Poetry, Reflections

“A Body Without Boundaries…”

A body without boundaries

an existence without end

bleeding through and exploring

a variety of dimensions.

Meditation leads to dozing

and dozing to dreams;

dreams roll over again

into conscious reality.

But there is little to distinguish

these separate states of Being

other than the transitions

time spent in between…

Where Change is

the only noticeable Constant

the movement, the action

passive seeming dynamic.

Reaching out to Others

merging and blending

influence wrought not through force

but adapting.

And suddenly I know

why the walls were so solid

the ego so strong

the identity so crucial:

for Water without boundaries

is a much muted force

no strength to blast obstacles

and so easily absorbed.

Soaking in unobtrusively

embracing, becoming

One experiencing An’Other

defining Entanglement.

Until no boundary exists

empathy in its truest sense

with only a tingling and a feeling

in the transitions between.

Is this then the goal?

To be vague like a ghost?

Misty mornings, and rings around moons

shapeshifting clouds in midsummer blues?

No limits, no forms

no lofty hopes;

just being, in this moment

nebula adrift in the cosmos…?

Advertisements
Standard
Poetry

“The Hourglass…”

The hourglass is flipped

a new period begins

with all the promise and excitement

that such newness always brings…

The sand starts to fall

immediately

a little pile forming

in the space known as “potential”…

[WAIT! I’m not ready yet!]

The pile grows taller and broader

spreading out

claiming most of the floor

of its newest glass home…

Like a disease of spirit

an imminent threat

“Hurry up!,” it warns me

“before you get swallowed…”

[WAIT! I’m not ready yet!]

But Time waits for no one

not even me

Racing always forward

like a river to the sea…

Slipping through our fingers

restricted only by the neck

No respect for age, nor wisdom

only temporarily controlled by glass…

[STOP!!! JUST STOP!!! I’VE HAD ENOUGH!]

And so it does…

Staring at the hourglass, watching the sand

one grain at a time, to see where they land…

They fall in formation, drawing loose patterns

Designs lost when the others reach out and then cover…

But I see them falling now, grain by soft grain

creating a wave of abrasives

to obliterate what I’ve seen…

[You may continue; I’m ready now…]

The sands resume falling

regaining their pace

Rapidly filling

that formerly empty space…

Potential takes shape now

a dune spread at the base

a pyramid built

of patterns stacked on promises…

And I’ve taken a stance now

I’ve made myself clear:

I will NOT be erased

now that my time is here!

Standard
Poetry, Reflections

“On Being Called…”

I hear a distant sound,

faint and unidentifiable.

Light water babbling in a distant brook,

or birds serenading beloved oaks.

I feel a sound, deep in my chest,

existing far beyond me.

A rhythm of a different heart…

A gathering of drums…

I see a sound far off on the horizon,

shimmering and indistinct.

Like stardust on a sunny day,

or moonlight on a distant wave.

I smell a sound that doesn’t fit,

a passing scent, a simple whiff.

Like woodsmoke from a mile distant,

or night blooming flowers lost in darkness.

I taste a sound, both bitter and sweet,

teasing my tongue with its familiarity.

A hint of lavender and vanilla

with just the right touch of citrus mixed in…

Overwhelmed my senses be by something

neither I nor others can truly see.

Being called to distant places (or times),

being called to my discovery…

*** *** ***

So long, folks, for a little while at least, for I am being called away. Don’t know how long I’ll be “gone” this time, but I’m sure I’ll be back this way. I tried to resist, staying grounded, staying “home”. But the answers I seek simply aren’t here anymore.

So don’t feel forgotten, don’t feel ignored, for I’ve done neither of those things. Unless, of course, you prefer it that way; then, by all means, carry on! ūüėÄ

Standard
Reflections

Who is she…?

Who is this “mother” who gave birth to me, more than half a century ago?

She was more than just a conduit through which my spirit could connect with another physical body. Wasn’t she?

