Poetry

A Cloak of Peace…

Peace descends like a cloak

to embrace and comfort me,

offering soft boundaries and a sense of safety

to my shattered psyche…

No bliss accompanies this shift in being

but neither can the agony

of sheer existence

reach me…

I am Whole for a time

though it may be only for a moment

contained

and cocooned

in this illusion…

Stepping forth to embrace this day

and whatever it might bring

wishing for each of you

to feel such peace (and the healing it promises) today…

‚̧ ūüėÄ

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Poetry, Reflections, Visions

“Convergence…” (From the Book of Other)

I offer this post to Sha’Tara, in explanation, as an example of, the kinds of entries I might discover in the Book of Other. ¬†I found it in my draft folder here, where there are currently some 22 unpublished posts. ¬†It was “dated” June of last year, a useful bit of information made possible by the medium itself…

But, like so many such entries, I don’t “remember” writing it, though I clearly recognize it as “mine.” ¬†The word choice, metaphors, the rhythym itself, all sound like “me,” but the memory of writing it is gone. ¬†The tone, itself – light-hearted and whimsical – sounds like a different “me” entirely, which it most likely was. ¬†I was clearly reaching out across the timelines, attempting to communicate with my Others, and I was describing the same Center Space as in my previous post. ¬†The Crossroads is another frequent metaphor for describing the place, one favored by a different version of self…

And it is encounters like this that explain why the “powers that be” chose to label me schizophrenic in the first place. Lol! ¬†And perhaps they were not wrong, after all…

 

Standing at the crossroads

waiting…

not expecting or anticipating…

but waiting nonetheless.

And here they come, like happy children

skipping down the paths toward me…

ideas…

thoughts and feelings gathering here…

to be incorporated into the family tree.

They come in waves, and crowded rushes

and some arrive individually…

all related…

and connected to the Whole that is Me.

Are they merely thoughts and feelings?

Transitory and epheme?

Or something more compelling?

Real…

Comprising parts of me…?

The cells of my body

speaking to me…

of individuality…

of interconnectivity and healing…

Much work left to do here,

before we are free to leave.

Gathering the missing pieces

memories…

of things not yet in play…

Converging in this place of peace…

Emerging in every breath I take.

And so I speak, and pay no heed

to whether or not

anyone else is even listening.

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Reflections, Visions

Whale Song…

Today, during my meditation, I heard the song of whales somewhere far from me. ¬†The sound so melancholy, with sorrow lining every lengthened tone. ¬†And yet there was a sweetness to the song that touched me deeply, too, as though even in their suffering they found something that seemed worthwhile…

The notes appealed to my bat technology, bringing peace with every tear I cried in empathy. ¬†And I knew bliss in a whole new way. ¬†For this was not the manic excitement, the barely contained joy demanding release, but a quiet sense of something “right” not all that far from me…

And even now the voices sing, echoing deep within my mind, flooding me with blessed relief. ¬†It was (and is) what I often refer to as a “perfect moment,” and it strengthened me. ¬†I sense the sound, feel it in every fiber of my being, and know that it will serve as armor as I step out to face the world today…

It is worth savoring…

And so I choose to share it, too, with those who need a perfect moment as much as I do. ¬†I’m sharing it with you…

Peace, my friends, and blessings too. ¬†May today bring to you exactly what you need to carry on… ¬†ūüėÄ

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Reflections

Pushing Through…

Pushing through the pain, the frustrations, the trivial obstacles of everyday life. ¬†Not because I want to, necessarily, but because I feel I must. ¬†Yet I do not always identify with the one pushing anymore…

It’s almost as if I am living a dual existence today. ¬†There is a part of me going through the motions, because curling up and crying serves no purpose at all. ¬†Out there, I am in the thick of things, interacting (and sometimes connecting) with Others, and those brief encounters give the struggle some value or purpose…

