what can one say but ~Thank You?

 

 

FREEDOM ~ IN LOVE WITH LIFE AND LIGHT 

 

 

  

 

 

This body of work contains 8 chapters with 8 poems and 8 musings each:  

Living Waters (with a story) ~ Life ~ Aloneness ~ Love ~ Natural Beauty ~ Light ~ Pleasures ~ Freedom

 

   

for you

 

  

That which is        never ceases to be

That which is not        never comes to existence 

Parmenides

 

 

"The more total you are, the deeper your relationship can be to any other human being. Once you find that inner core of yourself, you are free.  And that leaves everyone around you free.  You are not trying to make them into anything. You are not telling them what is best for them. You know you do not know that.  What you are doing is receiving them fully as the human beings they are.  This is where love begins; it sees the mystery of the other and is just overwhelmed by it."                                                                                      

The Feminine Face of God:  The Unfolding of the Sacred in Women

Sherry Ruth Anderson and Patricia Hopkins

 

 

 

L I V I N G   W A T E R S

 

 

Sages of Tuesday, September 17th, 2019

I

a.m.

the heart stood still

on this precipice of

a deep dark                  secret

 

                       unconditionally loved 

                         seen and accepted    

                              by another 

  

shame became a watershed to            freedom

 

p.m.

marked the time

          at the Heartwater’s source

                        where love’s floodgate shook and shattered

 

walking across

            holy Headwaters

                        of the mighty Mississippi

 

washing away

           muddy deposits

                        of a withered self  ~

 

freedom it was

           stepping onto those

                        smooth slippery stones       

         

…two days later, the second part of this poem and eleven more came tumbling out. 

Eight are in this chapter.

 

a.m.

As I crossed, the humble beginnings of the flowing one brought with it   

Immense power of clarity and beauty stunning the mind to stillness 

Melting this heart into meandering streams of exquisite tenderness

  

Where do I belong in this depth of connection with the grand old river?      

My heart warm and watery cries out to it as if it’s a close intimate beloved 

Who are you?  Where do you come from my love?  What are you?

 

p.m.

Torrent teary rivers crest thresholds

            Of two new born eyes

 

Carrying a clear

            Open-hearted seeing…

  

~  A l l   I s   L o v i n g l y   H e l d   A s   O n e  ~

 

The Heartwater’s Source 

 

I Am That

 

I Am

 

I

 

 

   p. s. 

 

Early morning            freed            by a friend

                                                Late afternoon            by a river

 

 

 

II

thoughts

  

used to come             go             incessantly

without any reason

 And Now?

thinking        just sailing by

with no content or traces of life

 

 

 

III

cleansings 

The mind baffled

by this airy breath

of nothingness

 

floods its creased

heavy crevices

 

finding only clear movement

of bright crystalline light

 

reflected by the friendly river

rushing over its borders

eroding everything in sight…

 

 

 

IV

Elegantly so

                     Yes!  Let’s talk about elegance

 

Sitting on a plane looking earthwards

Witnessing the grand old river

Winding down wide wavy runs

Flashing its face upwards

 

Filling these big brown eyes to the brim

 

 

 

V

water

The connection to my river

            has taken its own wanderings

 

where tears and river

            flow freely with endless ease

 

winding themselves down cracks

            of skin and earth

 

marking deep channels

            with windy furrows

 

speaking volumes of

            what has yet to come

 

 

 

VI

blessed

by a river and a friend…

 

who would have imagined

an all-encompassing love

 

pouring sweet benedictions

on this rackety old woman

 

raising smiles to the sun

bowing deeply to the ground?

 

 

 

VII

who knows?

