Sunday, November 30, 2014

Pic and a Poem #32

these words are not for you
i let you take a look
i wonder what you see
do you see me?
here looking out
from behind blue eyes
floating in these words
like secret codes
i am not sure i remember
how to crack myself
or if anyone speaks my language
my writing on the wall
perhaps like foreign characters
as i sometimes feel to be
even to myself
somewhere deeper though
back in fields of grass
are threads of sunlit memory
whispers beyond words
becoming who i am
intertwined with you
behind my blue eyes
beyond any color, shape or size
in the great inner beyond
the infinity of now
these words taking form
through lips i can not see
but brushing past my mind
the gentle kiss of miraculous thought
of a singular source
one word defining all others
that word is for you

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Pic and a Poem #31


may we not leave each other to suffer alone
nor gather together in fear and hatred
we are lost right now
lost to each other
lost to ourselves
in the poverty of division
blind in the smoke of violent frustration
so thick we are consumed by it
forgetting where we come from
and where we belong
torn from our hearts
cast into separation
but that will never be our truth
it is not who we are

we need demonstrations
put on by the millions
beginning in each single one
who is waking up
coming together
with hands held in unity
instead of fists or guns

we need demonstrations
that we are committed to each other
as long it takes us
staying the course
not backing down
fiercely demanding
no less than our birthright
every being living in
equality and love

we need to demonstrate
for the children who depend on us
the innocents not yet wounded
that we are there for them
if we can see them
when we see them
meet them in each of us
we will rise above

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Pic and a Poem #30


i am deeply thankful
for the hands i have held
those physical or spiritual
the presence that has guided me
in darkness and in light
i am thankful for those
who loved me
and those who broke my heart
for friendship and abandonment
every gain and loss
for imprisonments i went through
inside and out
that let me know freedom
how miracles are
doors that opened
and those slammed shut
every pain and pleasure
all my best
all my worst
my love and my rage
fear and courage both
bearing gifts and blessings
i never would give back
i am thankful for this day
the hands that i hold now
imperfectly loving
messy and true
falling apart
coming back together

The kids in this picture are my son Mason and my daughter Harper. As I looked for a picture to write around this theme of gratitude, I wanted one with my whole family in it, but this one called to me. I love how I am a distance behind them and they are stepping forward toward this beautiful building, like a future, holding hands. The words of the poem started showing themselves almost immediately. I am grateful for everything I have been through in my life so far and I am most grateful for my husband and children who are on this crazy ride with me now. I know that no matter what comes, the good, the bad and the ugly, it is all a blessing. Everything is showing up to help me learn and grow.
Life is a magnificent mess!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Pic and a Poem #29

 be with yourself as a kind mother to a child
 touch your heart with tenderness,
 and what sorrows are stirred 
 open your arms to them,
 gather them close,
 welcome your heartache, your anger, your fear,
 witness their longing for this kind reception
 a devoted attention to all that you are,
 everything in you,
 just as everything outside of you
 lies in waiting,
 thirsting for love
 sit with your whole self
 pour from your deep heart
 your own sacred medicine
 until all mouths are quenched
 be healed and transformed

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Pic and a Poem #28


i saw you there
at the foot of a marvel,
kneeling as if to pray
at this wonder of the world,
a monument of devotion
rising before us
white marble shining
as eternal as the heart
of undying love
lifted by human hands
reaching for God's gaze

i saw it
and i was touched
by what man makes
in dedication to God
but i looked at you
and my heart split open
to behold
what God has sculpted
in flesh and bone
i wanted to kneel before you
fully meet your grace,
see myself
in your eyes
God seeing God
love knowing love
the true wonder of the world
is us

