Tapestry

Once, you inspired a fire in my heartspace,

one that smelled of cedar trees and sandalwood

and felt like a thunderstorm.

 

This fire is not for you, not anymore.

 

I can no longer bear the weight of your memory and my own becoming,

so I must ask one to leave,

and I’m sure you understand which one must stay

so that I may rise up to become my own lover.

Yes, it’s true that once I sought refuge in your presence,

and then in your memory

and I held the weight of both our futures

in my soft palm, held open for you

in trusting acceptance of our then-aligned paths.

I let gravity pull me down,

down into your arms,

where I was cradled by the scent of certainty

and lulled into a solace born of devotion.

 

Devotion to an idea, a desire, an unmet longing.

 

I composed sonnets to you in my

love-soaked heart.

But now, my best poems

are given to my own Holy being.

I gently breathe life

into this newly-forged passion of Self,

sparked into being by a lover that I once knew

but now only exists as a memory.

Rest assured though,

for you are woven into the tapestry

of my very soul,

a tapestry which is complex and beautiful

because of your contribution to its creation.

True, I am made of the fabric of the stars,

But your touch lives

in the seams of me and the fire of me.

But rather than letting this fire consume me

with leftover passion,

it steadily burns away what was,

leaving space for what is and what will be.

 

This fire is my Truth.

 

And your memory I softly blow away

into the velvet darkness

of the Wild that lives inside of me.

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Blessed is the beauty of your life

Blessed are those who have made it here, now.  Blessed are those who have felt the furious heart-pounding element of pure wrath and have felt the tang of bitter disappointment fill their mouths.  Blessed are you, for you have chosen to be here.  You have chosen to hurt.  To love.  To see.  To feel.  To accept.  To experience.

 

Blessed is your heartache and your ecstasy.  Blessed is the bottom of your darkest sorrow (and all its black, mineral silt that keeps you stuck) and the shine of your most true accomplishment.  Blessed is the time when you opened to the insistent truth of the universe and also the (many) times you shut out the beating rhythm of life’s continued melody.  The stab of regret and the pang of uncertainty.  The gut-punch feeling of utter betrayal. The time when you realized that writing was the only thing that would ever help you make sense of what happened.

Blessed are you, for choosing to be here.  Do you still feel like you belong elsewhere?  You do.  You belong among the heat of the stars.  You belong to the soft velvet of the middle of the universe.  You belong to the shine on a butterfly’s wings.  Do you still despise what you belong to?  That’s ok.  Who’s to say that isn’t part of the divine plan?  Who’s to say you didn’t choose to be unsettled here, that you wanted to feel what it felt like to have one foot out the door and an existence you’re not really sure means anything at all.  But I’ll tell you true, it DOES mean something.

So, dear one.  Please keep walking.  Place one foot in front of the other.  Believe me when I say you can’t get lost here, because all paths lead to the same end, eventually.  When you’re stuck in the mud of your own unruly existence, I will extend my hand to you to help pull you up.  And then I will leave you to continue on your way.

And believe me when I say, you’re creating the most beautiful path.

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On noticing your body’s reactions

Notice.

Notice the way your body moves and responds to the emotions that course through your living body.

Does disappointment cause your chest to drop?  Does excitement send a sizzle of electric energy buzzing and dancing along your living skin? Does love make your heart beat so strongly you feel that half the world can hear it?

We are not separate from our feelings.  They live in us, they inspire physical responses in your body.  They call to your control center and request (demand?) answering releases of chemicals to flood through your body.  It can be delicious and scary and beautiful and irritation all at the same time.

All your body asks of you is to pay attention.

Pay attention to what it tells you when you eat or drink something.  Pay attention to how it responds to a stimulus (did you get a text from your crush?  Get invited to give a presentation?  Get accepted for something you applied for?  Get denied a job you were hoping for?) and really start to listen. Your body is your best guide through this life. Regardless of whether you believe in guiding forces, guardian angels, helpful (or not) spirits, etc., the only physical entity we’ve been giving to quite literally walk us through this life is our body.

The least you can do is pay attention to it and start to learn its language.

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Let it be

I joined a ‘talisman of the month’ club (www.soulmantras.com.  Check it out, it’s awesome).

For the month of March, the mantra is ‘Let It Be’.

Those are scary words for a world in which we strive to fight doing exactly that, letting things be.  We strive to save, to change, to re-structure, to make things different (‘better’).

And we forget that there’s beauty in just letting things be as they are.  In letting the world be exactly as it is, and in letting life be as it is: good, bad, scary, joyful, nurturing, cruel…You get the point, I’m sure.  There’s beauty in letting the struggle be.  In letting the emotions be.  In letting the stillness be.  In letting the boldness be.  In letting the pain be.  In letting the beauty be.  In letting the flavors of life sizzle and snap on our feeling skin and waiting tongue.  And all that we taste of life on our tongues surely have an opposite flavor that we must also taste. Sorrow and joy.  Apathy and ecstasy.  Birth and death.  Fear and courage.

We spend so much time and energy trying to transmute what we consider bad (fear, sorrow, pain) into what we consider good (love, joy, comfort).  We forget that sometimes, not everything needs to be changed by us.  Sometimes, we just need to let go and let it be and see what alchemy comes from the being and the sitting and the waiting. In the end, all that matters is that we let life be as it is, the good and the bad and everything in between.

Can you let the knife-like edges of life’s sorrow cut you ever more deeply, carving out flesh and blood and bone?  Can you then carry yourself across the depths of the aching sea we call life, baptizing yourself in all that it is?  Can you let the bitter edges of that carved-out spot of sorrow be gilded in the sweetness of the inevitable joy that follows the sorrow?

