Love, most precious resource, fabric of my being. You come down from sky and up from roots, growing in my heart, simple and sweet. Your perfume is rose forgiveness, your essence is clarity, pure light. Distilled from muddy waters, ruptured stone, and darkness. I invite you all here into the caverns of me, turning gold. Who mines treasures within must be patient like an old elephant and vigilant like a rattle snake, effervescent like bubbling spring water. Love, precious resource. Life
I’ve been having an important insight lately into what it means to me to be a working musician. I love music so much and I want to take my career to the furthest reaches it can go. That being said, I never want to gauge my success by my level of fame or fortune, as these things are measured by changing standards I don’t always resonate with, and can never accurately measure the merit of my creations! My goal is to make beautiful, powerful, authentic, meaningful music and to continue to improve my skills and my craft, which is never ending creative process. As long as I am doing that, I am happy, because the rest is truly out of my control. With this mindset I’m also much more able to support my fellow artists, instead of comparing myself, my success, and my musical journey to theirs. We are all unique!
I have so much gratitude for all the people who continue to support me and share their love for my music and songs, it really means so much to me that they have touched you in some way! I am also awed inspired and grateful for all my role models out there, rocking hard! You know who you are ❤️🙏
I have been contemplating what motivates me, if not being better than, competing, impressing, fame, status, success, money power over others etc?
What gives me my sense of purpose, my sense of worth?
Simple: a desire to contribute, to gift something to the world.
How do I access this desire? How do I actualize myself? Embody who I truly am?
In order to do that I have to be aligned with source, and let that source flow through me. That source is love, is worth. (The easiest way to become connected to source is to become aware of my breath. To become a witness to my breath.)
In order to contribute something I have to believe and feel and know that I am something. To shine the worth that I am.
I don’t know about you but I (admittedly) very often don’t do this! Because I’m
Grumpy or tired or lazy or mean or selfish or ignorant or angry or self righteous or jealous or you name it!! (Human). I “sin” which really means to miss the mark. So I am constantly in a state of humbling myself and forgiving myself, correcting myself and encouraging myself so I can return again to right alignment with source and let it flow through my thoughts words and deeds. To be in the flow. That feels good! The good kind of good. Soul good not just body good. So yummy! Ps. This looks different for everyone. What puts you in the mood is not going to necessarily do it for me. Thank goodness, we are all our own special selves.
I am not waiting for an external catalyst to save me or gift me freedom, inspiration etc. Disney princes, included. I am working *always* to recognize the gifts that I have and the gift that I am. Life is a gift and it is a privilege. Recognizing this I begin to lose entitlement and walk with gratitude and with awareness of the miracle of my existence. I am practicing this. This is who I become. I grow. I change. I evolve. Then I can share that. Then I can be that. Then I can really love.
and that’s what it’s all about, fools. LOvE. Didn’t your mama teach you anything?The
Today my favorite color is yellow
Florida trees told me so
Trumpeting loud against flat, lengthy blue
Like that Picasso who flows unasked
Into my every colored line
Today my favorite color is yellow
A trumpet for the times
Triumphant vulvas in bright daylight
Unselfconscious and free
Today my favorite color is yellow
Roaring lips who
Declare my majesty:
The Flower Kingdom
The Unceasing Dawn.
Those who stomp with foolish heavy feet
Crushing poetic petals under foot
Fall back, flabbergasted
By the immensity
of this brilliant
I go down to its
Offering myself to the jaws of indignation
Prying me awake
Finding gaps in my knowledge
Righting wrongs fashioned by human hands
My own in sleep and
others, ragged nail and bone
I still cannot claim as other
Today my favorite color is yellow
Because hope is a wild fire
And we are its food.
As a white, female, Jewish American from a privileged upbringing in the suburbs of New York City, I admittedly have never experienced the direct mechanisms of hate. I have not been racially profiled, jailed, threatened with deportation, locked out of opportunities, or subjected to violence and the daily threat of violence. I can only imagine the emotions that such experiences engender. I feel indignant that people who look like me have committed such heinous acts and continue to act with remorseless impunity.
To those people I say, you may look like me, but something about you is different. You have a disease impairing your sensibility, and that disease is called hate. By other names it is greed. It is racism. It is war.
Look at your hands. The way the fingers move. The way skin, that velvety barrier between air and organs melts across your sinew and bone. Think about the way those fingers move, how they dance, the things they are capable of.