Walking down

            this path of life

 

Maybe you will feel

            how utterly loveable you are

 

Maybe you get to know

            your own current calling

                       

Flowing like a river

            to its source

 

 

 

 VIII

Where Edges Meet Eternity

As our journeys unfold

 

            eventually we begin to notice

 

                        existence no longer

 

                                    belongs to us

 

instead

  

              we              the river              

  

belong to this

  

ever present open loving Awareness 

  

actually

  

W e   A r e   T h a t

  

 

   

 

Musings

  

Listen to the stirring of the river in your veins

it’s murmuring your beloved name

  

*

 

 it flows    ~    it knows

its curved folds

are nothing more

than its moving soul

  

* 

  

surging downstream 

living waters

hold the power 

of purging you clean

   

* 

 

the fastest way

maybe is

the slower one

  

 * 

 

the ability to receive

is sometimes greater 

than the ability to give

 

*

 

Quantum Physics asserts

‘the observer      is      the observed’

pay attention to the word      

                                                                                                           is

it may be the key to our seeking

  

*

 

there is a single Dancer 

taking the form

of all Dancers 

dancing Its dance

 

*

 

S O   L E T   L I F E   D A N C E   Y O U!

 

 * 

 

The Journey to the Mississippi Headwaters

 

In the early months of 2019, I was thinking of going on a seven-week road trip at the end of the summer.  I wanted to connect with family and friends in California, Colorado, New Mexico and Wisconsin.  I also wanted to complete the last item on my bucket list, driving through the two remaining states of North Dakota and Montana. 

As I was getting ready for the trip, I began having an intense premonition that I was going to die while I was on this journey.  I explored those feelings with friends, inquiring and contemplating my fear of death. 

A couple of weeks before leaving, my youngest daughter called to share she had dreamt that I had died.  I was very surprised, to say the least.  At the time, she was not aware of my premonition.  I told her about it.  I also said that my will was done and if I were to die, I was mostly at peace with it. 

I know now it was not about my physical death.  It was a psychological death.  It was also the death of four friends, unrelated to each other, who all died on the same week, two weeks into my journey.  The incoming news was greatly disturbing, as two of those deaths were unexpected.  Both had tragic endings.  One of them, had a profound influence on the Living Waters poems.

The journey began with a family reunion in Santa Rosa, California.  It was a great gathering.  The highlight was my grandson’s ceremony for beginning Middle School.  I continued on to Colorado visiting with friends; driving through the majestic Rockies; relaxing in mineral springs and paying respects at the great Stupa in Crestone. 

My next stop was Albuquerque, New Mexico.  I stayed with the first friend I made in this country, when I arrived over 50 years ago.  She lives in Old Town where she was born.  Through her eyes I experienced the flavors of her town with its religious and spiritual aspects of indigenous cultures. 

The drive from Albuquerque to Durango, Colorado was desert picture perfect.  I had a wonderful visit with my youngest daughter and her partner in their new home.  The drive from Durango to Moab, Utah proved to be even more memorable, as the La Sal Loop was breathtakingly gorgeous.

Before leaving for Wisconsin, I received an email from the friend with whom I was going to stay.  She let me know her seventeen-year-old grandson was murdered a few weeks earlier.  I spent a week with her and her husband processing his death; walking their pups; dining with family; going out to eat with friends and driving them around the beautiful countryside of Dane County.

There are these amazingly grounded and stable sensibilities in the mid-Western soul.  People tend to put one foot in front of the other and do the best they can with what they have.  There is no grand drama about anything really.  It is what it is and they deal with everything stoically.  I have always admired this attitude of theirs, especially the enduring love they have for family, friends and community.

On my last day with them, I asked if I could have their grandson’s obituary.  I placed it on the table in my room.  That night I was unable to sleep.  The energy of his image and the violent ending of his short-lived life kept me wide awake.  My superstition was that keeping his picture might bring to pass my premonition of dying, while I was still on my way back home.  In the middle of the night I took the obituary into the living room and hid it under another one.  I hoped that they would not find it.

Early that morning I left for Minnesota.  When I arrived in Duluth, I texted my friend that I had made it safely.  I also thanked her for the warm hospitality I had received amidst their grief.  I did not hear from her, so I began making stories in my head that she had discovered the extra obituary and was extremely hurt. 

