Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Pic and a Poem #37

i can go anywhere now that
you are by my side
the big space before us
the barren vista
of dead wood and shed skin
which once would have left me
trembling in fear
is transformed
harsh angles soften
earth is yet alive
you show me how to look
pointing it out
laughing at my naivety 
believing is seeing
vision is substance
we carry it even into
the darkest night
making our own way
lit torches across heaven
and earth

telling stories, singing songs
secret dances of our kinship
the ways of brothers and sisters
in a wild tribe of deep magic
those who travel the great distance
of life and death
whispering back to us
in shifts of sand
and stirring of creatures
we trail on the footsteps of ancients
out into the far reaches
beyond doubt and despair
unearthing the plenitude of being
truth, love, and beauty
that extends infinitely
from an endless past
to a fathomless future
our feet planted here
knowing who we are
in each other 
fearing no freedom
we journey on

Thursday, January 15, 2015

life is slippery

life is slippery
any grip or firm footing
is a momentary phantom

all is waves and shifting
turbulence and cadence
expanding, contracting

i once thought it all
was so slow
i tapped in impatience
my foot
restless drumming
a march forward
i pushed into it
thirsty for the next thing

then yesterday i
was at a touch pool
with a little boy
squealing with laughter
we reached for the fish
it was slippery
soft and elusive beneath our fingers

when i looked up
that boy was almost a man
reaching into the water
elusive still
the fish sliding under his fingers
the same joyful smile

life is slippery
like socks on our wood floor
with the songs we love
on so loud
windows rattle
and we are
jumping and twirling
slip sliding away

my girls have new moves now
i try them on
but i am pretty old school
they smile anyway
less like girls
their moves and smiles
hints of women
the same joyful dance

life is slippery
i sometimes get panicked
trying to find a grip or firm footing
but it is how it must be
and as it flows
if i let go
i find it all so beautiful

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Pic and a Poem # 36

one thing i know about light
it returns
even as darkness falls
it is giving way to light
they need each other
embraced and entwined
the chemistry between them
the art of light and shadow
a lovers play of transformation
painting grace across walls
mountains and seas
beautiful intelligence
in each of us
delighting through days
dreams of the night
what comes and what goes
and yet never ending
light is as love is
and so we must be
not broken or lost
dreaming now
light is on the way

Friday, December 19, 2014

My Heart in Troubled Waters

My heart is troubled today. My heart is broken today. I feel such grief and despair for this world. I mourn the loss of innocents, children have been killed, massacred with malice. The brutality of it has shaken me right off my foundation. In any moment this day, I suddenly find I am in tears. I am in suffering, and I can't imagine the suffering of those for whom my heart breaks today. I am here feeling it, touching into it, being with it. Those mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, communities and a country that must be collapsing under the weight of such grief don't know how intensely I pray for them today. I wish I could let them know. I care about them. I send them love.

I felt this way two years ago as well, when the tragedy at Sandy Hook happened. I grieved, I prayed, I asked God "Why?". I searched for a way to come to peace. Most everyone around me was in that space with me. I felt like my family and friends, my communities were there with me. We shared our thoughts and feelings, we gave support to those immediately impacted by such a devastating loss. We gave it the time and attention it deserved. We hoped it would not happen again.

This current tragedy is striking me differently. 135 children have been killed in their school in Peshawar, Pakistan by the Taliban. I am still reeling in shock, and yet, it seems the better part of those in my communities have moved on. I wonder if that is true. Maybe people are tongue tied or so at a loss that there are no words. I wonder, because when Sandy Hook happened there was an outpouring that continued for many weeks, months, a sustained process. As it should have been.

Today I had to click over to "World News" to find the story about these 135 slaughtered children. It would seem that even as they are still being buried we have moved on to more important things. Maybe that is it. These children are from a distant country, a place far removed, a different culture, religion, a different color, and so not as close to our hearts or our lives. We may not ever know their names and faces. We don't know where to send our flowers or postcards. One thing I know is awareness, prayer and directed energy can have a profound impact, but that requires being engaged and in intention.

I don't perceive a lot of awareness, engagement or intention.

My Facebook feed barely registered this as a blip, a fleeting point of focus. Is Facebook a reliable source of measuring people's concern? Maybe not, but when Robin Williams died my feed was lit up for weeks, endless posts and quotes, clips and heartfelt sadness. I felt that too. I felt his loss with great heaviness in my heart.

My heart is sailing on troubled water again, but this time I don't feel like there are many ships journeying with me, at least not ships from my fleet. I will be okay if I am sailing here alone. I felt it was worth it for me to step forward and say that I am still heartbroken over here. I am not ready to move on or passed this. I need to be with this for awhile.

I hope my continued prayers and sympathies are carried on the waves, and land where they are needed. I hope that healing happens. I wish for peace in myself, in each of us, and for this world. I know that even when it seems dark the light lives on.

Thanks for listening. I love you.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Pic and a Poem # 35


sweet child
not mine
but how i love you
as i love my own breath
my own innocent body
the children i have cradled
the ones who i named
i don't know your name
but i placed you in one instant
in a box of light
i hold you still
upon this page
you won't know that eyes
receive you here
and at least one heart
hopes for you
and the millions
the millions of tiny miracles
a world befitting your beauty
if i could
i would place it
in a box of light
and gather this family
to open it

The beauty of children is universal. No matter where I travel, across countries and cultures, children are pure light, pure joy. The world we live in is often harsh, cruel and violent, and children are all too often at its mercy. Today 130 children were killed in a terrorist act in Pakistan. My heart is utterly broken. We are one family. All the children are our children. No child anywhere on this planet should die in such a way. I feel powerless in the face of it. What can I do?