Now look around. What do you see? Walls, maybe a window? Outside the sun shines down its nourishing rays equally upon rich and poor, healthy and sick, the kind and the cruel.
We've inherited these hands the same way we've inherited this Earth. We did not create them, nor do we own them. Think about that.
There are those who would protect the haves and take from the have nots. To these people I would say woe unto you, because you don't know that whatever you do to another is done unto you. You are not different from the other, and in fact
There is no other.
Zoom out now and look at our planet. The celestial globe floating like an iridescent gem in its atmosphere, suspended between unfathomably large stretches of vacuum amidst star and supernova. There we are, man and woman, rich and poor, populating and laughing and dying on that blue globe. Should we pit one against the next, fighting over resources, squandering our talent and ingenuity in raping and pillaging this gorgeous planet that sustains us?
Because you are brown, and I am white. Because you are man, and I am woman. Because you are gay, and I am straight.
Because you are Christian and I am Jew. Because you are Muslim and I am Buddhist.
Because you are you, and I am me?
Let's have pity and compassion for those afflicted with the disease of hate.
Let us not give morally bankrupt mutants with the inability to see humanity beyond the confines of their own skin the power to make us feel anything other than beautiful, capable, connected, free, and whole.
I need you, my friends. To listen. To unify. To mobilize. Let's put down our phones and our small problems and open our eyes. Connect with the beauty around us. Find out how we can help, create, and get involved. I got your back!
I'd like to know, where do you stand in this dilemma, friend? All of us are in the same pot, and it's starting to boil.
I just read a little article about immigrants and it made me reflect on Isabel, my other mother who recently, suddenly, passed on to the other side. Isabel lived with my family for many years and helped raise my brother and I because both of my parents worked full time. She was with me when I was born, bathed me, fed me, played with me, and took care of me. Until the day she left her body she called me "her dolly" and referred to me as "la niña" to all her friends and family, even though I'm now 29. I miss those names she called me, the sound of her voice, cooking and sharing food with her, and her laugh. Isabel enriched my life in so many ways. She was a part of my family. She ate dinner with us and watched TV with us at night. She and her son, my brother Julio, lived with us until I was 5 when they moved into their own apartment. She took care of our house up until the end of her life. She also cared for multiple family members of mine when they got sick, like my cousin and my grandma. Isabel and her son are from El Salvador and my family helped her get her green card. I can't imagine what my life would have been like without my Isabel, and I miss her terribly. I don't understand the sentiments behind the immigration laws and deportation, and people's strange notions of immigrants from Mexico, Latin and South America. It's truly a travesty. It's truly absurd. Thank you for listening.
What gives us value as human beings? What is our core worth?
This is WHO we are and cannot be affected by how others view us, our triumphs or our failures.
Our core worth is unchanging and unchangeable.
Like the sun that shines, our worth simply exists, separate from any measurements of good and bad, right
and wrong, successful or unsuccessful. We can't compare our worth to anyone else's worth because we
are all equal.
To the mind, this may be hard to understand. Of course some people appear to be “better” than others in
measurable qualities. They might appear to be “prettier,” “smarter,” have “more money,” or be “more
successful.” But the part of us that measures our worth in these terms is really our smaller self. It is our
ego mind, and it is based in separateness and division, survival and competition- the notion that there isn't enough and we need to secure what is ours and hold onto it.
The realist, deepest, and truest part of ourselves knows who we are, and this knowingness is the truth of
who we are.
I prayed to lose all false notions of self
I was left naked and bare, I am I am
Feathers floating down slow
Nothing to grasp but air
I am I am
Tell me that you love me
You person you
You who are so many and so few
You who are effervescent
You who are white light
You who burns deep blue and bright
I am I am
Tease me with your wickedness
I will only laugh
Delight exists beyond bitterness
But through it we all must pass
Do I regret the notion?
No, I'm free at last
I am I am
Did you think you could chain me up
Chain me with your logic?
No, I am butterfly forming
Soup in a cocoon
Did you think you could pry me open too early
With the pressure in your eyes?
