The Reluctant Muse
he once asked
and i had no answer
i still don't
it wasn't something i sought
not the result of some lonely-night thought
it started with a look,
a moment, a whisper
a handshake, a glimmer
a hint of
new, yet familiar
an astonishment that
men like him
did exist, in this world
an acceptance of all that i learned to
question, deep, within myself
and i had to save it
again and again and again
and i still do
i knew i couldn't write him into my life
but i could write him into the hearts of so many
and light them up
win their hearts
the way he ignited mine
once upon a time
he lives now in my pen
in my heart
in my head
in all the thoughts
that are still left unsaid
and why wouldn't they be?
to imagine you stepping out of the page
at this point
seems quite surreal
another lingering mystery
i never pretend there's a
you and me
but i'm intrigued by you
and all that you see
to speak, i wouldn't know where to start
but to imagine, to write, to sculpt you into art?
this appeals to my heart
and these stories of you
shiver cold and burn hot
i don't know
perhaps you could ask
i dreamt a film.
Leo was in it. It has to be Leo, he's got to do it.
There were two worlds... the seen, and not.
There was... life. Us. Scurrying about, talking, walking. Swearing, not calling our Moms, eating foods and feeling shitty later. Shooting whiskey, chugging kombucha. Whichever. Us being us, as us as we can be.
Until things began to happen and unexplained phenomena hinted at deeper communication. Telepathy. Souls, minds, connected across time. Thought transferrence.
And the Leo guy woke up. And life wasn't really life. It was all a mindtrap, a loop, an illusion. Our real selves were shackled and working, indentured, in a gray and imprisoned world.
And warehouses full of mentalists spent hours keeping us in our illusions, like air-traffic controllers, as we worked for them.
But once Leo woke up, it was game on. Then, he found a girl. In the illusory world, when he fell back under, into the "Us" world. And things she said reverbed in such a way that he got chills. She knew, she had to. She had that look, she just got it.
They had to work cautiously, covertly, in mind and then in bits and pieces, in the physical gray world... to free themselves. And everyone.
Someone make this movie, I want to watch it. Outside of my head. Otherwise it'll go on my to-write list and I've just got too much. There's too much. I am blessed, muses everywhere and they don't stop whispering, really.
Not enough time in my life for all the creativity that pours through. Good problem to have, not complaining. Just need to get this Leo sci-fi/ dystopia out of my head so I can sleep.
I know you know what I mean.
Don't start putting different actors in, either, it has to be Leo. I feel like the heroine could be Clare Danes, maybe.
Maybe I'll read up on screenwriting. Cuz I've got SO MUCH TIME.
Caps mean sarcasm, in this case.
My eyelids hurt and my body is tired but my brain is doing 5ks.
I feel like Musk should design spacecraft that separates, once past Earth's orbit, into many smaller craft. Because ants. How they carry so much, methodically, slowly, but together... powerful. Building new worlds on the far side of the yard. It might as well be another solar system. Or planet, at least.
My kingdom for an Oreo. Just one.
I think about Olivia, Ana's Mom, a lot. I wrote her with Shirley MacLaine in mind. She was chill. Wise. Quirky. I'd hang out with so many of my characters. I wrote some interesting ones.
I wanna bring a Go, Johnny, Go sign to Jones Beach for The Mayer. But I'm too lazy to make one. But go, dude. A la Chuck Berry. Or Marty McFly, whatever blows your hair back. Please channel us some Jimi, I know you can. He chooses you, you don't have a choice. Just let him wail. He does it for all of us, man.
I miss my little boy and I'm no-joke snuggling with his PawPatrol blanket that I swiped from his bedroom. Smells like his bath-head. He always had blue eyes but I think they're turning hazel. Is that possible? Oh my Goddess, I love him. 😍
I don't know if I could do "the road." Like 24/7. I could do the every other weekend kind of road-life. And be home in between for grounding and things that feel like home.
how do you make hotels in strange places feel like home?
or do you carry home with you?
or is home an illusory concept and maybe you're searching for it... out there?
something about that haunts me. In a kinship, kind of kindred way, inexplicably. Like, I want to start a blog for road warriors to read, so they can connect and feel a taste of peace, home, connectedness.
I know you think you're weirder, but we'll just have to see about that. I want to tell you my cool John Lennon dreams from the early nineties, but they're in my new book. Rad though, really rad. You'd get a kick out of them. You'd be like, what? Shut up. And I'd be like... I swear. And you'd be like.... dude. Chills. Arm hair.
I dance with people in my mind when I go walking to salsa music. Yes, we're both great. Suave. We win competitions.
"Now let the day just drift away and the dark night will wash over you... Nocturne."