 What I can do is be a force of love in my life. I can not change the world, but I can add to the energies of compassion and kindness. I can refuse hate. I can meditate, pray, dance, sing, paint, write, all in the name of love and hope, for a better me, making way for my own children and all those around me, knowing that each small act ripples out to make a better world.

Interesting that as I sit with this today I am reading "Stand Still Like the Hummingbird" by Henry Miller and he says, " We are all advocates of a better world, and we are all the devil's disciples. We want to change the other fellow, not ourselves; we want our children to be better than us, but do nothing to make ourselves more worthy of our children."

Let's make ourselves more worthy of these beautiful children. Love is the way.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Pic and a Poem #34

there are too many threads
pulling on me
many roads and small paths
and the wilderness as well
i fear choosing wrongly
thinking somehow i might miss
i might miss my own life
i want to set my bow down
and lie on the bottom of my chariot
escaping this action
again i am reminded
that will not do
i must rise and reach out
step onto the path
any of these that call to me will suffice
there can be no mistake

hold something
like a flower on a garland
take one and all the rest
are coming
pick another one the same
choose the one that fits the fragrance
of your instinct
your signature
you will hold the universe
in your hand

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Sweet Sixteen

  My son Mason was born sixteen years ago today.  I was born sixteen years ago today. Up until that day I was only a precursor of myself, a foundation.  I had lived a lot of experience, traveled a lot of distances, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I had already been lost and found many times. Invented and reinvented. Looking back it was all in preparation for the journey that would begin that day, December 9th, 1998.
I was terrified to become a mother. When I took the pregnancy test I wanted to crawl out of my own flesh and bones and run far far away. Not because I doubted the beauty and wonder of motherhood, but because I doubted myself.  I wondered how a broken down shattered kind of girl like me could possibly do such a thing.  I thought I would take this small soft being and before I knew it I would crush it in the grip of my own emotional pitfalls. I wondered how I would become a selfless, loving nurturer in nine months time. How would I transform from girl into woman? My husband was my champion, reassuring me, telling me I would be great. He often knows me better than I know myself. I guess others can see us more clearly than we can see ourselves sometimes. 
My wise teacher speaks to me often about soul contracts. It sounds a bit out there I suppose, but I believe it. My experience leads me to this. The people I need show up for me. The ones who have loved me, the ones who have hurt me, the ones who came for awhile and then faded out of sight. All of them came with a gift. My children are my soul teachers, my healers. There has been no one more significant than them, nor could there ever be. I thought that as a mother I would be the teacher, the giver, the wise one. I have played that role for my children, but the truth is that they have done the same for me, even more so.
My children have taught me that letting go is much more powerful than holding on. They have been their own people from the very start, born with personalities, qualities, energies, unique to themselves. They are born with the seeds of who they are meant to be already taking root and growing in them. Those seeds of who they are meant to be have nothing to do with me. If I believed for a moment that my role as a mother was going to be about controlling, forging or molding these beings into what I wanted them to be, that was wholly unlearned by their teaching in the first few years. I could have insisted on going that route, dug my heels in around who they should be for me, but I realize that they are not here for me. I am here for them. I am here to hold safe space for them, to watch them, to guide them, hear them, protect them, but not keep them. I can not keep them! The most important part of this mothering is the letting go part. God it is so damn hard though. I often find myself wanting to control, to grip, to cling. I forget in my fearfulness to trust, to trust that my children know who they are, to trust that all is guided and intelligent. Don't get me wrong, I have had, and continue to have a fierceness in my mothering when it is needed, after all, I am the mother, but I try my best to check my intentions, to see what is really needed, if it is rooted in love or fear, and I mess up. For the messing up, also letting go.  
My children have taught me about forgiveness. As I just said, I mess up. In my mothering I have learned something so huge, so powerful. Forgiveness is the cornerstone of love. We all mess up. In the family we are especially prone to error, wrong seeing, hurtful words and actions, impatience. I have often acted and later realized that I was misguided and unskillful, my fear blossoming into anger and inflicting hurt. I have hurt my children. My children have hurt me, especially my teenagers. No one lives in such close relationship with another being without hurt happening in some way, shape or form. Not all hurts are equal though, we can wound each other horribly, irreversibly.  As a mother I have become sensitive to owning my part in this co creation. When my kids were babies it was 100% me, my responsibility. That changes over time, slowly, incrementally. Part of this parenting is knowing when to move into more shared ownership of the relationship as the child becomes an adult. I think one of the most powerful things I have done for my children is to make mistakes, as we all do, and when I do, to acknowledge them, apologize and create a space for healing and forgiveness. This also works vice versa. I strive to create an environment for my kids where they are self aware, where they understand that their choices matter, and that mistakes or wrong doings will be addressed, but no mistake will take away the love I have for them. Forgiveness is the cornerstone of love, because we are all just human, imperfect and beautiful.
My kids have taught me about love. They have led me straight into my own heart and where there was once so much doubt and fear, where I once felt broken down and shattered, they have restored me, and filled me with hope, wonder, gratitude and joy. My love for them knows no bounds or limits. I love them in every breath, every heart beat, every moment. If I gave them life, they have certainly done the same for me.