A heart of sea-glass

I see you there darling.  I see you guarding your sea-glass heart, foamy green and specked with red.  I know you remember its inception, how it started out crystal-clear and over a lifetime was tossed about in your ocean center.  I watched with you as it shattered, all sharp edges and fearful points.  I saw you worry that others would be afraid of its knife-edge sharpness, so you threw it to your ocean self and let it get tossed around, cutting up your own tender insides.  And now, this sea-glass heart of yours is rough and ragged, but still captivating in its beauty.  What are the odds that it would survive being capsized in your internal shipwreck?  Only the most stalwart of hearts make it out alive, and now I see you hold your brave heart in your warm palm.  Go ahead and tuck it into your pocket for later.

When the moon is full and the candles are lit, take it out of your pocket.  Smooth your fingers over it, feeling the rough lines and caressing its sea-worn shape.  If you’re feeling even braver, hold it out and let it linger in the night air to be caressed by the salty breeze.

So many of us hold our bruised heart so close, afraid of letting words of life and love weave themselves around it.  Afraid of alchemical changes that would, could, desperately want to transform it.  There is magic in letting go, in letting transformation happen, even if you need the courage that only whiskey and firelight can bring to help you let go.  When the time is right, bring out that bottle of whiskey and light that fire.  Bow down your head to the very core of yourself, the one who calls.  Stare yourself in the eyes as you bring out your shattered heart.  Kiss your reflection as you offer yourself what you think of as a broken memory of completion, and let the truth sink it that what you thought broken is wholly Holy.  And as you gaze in wonder at your most sacred heart, full of torment and bruises and midnight phone calls to the only support line you have, let it all fall away.  Disrobe your heart and see the naked, beautiful truth it carries.

Be your own savior, the one to arrive with a hammer in one hand and a love letter in the other.  Rise up to be the warrior already living inside you.  Breathe life into her, for your breath is the last thing for which she waits to feel her own first heartbeat.  Let fade away what no longer wishes to stay.  Invite in that which will heal you.  And you’ll see that your sea-glass heart is perfect the way it is, that nothing else would ever fit the shape you’ve left for it in your hollowed-out center.

Gently let your heart call you home, let its steady rhythm show you the way.

Posted in Thoughts from the soul | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

How to heal your own heart

Healing a broken heart is never easy.  Especially when the one breaking your heart is not the one you expected to do the breaking.

Yes, broken hearts are tricky things.  Just when you think you seal one crack, another appears.  Maybe it’s a different crack, or maybe the same crack that found a new place to surface.  Either way, it’s impossible to hold the whole of your eternal heart in your small hands, keeping its insides from spilling out.

But perhaps that’s why hearts break.

Perhaps the only way to get a good look at what’s inside these steady,  rhythmic creations is to break them.  Maybe you’ve broken your own heart before, but more likely you needed someone else to do it for you.

Someone with whom you made a holy pact in some other ethereal place.  Someone who stepped forward when you asked, who will help me see the insides of my own tender self?  That someone stepped forward, maybe shyly, saying in a small, awe-filled voice, “I will do this sacred act for you.” And we, we forgot those vows our souls made with each other.  We left the memories of those sacred acts behind when we entered this realm; we decided to feel the full emotional range of opening up our most tender areas.  And what a range it is, from whispered solitude to sinuous, passionate flame.

And so, we’re left here with strong hearts that crack open like an accordion, to the music of tears and soft, bitter sighs scented with whiskey.  And each holy heartbreak allows us yet another bold opportunity to see our own inner workings.  Does this make it easier to hold the broken parts, or do you still feel like rusty needles are nestled in your stomach?  Do you still raise your face to the clouds and ask of the rain, why have you made your home inside my heart?  Ask of the elements these questions if you must.  And when you’ve had your fill of sorrow and you’re ready to come home to yourself, find one of those beautifully sculpted, divinely created cracks in your heart.  Hollow it out a little, but do it with love.  And then, when the space looks like the exact size and shape to fit all you are, climb inside.  Bring your softest blanket and paint your lips wine-red.  Curl up here in this heart space.  Fill it with your regrets, your unrequited love, your sorrow and your pain over this boomerang life.  Close yourself up tight, and when you’re ready to step out again, you’ll know.  You’ll feel that internal nudge that it’s safe again.  The rusty needles, the hard-edged hammer, the overgrown vines that choke; they’ll have been turned to softly scented pine needles, to a soft paintbrush perfect for sealing heart cracks, to fruiting vines, and you’ll hear your soul say, here love.  I’ve got you. And in that moment, step into the light.