Going back to sleep. Thanks for hangin out. I'm sorry I can't listen your thoughts too, but I'm finally tired. Goodnight. Get some rest. Take good care of yourself. We need you. You're pretty special. I hope you know that.
PS tell Leo about the movie. 👌🏻
Magic Lost and Found
you started to believe it wasn't real
because it got quiet
because you couldn't feel
that magic anymore
that shimmer, that glow,
that mysterious knowing
that there was more
beyond all of this
and so in came doubt, puzzlement, despair
"it didn't really happen,
i wasn't really there,
stick to what's real and
not what i feel,"
because it seems so safe there
but this too, is illusion
a moment can make it real again
choosing to believe, lets it back in
but to stop listening, makes it worse
to live disconnected from your Source
from its joy from its Bliss
from its wonder, oh ... and this
this is the true curse
turn around, dearheart, it's not out there
it's not to be found, unearthed
or tracked down
it's You, it's here, it's now
and it's how
it's how you choose to See
and that depends upon what you believe
Always come back to Love
what if there is no Meaning?
what if we are here, simply to Love?
To relish in what was once an abundant paradise?
what if...we had it all:
rivers, streams, wildlife, waterfalls?
conscious thought to appreciate it all
and to see and connect with each other?
and maybe somewhere,
in the realm of conscious thought,
we began to question and seek.
the seek for meaning, we had to assign meaning
great, grand, unquestionable meaning,
to such simple beauty and abundance.
we had to explain it to ourselves,
a prime reason for existence,
for what was once Heaven on earth.
to be sure, such paradise came with perils:
natural disasters and unexpected events;
the very wrath and ferocity of nature, Herself.
let us always remember that to be natural
is to be both beautiful and serene,
while also being savage and unapologetic.
utmost beauty and Light in contrast
with destruction and darkness.
this is Life. at its most simple, without pretense
and the delicious sugarcoating that we love so much.
the glaze that makes our lives so palatable and sweet,
the desire to magnify the beautiful
and look past the broken and raw and ferocious.
but we had to find meaning,
we had to, and we do still.
and so we created belief.
and then there were divergent beliefs.
this caused conflict.
and hell on Earth,
as humans battled with their beliefs
in their attempts to understand and explain what was given
in such simplicity and ease in Being.
we are here to work and to Love,
to care for ourselves and others,
to nourish and replenish,
to celebrate, to dance, to smile.
in our search to create meaning,
we've lost our true purpose.
what Life ought to mean:
Love, effort, abundance, celebration, creation, consolation, connection
what we've created in our time here:
conflict, judgments, illness, imbalance, cruelty, distortion, stagnancy, hatred, greed
we've also created:
progress, growth, art, masterpieces,
bold and unabashed testaments to our collective existence.
we bear witness to our searching hearts,
we provide proof of our existence,
we leave imprints, we plan and calculate memories
in a desperate attempt to scream out that
WE WERE HERE.
but what if there is nothing to fix?
what if this is who we are?
what if... Life... is simply this?
but not just to live
but to dive in deep
and live loudly.
to communicate, freely.
to express, to feel,
to move beyond,
to not conceal,
but to show, to share,
to glow, to be aware
of each other, so gratefully.
and how precious is this?
these strings, these precious things,
these tethers, these threads,
a simple tug, a lonely moment,
travels and connects us
to each other, but really,
back to ourselves.
because to see each other's eyes
and to breathe each other's sighs
above and between the
clenched fists and the cries
is to be Love
to be in connection
to be awakened
to know that we are all in it together
it's not how long Life is,
but it's what we do with it.
perhaps this is the question to ask:
not the why, and wherefore, and how-come
of it all, but the what.
deep into Life.
what are we doing with it?
i once saw you as Other, so far apart
a repeater, regurgitator
a soul-for-sale duplicator
the jagged edge of cold stone
surrounded, loud, yet completely alone
hard. rough. jagged. gruff.
stubborn. heartless. calculating. tough.
time would soften my view of your edges
your oft-hidden heart would lead friends from their ledges
and hidden you stayed for good reason, i've seen
walls so high to protect a heart so bright
behind darker glass, eyes that shined with such Light
seeing much more than you'd ever dreamt
feeling much more than you'd ever said
and where to put it, and where to put it
and to keep it inside would surely tear at your mind
but to lay it all out would surely let them poke you blind
and so what choice was there to make?
silence, it seemed, was the road to take
and there, in that place, could you really see
feel, grow, breathe deeper into Being
balancing wanting with nurturing, needing
healing a heart that wished to keep bleeding
allowing its pulsing, its singing, its beating
that knowing, that ache, of more
allowing its Grace, its acknowledgment of peace
allowing its space, its expanding, its release
of all that is no longer to be kept
in allowing the unseen to loosen its grasp on your heart
you've set yourself free, you've chosen a new start
and this is where all the best stories begin
this is where you finally let the Truth in
I've been in a crazy place, lately.