She had her own thoughts, her own feelings, her own needs, her own demons. Didn’t she?

She might be a faceless stranger to me, but someone must have known her, right?

I don’t actually know, as we never truly “met.” At least not here, in this timeline, while I’ve been Lisa. But, of course, we shared the same space. Even the same body. Some trace of her must remain within me. Somewhere… Right?

My conscious memories of this timeline don’t truly begin until I was almost 3 years old. Everything before that is hazy and vague, and by that time, she was long gone. But I never knew why…

My brother remembered her, and he loved her. So much so that he never stopped waiting for her to return. The few stories he told me merely emphasized her abuse, made me grateful I couldn’t remember her. But he never gave up on her. Ever… Why?

Was he simply another abandoned child, longing to be cared for? Or was there something special about my mother that he craved to connect with again, in spite of the abuse and abandonment?

Today is the anniversary of the day they discovered him dead. I remember that day, though the year escapes me now; sometime in the 90’s though… He’d been dead for days, and the smell drew his neighbor’s attention. He died alone. No cause of death was ever determined…

I remember him visiting me in my dreams on his first birthday after his death. He was happy. At last. Standing on the other side of a river with her at his side. In death he had gained what he’d always longed for in life – reunification with our mother.

So what made her so special that he never could let her go? Today I am wondering…

Science claims to have proven that much of our innate “intelligence” comes to us through our mother’s genes. Judging from the way my family has grown, I tend to believe that; my daughter is at least as “smart” as I am, and her children outshine us both… So, should I assume my mother was also highly intelligent? Maybe too much so to “fit” into the world as it was when I was born? She was a college graduate who made a living as a model, before being relegated to a lonely life as an army wife and mother… That would have made me crazy!

And she was “crazy,” every bit as much as I am, though my father tried to keep that from us kids. But we found out eventually. About her time in a lockdown facility, her “nervous” condition, the mysterious deaths of two of my siblings…

I am the only redhead in my family. I thought I was adopted. Turns out my mother was a redhead, too… Is that significant?

So many times through my childhood I remember my drunken father caressing my cheek, looking deep in my eyes, and murmuring about how much like her I was… Even my brother would echo those sentiments in his less guarded moments… Hmm…

So, who was she? This woman who gave birth to me more than half a century ago?

I honestly don’t know. But today I am on a mission to find out…

Today I choose to open my heart to that lost and closed chapter in my life. Today I invite her memory in, to meet with me, to speak with me. No judgment here. Just compassion. And an honest desire to know the spirit of the one who carried me into this place, sharing first her body, her genes, her home, and her madness…

I think it’s time we finally meet…

Standard
Essay

Ignorance May Be Bliss…

but ignorance of how ignorant we are may be causing much of our conflict…

I just read an interesting article about the Dunning-Kruger Effect. It describes a common form of confirmation bias in which it isn’t so much what we don’t know that is the problem, but the overestimation of what we think we do know that is… That made an incredible amount of sense to me.

Let’s face it, we’re all guilty of confirmation bias to one extent or another. I know I am. Whether it’s in our perceptive bias (selective perception that primarily notices what we expect to find), our cognitive bias (more readily accepting as “fact” what we already believe to be true), or emotional bias (interpreting events to fit our current mood), we all shape reality according to pre-conceived notions. It’s simply how we are constructed. Our brains make connections based on connections already established; if it fits, it sticks. But what happens when you don’t know that you don’t know something? Worse yet, you don’t actually know something you think you do?!

Chaos rules…

How many others here have found themselves (recently!) shaking their head in bewilderment at something someone else said or did? I don’t mean simple confusion, or disbelief, but a deep-down, profound sense of wtf?! I can hear your thoughts here as clearly as my own, that moment when your inner dialogue sounds like this:

“Really?! Like seriously?! You didn’t just [say/do] that, did you?!”