You’ll  notice that when you put the pieces back together, they don’t quite fit the same way.  You’ll find that your heart has grown in size, and has stretch marks from when you crawled inside it, safe in its enveloping shelter.  So find a new way to put those pieces together, one that allows it to grow and reach new heights, new ways of experiencing love.

And step out confidently once more, with a smile on your lips and a new song in your fresh heart.

Posted in Thoughts from the soul | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The fire that burns you also heals you

I fell in love with someone.

It was a whirlwind, a bright spark, a rush of desire that I have felt with no one else yet on this earth. Yes, I examined each and every one of my relationships. I have concluded that even with memories faded and tarnished and changed in the back of my mind, nobody else has called to my spirit and my body with as much magnetism as I felt the instant I met this person.

It was the catalyst that prompted me to examine (or try to examine) every inch of my life, heart, mind, and what I want out of life. This relationship introduced me to aspects of myself that had lain latent for such a long time.

It opened up new pathways that widened invisible cracks in my being that were mere scratches, unnoticeable until the force for which they were waiting made itself present. The sparks of this relationship ignited a flame, the same sensuous flame of desire that prompts poets to try to grasp and understand and breath life into.

And now here I sit, burning with this flame that is on the verge of running rampant.

I stand before that flame, asking of myself to go into it and see what it holds on the other side. I am not afraid to examine this inferno. I am, in fact, eagerly staring into the inferno feeling its heat, hungry for the truths, wondering whether they will be hard and bitter to my taste or if they will be soft, sweet, and honey-flavored.

I shake and tremble and the fierce howl of desire forces its way up past cracked lips, sliding past broken sighs and fading cries. All that I am cannot contain this cracked-open dam, and I am no longer content with what was. I have the scent now of what can be, and hungry am I for that quarry. I want great, not good. I want passion and lust and aching desire and to get lost in the gaze of my beloved.

I want spark to meet spark, and to temper this raging firestorm into something more manageable.

Always I burn.

I went seeking growth and was met by a wild woman who was curled up, whimpering and waiting to be released. I went seeking fertile land on which to plant my seeds and in one serendipitous instant I was met by cracked and parched soil. I fed that parched soil with a full ocean of tears (with their salty essence and moon dust minerals) and the syrupy sweetness of relentless passion and still it asked for more.

I sang and danced upon the land, using feet and hands to push together the cracks and adding tears to make a ragged and muddy scar to hold it together, even as the pain of it burned me. I held my face to the sun and said I’ll take more, for my pain is what allowed healing to at last take root into those dusty wastelands.

My pain cleansed out the wounds in the landscape of my being, and healing full of grace and honey began its slow slide into the cracks.

And oh, this sacred concoction, it burns. And I burn still more, rising to face this wicked healer.

And still I will rise in the morning, and even with tears in my eyes, I will ask for more. And when the fire dims and ashes are all that is left of what once was but is no longer, these ashes will give rise to something new. I will ask for more until at last a day will dawn, diaphanous and hazy with birdsong floating in the breeze, when I will be robed with grace instead of shame-torn garments.

I will await that day more or less patiently, trusting that it will indeed arrive. And so, love, should you.

Posted in Thoughts from the soul | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Snow in the spring

Spring is supposed to be here

full of green, and warm showers.

The rain this morning had me worried

but the weather report soothed my fears.

47 degrees by the afternoon! Or

something like that.

So I left for work.

But the rain continued

and it hovered around 30 all afternoon.

My heart was wrung out,

the consistency of wet jeans, and

full of worry for you both.

For even though you have a shelter,

you refuse to use it.

Is it the sound the rain makes

on the metal roof?

Or do you feel full of your

wild ancestors, with nothing

but trees and cunning to

protect them from the elements?

I came home to find you shivering

and quite miserable.

As I fed you hay to

jump-start your own

internal warming abilities,

my heart shivered too,

bemoaning that there was

nothing else I could do.

Then an idea floated through my head

Did one of you send it?

I brought out a towel

so I could rub down your bodies.

Another idea tumbled through

my mind.

And I put a towel in the drier.

Racing back out to you

I draped it over your back.

And you,

you  stopped eating

and lifted your head.

Eyes softened, and we stood together.

One, a shivering horse and

the other, a woman trying to

dredge up some mothering instincts.

And I wished that

someone would drape

a warm towel

over my shivering heart.

But I suppose you did that

when you radiated your appreciation

for the time I took to

warm your body.

I hold hope that tomorrow

will be gentler.

Posted in Poems | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

This one’s for the broken-hearted

This one’s for the broken-hearted.  This one’s for those whose beating hearts have been bruised and shaken and left for dead, yet still kept on beating.  This one’s for those whose path is narrow and twisted and dark, and for those who don’t even know they are lost.

this one’s for you.