No, I am waiting
My colors, a surprise
Oh, I am patient
Oh I am kind
Oh I am everything
And all you left behind
You threw me in the cauldron
And covered me with time
You tossed me and you boiled me
In pain and love sublime
I am molten lava rock
Carved by wind and rain
I am terror, I am golden
I am shielded, I am pain
I am I am
Believe in me
I am the impossible
Dew drops on a blade
I am the color before sunrise
I am the last time you saw clearly
Hello in there
I am I am
Our Hearts, Our Hands Can Heal
You don’t have to be perfect to help other people. You just have to show up, as yourself, with an intention to do something good. Something meaningful. Something kind. And then what do you do?
Between the words spoken lives a certain energy, and I believe we can pick up on it by tuning into our intuitive sixth sense (we all have one) which reads verbal cues, body language, and subtle facial expressions like flocks of birds and butterflies read seasonal changes. This is the language I read when I lead women’s circles, when I teach, and when I perform. As a facilitator I think of myself as a navigator of sorts, steering the ship through waves and weather very much beyond my control. I take my cues from outside and inside, the part of me that keeps a pulse on it all, that is a part of it all, as it is a part of me.
Today, in the grey walled room with the heavy door in the maximum security pod in the jail we did a class on Ho‘oponopono, an ancient Hawaiian reconciliation technique made popular by Ihaleakala Hew Len, Ph.D, student of Hawaiian Kahuna Morrnah Simeona. Standing in a circle we walked slowly, repeating the magical words at the heart of this technique:
Please forgive me
I love you
We said the words over and over until something in us released and allowed that ineffable flow of healing that can neither be spoken of nor denied. It is the very ground of our being, the “zero-point” as Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len calls it, and it is where our healing begins and ends. In each moment, with each footstep, those women in their stripes peering out from black and brown and white faces, with curly hair and eyes sinking down, or lighting up periodically, spoke and felt something happening. Resistances fell away and we were left in awe, silently weeping, smiling, or laughing.
Forgiveness is a gift and it can be our resilience. It can be an open window in a stuffy room filled with our regrets. No one is or will ever be perfect. This does not need to keep us from trying.
I am grateful for the opportunity to bring the tools I have acquired and those I want to know more about, to learn alongside women in very different life circumstances than I. Together we delve into the living study of what it means to be a growing, thriving human being on an aching planet. The criminal justice system is one place thirsting for our attention. Where are you shining your love today? Are you waiting to be perfect before you offer a helping hand? Our hearts, our hands can heal, just the way they are. Let us offer them to each other in solidarity, in vulnerability, and in love.
Sometimes you look
Like a perfect prince
Your pony tail swish
Hooked nose, broad chin
And sweeping mouth
Sometimes you look
Like an alien spaceship
Eyes folding down in on themselves
Your chide, robotic grin
The weather patterns of your face
Are mine and mine alone
As I gaze at you from
My secret heart
Across the table
My blessed beloved prince
I wrestle you in dreams
Kneading you like bread
Waiting for you to rise
In moments I see clearly
And can separate the two
The man from the God
You rise within me
Trembling I wait
Within my cove
Delight, when you unfold me
And come with me, inside
Surprising me with sweet and savory caress
Ecstasy that knows no bounds
Perhaps it was undeserved
The way I opened wide
Perhaps you waited for my wings to spread
So you could take my gold
(And keep your secret)
Precious fingers of man
You know not my invisible heart
And yet you pierce me
A million times
Without saying a word.
Every time you look at me
I offer you my golden medallion
Now I find myself permanently waiting
An open book you refuse to read
I confuse the two, Man and God
I stuff him into you, or try
To call him forth from glimpses glittering
Beneath wide cheeks
The ones that make me dream and quiver
Forever, how I love you.
God housed you
In my eyes
For a moment
A house of flesh and bone
I could love for a short while
An idol, a puppet
Waxed and waned as in a dream
When all the world
Elicits this impossible sweetness
Why try to squeeze it from from human lips and eyes?
Oh strained delight of ages
Oh patient sage-like knowing
I wait for you
To crown me with your wisdom
Once and for all.
who here longs to hold the key
who begs infinity
who laughs and knocks on her door all day?
right here, right now.
in the middle
of this bar fight
intoxicated on moonshine
the real kind
yes, drunk in the timeless grass of eternity
on the dark side of the road.
I found you there,
beloved, writing my hands
tickling my hair
holding me so close, I could hardly distinguish you
who pretends to hold the key
who begs God
who laughs and knocks at the door each day
right here, right now.
in the middle of this bar fight
intoxicated on moonshine
the real kind
drunk in the timeless grass on the dark side of the road
I found you there,
beloved, writing my hands.