The actions of the person we are interacting with are simply incomprehensible to us! We cannot even imagine…

THAT moment is a Dunning-Kruger moment… Either the person we are dealing with is downright delusional about reality, or we are. Either way, someone truly doesn’t grasp their own ignorance about the matter at hand.

I know I’m guilty of being on both sides of that equation. I recently heard myself “lecturing” my co-workers about something I strongly believed to be true. I sensed the resistance of at least one in the room, though she chose not to challenge me. The others all radiated validation my way, except one who chose to question my biases. It was then I heard myself admit, “of course, these are all just my opinion; there is no logical reason for you to accept them as anything else. I know I sound like I know what I’m talking about, but that’s just the confidence with which I express all my viewpoints you hear. I could be wrong. And if you can show me where I’m wrong, I’m more than willing to listen…”

The conversation moved on to other things after that. But that memory stuck with me. “Arrogance” is a word often used to describe me, and I can’t honestly deny it, though I would prefer to mute it. More like confident in my intelligence, my ability to grasp both abstract and actual “truths,” and make reasonable, sensible connections between them. But I understand that my basic premises may be wrong, that my intellectual bias may be leading me astray, that I may not have my “facts” straight at all. But to have to add that qualification to every “point” I make in a discussion makes any such debate cumbersome at best, pointless at worst. For how can we “learn” anything, if every sentence we utter begins with “I may not know what I’m talking about, but…”

Much better, in my opinion, to have someone challenge my assertions, point out where I’ve led myself astray. If your facts, reason, logic, or bias makes more sense after questioning, then I have no problem adjusting my point of view to be more in alignment with yours; I am quite capable of admitting I am “wrong” and you are “right.”

But if no one ever challenges me…? Or if those who do have nothing more to offer than insults and insistence on their own point of view, regardless of any contradictions or alternative ideas I might challenge them with…?

Then no true exchange of views, no “learning,” is possible. Right? Or am I missing something obvious here? Lol!

I’m not sure what the solution might be. I’m not even sure a solution exists! I can’t actually think for someone else, any more than I can make decisions about what might be best for them. But I can better discipline myself, and my own thought patterns. And I think it’s time to make a conscious effort to do so.

So, for a time anyway, I’m going to make a effort to add those annoying, cumbersome qualifiers to any discussion I have about “reality.” Maybe I won’t say them out loud all the time (since some already resent the number of words I use to express my point of view – lol!), but to myself, at least. While conversing with these people who make me want to tear my hair out in frustration, I will continuously repeat the mantra:

Ignorance may be bliss, but ignorance of my ignorance is not going to exacerbate this!

Or, in simpler, less verbiose terms…

I could be wrong here…

Standard
Reflections

Wordy, wordy… the Message in the Medium…

I use too many words to express how I feel, to say what I mean, to get my point across… ¬†If you follow me at all regularly, you know this. ¬†I often meander way off track to get to where I’m going, taking the scenic path through unnecessary landscapes, just to prolong the journey. ¬†I know this about myself. ¬†I’ve heard it all my life. ¬†It’s one of the reasons I’d never make it as a published writer, because I refuse to let those extra words go, and I will not allow my message to be biased by arbitrary (even if well-reasoned) word count limits…

So to be told by someone that I “sure take a round about way to make a simple statement” shouldn’t “hurt,” right? ¬†But it does… ¬†It feels like a rebuke. ¬†Because it is¬†one. ¬†It also happens to be true!

My response? ¬†Immediately shut up while silently going on the defensive…

[But I love words! ¬†I want to use them…]

[So what? ¬†No one is requiring you to hear me out… ¬†I’m just making conversation, after all.]

[Sorry… My bad…]

And then I retire with my cup of coffee to mull it over… ¬†And over… ¬†And over again… [Just to be sure, you understand…?*]…

(* note where the comma is placed; it’s important.)

And then I ask myself, “what does it matter?” ¬†If this is who I am (and I like that), what difference does it make? ¬†People are free to walk away any time. ¬†Why should this even bother me?