During that whole day I was feeling guilty, but what I was really feeling was a deep sense of shame for the fearful and cowardly way I had acted.  It was extremely painful to see.  I called my friend and left a message to please call me back.  I went to bed exhausted without hearing from her. 

Early the next morning when I picked up my messages she had texted me saying, “Glad to hear from you.  I know you will enjoy your journey home.  It will be a journey of the heart……  So glad we got to spend some time together during this time of grief/sadness for me.  Drive safe sweetie!  Nits, I tried calling as soon as I got your message.  I’m so sorry I wasn’t there for you.  I’ll call first thing in the morning…”

When I read it I broke down crying.  She did call early that morning.  I explained what I had done and why, how I felt about it and how sorry I was.  In turn, she tried telling me not to be so hard on myself; she understood completely; I had to do what I needed to do in order to take care of myself; how much she loved me and how much she appreciated my coming to be with her.

Throughout our conversation and me weeping with no end in sight, there was this deep palpable loving kindness coming from her permeating my entire body, heart and soul.  That morning, on September 17th, I drove westwards through a torrential rain.  It matched my unstoppable sobbing.  Being loved, seen and accepted unconditionally by another human being in all of my humanity, was not only the biggest blessing I could receive, it was also the most precious of gifts.  

 

*

 

A few days before leaving Madison, a friend had mentioned that since I was driving through northern Minnesota, I would be close to the Mississippi River Headwaters.  I looked it up on my phone and sure enough, it was about a half hour’s drive south off Hwy 2.  That same afternoon I made the detour to visit the Headwaters. 

As I entered Itasca State Park there was a large turtle in the middle of the road.  I stopped to pick it up and put it out of harm’s way, but something about it did not feel quite right.  Its tail looked run over.  Instead, I notified the Park Headquarters.  They said someone would come by and move it into the forest.

The entrance to the Headwaters begins at the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center.  At the beginning of the trail towards the Headwaters there is a bronze sculpture of a woman created by Native American artist Jeff Savage called ~ Heartwaters~Caretaker Woman.

There is a sign next to this beautiful sculpture saying that at the Headwaters of the Mississippi begin the Heartwaters of this nation, Americans call home.  In the Anishinabe (Ojibwe) belief, the women are the caretakers of water.  Everyone needs to respect this responsibility of the sacred work of women by keeping the most valuable resource pristine and renewable for all future generations to enjoy.  

In the sculpture, the life force of the Headwaters is spilling out of the woman’s bowl (Lake Itasca) renewing the seasons and continuing the waters of life.  Her flowing hair is like that of flowing water.  The turtles are believed to be important water symbols signifying the universal cycles of life.  Turtles are also a strong symbol of importance of this site.  The woman and the turtles are placed on a drumhead.  The drum represents the heartbeat of the Anishinabe Nation, who believe it is the true heartbeat of the water flowing from the heartland of this continent.

At the Headwaters there were many people wading in the river.  A few of them were walking across a short path of stones, where the river begins.  These large rocks mark the beginnings of the Mississippi River flowing from Lake Itasca at 1475 feet to its 2552-mile winding journey to the Gulf of Mexico.  The crossing, as it is known, is about 25 feet long and it's the only place where one can literally walk across the mighty Mississippi!  I was called to walk it.  I took my shoes off, left them with my purse at the base of a tree and began walking across it.

It was very slippery.  I had to go down on my hands a few times in order to stabilize myself and not fall in the water.  There were a couple of large, flat and beautifully colored stones along the way.  The water was crystal clear and cold.  I reached the other side, took a deep breath and turned around to walk back. 

In the middle of it, and out of nowhere, my legs started shaking uncontrollably.  I had to stand straight up in order to balance and gather myself.  I looked out towards the lake in sheer bewilderment.  What had just happened?  I have felt this same sort of energy once before in my life.  It was in the presence of my teacher.

