Saturday, July 30, 2011

Forget Me Not

He leaves trails
behind himself
Quiet announcements
of his passing
coins dropped
where he has sat
a kitchen in shambles
where he has cooked
art materials
where he's been creative
tools and screws
where he was handy
Like arrows pointing
at what he gave
and that his presence


Friday, July 29, 2011

Thank you, My Beloved Friend

From the beginning
there is only one
who knew my purpose
for she was a witness
She watched
over the years
as I walked
silently listening
to the voice
of Love's wisdom
My every step, bent
toward the love
I had for one
What she didn't know
my witness, is
I could not do it
without her
She was the check
for balance
She held the answer
when I got lost
The reminder
when I'd lose sight
of my purpose
But the greatest
thing about her
is her love
never lost sight
of who I am
She believed in me
even when
she didn't agree
Her faith and trust
my lighthouse
for finding my way
back home
She is, in the truest sense
the embodiment of
The Beloved Friend


Sunday, July 24, 2011

In Answer To "Worth Fighting For" ( A Post by Judy Clement Wall from Zebra Sounds )

First let me say, I love j, from Zebra Sounds.  She is courageous in Love, asks all the hard questions, writes with such a beautiful open heart and soul, and provides the safest environment I've ever encountered anywhere for open conversation regarding every aspect of Love, from the light hearted joy of silliness, to the soul searing fire of heart break.  She has managed to gather to her blog readers who are equally as beautiful as she is, and who provide just as much food for thought in their sharing with open heart and mind.  Her blog has become a truly beautiful community, with j being the perfect hostess.

It may seem fanciful, but I often get an image of all of us in Judy's court as Knights sitting at the round table, where we come in as equals, and share our adventures and experiences in matters of the heart.  We have bravely gone where few dare, walked the fires of love, and after we all have shared our stories in any given session at the round table, we walk back out to our individual lives armed with new ideas, inspiration, encouraged to put ourselves on the line again for the sake of Love. 

On Friday, Judy posted "Worth Fighting For," and asked the seemingly simple question, "Of all the things you could fight for, LOVE has got to be one of the most worthy. But that begs the question (and I really, really want to hear your answer): Should you ever have to fight for love?"  Please, visit her post, and also read the conversation this simple question evoked from her soulfully beautiful readers.  Within her responses to her readers Judy also posed other questions with a tighter view toward the answer she is seeking. 

As I began to give my own response to her question, I realized it fired something within me that needed to be given a voice, and while my comment was long on j's blog, I knew I needed to say more on the matter, which is why I'm answering her question here also.  Because as I began to write, it felt like a flood being released from it's gates.  I had to let the words crash onto the page until I finally felt them settle into some semblance of a flowing river, happy with it's pace within it's banks.  I can only speak from my own experience with and in love, and what this question evoked in me personally ~

I have been in the place devoid of love.  It felt like I walked through the valley of death.  For a time I could neither give or receive love, so paralyzed by fear was I.  My world had grown smaller and smaller, until I came to the point where I couldn't move, couldn't breathe.  I was held bound by nightmares, evoked whenever love entered the scene, dragons rising up to combat it, protecting me.  Love was dangerous, evoked too much pain.  Life was dangerous, too many enemies.  No one could be trusted.  For a time, the dragons and I agreed.  They were created, after all, to help me survive.  In my mind, they protected me from the nightmares of life. 

There came a time when I began to outgrow them, desired to stretch my own wings, test the waters of love.  The dragons turned on me, had taken on a life of their own within me.  I withdrew, frightened by their dark whispers of danger.  Yet the desire for love grew.  So I built a secret garden hidden deep within my heart.  I began planting the tiniest seeds of love, hoping against hope they would grow and bloom.

I didn't know that what I'd planted were seeds from my spirit, and as the tiny tendrils of new growth cracked open their casings, they began the journey upward, and outward through the hard ground of my heart, pushing, yearning, longing for the sun.  I continued watering them secretly, while the dragons lay sleeping.  My spirit began to rise with them, and I felt it's longing for expression in this world.  Yet the fear in me, the dragons, ruled stronger.

There came a day when I despaired.  I walked in the darkness of fear at noontime.  Living the life of the undead.  My desire for love had grown as the seeds within my heart grew.  They'd grown strong and lovely, beginning to burst at the seams.  I feared -- I feared they'd wake the dragons.

The choice came.  I would live like this no more.  I could end it all, or stand and fight for my garden, for the dream of love that grew there.  For a love I instinctively knew waited for me.  Searched for me.  Called for me.  I could hear the song in my soul. 