This photo was taken at the Taj Mahal in India. Everyone around was busy shooting pictures of this incredible monument to love, but I was most taken by the people. People from all over the globe were there to see this wonder of the world, and it is breathtaking, but I was almost more taken by seeing how the people were delighted and touched. This woman in particular who was kneeling down to take a photo struck me as so beautiful that I quickly dropped to kneel myself to capture her. When we use our senses intentionally to seek beauty, we find it everywhere and in each other. Everything becomes an expression of divine intelligence. God's creation embodied in every being.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Pic and a Poem #27


 form gives way to form
 symbols and woven pattern
 empty spaces a remembrance
 and a foretelling
 what came before
 and what lies beyond
 the blessing of space
 into which beauty is born
 without emptiness
 there can be no fullness
 consciousness holds thought
 clouds moving through the sky
 fingers chisel shapes that speak
 a primal language
 as a body waits patiently
 to be moved
 and not only moved, danced 
 all things moving toward expression
 turning back toward origin
 thoughts and clouds dissolve
 a dance returns to stillness
 carved stone tapestries
 one day return to earth
 the time is now
 seek out your spaces
 fill them with
 your signature
 to honor the emptiness
 that holds all things

I was looking at this image and appreciating the symmetry and how each shape relied upon the other for its very existence. Then I noticed the empty spaces. What was carved away allows one to see what lies behind, or what lies ahead depending on perspective. I started to write about that and it flowed into this poem about the coming and going of all things. I come back time and time again to this urgency, that the time to live is now, look for the spaces longing to be filled with your unique expression and fill them! What could be more imperative in life than giving your brilliance to the world? Life is so short, it can not wait. Honor the emptiness by decorating it with what you love.  

Monday, November 17, 2014

Pic and a Poem #26

let's go to the river
we can sing on the way
i have found singing is
the best way to pray
we can get in the water
it will join in our song
dance a watery chorus 
as we float along
feel your hair spread
like seaweed
tangled and free
just like we are mermaids
queens of the sea
look up to the blue sky
the heavens above
put your hand out to find mine
linked fingers of love
we can stay all day long here
there is no place to go
let's be one with this river
its ebb and its flow
I sat down to write today feeling quite empty and unsure of what would show up.
As I let words bubble to the surface I found my inner little girl stepping forward,
and so I just made space for her. I have felt quite drawn to watery images lately,
the beauty and power of water to soothe and transform. My nine year old daughter Harper drew a picture of a mermaid just a few days ago, and I was not thinking of that when I wrote this, but perhaps subconsciously my little girl made a connection there. I imagined two young girls going to swim in this gentle river, singing, splashing and floating along without a care in the world.
I feel it is healing to give the inner child a voice, to keep a connection with that part of who we are. Great shift and transformation can come from listening to and feeling the little one within.

Pic and Poem #25

  there is a path being
  set out before me
  twisting and turning
  through space and time
  i sometimes stop and wonder
  how i arrived here,
  dizzy with the dancing of
  mysterious synchronicity,
  what yes's and no's brought me this far 
  i believe in miracles
  i have held them in my own hands,
  and yet so often
  i am afraid 
  my faith sometimes falters
  my feet frozen beneath me
  wanting to stay here,
  relieved of risk and
  not knowing the way,
  but there is a brave heart
  a jewel given to me,
  that has guided me onward, 
  through night and through day
  i follow my path, 
  from the depths of my feeling
  toward what lies ahead,
  great joy or deep sorrow,
  elation or heartbreak, 
  all roads lead to
  freedom and ultimate truth
  life needs bravery,
  faith and surrender
  the path is before us,
  we forge a destiny,
  all this experience
  calling us home

Friday, November 14, 2014

Pic and a Poem #24


    the will of the earth is strong
    to bring life to itself
    even through the roughest rock
    see it root and rise,
    and such is the manner of love
    in the human heart
    even the hardest terrain
    seeming barren and void
    has a seed deeply planted
    the heart is always
    looking for the space,
    for the moment,
    to let love root and rise

