Thursday, July 4, 2019

King


On this day of independence, I wish for our king an awakening.

I wish for clarity to seep into the oval throne room, and for love to crown him.

On this day of independence, I wish for our king an awakening, an abandoning of blustering darkness for bright brilliant light.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Guilt and Gratitude


I am a simple human hollowed by the sorrows of others. Yes. I live with the luxury of guilt. For I live in the luxury of fair middle-class American skin. I live with the luxury of trust in the police.  I live with the luxury of English as a first language. I live with the luxury of health insurance. I live with the luxury of independence.

Now at thirty-something, I settle into the gentle bliss of ordinariness.  Sometimes, the romantic in me wants to be wild, unfettered, and free. (For this is what society preaches to young middle-class American citizens on how to have happiness.) Yet here I am satisfied and energized by the complex and yet simple work of caregiving. Here I am, on July 1, grateful that I don't need to work every single day. For if I had to work every single day, I would not be good. Nor would I be healthy and happy. Here I am, on July 1, starting my summer vacation and living with the luxury of necessary rejuvenation. 

It turns out, guilt and gratitude are two sides of the same coin. And so here I am grateful. Grateful that I don't need to flee my home and country. Grateful that I don't need to drown in the sea simply for the hope of living.  Here I am grateful that I do not starve or freeze or sleep on any street. But in a bed, surrounded by painted walls and trees.

I am a simple human hollowed by the sorrows of others.
Yes. I live in luxury.

More and Less

                                      

While blackbirds bounce across the raw wool roof of earth, I sit inside a car. Watching through slanted glass, I wonder if there might (one day) be more bird than car.

Perhaps there already are more birds than cars.
I hope so.
But, is there more feather than metal?
Or more wing than gasoline?
What about more beak than brake?
And, are there more fish than human flesh?
More silence than city?
More wildflower than weapon?
More pine tree than pavement?
More orca whale than oil spill?
More rainforest than landfill?
More love than fear?
More give than take?
More hope than despair?

Inside this man-made car, I watch through slanted glass and wonder if there might one day be less for me and therefore more for me.

Here I am. Come find me.


I am the one wrapped in cotton bedding. The one praying, begging the mighty light to shine on me, and the pure summer rain to wash over me so that these tiny seeds inside of me may root, sprout, bud, and bloom.

Here I am. Come find me.

I am the one hoping for that spark. For that lark to start her singing on the eve of another morning. I am the one imploring for a strong heart, for bones, teeth, eyes, ears, fingers, and toes. For a brain, a belly, and a nose. I am the one asking the universe to bless this body with the body of a second baby. To bless this soul with another soul. I'm ready.

Here I am. Come find me.

[And if it will not be, then it will not be, and I will not be angry.  Instead, I will accept that there is something else out there for me.]

Oh to be a bird


and swim upon the wind!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Free






The writers I read write about destiny. They write about following the light like an actor on a stage might, like a naked body on a beach might, like a car at night might.  Follow the light, they write. And fall into the flow, into the motion of the moment.  They write this while they sit in silent stillness for hours, writing good book upon good book. They fall. They do. And then, through deep inner listening, they rise into resiliency. Then they move people, these motivational makers of transformation, they move people to the present.  

They write: You can be as free as me. You can. Be open. Be as wide open as the ocean. Then, let worry fall, fear flee, and the ego drop. Now. Sit in stillness...yes, for hours! Believe. Eventually, you will be as free as me. 

Free is not fame. For fame is a myth, an invented hierarchy of modern society. Film stars, rock stars, royalty, politicians, professional athletes, best selling authors, and the business savvy - none are more human than you or me. We are not all destined for media celebrity. Thank goodness.

Free is not pride. Free is purity. Free is solitary and free is community. Free is freedom. Free is joy honored in simple magnificent moments. Free is nonresistance and surrender and acceptance to what is. And yet, free is participation in human evolution. Free is naming a truth a truth, and a lie a lie. Free is peace. Free is grace. Free is love.