Crazy good. I've been having breakthrough after breakthrough and while it's dizzying, it's perfect. I wouldn't change it. I've been climbing out of an old skin for two years now and it definitely hasn't been easy. And there were days, there still are, when I lose my cool and want to retreat back into who I was. Throw my hands up. That inner-voice turns judgmental and makes me want to just give in, stop this whole "self-improvement nonsense."
It's tempting. But the problem is, once I began to see my world differently, again, it became impossible to go back. And this work has many names, many labels. Don't let that derail you, either, you can call it whatever you want: spiritual growth, psychoanalysis, self-actualization. Attach religion, attach science. It's really all the same, we just sub in different cues and guideposts and ideas to help us along.
But the work...is ours alone. And that's the biggest realization, and sometimes the hardest.
We go on thanking people, swooning, being inspired, and all the rest, which is nice, but here's the thing: I am...the only one who sees what's in my mind. I have a singular worldview, my own interpretations of stimuli that cross my mind's eye and experience, based on who I am, what I've seen and done, in my Life. It's my choice in how to interpret every event in my Life, from minutiae to the mountains I climb, both literal and figurative. This is mind-blowing. it's me. It's always been me. Wow... all of it. This idea scares people, but it can be crazy-freeing. Being responsible.
That said, I did this work, and I continue to do it. I had friends and well-wishers and so on, when I asked for help, who have been incredible. I had people who I thought meant well, and really didn't. So, I learned to be more discerning and less trusting. And then there were the "intrusive helpers." We all know this type: they mean well, and play devil's advocate, and make your Life and experiences about them. Some people call them haters. And I've been there, not wanting to address my own stuff, so I tried to help others. I get it now, from both angles. I don't judge, because I've been in that mindset, too. So, if it comes from an honest place, I let it be. It's never a mistake to offer kindness, Love, and support.
But here's something valuable that I've learned:
How to Help Someone
1. Ask if they want your help.
2. Ask how best to help them.
3. Give more or pull back, based on their direct feedback.
Anything that's NOT this, isn't help. It's manipulation.
A hard truth, but a necessary one. And the freedom, in letting all of that go, in designing our own lives, our own experiences, our own directions and goals and dreams...is an amazing feeling. It can be scary to rely on our own steam; our own choices. But I'd have it no other way, at this point.
This awakening process, for me, is more about stripping things away and letting go of things, than about accumulating the new. It's maddening, it's liberating, it's life changing. it's feeling as though you're getting closer to something on the "path," only to find you've been hiding up a tree for a month. And getting back out there. In there. Because this is all inner work, really.
Chasing horses. Exhausting, yet thrilling. Will I catch one? I don't know. But to run: free, inspired, wild, unleashed. This is why I do it. "The journey is the gift."
Co-parenting. Even for the most well-adjusted, cooperating people... some nights are hard when you're away. Missing my little boy SO much tonight. It's a hard thing to explain to people. So I don't. But everyone knows what missing something feels like, even if it's a dog or a favorite gadget.
It's the stark and obvious absence of something that takes up so much room in your heart and mind. It's a real thing. It's a valid thing. We're supposed to feel their absence, it's part of what makes us human. Yet, we don't like to complain, right? Good vibes only, and all that. So, we smush it down, inside, and then start bawling like a psycho when Can't Stop the Feeling or Dance With Me Tonight comes on, because you do your morning dance parties to those songs. There's a fully loaded arsenal of emotions that can rush over like a wave... because it's just hard to be away from your kids. It just is, of course it is.
How often I put that away and distract myself, to "stay up." Positive. Well, friends, I am positive and grateful for all that's good, but I still have these waves sometimes. But I'm choosing to write this post, do some late-night meditating, and go to sleep. Instead of Drs Ben and Jerry, because I've made promises to myself about that. And that's hard too, giving comfort foods up. Giving smoking up was hard. A lot of it is hard. Anxiety is hard. Starting over is hard. Empty rooms at night are hard. That pit inside that aches for distraction and shimmers and entertainment and denial, is hard to ignore.
It's so easy, isn't it? Avoidance. Never works, it just doesn't. I know from experience. Pain is real and needs to be acknowledged, understood, brought to Light...and healed.
How do I deal with that? I get girly and submit: I cry, good and hard, with a runny nose and tears and all of it. I breathe, deep, over and over. I read snippets of good, heart-reaching books. I listen to empowering women who walk their talk. I listen to myself. I breathe some more. And I remember how much I've fought through, already. And those were big, scary, life-threatening things that demanded sacrifice, time, deep prayer, and a will to survive. So feelings? Yeah. I got this.
"Oh honey. It's just a wave." 🌊🌊🌊 And did you forget? You know "the heart of Life is good." Music, healing, quiet.
Sometimes, just giving attention, to those "monsters," that big bad scary feeling...can vanquish it. But wow, when I'm in, I don't know that. I only know the anxiety, the creeping feeling that something isn't right, that I feel unsteady, and that I should keep moving. But not always. Not always. Sometimes, stillness is what's called for. Allowing the mysterious emotions to surface, naming them, and letting them float back into the ether.
Emotions... are teachers. And on the other side of them, is wisdom and perseverance. Grateful for friends with flashlights, because we can't always see. xo
As many of my readers know, I am a big advocate for anxiety. I've been through it, in every possible manifestation. My mind has entertained every possible reality or un-reality, in my lifetime. So...I know.
I just get it, like that. I'd out-weird you in 3 milliseconds.
That said, I've been paying attention to my own ebbs and flows, lately. Because the point...the meaning... the message in ALL OF THIS... is to keep learning and keep sharing out. When we focus on ourselves, and our small, narrow spot on this hunk of rock, we become overwhelmed and anxious and get stuck. But when we flip it, find the lesson, and share it...we let it cycle through us. In and then out.
I've often wanted to survey people with anxiety and "personality disorders" and look for common denominators. I know straight off how many folks have gifts that they struggle with and it often results in anxiety, depression, cyclic emotions. And there are ongoing debates about this: is it mental or spiritual? Was John of God...a true healer and mystic? Or would the DSM categorize him as mentally ill, and his followers as naive fools? Or do we just not know enough yet about the brain, mind, soul to even guess? This is an ages-old debate, and there is no answer. It's like trying to solve and impossible riddle; God or not? Things that can't be proven or disproven take on a special sheen, an allure of the unknown, they become surrounded with mystique and drama and excitement and worship. Because it engages us in searching. it's delicious, we get to go on a quest. A journey.
I'd also be curious to see how many of us, who struggle with these ways of seeing and being in the world, have been close to death. And this is a part of my new writing project...how a near-death experience can create pathways into new and alien understandings, never before witnessed. And how those moments change us, eternally. And I think true anxiety stems from something so simple: awareness. To be awake, alive and attentive in one's life, is to notice. To notice what is happening all around us, to internalize and empathize and wonder. To associate and try to understand. Always questioning. And such awareness leads to deeper awareness, within. It's a true paradox: because to remain in safety, in the middle, not disturbed by the goings-on of the physical world, is to be disconnected to much of Life. Numb. It's a bit of a bubble-wrap existence. Which sometimes, is needed and preferred, for our own well-being. But on the other side of that, if we venture out...we face those unknowns, which induce fear, anxiety, panic...there's no easy way about it. Unless, you are numb and in the deep-seated routines of our mechanized society, like Cipher...back in The Matrix, enjoying his steak, and are truly oblivious. Ignorance as bliss.
I once saw this psychic, out in Dix Hills, her name was Karen. She was the most in-tune, spot on, detail-driven reader that I'd ever seen. She had a true gift. I do believe, and know, that some of us have true gifts, and now more than ever. Although there are also plenty of enterprising folks who are great actors and will gladly take your money to confirm that yes... you are sad and "your soulmate is coming. Please by the True Love candle for $20 and light it on the full moon." It's an old line and they all use it, because it's such a common plight. Be wary of those. I call them "record-players," because they all repeat each other. They are well-trained and play on insecurities, they can read body language and subtle cues.
Those with true gifts have met and communicate with Spirit and can read subtle energies. They gather clues and symbols from the ether...and steer through the fog to some Truth that resonates with you, that helps you, that validates concern and points you toward a path of healing and growth. True psychics are teachers, sharers, ponderers...they just can't not. They often make money, but they can't not share, or their gifts will literally tear at their psyche propelling them into distress and disorder. Often they have troubled pasts until they come to terms with what they are experiencing. It's really fun when they're skeptics because it turns everything upside-down. Anyway. I greatly admire those true teachers, I've been very, very blessed and humbled to have crossed paths with some who are really out of this world. Selfless, humble, kind, compassionate, and never enabling. Always empowering, even when it's hard. Role-models. Superheroes, in my eyes. Living to teach and inspire and not indulging in nonsense. Which is also teaching; it's leading by example and showing us how to set boundaries. My heart goes out to them, my soul honors them; deep bow, deep bow in gratitude.
But Karen... well, she gave me specific dates, she did auto-writing, and everything panned out, perfectly. She wrote down the birthdate of my son...years and years before I met his father. She just saw things. A beautiful soul, one that melded with and changed mine, as some special souls do. And way back when, she also made a comment that always stuck with me: "I see squirrels in the attic. You're sitting there, watching life from the second-story window. You're commenting, and watching, and imagining, and pointing. Packing away your little nuts and berries, for later. You're safe. But you're not really living, are you? You're watching."
Wow. Haunting. For years and years. No more attic windows, I declared.
And writing, well...it's a peculiar thing. To me writing...is like a self-inflicted torture. It's isolating, challenging, heartbreaking, scintillating, exhausting, invigorating, maddening, and yet...it's salvation. It's induced madness, it's breaking your own heart, it's bleeding for art, constantly. And i love it. <sicko
But it does keep me in "the attic." Which is why I always push myself out. A new adventure, a new story, a new enchantment, a new mode of creativity to employ. Something to start the creative fires burning, something to make me feel alive, something to connect me, enliven me, jumpstart me. I'm someone who must feel and live the bits of story before I write them. That doesn't mean Ana was autobiographical, but that certain scenes and moments were flavored with truth, from actual experience. Well, some...Antonio was made up. A dirty mind is a terrible thing to waste. :)
And the current project is also inspired by real-life. Lessons that are lived through, painfully, in many cases. It's a bit psychotic, to intentionally hurl myself into lesson-bearing experiences, but I'm learning loads, and at the end of the day, I get to be someone who can lay out some cold, hard truth, from the ground, from the front-lines of Life...to throw it back to those stuck in the mud: Here are some things that work...you're not alone...and you can absolutely get through this. What a gift to even be able to do that. Grateful for every encounter so far, in this Campbell-esque journey, truly. Deeply. I take none of it for granted.
So, one thing I became keenly aware of in my throes of anxiety, a few years back, was the isolation. Having an entire world to fear, a thousand voices, every word a possible threat, and not being able to explain it to anyone. And the disillusionment, which is the killer for so many of us. We idealize and wear our rose-colored glasses, and when those ideals crumble, as they must, we are distraught. Illusions fall, and once again, we are naked and trembling, lost in the void, climbing out of the primordial soup, searching for anything to cling to. That's where that spark inside is found.
And it is there, right there, in that deep pit...where the choice is made. Give up, start the dying process. Become bitter and stagnant and lost in your pain. Or fight. Lost your mind? Make a new one. Reconfigure your life as you would your hard-drive. Defrag and dump what doesn't work, limit interactions and input to those that can lift you up, inspire you, remind you why it's worth it. Environment is key, internal and external. We are amazing, resilient, self-healing machines. As much as I jokingly bash tech, I admit that we, human beings, are incredible, electric machines that work on and with energy. It's all the same, I see that now.
And anxiety can be crippling. It can stop us from living the lives that we want to. But there are ways to reinvent ourselves, find focus, notice and steer away from destructive behavior when we need to, our own or someone else's, and find ourselves back where we should be...within ourselves, present, alert, and ready to experience Life. Committed to the work, which is different for each of us.
And for me, spirituality has been a cornerstone. And it's non-negotiable, it's a reality for me. Religion is not, but spirituality is. It's an undercurrent, a coming-home, a knowledge and wisdom, deep inside, that we're all connected. I've seen it and felt it. That unconditional Love is real, that these connections are real. And that God is Love, and that we can heal with Love. Which is why I have no problems when people get religious around me, because I don't put men in white robes or any of that into my equation. So I don't get turned off, really. Each individual has their own God or figure head in place, to represent that pure Love. God is Love, I might even go so far as to say that God can be... all of us, aligned, in service to each other, for Love. I might say that we, collectively, joined in consciousness, are God, or at the very least, channels for God/Love/Universal energy to flow through. And how often we forget to connect, within. MEDITATE. It starts within.
Love, the most powerful force in the Universe. The most formidable weapon that we have against hate. But don't listen to me, I'm a hippie. Naive. I take kick after kick, live in constant disillusion, and still choose to understand and Love people that don't understand me. And that's fine. I don't do it to get it back, I do it because the world needs it. Because when we send out those tendrils of hope, compassion, understanding, when we resonate and acknowledge, a new world is born, leaving its new inhabitants changed...hopefully for the better. I believe in waves and ripples, I believe that energy is contagious, I believe that it's never a mistake to genuinely care for someone and wish for their best.
And it doesn't always work, because...anxiety, all around. We're brilliant on our own, wrapped in our art and our safe spaces. And then we interact. Enter variables. It's become an act of courage and bravery to be the first one to consider perspective, and choose empathy. To put down the shield, to lower our guards and say...hey... it's all good. We're cool. Go do you. Nothing but Love, here. And yes, it's exhausting and confusing and trying and sometimes, we make mistakes. And there are times we need mile-high barriers because not everyone means us well.