But there is an’Other part of me standing still, rooted, watching, but not truly engaging. ¬†That part of me has roots intimately entangled with the trees and animals surrounding me. ¬†I feel the trees tightening their grip on me, wrapping tighter around me, as they settle into their winter sleep. ¬†I wonder if I should be afraid, knowing I will find it virtually impossible to escape? ¬†But I am not afraid. ¬†Instead I feel centered and grounded, strengthened and supported by the community we have created. ¬†I will stand witness over the coming months, while my “friends” heal and rejuvenate. ¬†And I’m quite ok with that…

The future is no longer some distant, vague, ephemeral goal, but a moment existing within and beside me, comingling with what I once called “past.” ¬†But Time itself has become irrelevant and meaningless, serving only as a tool for dissecting current thought. ¬†And, as such, failing to compel anything other than mild, vaguely tangible interest, as my consciousness reaches out to embrace single moments…

Pain…? ¬†Yes, there is a lot of that, though it hardly matters now.

Sorrow…? ¬†Yes, that fog envelopes me, though I choose not to succumb to its influence.

Hope…? ¬†Not so much, though there are instants and brilliant flashes caught in the periphery of my attention.

Patience…? ¬†Yes! ¬†Deeply grounded and totally lacking in urgency, though tiny frustrations frequently threaten the accompanying peace.

Love…? ¬†Yes! ¬†For family, friend and stranger, though I will not interefere with what they are personally struggling. ¬†I have learned boundaries, after all…

Pushing through… ¬†As though the river needs my strength, or the current needs my efforts to move inexorably toward its goal. ¬†How arrogant and humble have I become?

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self-discovery, Stories..., Visions

The Embrace…

I am walking down a forest path, at peace, contemplating all that has been happening near me. ¬†Something moves in front of me, though what it is at first eludes me. ¬†Gradually my eyes focus enough to “discover” a being hiding in the gloom behind a tree…

I stop walking, not wanting to intrude on or frighten this stranger before me…

“It’s ok,” I softly say. ¬†“I’m not here to harm you or disturb you in any way. ¬†I’m just passing through… ¬†Would you mind if I passed by, or would you prefer me to turn around and leave? ¬†After all, you were here first, weren’t you?” ¬†I smile to reinforce my words…

The being leans forward a bit, looking up and down the path. ¬†I see now its humanoid form. ¬†I notice also its wariness, its vigilence. ¬†I sense no fear coming from the being, just profound awareness, and caution… ¬†And strength, unlike anything I have encountered before! ¬†This being is in its element, and knows it; if anyone should be afraid, it should be me…

But I am not afraid…

I wait, patiently, wondering if (and how) this being may communicate with me. ¬†After several minutes, the sense of threat, of possible dire consequence, begins to fade. ¬†The being checks the path once more, before stepping out to face me…

At first I am bewildered by what I see, questioning if it’s a trick of light, or some sort of mirrored shield being held up in front of me; for standing on the path ahead is a younger, darker version of me. ¬†She is cloaked and hooded in forest greens, well camouflaged in this environment. ¬†Her posture is alert, but relaxed, raw power emanating from every pore of her being. ¬†She simply looks at me, expectantly, waiting for my reaction…

It is then I realize it is my Shadow facing me, the one who’s call has been leading me for days. ¬†And slowly, the odd dynamics of our current status begin revealing themselves to me…

For clearly, she has the power for now; her strength, purpose, presence are palpable. ¬†But I am in control; my consciousness must decide what happens next… ¬†I stand there, rooted like the trees surrounding me, held in this timeless moment by the sense of import, the sheer significance of this encounter! ¬†Finally, I take a small, almost involuntary, stumbling step forward. ¬†She stands straighter, somehow creating a less threatening posture in spite of growing taller…

“May I approach?,” I think to ask, falling back on familiar civilities, while seeking to convey respect.

She nods, but says nothing…

I approach slowly, soaking up every detail, mesmerized by all I see… ¬†“You are truly magnificent!,” I breathe aloud as I get close enough to truly see her. ¬†And she is! ¬†All the things that I am not – confident, secure, balanced – and so, so, so much more; I have difficulty grasping that she¬†is me, given how different we appear.