But it does… ¬†Which tells me something more than mere words is happening here; some truth is trying to reveal itself to me. ¬†So let’s chew on this some more…

Why do I need so many words to express my self? ¬†[Oh, is there an extra space there, dividing the word “myself”? ¬†;)] ¬†Why can’t I be content just saying what I mean? ¬†Why does almost every direct statement¬†feel incomplete?

Is it just my ego revelling in the sound of my own voice? ¬†Is it my insecurity attempting to hold someone’s attention, now that they’re finally listening to me? ¬†Or is there something more going on with Me? [Yes, that capital “M” was intended; it’s not a typo.]

The truth is all those “extra” words serve a purpose in the end. ¬†They provide background, context, for what the words are “supposed” to mean, at this time, in this place… all relative, you see…? ¬†They provide history (how I got to the point I’m trying to make), and connotative context (how and why I feel about what I’m about to say). ¬†But mostly, all those extra syllables are there to illustrate the complexity and design behind simple statements, to show how Truth cuts through dimensional barriers, existing every where, every time, simultaneously, without contradiction. ¬†That¬†fact never ceases to create a sense of awe and wonder in me, and it is the closest thing (I’ve ever experienced) to the feeling known as “faith.”

I, personally, have never “trusted” an outsider to “take care of me.” ¬†I’ve never believed that any human, god or cosmic plan existed with my best interests at heart, even in the best of times. ¬†I’ve always waited for the other shoe to drop – the expectation, the exhortation, the exploitation… ¬†It always comes… ¬†Eventually.

And maybe that’s just the way life is done – an exchange of energy essential to keep things moving along. ¬†Too much flowing in one direction creates an imbalance, requires correction. ¬†Nature abhors a vacuum, right?

So… who’s to say all these extra words are not necessary after all? ¬†If only in the way they hold the space, preventing any lesser truth (or greater falsehood) from sneaking in behind to fill the void. ¬†So much left unsaid when word counts start to matter. ¬†So much left open to interpret, outside my purposeful intent. ¬†Yes, indeed, there are times for that. ¬†But that’s what poetry is for…

And when carefully constructed poetry (or random intuitive ramblings) draw forth too literal responses (“what a lovely picture you paint with your words!”), however well-meaning and sincere… ¬†Well, let’s just chalk that up to the Failed column, with so many other wasted words, because [clearly!] you didn’t get my point at all…

*** deep sigh ***

Words are easy… Communication is not.

Standard
Reflections

Moving On or Giving Up…?

Questioning motives today, mostly my own. ¬†Wondering about this weird “between” zone I’ve been living in of late. ¬†Not really here, but not really anyplace else, skating upon the surface tension of experience without attempting to delve within. ¬†It’s almost like a dream state, acknowledging events as “significant,” identifying which are most currently relevant, suspecting why they may be pertinent, but refusing to make any commitments on this, my own journey. ¬†Like reading headlines and telling myself, “that looks interesting,” but not bothering to read the actual content…

I’ve been “struggling for so long” (yes, those are the words that presented themselves, though I am eager to change them to something less combative, less obstructive, and more positive, but I can’t, or won’t in good conscience do so, lest I give in to some compulsion to be less than totally honest with myself) to grasp (and utilize productively) the concept and tools of self-empowerment. ¬†Decades I’ve spent “learning” this path; yes,¬†decades! ¬†I understand the theory behind it. I’ve explored so many methods of expressing it. ¬†I’ve owned the responsibility. ¬†I’ve dedicated myself to this particular path. ¬†And yet…

I get frustrated when it does not¬†seem to work for me. ¬†(Note the qualifier there, as I suspect it is important. ¬†Lol!) ¬†The truth is, if I’m actually being honest, while I may never attain what I want, I almost always get exactly what I need. ¬†My dissatisfaction comes from my refusal to accept that as enough…

Am I really so greedy that “enough” is not enough for me? ¬†How can that be me? ¬†Honestly…

This past week, like so many more before, I found myself in that familiar but unenviable position of seeing my “almost safe” position collapse into absolute uncertainty again. ¬†I was fed up! ¬†“Why?!,” I cried out. ¬†“Why does this¬†always happen to me?! ¬†I get so close to that light at the end of the tunnel, I see the exit bright before me… And then the world trembles, the tunnel collapses, and all is dark again!”