Because we are also human and fallible. And we get nervous and confused and we overthink and get further and further away from those little kids inside of us that just want to play, and we put up these walls to push people back and away from us, because we just don't know if we can trust them. Because Life is hard, and things suck, and we grow weary. That happens. Oh well. But I still Love. Like one of those inflatable dolls that you punch and it bounces back, smiling like a dope. < yeah, me. Let me try this again, I know I'll get it right this time. But not forever, I know when to let go and move along. And we're just not compatible with everyone. (I'm like a fungus though, I grow on people. :) Just give it time...)
Anyway, I'd rather walk through Life knowing and appreciating this magic, this force, that connects and drives us. If its all in our heads, why choose to live in a self-created hell? No, not for me. Not anymore. I allow myself to flow in and out and experience different ways of being, to gather perspectives. I will take any hardship or challenge and spin it around and try...try... to make something beautiful with it. Sometimes we can't. But I always try, first. Gullible? Maybe. But determined to spread Love and sincerity and wide-open humiliating heart-sharing wherever I can. Because we need it. I've wanted to rebuild the world in Love since high school. Finally, all these years later, it feels like the world is catching up. Or...I'd just been in the wrong places and didn't see or feel it. Environment.
Many think that being spiritual, is being religious. Believing in a God-head, following a set of rituals, and all the rest. Not so. True spirituality is found in our humanity. In compassion, kindness, altruism, loving attention, forgiveness. Seeing the best in people and urging them on. Planting seeds of hope and encouragement, to combat the negativity that surrounds us. Choosing to hold the torch...the lamp... beside the golden door. To illuminate the path. To support, without harm. To acknowledge, to appreciate. To understand. And this is huge. I think one thing that an anxious, deep-thinking mind craves, more than anything, is understanding. That moment of: I see you, I get you, you're not nuts, I think that stuff too. Lots of people do. You're not alone, in there. There is a huge clan of us that see the world differently and take in the world in different ways. We're all weird and squirrely. And we're all in it together. <3
Lost in my adolescent past
The gift of a second glance
Days of impetuous, unbridled Now
Undertow, letting go, holding on, reaching for Bliss
Rose petals and mystery and magic in the mist
Galaxies collide, collapsing into the
grand symphony of a brand new whole
pulsating, undulating, reborn as One
Each dying into the other
Separate from the rest
Shining, apart, its own work of Art
Yes, yes, I remember, I know
I can remember, Spring's taste still sweet upon my lips
Then, Summer's sweet effervescent kiss
The allure, the torture, the pull and twist
Such a cosmic, scintillating glow
When two worlds combine
and no one else has to know
But time and experience have taught this little girl
that I'm the only one who can design my Life, My Love, my Heart ...
This woman, here now, is not that little girl
Pain changes people and I live in a different world
But the question hangs heavy in the air
Can prying open Love's box lead to Joy and not despair?
Can we recall Spring and dance eternally in Summer's Sun?
One never knows, so we call in Faith and Chance
and we Trust in the Moon and we wait
And we wait
And we writhe
And we wait
For a sign, for a clue, for a hint that it's safe
But Love's raw gaze is never safe!
It's a raging ocean and a tranquil sea
It's holding space for a You while honoring Me
It's a dizzying dance on the edge of a razor sharp knife
And then if we fell...
If we fell
Extreme love, ripped out hearts
Bent and broken into splinters and shards
Recreated again and again, as the Sun and the Moon in the sky that we drink into our very bones and skin every night!
And we breathe, into knowing
These glimpses of perfection that are gone too soon
Because to Live is to feel, to Love, to risk, and to bleed
But Now, but here and Now
Growing into wholeness, this womanhood, this thoroughly scarred and
It's a want, not a need, I am already all I desire to Be
All the while, holding fast to my hopes and Spring-time dreams
that are also Me, yes, these are also Me,
as sure as the Sun, the Sky, the Birds, the Trees
An awakened woman will dance only with those
who can heal on their own, in the way she has learned:
painfully, slowly, deliberately, energetically
We must hear our own heart-songs, first,
before we attempt to make music together
Despite our hunger, despite our thirst
So, I'm finally getting around to telling this story:
Her name is Ilana Limoni. She's a local library patron, a sweet soul, and a woman with a lifetime of stories and...art. If you Google her name you might find some blogs about her needlework. She's devoted endless hours to scripture (The Torah) and to visualizing and creating her masterpieces, which are wall-panel sized creations of epic scope.
She showed us (a co-worker and I) to the table where she prepared lunch: a simple German potato salad, with peas, pickles (yum), eggs...it was delicious and light. Served on romaine leaves with cherry tomatoes. Lovely.