For you, whose trembling knees have barely kept you standing (yet still you stand), shaking all the harder while you stare, wide-eyed and desperate, at this wild and mixed-up hurting world.  Your strong elbows (holding your bent head, heavy with desperation) which currently are soaked in your tears.  Every gut-wrenching sob fills you with a tangible electricity and leads you down into your innermost sanctum. There’s a deep pool down there, lapis lazuli and unimaginably deep, disguised and shimmery, but definitely (infinitely) there for those with eyes to see and hearts to interpret.

Capable of healing your deepest wounds and reviving even the faintest of souls.

Let the wisdom of your own inner pool show you the way home.

Posted in Thoughts from the soul | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

An ode to a barn cat

This world can be so cruel.  Some lives are harder than others, but there is blessed ignorance to distract from the cruelty.  Who will weep for an unknown cat, taken by the predators that roam the adjacent woods? There are so many other seemingly more important things to bear our tears and weigh down our shoulders.  But I will weep for the unknown, those of short and insignificant existence.

The subject of this essay is a tattered, long-coated stray-cum-barn cat.  I named her Persephone, and she was a nuisance, a stray, to anyone but me.  To me, she would shyly approach and beg to be rubbed.  I would occasionally get a meow of greeting out of her, though she gave voice only rarely.  She slowly integrated into the cat ‘herd’, but was always a loner.  Before lowering her guard enough to let me welcome her to the house, she was ragged and pregnant, giving birth last February to 2 misshapen stillborn kittens.  I don’t care what species you are; many animals are ingrained with a sense of duty and affection toward their offspring, and to not have that come to fruition can cause heartbreak across the species barrier.

It took months, but Persephone eventually came to trust me, and while she maintained the inbred fear of nearly everything, she opened up to my affections quite beautifully.  She blossomed in a way I can wistfully appreciate, because I saw her struggle to overcome her fear every day in a way we can only hope to achieve.  She would run away nearly every time I opened the door, but in the end, her love and desire to be touched overpowered her fear and she would run up to me to rub on my legs and let me pet her as long as we both needed.  She never offered to bite or scratch (except the time I took her to the vet to prevent anymore unfortunate pregnancies).

I may be the only being alive that feels sorrow at her passing, but I write this essay in ode to her short existence.persephone

Persephone, may you know no more fear.

**Update:  Persephone was found 6 days later locked in the garage.  We don’t really go in there in the wintertime, so her presence in there went unnoticed.  She is alive and well, and continuing to blossom in her charming, skittish way.  I thought about removing this post, but a slight superstition has me believing that if I take this post off, something really will happen.  Don’t begrudge me a few superstitions 🙂

Posted in Thoughts from the soul | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

You break with Love

There comes a time when you must let it all break, let it all out.  Our bodies, our minds, can only hold so much.  Dear one, you are full to the brim with passion, lust, and desire for life. And we can hold so much, and let our passions keep us so strong for so long.  However, the illusion that we must remain steadfast throughout our whole lives, with everything that envelopes us, is just that, an illusion.  When the time is right, pain comes through like whiplash, and even as I see you break, so too do I see you, in a wholeness all its own, contain all the pieces to be used again when you are ready for re-building.

You may not understand what it is that causes you to break.  You may feel your passion burn you red-hot, and your wound is a Holy one.  You may rage, and ravage, and snap and growl.  You may moan, and keen and wail.  You may silently withdraw until your own red-hot soul comes to cauterize the wound.

When your soul does come, She’ll bring holy water to bathe your ragged bits.  She’ll tenderly mold all those pieces you’ve been holding onto, white-knuckled, back together. She’ll open your most tender areas and show you how tenderness is a blessing and a healer.

So hold on through the heartbreak, hold tight to yourself through the ups and the downs and the times when everything hurts so bad that you can’t remember why you’re here. Settle yourself into the sacredness of those moments. When the tears slow and your shaking stops, when your vision clears and your pain subsides, you will see that you are whole (again and always) and your once muffled heart will beat clearly again. The rhythm of your heartbeats will regain its steadfast nature and will once again push you onward, gently allowing you to fall in tune with the tempo of the earth. Allow that sweet, lulling tempo to pull you in and hold you, and then slowly let you go so that you may learn and grow from your experiences.

And so, the cycle goes on.  You’ll rise, and fall, and rise again.  The sensual nature of the Universe will caress you inside and out, and always keep you safe.  You belong to this world, and this world belongs to you.  Don’t ever forget.

Posted in Thoughts from the soul | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment