Once upon a time
When women were birds
There was the simple understanding
That to sing at dawn
And to sing at dusk
Was to heal the world through joy.
The birds still remember what we have forgotten,
That the world is meant to be celebrated.
–Terry Tempest Williams
I am writing a poem that is really a prayer.
I am telling my story by walking its weight & light over the earth.
A wise teacher regularly reminds me that the simplest solutions are the most profound, that healing is always within arm’s reach:
If you find yourself with a broken heart, cajole it to go out for a walk with you, and let the beauty of this earth transfuse your empty places with light and life.
If you feel isolated or suffocating in the dusk of your own heavy inner thoughtscape, call a friend and become her best listener.
Sing a song to the birds. Sow seeds in the weeping earth. Make friends with a child at the market. Hold your inner girl and stroke her hair. Take a jasmine bath with Joni Mitchell. Paint your nails with lightning bolts. Collect litter in the park and tell no one.
Write a poem that is really a prayer…
I’m wearing a crown no one sees--
To wake up each day before the dawn and put on my lightning hat
And commitment to my self is what I most desire—to commit to huge Love
And what does this look like: still air, long time walking, rain
The rain that pours down pours right into my soul to wash it
My soul has been worn with trembling, wars, remorse
But I am mutating into a creature without regret
Here at the sisters’ plantation where they are all so kind
All I have is my ragged breath
the carved rosewood box it comes in
these stones filling my pockets with mute light
I wear white and long to become like a saint
So I take saintly measures of rebellion—I will be the saint of self-love
The saint of honoring my passionate imperfection
The only sacrifice I will is of the machine
But I must not think of the future
Of what comes after
For I live in the now in this moment of choosing
Decency, sanity, peace
To listen to the stirrings of my soft open heart
To make safe the way of the pearl that collects there
Is this how a pearl grows? One breath at a time
I see this love is not a crossing over
One heroic leap
But an accumulation
As the ground gets immense over eons—and filled with stars
(April 24, 2014 - The Christine Center, Wisconsin)
Once upon a time, on the Big Island of Hawaii, I stayed on the land of a beautiful older woman who lived in a treehouse. Every morning, she invited me up to sit on her porch in the mystic drizzle, drink tea, and eat papaya with lime juice. Two days before Christmas, cardinals were nesting in the tree ferns, and she gave me quartz earrings she had made for me, along with a letter, rolled up and tied with a black ribbon.
I carried this curled up wisdom with me on all my journeys, and this morning, as I was doing some spring cleaning, I unfurled her words once more. I hung the note on my kitchen cabinet, a traveler's talisman of faith: How can I come home to self today? How can I bear the vastness of my vision, the longings awakened in dreams? I find that the ground continues to shift, new reflections of self bewilder & amaze, and I find I need her note now more than ever. Frogs singing down the rain, the cleansing tears of recognition, gratitude. Could she have known how much her simple words would mean to me, how her voice of grace endures?
I hope that you can enjoy her message too...
Sometimes, dear one, you must simply let go & trust the workings of a creative, benevolent universe.
Know that your place in it is a vital piece, even when you feel lost & cannot see your own worth or path.
You are here intentionally to demonstrate your own individual, brilliant being-ness.
Your only job is to align with Source in a way that opens your channels, rings your bells & fills you with joy--
You are on a good path.
Spirals of bear light
Bare light I am receiving an education: I am being bestowed:
A sweater, a caress, a lunch, a small unnumbered kindness:
The exact day you were born I crowed out with pride
when you crowned an undisputed triumph, an honor none could remove
I am stripping down and howling into the lake of Love.
The day you were born the ivy curled and went on
curling - the sun spoke its own name as always.
The day you were born we remembered you -
there was not a moment of amnesia
about who you are
The day you were born I wept fluid of every color
emptied out of all my plethora of pain
I emptied my pain to be filled by the sight of your face
In my education, I will learn this art of grace