursive by the terror of our times. This year my attention is brought to the difference between relaxing and numbness. Apparently, I have to learn to relax and instead all I know is how to become numb. I started practising numbness as soon as I could get away with it. As for this relaxing. Well, a forgotten art. Feels like an exercise to be done in distant galaxies. Feels like a nice thought and a good intention. A facebook headline. As I walk through the edges I seek engagement with anger as I nurture my liver so I can let it run through and release. The red line running through the nettle in me. I practice and fall again and again through self-care. The nettle in me pokes me up again and again. "Pull on us" they whisper in fierce determination. Arise with us. I live in the woods so that I can peruse the edges and along with that the nettle fields. They know me. They are not so much loving as having tied me into the parameters of their landscape. I’m the one who comes tromping through with the dog, sometimes cat, often child and who then blabbers and cuts and blabbers and goes all about it in the spring. I’m the one who talks to them. They are slightly amused and steeped in irrelevance. They see the foolishness of our ways, the inevitable weakness of our greed. They are the epitome of enough. When will we trust we have enough? Not only do nettles pack a pharmacopoeia of elements in themselves but try to fill a jar with fresh nettles. You’ll sit there with your quart mason jar, hopefully in class, hopefully with a crowd eagerly watching this folk method of medicine, for I can tell you, like anything smart they like a laugh at others. And there you go, you have 5 or 6 shopping bags full of origami nettle, all small plump little powerhouses of potential, full in their prime and you start to fill the jar, you start to chop the nettle with your scissors, you need to pack the jar you enthusiastically explain and yet 45 minutes in you’re still stuffing. The shopping bags are becoming empty. The Tardis of distraction fully seated in attention magic. Packing them in the still half full jar. As they fold back into themselves traversing another world. Wondering how you can speak about the inter-dimensionality of plant wisdom without sounding mad, best just let everyone have a go. Experience it for your self. That origami. That unfolding folding of potential. That's the soul of nettle. Right there. The wonder of what can. And how you need to so pay attention to turn it into what can be. The praxis of knowing into being. The Who Am. The nettle in me.