Free is power. However, free is not the bombastic power with which we are most familiar. Free is not made of walls, atomic and automatic weapons, or erratic volcanic ignorance. Free is not this masculine antiquity, this dead-end road blown to bits by the wars of our entire human history. Free is bold. Yes. Free is an intricate power, a power of feminine invention, courage, and determination. Free is radical compassion. Patriarchy will eventually die, decay and reach extinction, and these old soldier stories will live on only as fossil fuel for peace negotiations. I believe it is mostly men folk who fight for pride, for borders, and for country. It has been mostly men who have ruled with violence in all its unfortunate forms. I write this knowing many good feminine men. Men who are empathetic listeners. Men who are strong and soft. Men who see themselves in every other human. These men are free and brave and they will remain. They will be the fathers of male transformation.

Sometimes I wear a gray t-shirt to the gym which reads, THE FUTURE IS FEMALE. I once felt self-conscious whenever I wore it, especially as I felt eyes roll across my chest. But that was when this phrase felt political. Now, it just feels like truth. And these days, truth and politics live in separate houses (when once they simply slept in separate beds). If we survive, we humans I mean, it won't be because one bomb was bigger than another bomb. It will be because we finally stopped believing in foreigners and false supremacies.

Lately, I have been seeking reasons why I should quit this writing. Yet, it continues to compel me. So on I follow curiosity after curiosity. Sitting in stillness (like for hours!), I seek and make, I write. For me, writing is a light to chase. It is a way I fall into the flow, into the motion of the moment. I may never be the author of books. I will (most likely) never reach media celebrity. But I can be as wide open as the ocean. I can let worry fall, fear flee, and the ego drop. I can be free.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

A Montessori Toddler Classroom


It has been a school year full of so much joy. {Sorrows too - big and small moments of pain and struggle and challenge.} But mostly, there was giggling and singing, hugging and dancing, jumping, climbing, balancing, painting and playing, spinning, hand-holding, running, tumbling, falling, bumping, crying, ice pack applying and injury report signing, sand, sweat, snow pants, "stop!", pee, poop, water bottles, and lots and lots of sunscreen! We've had bubble building and bubble pop pop popping! We've had so many hours of sweet deep sleep. We've seen innumerable bouts of beautiful concentration... Children practicing until they fit all the red nesting dolls into the biggest nesting doll. Children practicing until they string 10 tiny beads into a necklace. Children working a key, a latch, a hammer, a pair of scissors, and a screwdriver. Children naming and matching small objects to corresponding photographs. We have heard, "I did it!" so many times. We have said, "You did it!" so many times. We have witnessed babble become word, diaper become underwear, and foe become friend. Hundreds of hellos and so many waves goodbye. It has been a school year full of so much joy.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Acceptance


I am tall and slender like my father. I look a little like my mother. Though my face will never be as soft. One might say I am pretty. People take pride is such silly things. Don't they? As if we do all the work. But I didn't mold my cheekbones, chin, and nose while floating in utero. I did not decide on the wave and color of my hair, nor the blueish brown irises of my eyes. I never selected my hip width or the length of my legs. Sure, I want this body to move me and work, to climb mountains, run, garden, lift children, dance and write. I want to feel good and strong and so I eat well and work. I dance and play. Therefore, this form is strong and healthy and for that, I am grateful and I am happy. Certainly, it will not be strong and healthy for all eternity. For this body is entirely temporary. Still, I try not to give in to common earthly worry. Instead, I try to let whatever is, be.

I look older because I am older. This is obvious. This is acceptance. Luckily, I've never leaned too heavily on my hair color or my face or figure. When I was younger, I tried (leaning on my looks), but I just, sort of, fell over. So I no longer look too longingly into any mirror. This is the soft fragile shell I wear. That's all. One made for me by other bodies and by the great soul of all souls. Surely, I am curious about it, curious about time and age. I find my white hair, wrinkles, and wisdom most interesting.