“I have been looking for you,” I explain to her. ¬†“Everywhere. ¬†In the forests mostly, but also in the lakes and oceans, in the sunlight that warms my skin, and the moonlight that guides my dreams. ¬†I have searched for you in my sanctuary spaces, and travelled to the crossroads hoping to encounter you. ¬†I have even dipped into the river of time seeking just a moment with you…”

“I have been waiting for you,” she finally speaks. ¬†“And now you have come…”

I chuckle nervously, unsure about what to do next, so I ask… ¬†“Now what? ¬†We have met. ¬†What happens next?”

“That’s up to you,” she softly answers. ¬†I am captivated by her calm, her lack of urgency, anxiety, or need… ¬†“What do you want?,” she whispers…

Echoes of that question reverberate in my mind, remembering other places, other times this question was asked of me.  But this time, I know immediately what I want!

“I want to embrace you, to hug you, to hold you close to me,” I answer, before shyness can prevent the words from escaping…

She smiles fully, holding open her arms wide, offering herself in perfect trust. ¬†I step forward eagerly, carefully placing my left arm above her shoulder, and my right arm beneath hers. ¬†Leaning slightly right, I hug her tightly, heart to heart, and let myself go completely in this moment…

I become aware of our heartbeats, separate, but the same. ¬†I feel them merging into one resounding, rhythmic, beat. ¬†I sense the boundary between us dissolving, with neither absorbing the other, but each becoming One… ¬†Each cell that defines us, each strand of energy, every memory, experience, hope, doubt and triumph merges smoothly, leaving us distinctly present while still being Whole…

I (we) breathe deeply, the scents of the forest accompanied now with a deeper understanding, identifying “what’s” and “who’s” in a way I could not do just moments before. ¬†As my mind automatically begins to process the significance of each scent identified, I feel my own (other’s) surprise at how efficiently it does so.

There is bliss in this experience of union, and excitement of what we can learn, do and create together! ¬†I (we) are complete, and the whole Universe is our home… ¬†And playground…

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Essay

If Ever There Was a Time…

…when violence might be justified, this time might just qualify.

Stark, real, heavy are those words, and to hear them oozing from me like puss from an infected wound is disgusting! ¬†But honesty compels me to face them, acknowledge and respect them, for they have a place in my vocabulary, and today they seem fitting. ¬†But let’s be clear here…

I do not endorse violence, ever, in any circumstance; I am merely addressing the shadow that rises within in response to such acts of violence in the world outside.  I cannot condone what has happened in Charlottesville and around the world; I cannot remain silent, when such silence equates with complicity.  But it physically hurts to say such words aloud Рthere may be times when violence is the only reasonable response to violence.

A friend reminded me of that today, asking me how I might “reasonably” react to violence directed my way. ¬†What if someone broke into your room intent on harming you; would you defend yourself? ¬†What if someone kidnapped your grandchild, intending to perpetrate some heinous crime; would violence then be appropriate? ¬†What if people sought to terrorize others or destroy life in the name of money, power, religion, politics, or socio-pathological disturbance? ¬†Would any of these acts warrant a violent response?

Yes, of course, but…

No. ¬†No “buts.” ¬†Own it, Lisa, for violence exists within you, as well as all those you wish to “stand against.” ¬†Perhaps there are times when violence seems justified, and if there are, then now may be that time. ¬†For though I do not currently face those personal attacks, the others are all too real. ¬†Something must be done to stop such acts! ¬†Something must be said to condemn such acts! ¬†Something must… change!

And yet I resist… ¬†Why?

Because the language we are using today, to make a point and take a stand, is as divisive as the rhetoric that spawns these acts of violence in the first place. ¬†Because the words we are using do not heal, but only further and deepen the heartache that separates us. ¬†Because love cannot win in an environment where the only response to hate is vitriol, violence, condemnation, segregation and rage…

We can no longer deny what is happening around us. ¬†We can no longer depend upon privilege to protect us. ¬†We¬†must not rely upon silence to insulate us. ¬†And yet, we should not add fuel to the fires that consume us… ¬†Or should we?