I stood, knowing the dragons would be roused from their slumber.  I stood, and knew I was in for the fight of my life.  I stood...trembling, alone in my choice, wearing no armor.  I chose love -- instead of fear.  I didn't know if love was the correct choice.  I'd never really allowed it inside or outside my heart.  Yet something, a still small voice...whispered...that way is life.  That way is living.

I stood.

And as I stood alone in my choice, forces unseen and unknown to me gathered behind me and my secret garden. 

As I've walked my choice, this path of love to love, grace to grace, growing ever stronger, battling the dragons created by fear, in myself or in another, I have come to learn that what my soul only hoped for in the beginning from a tiny spark of a promise whispered, has now bloomed into full knowledge, given through experience, as I have chosen love again and again.  For every time I choose love, I choose life, experience and feel life more fully.  And whenever I come again to a place where the darkness of fear, in myself or another, would bind me in shackles...I stand.  I've been to that dark place, devoid of love, know where it leads.  I will not go there again.  For now I know love is the only choice.  The only thing that is life giving, and real. 

I follow the path of love lit from my own heart.

I stand.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011


The heat
a promise
of what is
to come
frogs sing
for rain
cicadas change
their song
we suffer
what's in
the air
for lightning
to quicken


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Silent Traveler

[ I wrote this post last Friday, and since then have had some internet issues where I've had to get a bit creative to get this post on here.   Long story :).  I arrived here last Tuesday morning, and so this post is actually old news now.  I finished decorating my room, and it feels good to have my things around me once again, placed expressively and lovingly in a space that is uniquely mine.  It feels real good. ]

I traveled in silence.

It wasn't something I set out to do with conscious intent. In fact, I had gathered all my favorite cd's, and placed them within easy reach for the trip. It is my habit when I drive long distances to play music, munch on snacks, entertain myself in various ways, like, for example, counting all the red cars I see. Yet I found my hand stopping in mid-reach anytime I thought of popping in a cd, hesitating in grabbing some munchies, and I didn't count one red car. My spirit desired silence. I felt the silence gather around me like a cloak, nothing but the hum of my truck's engine, the whine of the tires, and the wind giving sound. After awhile, I didn't even really hear that. I felt cocooned...just me and my cat, Saki. She felt the silence too, I think. For after just a couple of hours on the road, she settled into a peaceful alertness, and for the most part remained that way whenever she was awake.

It was a long trip from Arizona to Ohio, and hot. My friend, Chris, who is one of my roommates, drove behind me in his new truck. We stopped for fuel, bathroom breaks, but for the most part drove until we couldn't drive anymore. Driving through the deserts of New Mexico, and some of Texas felt long, with nothing of real interest for me to feast my eyes upon. I took a couple of pictures of a stormy sky in New Mexico, and some of long horn steers in Texas, but after that, even my camera remained asleep, and silent by my side during the trip.

I luxuriated in it, much as I would taking a hot bath surrounded by heavenly scents. The shields and walls I kept erected around me for far too long began to crumble, coming down, no longer needed. I breathed easy, my heart rate slowing to an untroubled beat. When I found myself struggling to remain awake, or feeling discomfort, I asked myself, "What in this moment do you enjoy?" It had the effect of changing my view, searching for what I liked in my surroundings. With it came a renewed flow of energy. Joy is like the Energizer Bunny hopping in.

The farther east we traveled, the higher the humidity climbed, but it was in Arkansas that I began to feel the wet air as something sultry, almost sensuous. Even within my air conditioned vehicle I could feel the wetness of the air on my skin. My skin loved it, I loved it. And that surprised me. I didn't know how I'd deal with high humidity after living in the dry air of the west for so long. It feels wondrous, as lush as the surrounding growth of greenery. That evening, we stopped at a rest area and I saw the first lightning bugs I've seen in years and years. The surrounding forest was alive with the sounds of frogs, crickets, and cicadas, and a lone mockingbird singing into the night. I walked a short distance from the vehicles and lights, and stood still beneath a canopy of trees, listening to the symphony of the night forest, watching the lights from the firefly's magic. I breathed in the warmness of the air, let my skin soak in it, and felt as if I was in heaven.

While traveling through Arkansas, right outside Conway, I saw a plume of smoke rising up, and as I got closer, traffic slowed to a crawl, and in the median was a car on fire. When I slowed down, I felt my left front tire wobbling, and took the nearest exit to Conway. There I found out if it wasn't for that car being on fire, slowing me down, I could have had a terrible accident. The repair guys wondered how the tire hadn't blown already. They suggested I count the fiery car as a blessing in disguise, and thank my Maker. I did.