I saw you in my innocent, human prince
I love him always
allow in this love
as my gift to you,
heal your broken mind
Let sunlight blossom in your fertile, pregnant heart
As you offer your body to the flowing light
of my strong love
Healing all you touch
Simply like sunlight
Humbly like breathing
My beloved child
You gave up your art to find me
You gave up your games to live with me
you made me your central sun and you made sacrifices
on my behalf
solemn and between fences
Here in the meadow you found me
playing with your hair and whispering sweet nothings
just like you want me to forever
safe and sound, cradled, held
my darling child how i adore you
how I hold you dear
so close, so tight
how i am always clothing you in noble robes
if only you would pay more attention to me and forgive all the small infractions and misgivings
meaningless train now sunken ships
I inspire you to grow in that rubble
don't forget me child
i am here, in your pen
My stories die today
No longer can I blame
Another for the sorrow that is
And caked in caves concealed from light
I have crawled down deep inside
Unwittingly at first
For at first the path had been clear and
I had smelled
The mighty Ocean’s calm breath
And tasted her promises as truth
How easily and gaily did I dance toward that Ocean then!
I danced for many days and nights
Through many seasons, planting and harvesting steadily
Cold winters came and threatened to freeze
My memory, but I would not forget her waters
And then it was time
I left all the things I could carry behind
And set off alone into the darkness
I traveled by night for protection
From the ones who wouldn’t understand
And for a while
I felt joyful
When creatures big or small came to me asking for favors
I gave them whatever bread I had and lived off of my laughter
I’m not sure when the hunger began
I only know that it surprised
And confused me
I sat down then to think
The trees that once comforted me hissed at me I felt
I looked around and
Couldn’t find the path I almost
Wished for the things I had left behind for the
Timely winters, and the dry, dry land
And then I heard the voice of what I already knew
And had forgotten
I looked up to see the Ocean
I looked up to see the Ocean
Rising fast against the sky
So shrill from within me came, and I wished to run
But found my body frozen, my will numb
I looked down to find my feet
And found them bound and painful
Buried beneath the mud of my ancestors
I looked up
To find my hands raised in fists
So tightly clenched I could no longer use them!
What stories did pass through my mind then
Words of every color shape and size
Flying as bats fly from a cave only to hit against a glass
And fall back inside again
They echoed like that for some time
And I was afraid it would never stop
The water swelled up, high and mighty
The sounds of the forest were absorbed into it as it rose
Neither the sun nor moon could shine through it and
All the forest was cast in its shadow
As it fell
I pushed beneath it and pressed my belly to the sand
Hush said the water
Hush said the sand
And it was silent at the bottom of the Ocean
I live at the bottom of the Ocean
This sand is the fertile soil of my mind
Where senseless seeds were sown and have grown
Into stubborn weeds, weeds turned into bats taking flight
I have tried to swat them and they have returned enraged
And so, surrendering I say
Bring before me
All flying things
All black and vile things
And let them loose into this night
Though they echo in the caverns of my mind
They are not me
They are not mine
Whats inside of me
More than I will ever see
Eyes bearing down deep into that darkness
Within unmanifest glorious shameful black
Standing on a platform restless react
who will I be in 25 years?
I'm alone but I'm not on my knees yet
Like this man with no teeth walking towards me he smiles at me from within and without
who is my enemy
why do I beg him to please me
with his mouth
with his sexual energies
I am not him
I am not his
And i will never belong to anyone
what makes me happy what makes me successful
what makes me blind and strive belong below
I belong to life's heart
life wraps me in her wrapping paper
I am a present
I am a gift
My smile the cold edges of my skin
I am warming in the sun
I am warming in the simple easy breeze
The flowers caressing me tenderly
as they unfurl
I am alone
I am not alone
each cell each fiber of my being within within
busting with darkness
bursting with light with life
within within within
and up there on the street light
on the post i see two birds carelessly watching, calmly watching
Looking for scraps of food
are all that they need, filling their bellies
whole and home
cooing their pigeon sighs
who am I but new york city, left, detached
boomeranging away from my origins, who made me who wove me
I resisted I hate hate hate
all the things that made me
and yet I love them I long for them, i am them
you are a stranger
you are my face in the crowd
you are forgotten concrete driving wheels under my feet
You are alone begging me for something
begging me to heal you to release you
then I'll know myself, I'll know my place
christ manifest through me
so that I may serve
the most holy light
I rise up on a ladder
I strive to pick those apples
the sweet and juicy red flesh
I reach, I bite
the juice drips down my chin
Still I reach, still I'm reaching
higher higher and higher I go
filling myself on those fruits that fall from the sky
That hang that grow from clouds
that climb that whither
that are endless that are edgeless
That are within each cell, eat fiber
this is what I'm saying
I know who I am
I belong here
Please smile for me
please smile at me
Please show me please tell me please teach me
hello hello I'm calling
somebody has left the door open
I'm really really wanting to know
who am I looking for around every corner
is it you?
