Monday, August 1, 2016

Arm Around a Tree

Reaching down to cup my hands underneath the suffering souls
Bringing them up into the light and holding them to my breast, cradling them,
Singing them lullabies
It’s what I want to do for the world
Is there anything else?  Is there really anything else?

I saw this tree yesterday
With its arm around another tree
Such a small arm around a big tree, and yet
Such a feeling of comfort
Even this small gesture

When there’s so much fear and danger
So much chaos and doom
When the utter meanness of the day can drag our branches
I want to be that small skinny arm
That offers solace

Monday, May 23, 2016

An IT Tech and a Buddhist Walk Into a Bar

If the path were straight,
We wouldn't need directions.
If the directions were clear,
We wouldn't need instruction.
For all those dead ends we followed, and all those wrong turns
Who can be blamed?  Not our spiritual advisors, surely.
Not our programmers.

If our chakras were in perfect balance,
Emotions would not impede.
If our cache was empty,
Then our expression would be serene.
If our limbs were arranged in rest and activity with equal ease
Then we would never stumble or get fatigued.
We would never get the hourglass.

A wise man says that obstacles are necessary
For greatness.
A wise woman believes there is nothing more beautiful
Than truth.
What we have and are in the now-eternal moment
Is preferable to all other states, say the server gods.

If only I could make myself stop spinning long enough
I could understand these facts,
Or perhaps I am an old-fashioned hard drive
With a failing motherboard.

Where do I turn in this mind and get an upgrade?
How do I switch out the program?
You are an ever-renewing human equivalent.
Just close your eyes and breathe.

Friday, April 8, 2016

The Broken Shell

Lately I haven't been writing much poetry or even prose.  I've been in one of my long transitions.  Like a butterfly in a cocoon, I don't even really know when I'll be ready to fly.

In the process of this deep, interior work, I came across an old journal from clay therapy with some other women in a group led by master potter Michelle Rhodes.

Each week, we would gather around the table in her country studio and try to construct something from within.  Here's a piece from April 2008.  It reminds me that process is everything.

I'm working with white river clay today, and it broke into pieces.  Dozens of shells and stones on the table.  My life in pieces.  Here's a broken shell.  The shell is me.  It has a story.

I used to be big, of course, not like you see me now.  I was big and strong, and I thought nothing would ever happen to me, nothing would ever hurt me, and I rolled along my way not worrying about the other smaller shells beneath me.

Then one day I fell and broke.  A part of me broke off – a big part – and I couldn’t believe it.  Nothing like that had ever happened before.  And I lost my confidence.  I was no longer able to protect myself and because of that, another, even bigger and more important part of me broke off.
Then I gave up.  I just wanted to die.  I rolled around and let the ocean carry me along its way.  I couldn’t die but I wanted to die.  Until one day, I realized I was still whole, and in a certain way, still beautiful.

I began to actually like my broken edges and the new lightness of my body without all the bigness of my former self – without even the beauty – and then slowly I began to soften.  And I rolled with the motion of the ocean – not giving in completely and not fighting, but just cooperating with it.
Merging with all the other shells rolling and tumbling into the perfection of healing.