I loved, loved, loved Tennessee. As soon as we crossed the Tennessee river taking us into Memphis, I felt my spirit quicken. The humidity lingered, but the air was blue, the green richer, softer, deeper. I know someday I will make my way back there. My ancestors call my spirit there.

I hated Kentucky, even though I never really saw it because we drove through the state at night. But there was so much construction on every highway we traveled that I found I had to constantly remind myself to unclinch my teeth, and relax my shoulders and arms. At one point while driving through a particularly nasty bit of construction, we reached the top of a hill, and I looked to my left to find a huge sign that simply stated, "Hell Is Real." I laughed crazily, and said aloud, "Yes it is, and I'm right here on it on highway 65!" We were almost clear of Kentucky, just seventy some miles from our destination in Ohio, when my back tire blew. Most likely brought on by the horrible roads we had just driven on, because it is certain my back tire was okay when I left Conway, Arkansas. I know, because I checked, and double-checked all my tires before leaving there. It flattened to the rim, and the truck was so low to the ground we couldn't fit the jack under it. By this time, Chris and I were so tired we just kinda stared at each other. Eventually we had to call and awaken our roommate, who had to call and awaken his father so he could borrow a low-jack to be able to change my tire. Chris and I hung out in our respective vehicles while we waited the couple of hours for help. As I sat in my truck, silent, exhausted from driving all night, I watched the light begin to dawn on the horizon, casting pink on the cottony clouds floating overhead. The birds began to sing a delicate song from the surrounding trees. A soft rain fell.

I traveled in silence, and by the time I got to my new home I was more than ready to silently drift off to sleep. I'm not sure I've completely left the silence since arriving here early Tuesday morning. In between unpacking and decorating my room with my books and things that haven't seen the light of day in years, and one brief outing to town, I've taken the time to sleep...often. I've pretty much avoided my truck like the plague. That guard, that shield within me is still coming down, and with each layer that falls, I feel better and better.

Every evening I've sat out on the porch, watching the lightning bugs do their silent dance in the air, feeling the humidity on my skin, and I have to pinch myself to make sure I'm really here, and not dreaming. I no longer awaken every morning with a headache, and a tightness in my neck and shoulders. I am so glad to be here, and my heart sings in silent praise...

Thank you...

                    thank you...

                                        thank you...


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Carting Myself Across Country -- Brief Hiatus

Looky what I found while surfin' the web!  I LOVE this!  We're all so full of promise and potential :). Not quite sure who the author is, because while searching who wrote it, two different names came up, sooo...I'll just say the author is unknown by me.   


God left the earth unfinished for
man to work his skill upon. He left the electricity 

still in the cloud, the
oil still in the earth. He left the rivers unbridged 

and the forests unfelled and the cities unbuilt. 
God gave
man the challenge of raw materials - not the 

ease of finished things. He
left the pictures unpainted and the music unsung 

and the problems unsolved, that man might 
the joys and glories of creation.

While I'm at it, and because I just saw a rainbow outside and was reminded of it...Here's another thing I found a few weeks back, and just loved :), 

"White is a rich color if you "unweave the rainbow."   John Stapleton, Scientist

There's an interesting story behind who Stapleton quoted.  Apparently, there has been a battle going on for ages between scientists and poets.  Who knew?  Brief Wiki here

Have a great week y'all.  I'll be back after I've moved and settled a bit into my new place of residence, hopefully with some stories to tell about my trip.  It's a two and half day drive, so I'm sure it'll be interesting.  I'll have my camera ready :).


Sunday, July 3, 2011

On Fire In Grace

Save Us From What Our Own Hands Might Do

O Lord, truly, Your grace is not from our work,
but from Your mysterious giving.
Save us from what our own hands might do;
lift the veil, but do not tear it.
Save us from the ego; its knife has reached our bones.

Let us turn from ourselves to You
Who are nearer to us than ourselves.
Even this prayer is Your gift to us.
How else has a rose garden grown from these ashes?

... Mathnawi II: 2443-2449, Mevlana Rumi

Years ago, I read these words from Joel Goldsmith:  "Thy Grace is my sufficiency."  He referred to this verse in the Bible, which I didn't actually read until a few years later, "My Grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness."  ( 2 Corinthians 12:9 )  I couldn't figure out what Goldsmith meant, what he saw, what his view was all about.  At the time, and since then, I was also pondering abundance, and not just in the material sense, but in the spiritual as well.  I had been practicing gratitude, making it a point to look at, remind myself daily, and see all that I have, instead of my gaze being constantly fixed on what I lack.  With that daily practice my personal sense and definition of abundance began to change.  Within that practice something began to happen within me that is beyond description, and can only be found and experienced by personally doing it.  Mere words don't cover it.  They don't even come close.  Reading about gratitude, talking about it, even writing about it is a far cry from the act of practicing it.  However, I new I was still missing something, could feel the lack of connection with what true Grace is all about.