please belong to me
I'm asking you
hold my hand
please don't let me dance alone.
I'm dancing alone here in the parking lot
there is nobody around but wind and grey buildings
all the cars have died all the people have died all the bees have died all the life has died
and I am driving in a car alone over a tiny bridge stuck in traffic
A big tsunami is on its way to take me
That was the dream I had
But i was warned in time
so here I am exiting
stuck in traffic
On a tiny bridge before the tsunami comes
will you be there in the waves with your smiling face
wiping me away into oblivion?
is that a peaceful place?
sometimes I long to die and go home
not in a morbid way
just in a way that i know that i will be free
my spirit in every molecule in every place
understanding that time past present future
was never a thing that bound me
yet here I am one person inside one skin looking out behind eyes
trying to be appropriate trying to fit in
trying to be an example
trying to be humble
trying to be small and trying to be beautiful
trying to be and trying to be and trying to be!
the pressure in the cooker boiling me
boiling me like beans
mushed up to be eaten in a taco
please give me mexico
please give me africa
please give me exotic foreign strange
please give me culture steeped in history thousands of years buried bones
in an old burial ground beneath the concrete
This culture we built out of plastic
this palace we built out of bones
giving and receiving on the surface
I know its beautiful
I belong to it
I am america after all
I am new york and texas
I am stirred up in a swaddling cloth
babies in my bosom babies in my heart
I am born here again
I am born here every moment
every time i look to the sky
take in that deep infinite breath
and ground it down through my feet into the earth and up
breathing in the depths of lava smoke
breathing in the depths of hard nickel
I am safe
and I have many questions unanswered
my mind tries to untie the knots
but can't quite reach them
grappling there, fumbling there in the darkness
thank you for belonging to me
thank you for holding me
please help me find my enemy
i am thou
I'm reflecting and realizing a pattern in myself- that it's challenging to stay vulnerable in my requests. If I'm not met with the response I want, my mind sometimes responds in a hostile way. It sometimes does this preemptively. Does anyone else have a similar thing? I've been catching myself doing it and kind of marveling at it. It seems like a defense mechanism put in place to keep me from feeling pain, but it doesn't really work. Actually it keeps me in a sort of prison, where I'm not fully expressing myself. Ideally I want to be able to be honest, speak my truth without being attached to the person's response. I want to be able to see people as separate and understand their wants and needs and be able to honor them without taking their opinion of me to heart, or their ability or inability to meet my requests as a reflection on me. I think this is the process of learning how to do that! First... being able to honestly observe my less than desired responses, my projections onto the other, and my pain at perceiving rejection. In the past I let other people's reactions to me affect my ability to speak my truth or request what I need. No more! I've been challenging myself to speak up, be transparent and honest more and more. I don't want to be submissive, nice, or subtly dishonest. I just want to be real!
I was a competitive gymnast for 18 years. I spent most of my youth training to be better, stronger, more fit, and more perfect. I competed all over the country once a month and by the time I was 12 had made the level 10 junior Olympic national championships, which would be the first of 4 over the next 6 years. I put an immense amount of pressure on myself to be perfect. Every toe point, every score... every podium, trophy and medal meant the world to me. All the girls who would turn into women who would come in ahead or behind me... how did we treat each other? How did we view each other? And more importantly what did we think of our selves?
We were sisters, and we were teammates. We shared everything- chalk, stories, dreams, broken bones and hearts. We believed in each other when we were giving up on ourselves. We laughed harder than anyone laughs and saw each other cry almost every day. We learned about life together. We assessed the crazy grown ups. We got into all kinds of hilarious mischief! You sisters taught me what it means to be a friend, and truly you were my best friends (you know who you are.) And also... we were young, wounded, scared, and impressionable. Sometimes we were so freakin mean. We put each other down and talked badly behind each others' backs. Maybe we even hoped once our twice that the other would fail, so that we could have her place.