Later, she showed us around. At first, the jaded control freak inside me started to rumble..."we have to get back to work, we punch a time clock!" Raaaaa... shush, I said to myself. Surrender...
The more we gazed, the more transfixed I became. She showed us her easel, her worktable, where she conceptualized each piece, the images, the Hebrew characters that would tell the stories that she wanted to convey. So many of the epic parables that we grew up with in the West, these grand and lasting stories: the stone tablets, Moses parting the Red Sea and the Exodus...the detail was impeccable and her devotion was touching and astounding. This woman is a true artist. A slow, deliberate, meticulous, and deeply inspired artist. A master at her craft. Some of these pieces should be in a museum of some kind.
In the other rooms, were some non-religious pieces. She offered some of her pieces to my co-worker and I. (I should mention that we help her get books and have known this woman for quite some time, there's a friendship here. It's not normal for us to visit the homes of our patrons.) Anyway. I saw this piece, the one pictured above, and I was smitten. Drawn in. Women and changing seasons? Um....yes, please. Oh my Goddess! Me, up and down. I loved it and I was grateful to accept it. It will hang in my bedroom.
The experience blew me away. Here was a woman that I spoke to on the phone, she asked after my son, often gave generous gifts on his behalf...and behind closed doors...she is this artist. I was blown away.
How often...do we take people for granted? Not knowing what happens in their daily lives, what and who they are, in their private time. What might they truly think and ponder, what might they be creating. What gifts lay hidden, beneath the surface.
"See the Light in others, and treat them as if that's all you see..." - Wayne Dyer
I always say that each of us has some special gift, maybe more than one, if we're truly blessed. And something happens. If we're not raised in an environment that supports free expression and exploration of the Self, we often stuff these gifts down, where they become hidden. Pushed and shoved into a box, smaller and smaller until they're barely noticeable. Because sometimes, it just hurts too much to feel the desire to create and the inner knowing of more, with no freedom to pursue such things. So, we get into school and we're expected to conform. To fit. To quiet our inner impulses to see the world differently and spit it back out; digested and reformed into the way that we see it and understand it. We're dissuaded from a path that might foster growth and the celebration of our gifts and creativity by those who were wrapped in their own fears and ideas of Life. And so another cycle continues...go to school, memorize facts, don't question anyone, and then get out and exhaust yourself making money for someone else, savoring the weekends, longing for those getaways. And becoming dependent on a cyclic system that keeps us in one place. Work, eat, sleep, spend. Etc...
And in the "rat race" as they call it, in this blind stupor, this routine, that we've become accustomed to living in, day in and day out...we lose that...spark. That thing, that tingle that sets us on fire, from within. That thing that connects us, so deeply, to something bigger, something vast, something unseen and magical and powerful and passionate. That thing that makes our eyes open just a bit wider and the hairs on our necks stand up. That makes our heart beat just a bit faster, at the idea of being able to pour ourselves into it, uninterrupted. That thing that pulses, deep, deep inside, and we just know that others are waiting for it, that only we can shape it in our particular way, and share it. The thing that we can lose ourselves in, lose time in, and find ourselves in after a matter of deconstruction. Our...art. And it doesn't have to be visual art. I'm talking about song, dance, sculpture, writing, poetry, painting, speaking, film, photography...needlework. Anything, really. Anyone who can imagine a thing and pull that idea from the ether and manifest it, into physical form, in the present....is an artist. A creator. A force of all that is natural and vital and primal and pure.
Because at our core, beneath the busyness and struggle and complaint and rushing back and forth, beneath the bills and obligations and appointments and people-pleasing and noise...we are creators. Way back, before industrialization, before becoming so "civilized," human beings had a psycho-spiritual connection with their home...our planet. And we celebrated the Sun and Moon, the tides, the stars...oh, the stars. The Gods, in the Heavens. The elements: Fire, Water, Air, Earth...plus, the all-encompassing Spirit, the energy that holds us all together ...made up all that is Life.
"Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else." - Leonardo DaVinci
We are amazing creatures simmering with all sorts of potential to feel, hear, and see our world and everything, everyone in it...with the eyes of God, with the eyes of Creation, itself. It's already within us, sometimes deep, so deep, that we forget. Sometimes it takes a shaking, of sorts, a vigorous change of perspective, a world flipped upside down...in order to find that spark. An awakening. A reckoning, a moment of realization, that yes! Yes! There is more, I am more!
You are. We are. All of us. And being there, sitting with people, and living in a way that encourages them to explore, within, and look for that spark? Is becoming a life's quest and purpose for me, in and of itself.