I understand the impulse to violently recoil from any association with such vile examples of inhumanity as expressed by white nationalists, the KKK, the power brokers and politicians and preachers who have made hate and violence a viable path. ¬†I grasp the need to express my natural antipathy towards such philosophies and acts. ¬†But I find myself stepping back, hesitating, when those I wish to stand beside start speaking of “excising malignancies,” “denouncing,” “condemning,” “choosing sides,” etc, for these are not words of healing at all.

So, how¬†do we condemn without judgment? ¬†How do we stop these people without oppressing our “enemies”? ¬†How do we respond definitively, purposefully, constructively, without imposing our will on others? ¬†How do we “punish” these criminals without behaving criminally ourselves?! ¬†Is it even possible?

History is written by the winners, they say, whomever they are. ¬†But “winning” doesn’t make us “right”. ¬†Or “good”. ¬†It only makes us victorious. ¬†And while we might claim the end justifies the means, I can’t find comfort in that, as such “holier than thou” rhetoric has always justified atrocities. ¬†Someone always loses when lines are drawn, and crossed, and people are forced to “take sides.”

“They’re just words, Lisa, and now is no time for semantics!,” I hear myself say. ¬†But I disagree, vehemently, with such a thought. ¬†Because words have power when expressed; this I know, I believe! ¬†Words guide and inform our reasoning, lead and justify our actions. ¬†They empower our analogies which lead us to our conclusions. ¬†They color our metaphors, which frame our realities, making our environments reflect back to us exactly what we expect to see. ¬†So if I speak of “taking a stand against” something, I naturally divide the playing field. ¬†If I think of “opposing” another, I naturally create an enemy. ¬†And if I create an enemy, I justify the ensuing war. ¬†Violence begets violence, ad infinitum…

I find myself contemplating the Yin/Yang symbol – a potent reminder that within the darkness, a seed of light may still exist, while within the light, darkness also thrives. ¬†It leads me to consider that there may yet remain a spark of humanity within those who march and protest with violence; that our natural state, as humans, is not to hate, but to love. ¬†Hate is learned behavior, as any young child can amply demonstrate. ¬†If I focus on the darkness these haters express, rather than that potential glimmer of conscience that may yet remain, then I participate in fueling and reinforcing such hate. ¬†I choose not to do that today, while simultaneously acknowledging that they are free to choose complete darkness, if that is the path that compels them…

But within the light, darkness also exists. ¬†If I accept such words of violence from those I usually agree with, then I become complicit in feeding and fueling that darkness within them. ¬†Continuing along such a path, in the name of “good intentions,” will not erase the damage done when such resistance becomes active violence. ¬†And so the darkness overwhelms the light, as we become active mirrors of, and for, our “enemies”… ¬†I choose not to do that today, while simultaneously accepting that all must act according to their own conscience…

So… ¬†what¬†do I choose to do today to face the rage, the violence, the hate?

First I accept and forgive myself for wanting to react. ¬†I own that seed of darkness within me, and watch it carefully, so that it does not spread like cancer throughout my being…

Second, I reach out to those in need, without first asking (or attempting to divine) which side they represent. ¬†I offer comfort, peace, acceptance, and the right to disagree. ¬†I nurture their humanity…

Third, I embrace the innocent, the maligned, whichever side they’re on. ¬†Only by truly embracing can I hope to minimize our divide…

Fourth, I stand my ground.  I do not stand with you or against you, but I stand fully in my truth.  If you wish to move me, you may try, but I know who and what I am about, and I will not be swayed by words of hate wherever they come from.  I do not wish to martyr myself, but I will not play this game of words and intents; words of battle are bathed in the blood of guilt and innocence, and so I shall not utter them, regardless of the consequence.

This is my response to this time of rampant violence…

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