And the answer came to me…

“Why not?”

How do you refute such logic? ¬†How do you answer such simple and real honesty? ¬†I can’t. ¬†There is no compelling reason why I in particular should succeed when so many others are failing (or more accurately flailing about). ¬†There is nothing so special about me that I should be exempt from such setbacks; in fact, my very history (if viewed from a perspective of self-empowerment) would imply that I prefer it this way. ¬†Consistency is key in any experimentation, and in this journey of self-mastery, “just falling short” is my hallmark, the highest rank I have ever achieved… ¬†Perhaps I want it this way? ¬†*sigh* ¬†(I would ask why, but really what is the point?)

So I lashed out against All, acknowledging I was responsible, but still wanting to express myself. ¬†And in doing so, I was presented with story after story of troubles that far surpassed my own. ¬†Relativity, right? ¬†Comparing misfortunes. ¬†I hate it, and I refuse to encourage others to pursue it; just because others may have it worse than me, I see no healthy reason to deny what¬†I feel. ¬†It matters to me, therefore it’s worth experiencing – fully, and without minimizing it.

But I couldn’t maintain my self-centered point of view, and so I turned my conscious thought to “wanting” what was best for the others involved, and trusting that my needs would be met in the end…

And “miracles” occurred – a shifting of reality so dramatic and improbable that reasonability would not have allowed me to truly hope for them. ¬†And within 48 hours, events resolved themselves to meet everyone’s needs. ¬†And I had to stop complaining… (lol!)

It¬†does work, but it does not appear to truly require¬†work when it does… ¬†And perhaps that is where I have led myself astray so many times before…

Because I have believed in my own potential, and I have owned my failure to live up to it. ¬†I have seen how fear, laziness, selfishness and greed have prevented me from truly succeeding, and I have justified every failure with judgments against myself – I didn’t follow through, I gave up, I never gave myself a chance, I didn’t want to do the work, I pursued the selfish (unnecessary) goal, I made mistakes, I was impulsive (or too slow to act), I spoke too soon (or not soon enough)… ¬†Etc., ad nauseum…

But my¬†needs have always been met…

So I “should” be grateful (and I am). ¬†I “should” accept what is (and I do). ¬†I keep on keepin’ on. ¬†Life proceeds… ¬†and plans and needs change, along with those unfulfilled wants, though to a much lesser degree. ¬†Those wants return with amazing consistency, changing only enough to better meet the “times” they are experienced in; at their root they remain the same. ¬†And unfulfilled. ¬†Still…

And still I question why I am here? ¬†Still… ¬†Could there be some sort of connection there?

Nearly 3 decades ago when this path first became clear to me (crystally), it emerged in a rapid series of epiphanies. ¬†Suddenly I was fired up, motivated, eager to pursue what was so obvious, and yet had remained so hidden from me. ¬†I’ve been sensing such an epiphany pending, all week, hovering at the edge of my consciousness but refusing to enter. ¬†Always on the periphery, threatening to topple my well-ensconced beliefs about myself…

Back then, my “others” questioned, as did I:

“But how can I use this to get what I want? ¬†What is the reason for knowing this stuff?”

The answer came then, cryptic but certain, haunting me to this very day, where it runs through my mind like an endless refrain:

“You will know how to use this as soon as you see…

the purpose of Being, what it means to be Me.”

And I can’t muster enough depth of awareness to even pursue it…

Giving up or moving on…? ¬†Today, that is the question.

Standard