Sit for awhile.  See what ‘letting it be’ can do in your life.

let it be

 

 

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The Making of Mistakes

Mistakes are a part of life.  Everyone makes them, at all stages of life.  Mistakes are how we learn and grow and evolve.  Mistakes can spur us on to making changes to how we conduct certain activities, and if you’re open to accepting and learning from your mistakes, they can and will make you better at what you do.

All of this I accept and tell myself with great fervor.

You see, I made a mistake at work today.  One which, once I was made aware of it, I immediately put energy into making right.  The thing about me, though (and many of you probably; if you’ve found your way to my blog on any sort of regular occurrence, it’s likely we share some similar traits), is that while I accept and am generally ok with making mistakes, and let go of this one after the barest of a passing moment of self-chastising, my brain is not yet done with this mistake.  In fact, I am already anticipating a 2:30 am wake-up chat between my brain and my panic center.

I’ve come to anticipate, if not quite accept, that there are recesses within the corners of my mind which hold on with a fierceness (that I can appreciate)  to events long past taken place, events often singled-out with no apparent rhyme or reason.  I see no such purpose to such a death-grip on my past mistakes, some of which were tangled up with a choice and an action.  I am not upset about this at the moment (but if you check in with me at my imminent midnight wake up, we’ll see if I still hold the same calm clarity), but rather hold all this in a light curious grasp.

But I know myself well, and so I will keep a tumbler of whiskey by my bed side should I wake up in a panic thinking about this not-so-serious mistake, and when I wake up again in the morning, I will give myself a loving hug as I get ready to embrace the day.

I live, I learn, I mistake, I adapt.

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The magnitude of the love of lifetimes

Nobody warned me what it would feel like to fall in love with you. Nobody told me how the earth would open up and swallow me whole, caressing my body with her lush tongue as I was slowly devoured.

Nobody told me I would enjoy being devoured in that way.

Had I known though, had I known how you would crack me open and introduce me to aspects of my being that I didn’t know existed, had I known the magnitude of your ocean heart and how I would feel like the tiniest of ships exploring its vast infinity, had I known all this, would I have looked the other way rather than meeting your eyes? Would I have missed out on that moment (*the* moment), so I could spare myself the indignity of looking like a fool in love?

Oh god, just ask me. I’ll answer with my fingers, trembling on your cheekbone, a magnet for my polar fingertips. I’ll answer through the rush of desire that burns us wholly and completely. I’ll answer through lifetimes, each one answering the call of our wildly beating hearts. I’ll answer through the elements, soft rain and rushing wind caressing the leaves of tall trees.

I’m sure I was drawn to you, irresistible forces pulling us together before we knew the other one was ever there. Had I known of your existence, I know with the certainty born to me from my mother the earth that the pull of your moon to my tide could not be ignored.

That’s what I am, the tide. I ebb, I flow, I caress your rocky heart and over time wear it down to soft, pale sand, warm in my palm from the heat of the sun. Has this been multiple lifetimes of ebbing and flowing? Have we been here before? Now I stand here, before the very thought of you, the idea of you, the image of you. I stand here trembling.

No, that trembling, it’s just my quick-tempoed heartbeat.

I stand here steady and sure, grounded by your eyes. I stand here, left hand on my breast and right hand on your shoulder. I stand here making a vow to you.

I vow to become worthy of your adoration. I vow to bring you flowers in the springtime if you bring fire in the winter. I vow to honor our humanity, accepting all that comes with this brave existence. I vow to kiss sorrow away from your lips when they’ve forgotten the taste of the sweetness of joy. I vow to be your anchor in the storm, if you’ll be mine.

You are the one I’ve been waiting for.

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On finding grace in the hard choices

All of life is a choice.  It’s just one big choice, one big question, “Do you choose to live?”

At one point in time, we’ve all made the biggest choice there is: to come to this life, this planet, this time period.  Once you’re here, that’s it.  There’s no turning back, you’re committed baby.

I myself get stuck in the ‘why’ of it.  Why in the hell would I choose THIS planet?  THIS species?  And oddly enough, even with the angst I bring myself with asking that question, I find grace there.  One definition of grace states that it is the spiritual freedom that arises when you realize that life is a gift.  I like that definition.  It’s simple, sweet, and leaves God out of it.

I take the idea of grace further.  I consider the gift of grace to be a gift of homeostasis, or balance, with the earth.  It is a state of acceptance that you may be thrown out of balance, but that very act of being out of balance allows you to see what no longer serves you and your life so that you may find a new balance that DOES serve you.

And so it is with choices.  Each choice you make is a reflection of the presence and state of the grace in your life, and what role your grace has for you.  How you make a decision and how you choose an action can be followed back in a direct line to the state of your heart.

My grace is found in the most unholy of places, made holy by her presence.  My grace is found in midnight panic attacks, the ones that take my breath away and have me clawing at my bedsheets in a most unholy act of worshipping the way it all falls apart.  Grace inevitably makes her entrance when I’m at my most helpless.  Sometimes she’s found in a swig of rum straight from the bottle, where she serves to remind my insides of the fiery existence of my heart, and jumpstarts the blood flow through my brain and body once more.  Sometimes she hides in the telephone wave lengths of a midnight phone call to my one-and-only support line when my choices have all turned to lead in my gut.  Sometimes she is simply found in my own voice, as I remind myself of the fierce love I hold for ME.

And my grace, she reminds me that I have chosen to be alive.  And so I choose to accept her wisdom, even at the times when I think I’ve given up, those times that hurt the most.  So I allow her to bathe my face and I let her gently convince me to release my white-knuckled grip on all my ragged bits that have come to the surface in the midst of my panic.  And together we put the pieces back together.

This is how I find grace in the hard choices, the ones that just won’t leave me.  She’s just always there, I simply have to listen to her wisdom that yes, life is a gift.

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