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)