I remember when driving back from my failed Boston adventure with my father (the historian), and the epic conversations we had. Remembering...as a species...how much we've created. In the history of the human being. Look around you. At anything. At the device in your hands, right now. Once upon a time? Sand, maybe.
Imagine a world, raw and vast and teeming with unimaginable dangers and beauty at every turn. Unexplored. Brand new. Raw materials, only. Earth. Water. Air. Fire. Fire meant heat. Heat could alchemize and transform things. We could melt things, cook things, change things at a molecular level. Imagine having to take sand, mud, water...and create all the synthetics and materials that you'd need to build an iPhone. With a microchip, to make it work. And an unbreakable rumble-cover. And the cute little decals on the back. Could you possibly fathom how to do that? With a handful of dirt? No. Unlikely. We're too far removed from our innate capacity to create new things out of raw materials and inspired ideas.
We're too busy. Buried beneath sound, clutter, routines, and obligations. We've forgotten who we really are.
I don't expect anyone to duck out of society and abandon everything that they know and love, to go live a la Lennie and George, "off the fat of the land." But I will say, that carving out time to hear ourselves? To allow new ideas and inspiration to bubble forth? To allow time for crafting, creating, inventing, theorizing...creating time, for the New? Is life-changing. Even the thought. Even entertaining and holding that thought, "I will create time alone, and allow my Self...to take the floor. I will spend time with just me, for me. And see what happens." Just in that declaration, you are making a choice. And that choice creates a ripple that tells the rest of You, that this is important. And all the little beings and systems and ideas and energy that make up You...begin to get to work, in creating that time for you. Sometimes, even that, just making Time...is a first step. And it's huge.
And it's absolutely worth taking. You are worth that time. And i'm sure, I know, that beneath everything that you believe about who you must be and how you must show up, there is a magic within you that wants to express something. Something that no one else, not one of us, can. Not how you can, because it's yours. Alone. And the more we let it out, the more rises up, and wants out...too. Choosing to honor your creativity sets a new standard for how You do You. It builds momentum. And you get to step out there on that ledge, over and again, a new journey, each time.
More and more alive, each time. Until that nearly damp still smoldering ember becomes a burning flame, that can light up all of humanity, eventually. I believe this. I believe it truly is contagious. And I believe we are underway, toward a new way of being in this world. Awakened, alight, alive, inspired, compassionate, honest. Toward a collective good, an evolving populace, that will raise up all of us, into a thriving future. Not an unbalanced utopia, but a balanced and healthy world, that represents the best of all of our divergent ideas. Brought together, for a greater good, that serves all of humanity.
Big dreams, yes.
Where clean waters have the freedom to flow and nourish, wherever they meander. With towering, cleansing trees and greens and lush forests, to filter and heal our outdoor spaces. With restored and nourished soil, that grows vibrant living food, in a way that makes sense, for all of us. For all of us. It's a huge planet. There is enough. If we can start to shift how we live on it. And these are the waves that we see, toward focus of the Self. Energy imprint, healthy lifestyles, knowledge of Self and less co-dependence, compassion, caring, and a desire to serve in some way. A longing, a deep-seated need to uplift for the greater good. And it's loaded, for sure. Because we are so divided, with the remnants of old ideas that don't serve anymore. Not where we're going.
It's epic, really.
There is me. And then my family. Friends. Community. Town, State. And somehow...we've all jumped to a worldview, a global village. While countries deteriorate and fight, within. Something is missing. We need to focus on our countries, so that each limb of this current working (?) surface-built system called Life on Earth can flourish and heal, even as we heal, underneath all of that. Healing in the physical, in real-time, at the country level, and then participating, together, at a global level, will help usher in a healthy and sustainable global village faster than depending on individuals, even working collaboratively. We must all work on multiple levels, not just in energy, not just on the ground. It's both. Together. The connective energetic tissue and the physical manifestations that lead us in body and daily living. It's both.
Just my thoughts, of course. But I do know that it's all connected. We don't get to skip things because they're hard. The hard is where the work is. it is my wish to work toward rehabilitating and uplifting the American Dream, in a way that is reverent and respectful, of this land's first people. I don't think we did it right the first time. I think our current leadership is a huge wake-up call to get our shit together. To restore the values, ideals, freedoms, creative pursuits and inventions...that came with a New Frontier. This land is great one, for many reasons. Regardless of who is in charge, I LOVE this country. I love the initial idea of it: a land free of persecution, where new and emerging ideas could flourish. The United States of America, was in and of itself, an idea, brought into being my rebels and visionary thinkers. Bells ringing? And it's still a good one, if we could fix what we broke when we first got started. And we broke a lot of stuff, we stole from people, we hurt people. We just did it wrong. All around. I just want us to do our part, in trying to get it right. For our children's children. And our planet. That's all. No biggie, really. <3