Then last week, I read a comment on Zebra Sounds made by a man named Michael that hit me on such a deep level I've been walking in a state of profound amazement over it's simplicity ever since.  ( Be sure and read the post by Judy Clement Wall that he was responding to, because it's awesome! )  Michael wrote, "We can always choose to offer grace to a person, even if we can’t condone or praise their behavior. That applies to strangers, or family, or friends, and perhaps most important – to ourselves."

I understand offering it to others, and have been in the practice of it for years.  However, the element I was missing...and it even sounds strange, with a big DUH, to my ears...was the concept that Grace is always offered to me, in all my imperfection, and every single one of us, in a big ole Universal way if I just open myself, and my mind to receive it!  Since participating in j's love project, the month of practicing self love seriously opened my eyes to how important it is that we include ourselves in all the love we have inside us, and that is available in the world.  The biggest thing for me to understand personally was allowance.

All my life I've had what feels like a wall, this thing getting in the way, where it felt and looked like I was not included, or allowed in some way, to be a part of all the good in the world.  As friends and some family can testify, I've been hammering at that wall for years, reaching for understanding.  It finally kicked in after I wrote my love letter to self as part of j's love project, and most especially after what happened with my friend who went homeless.  The funny thing is I've been leaving myself clues all over the damn place!  That wall in me was an opinion about myself, a definition I took on, believing I was a burden.  I'm sure you've noticed the smattering of I AM statements throughout my blog, especially notable in the love letter to self. That letter was all about me, and my finally proclaiming to myself, "Hey!  I'm here!  I'm right here!  See me!"

What I finally realized is I needed to see me!

I discovered years ago if someone doesn't feel like they are being heard, then there is something they are not listening to within themselves.  I learned this from journaling.  The more I gave myself a voice, and really listened to what I was voicing on paper, the more I felt like I was heard.  I no longer have an issue with feeling unheard.  But I've known for a long time...(really, I'm doin' this big ole DUH in my head right now)...that I've had this sense of feeling invisible, not seen.  Of course, at first, like we do, we think it has to do with everyone else not seeing us!  When it was I that didn't see me...and I mean really, really see me.  Through loving eyes, because Love sees me. 

I could seriously sing it from the mountain tops!  I AM!  And my God, am I so glad and grateful that I AM!  That simple statement finally broke through the undeserving, filled with ego wall, that said my being here, even existing, was a burden.  I kept trying to figure out how I could make myself less of a burden without disappearing altogether!  How awful is that!  My own hand was the wall.  And once I lowered it...duh...Love came flooding in.

Love and Grace go hand in hand.  They are one and the same.  Love never, ever sees anyone as a burden.  When loving someone it doesn't even enter our thoughts!  We simply love them, and wish to make their way in life a bit easier for them, giving them a grace, a breath.

I didn't know how to unload.  I didn't know how to lift the burden of myself off others.  Now I realize...I never had to.  I was already welcome.  And where I wasn't welcome by others, well, that's not a loving environment for me, and it's okay to cart myself right out of it, and move toward a more loving one.  Love welcomes me with It's Grace.  And I am humbled beyond measure for a gift so great.

And yes, that Grace, that Love offering, available to all, is enough.  It is more than sufficient.  Because in the recognition of it, from my eternally grateful soul, I can now include my imperfect self, open myself to receive good.  And feel good.

The following quote is one of my favorites.  The man in the story, even though he felt impoverished, admitting his weakness in gazing upon God, the very Spirit of Love and Grace, didn't hesitate in opening himself to receive love in whatever form it was given.  Not with a sense of entitlement, but with a truly grateful heart for Love's very presence.

"When the kings had died, a pauper, barefooted and hungry, came and sat on the throne. "God," he whispered, "the eyes of man cannot bear to look directly at the sun, for they are blinded. How then, Omnipotent, can they look directly at you? Have pity, Lord; temper your strength, turn down your splendor so that I, who am poor and afflicted, may see you!" Then--listen, old man!--God became a piece of bread, a cup of cool water, a warm tunic, a hut, and, in front of the hut, a woman giving suck to an infant. "Thank you, Lord," he whispered. "You humbled yourself for my sake. You became bread, water, a warm tunic, my wife and son in order that I may see you. And I did see you. I bow down and worship your beloved many-faced face!"

~ Nikos Kazantzakis, The Last Temptation of Christ