I got a full gymnastics scholarship to Penn State and competed there for 3 and a half years. I am still dismantling deep seated beliefs of not feeling good enough and comparing myself to other people. Stuffing my emotional and physical pain inside of me so that I can look good and be tough (ya feel me?) But I have learned through time that it isn't being stoic that is really heroic, it is being vulnerable. Honest, transparent, and real. Forgiving, loving. Sometimes I just have to stop and feel gratitude for all the hard work, dedication, effort, time and willpower that me, my family, coaches put into supporting and helping me to become the badass gymnast I was (and will always be deep down). And sometimes I have to have a little compassion for myself, dang that was no joke.
I'm 7 years gymnastics free! The lessons keep unfolding.
from here to everywhere.
from the painful wounded heart
reaching for love
in all the wrong places
to God, God of Gods
Who lives in everyone.
I want to be your child
Only you can make me whole
Come all the way here and I will whisper so sweetly to you.
Call you forth with the sweet melody of my form.
Believe in you, as the earth believed in me when it built me, my skin and my limbs.
I am but a particle of dust, a grain of sand, that famous and unspeakable first notion.
Who spoke of passion, of time?
Who spoke of an impetus for change.
A green audience, the blades of grass.
I am that original product, I am that first idea.
I am that impossibility, made manifest by the yearning.
Him for her, her for him. The way I feel now about you.
Take this poem of love and know that I've only just met you.
In a battle with myself, I reach to find you, your silky impression, subtle smoke wafting among the swirling landscape of my life.
I meet you there- a whisper on the wind, and I harmonize slowly with you, for fear of blowing you too far away with my thundering bloodshot heart.
All ropy scars and wounds still sneezing out their goodbyes, healing and disappearing all too slowly. I hope you don't see what you wouldn't want to see.
And I hope I don't judge you too quickly. Put you in a jar in the refrigerator with some outdated label marked wrong. Ring out the sound of your voice and trap it on some old voice memo. Category of past, present, future- say "I know you," say "I love you," say "I once was like you." No… I won't do those things prematurely, won't bend you, mold you, coerce you or me. I won't subject you to such violence. I won't make you what that hidden part of me might want you to be. I'll let you be as you are, oh I will try not to pin you between my knees or lock you inside cold glass. Of what is this, and will it last?
Instead I embrace the sweetness of your form today, the delicate flower of your essence, your delicious exhalation and I trust.
I long to open to you and embrace that mystery, the one that speaks of right now. Further along, when more nooks and crannies of ourselves are revealed, I will think I know you then, but of course, I never will.
So many times I lost
because life pried my hands shut and shut eyes open. I hope that I find you there, my beloved, your features and attitudes molded into the skin of this new beauty, his precious love so new.
My beloved, I've found you. Again and again, in the gathering clouds, in the winking rain. In the soft, warm earth upon my bare feet.
I pluck you from that dry desert. I rub you clean of dirt and cactus spines and press your sweet red juice between my lips. You are not unlike this young man I've found, not unlike his long limbs and the lines that wrinkle his face repeatedly into fabulous, reverberating smiles.
Oh sweet kiss!
I can't help but look for my beloved in him, this sweet one who bowed my violin heart unexpectedly at first glance, took my breath and tingled my hopes so definitively.
I argue with myself, as if it's some offense to even try. As if there is bitterness in this longing, as if there is loss even in the finding.
I'll try something new. I'll open, I'll embrace this without fear. Let me have it, all of it, without knowing if it will last. For what is something that lasts? Show me one thing, and I will show you withering and death. But does not the flower gracefully give up its life under the cold vigil of snow? Let me open, and let me let go. My prayer is imperfect, like the skin that ages, like the feet that ache after many many miles of walking.
But beauty withers not with age or time. And so this love is sweet and new, and has already blossomed, succeeded and renewed itself, and by the very nature of itself is newness.
It is in and of itself a delight. It is, in and of itself, a success. It is delicious! It is water for the thirsty plant. It is a promise after hopes were dashed. It is the rekindling of faith in a young heart who's already grieved thoroughly, because she gave so much love and lost it anyway. To violence, and yet still longs.