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Pic and a Poem #23

       when two worlds collide
       where will you set up camp
       in the storefront of illusion
       or in the temple of your soul?
    This question figures so prominently in my life. Where do I want to focus my energy, and what I am I living into? It is easy to get swept up by all the external data that tends to pull me away from myself. I feel like there are all these messages telling me to look outside, to fixate on the external trappings and an image, but that always ends up being hollow. If there is any happiness or contentment in that, it is always fleeting, that is my experience anyway. I do my best to keep my camp in the temple of my soul, that is in my spiritual practice, in contemplation and creativity, and in relationship with those who I love and who love me.
I took this photo here in Shanghai. The Jing'an Temple is the most well known temple in Shanghai and has been in this location since about 1200, but has recently been surrounded by high rise luxury shopping as Shanghai becomes more modern and focused on material abundance. As you stand in this place of reverence and devotion, you look up and see these huge billboards looming overhead. It is startling and, to me, so telling. It begs the question above.  

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Pic and a Poem #22


     dreams of pink petals
     and soft whispers of
     green leaves
     the intersection of
     exacting intelligence
     and vivid strokes of beauty
     could there be greater
     evidence of the divine spark
     than this blossom of brilliance
     unwaveringly becoming itself
     wide open and free?
     oh to live like a flower
     rising to this life with
     no hesitation
     to burst forth boldly
     no doubting, no hiding
     sitting powerfully in the center
     of what is meant to be,
     pouring out color, scent, flavor
     surrendering it fully,
     until it's done
     I aspire to this, this way of being. That was what really started me on this poetry project, a deep thirst to express, expand and be seen. I don't mean be seen in a seeking glory sort of way, but to risk revealing deep parts of myself and trusting that in creating outwardly, showing up and opening out that there will be a corresponding opening inward. My experience so far is that this is true but it can also be quite tender and even achy, growing pains I guess. Shine on everyone, be bold and bright!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Pic and a Poem #21

  occupy this moment
  touch it with your tenderness,
  bring it to your lips,
  listen for its song
  see every side of it
  each subtle dimension 
  all the curves and angles,
  the center moving out

  meet this moment fully
  expansion and contraction
  expressing through shadow
  the way it catches light
  occupy this moment
  ride it like a wave,
  and in the next instant
  a tide of rising and falling
  the world is made again

 The present moment is the only place we can ever really know anything, connect to anything, be fully alive. Every moment is full of  potential, the potential to experience, but the the thing is we have to actually be there to experience the world in front of us, or the one within us. I often find myself lost in my thoughts, lost in my mind, somewhere other than experiencing the present moment, but I have practices like yoga, dance, meditation and writing that help me to come back to now, what is happening now, what I am feeling, seeing, touching. It is worth showing up for.  

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Pic and a Poem #20


on the long walk of life
what loads we carry
the weight of what
we have been and
who we long to be

along the road we often
drop our playfulness
lose our simple joyfulness,
the delight of climbing walls
and talking to the trees

learn from the children
see them skip, run,
dance and sing,
remember, remember,
look and remember,
set your load down
feel how you breathe

sense your deep energy
come home to your body
wonder once again
at your fingers and toes,
no matter the gravity
situation or station
we all are such children
of light and of soul

let's run and laugh
just for this moment
spin in wild circles
throw our gaze up to the sky
and feel the beat of
our fierce child hearts,
our inner perfection
we are beautiful,
all of us,
every single one

Living and traveling here in Asia I have seen many people living in the toughest of circumstances. I have witnessed people living in absolute poverty, and with no recourse or resources to turn to in hopes of a change. I have also seen among those people, especially the children, a capacity for happiness and play despite the gravity of their life circumstances. I feel this is evidence that our true nature is joyful and playful. Children are still connected to their pure energy and embodied soul nature. To watch a child at play, is to watch a wise teacher, a teacher who shows us powerful remembrances, of the same wisdom, the same playful nature, we all have within us. This is a wisdom and quality of being, that goes beyond country, culture, gender, it is so deeply, so profoundly human. Remember, remember, look and remember, this joy and freedom is who we are.