Last year, I bought myself a pink t-shirt with the word MOTHER printed in large red letters across the front. At the time, it seemed like a powerful purchase, like a public naming. However, I've hardly worn it. For it feels like a bumper sticker on my chest. THIS IS ME! It screams. Yet, I don't want to be defined by any label. Labels just become judgments and assumptions. A simplified effort to name oneself, know oneself. As if I could ever be the abstract image of a word anyway. As if we were all our bodies or our roles and not a chaotic blended bit of the universe.

We try. We write lists, labels, profiles, roles, and words around ourselves...
I am this
I do this
I live here
I traveled there
I wear this
I have this
I was this
I am this

Words cannot define me. Not really. Though this doesn't keep me from trying. I love language. And I love all that it fails to do. For then there is only living.  I am living. And I am learning. Learning not to label. I am not what I do or the places I go to. I am not the linen, cotton, and leather I wear. I am not my brown and white wavy hair. I am not my moles, my freckles, my legs, my hips, my lips, my fingers, my feet. I am not what I have. (Again, I say.) I am not what I have. I am nothing and I am everything. An abstraction in body, traveling.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Hurry and Surrender



I once allowed my mind to push us through time. 

Wake up, love!
To the toilet!
To the dresser!
To the table!
Cereal? Toast? Juice? Water?
Here are your boots... your coat! I've got your bag!
To the car!
To school...
Park. Walk. 
Goodbye! 
Love you!

[SCHOOL]

...Hello! 
Let's go! 
To the car! 
To the house!
Wash your hands.
Come to the table!
The bath is ready!
Open your mouth - time to brush teeth!
Put on your pajamas. 
To bed!
Books.
It's late. 
Lights out. 
It is time to sleep! 


She is three years old.


You cannot hurry her into the car or she wanders into the woods. You cannot hurry her into the bath or she dances away. And you certainly cannot hurry her to sleep. Sleep comes soon or sleep comes slow, and lately, on account of her napping at school, sleep comes slow.

Many nights, while I lie beside her restless body, my mind maddens me. I deserve this time alone. It says. But what is actually true? She is not yet sleepy at 7:30. So with that, I surrender. We will read books a little longer and she will fall asleep a little later.

Every moment is meant for me. Even these seemingly tedious times of transition. Even while waiting, weeping, and cleaning. Every moment is meant for me. Just as this child is meant for me. Already, at three, she is my wisest teacher. I observe her as a student, a scientist or a monk might. She is a master of the moment, of play and spontaneity. I want to land on every moment the way she does, with such gusto, confidence, and creativity.

As the adult, I have been the doer and the timekeeper. This all has its place. However, I don't want to hurry her anymore. Hurry is the worry that stomps through the bloodstream, causes the back to lean, and the feet to reach. Hurry is the worry that shoves the shoulders up and stretches the neck ahead. Hurry is the worry that puts me into an angry, clumsy frenzy. I don't want that for her and I don't want that for me. And so I surrender. Stress never stalls time anyway. Instead, with this small person, stress stretches time into long fits of strife and struggle. Therefore, I surrender. Yes, boundaries. Yes, routine. And yes also to her whims, wants and needs. Yes to empathy.

When I wake her now, I try not to speak. Instead, I play sweet songs, songs with no drums or cymbals or horns, just voices, and strings.

I set down the speaker in the dark...

song
arm
open eyes 
lie
rise 

dress
pee 
food
breathe 

quiet
drive
park 
carry 
walk 
goodbye, love 

[school]

hello
car
home 
hands 
supper 
bathing 
brushing 
bed
books and
books and
books
and



sleep.







[It isn't always this small and silent, but this soft flow is the goal.]  

Friday, April 5, 2019

Air


If I sit very still, I can feel my heartbeat as it rocks the top of my body.

It just does that.

Eckhart Tolle wrote that we are more air than atom. It has been proven.

I am more air than atom, more SPACE than skin, bone, and organ. I must remember this next time I fall on my thoughts, myself, or the earth.

We are more air than atom. What a beautiful idea.

One day, I hope to float - to rise above the little stuff and ride the current of universal consciousness.