Does she even deserve any more, a true love? Has she really turned this bitter, sweet pure heart, once so young and faithful? I hope to heal the bitterness because she gave up on that love. She had to, I know, but her loyal soul is still reeling, wanting to love the object that betrayed her so. Cut her, ripped her, smashed her, broke her. That's what they say about hearts.
But I say no, a heart cannot be broken. A heart is not a thing, not the muscle that beats within the chest. Not some metaphor, or that symbol drawn by children upon the blank page. It is not sweet adoration, the source of infatuation.
The heart is much nobler. The brightest star in all the galaxies, above below and beyond. Beating not for anyone, drumming its sounds into infinity.
I am yours it says, straight to the heart of its own beat. It promises, promises to be true. Forever, I do. Heart of love, I am yours. Take me and direct my course. I surrender.
Im here looking again at myself through the eyes of the other, another, apart, inside out. I am a being, a beautiful beating heart in a body, seeking light, warmth, growth. Just like an animal on a cold winter's day, a flower unfurling. Struggling and trying to emerge. And my chances are good. I've been shaking, shaking at the roots. I am hungry, tired, thirsty, alive, and alone inside of the endless whirls and whizzing of the city. 27, with veins starting to show, and eyes weary from tears, of sadness and gratitude. I have left my home, the one I was building carefully, stone by stone. A storm came and shattered the bones, and the mortar dried up into dust and scattered from my unclenched palm. Who am I? Alone on a cold desert mountain, or surrounded by loved ones, cherishing the same invisible power, senseless, wordless, love and faith. I am one among many, a refugee of time. I am one among many, a prisoner of my own design. I am one among many, a song bird soaring high above the trees. I am so much more and less than I was, so many new layers and so much more raw. Present to the suffering of this lonely planet. And the beauty is crushing for those with eyes to see beyond the rushing whispers of the mind. The words dance, filling me with surrender. I am whole, I am complete. I am what I tell myself I am, and also a body, beyond the words. The intelligence of stars, of soft touch, of courage. I am not giving up, and I have so much to be grateful for. Thank you to every breath, every heart beat. Thank you to every smile, to every frown. Thank you to every mountain, every pair of feet. Thank you to the strangers I greet. Thank you for all of this profound sadness. And thank you for the lessons, to see beyond myself, and learn what my soul is yearning to know, and my mind will never comprehend. Again, again, again.
I waited in the back room reading while the guards attended to the woman on lock down in the room where we have our weekly class. In maximum security everything is grey, and I surf through an invisible sea of hardness and gloom looking for the softness, which is always ever-present at the center of things, no matter where I am. Breathing calmly within my force-field of good intentions, the mystery of all the things I'll never understand unfolds around me. One guard is forceful and urgent outside the room, another behind me laughing as the unexpected contents of her locker spill to the floor. Eventually the room is cleared and I'm allowed to enter-immediately 12 women, 8 of whom I've never met, come in behind me, talked loudly as I try to sort the contents of the day's lesson plan.
What is humility?
I brought up the topic because a) It came to me and b) because I sincerely want to know. Here are some of my thoughts about it.
It is a building block of happiness. It is an essential way of being. It is the only way to fully embody our greatness. It is the truth. It is sublime. It is our experience of the Lord letting us don his clothes, the clothes of a King. How can we dress ourselves in that fine linen, in that golden purity, bliss and ecstasy of the soul, with even the slightest inkling that we alone might be the source of that goodness- us with our puny mortality, our sacks of skin and bone that we can't so much as move, breathe, think, or blink alone. Alone without the help of that inexplicable electrical current, the heart beat automatic motion of that crystalline perfection, that pristine impossibility, LIFE!
(And yes- it's semantics here. Life is... what it is. And in some respect we are the source of it, as it is the source of us. And yet not to acknowledge the sea, the soup from which we came, and the soup to which we will return... is to be blind. I won't get into it too much further here, as this might lead me into meanderings about the nature of the Lord, Buddhism and Christianity which I really have so very little right to even entertain.)
The most moving part of class:
After 5 minutes of free writing about a humbling event and the virtues gained from their experiences, we had a class discussion. Each woman went around and shared. There were many tears, and much reaching out with mutual support. I listened and watched in awe, reflecting and giving feedback for clarity. Circumstance is a great teacher, and there but before the grace of God go I. More writing to come...