I took this photo in Delhi, India. I was so taken with this playful child, balancing, almost dancing along this wall, while her mother and I presume, older sister, looked on.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Pic and a Poem #19

at the gateway of the heart
guardians hold their vigil
custodians of secrets
protecting things unseen
holding their posts
in the unknown shadows
waiting patiently and faithfully
for the moment of truth
the lightening strike of
potent awareness
that cracks them wide open
and what was held for so long
is finally set free

This image called to me today, and as I considered it, this stone post head at the end of a bridge had the feeling of being a protector. I know there are pieces of me, feelings, emotions and parts of my "story" that I might be conscious of, or not, that I have not fully processed or integrated. To think about these vulnerable or wounded parts, the things that are hidden, being guarded and protected until the time comes to bring them into the light of truth is comforting to me. It is the idea of having inner angels of steadfast protection, holding safe space for my inner world to unfold as it will, when the time is right. Maybe this resonates for you, or maybe not, but we all have things we hide or protect, even if we all hold them in unique ways. Love to all of us in this magnificent messy life!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Pic and a Poem #18

it is such small treasures
of mysterious origin
that set my heart alight
      with wonder
  and leave me struck
  in sweet captivation
  delivering me back
to a wide eyed innocence
  that is open and joyful
   and so fully in love
     with this world
The events and happenings of the world and life can get to feeling really heavy for me sometimes. It is useful for me to engage my senses toward the small beautiful treasures around me, they help me to open my heart even when that is a difficult thing to do.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Pic and a Poem #17

take the first step
ascending or descending
either way, any direction
it is the movement that matters
coming unglued from
bindings and hesitations
feel your way along
through both light and shadow
up and down and back again
until you know each step
so intimately and yet
attuned to the constant
changing and shifting
each footfall a discovery
a moments visitation
of what arises and falls away
a journey of becoming begins
with even a small willingness
take the first step

Monday, November 3, 2014

Pic and a Poem #16

is an invitation to
finally strip it all down
to the bare bones
and be naked,
exposed in front of
the one who matters
to revel in all the power
and beauty that this
one being can hold
in solitude abandon
the long told lies
of doubt and fear,
slide out from them
like a serpent shedding skin
and bask in the light of
your own perfection
sing, dance, howl
for the majesty of
this miraculous creation,
only you can unlock
your mystery
your divinity,
know your truth,
speak it
cocooned in solitude
enter and find yourself,
emerge from your shell
transformed again and again,
take the slow path back,
we are in the circle
Bonus haiku:
go to the mountain
wrap solitude around you
soul light leads the way
I have a complicated relationship with solitude. For a long time I could not embrace the gift of solitude because it kept getting lost in my fear of being alone. My story of "alone" is full of rejection, pain and loss. As I have committed more and more to a spiritual life over the last decade or so, my relationship to solitude has shifted and evolved. I recognize now that if I want to truly step into myself, if I truly want to go deep and grow, solitude is essential. If I want to create and express from an empowered and authentic place I have to take the time with myself to connect to that place of truth. In solitude I can go into my heart and soul space, get to the distilled essence of what I am here to experience, feel, process, and in doing so I feel my core relationships getting stronger, I make better choices about how I invest my time and energy, I can engage with the world in a more skillful way.
Solitude brings me sustenance and grace.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Pic and a Poem #15

  throw me into the ocean
  let her swallow me whole
  i will pour myself into her
  until she renders me weightless
  and lifts me up
  in the palm of her hand
  an offering to the moon and the stars
  i will ride her waves
  gentle ripples that rise
  to torrents of violent dancing
  let me be churned and
  turned inside out
  completely dissolved
  immersed in a baptism
  down to the very cells
  that pulse as oceans within me
  let her wash away everything
  that isn't wild and bubbling
  with freedom
  and then
  and only then
  set me safely back on shore