When I went to pick up my purse and shoes, a gentleman approached me to let me know he had taken a few pictures of my river crossing and wanted to know if he could send them to me.  Whenever I look at that picture, I feel and savor the crossing and the gratitude I hold in my heart for the gentleman who took it at that exact moment of awe!

I thanked him and went for a hike around the lake in order to walk off some of the energy I was feeling.  I needed to take in the peace and stillness of the place.  The colors of the trees were just beginning to turn into a brilliant gold.  The lake was calm.  Solitude and beauty abounded.  Everything was alive, vibrant and somehow real soft.  My heart was full.  I felt baptized and blessed, yet again.

When I returned to the Headwaters there was no one around.  It felt kind of auspicious at the time.  I looked into my purse for a penny or a talisman of sorts.  The only thing I could find was a small smooth rounded stone given to me by an artist friend of mine four years back. 

I had been carrying this precious stone as a good luck charm.  She had painted the rock orange decorating it with small red and blue flowers.  In the middle, the word free was painted in white.  With heartfelt gratitude I offered it to the waters.

I drove through North Dakota with its expansive and beautiful pristine prairies dotted with large refineries, shocking my sensing of space.  I spent two days in Kalispell, Montana in order to catch up with myself.  

I continued south to the Steens Mountain where I made one last exploration on the Frenchglen Loop, the highest road in Oregon.  At almost 10,000 feet it stands out from the Alvord Desert and it is only passable from July – October due to snow.  It is a 59-mile spectacular drive.

That last night I stayed at Fields, an outpost with a two-room inn and one business, the Fields Station, with its own two-room motel established in 1881.  It has two old gas pumps, a convenience store serving burgers and their world famous chocolate milk shakes.  Absolutely delicious!

On September 23rd, I arrived home having driven seven thousand miles in seven weeks.  When I parked the car I hugged the stirring wheel and wept.

A month later, I had to compose a poem for my elder women’s poetry group.  As I began writing about what happened on Tuesday, September 17th, to my great surprise tears started streaming down my face.  I am still not quite sure what exactly took place on that September day.  What remains from that experience is a deep sense of humility.  

  

Epilogue

 

On a daily basis, since the first poem came through, I tuned into the live webcam at the Mississippi River Headwaters.  I often teared up or smiled at the abundance of life that unfolded before me.  From the summer visitors coming and going to the absolute stillness and starkness of the mid-winter wonderland, where a lone pileated woodpecker hung out on a tree branch as a watch over the crossing.

Furthermore, every Monday at noon (CST) I took a snapshot of the Heartwaters with my cell phone.  I did that for the entire year of 2020.  I also kept a daily journal of what I saw happening at the site.  I plan compiling everything into a large leather-bounded journal to be gifted to the Mary Gibbs Mississippi Headwaters Center.

 

   *

 

So what is this activity all about?  I am not sure.

I am wondering whether Mystery

Is taking me along for the ride!

 

What I do know is

 

My dearest friend is finding her way through her grief

My bucket list is full

My love for the Heartwaters is undying

 

*

                                                                    

As life takes its twists and turns

I’m beginning to realize

The seven-week long road trip was a

 

Pilgrimage

 

My good friend was right

When she wrote

“It will be a journey of the heart……”

 

 

 *

 

Minn of the Mississippi

 

As I was finishing editing this body of work, a friend suggested I read Minn of the Mississippi, written by Holling Clancy Holling.  It's a children’s book.  It depicts the adventures of a snapping turtle named Minn, who swims from the Mississippi River Headwaters at Lake Itasca in Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico.  It's a fun information-filled story with graphics and beautiful colorful paintings of the Mississippi River and Minns’ southern journey.  I was struck by the very last paragraph of the story itself, where a poor Cajun boy floats on his graceful pirogue down the bayou and says to Minn:  

“Maybe, even, we are happy like this ole turtle…  Hey, you down there!  You happy?  Come up, frien’, an’ have the talk!  Maybe I give you music, with my guitar.  You an’ me – we got plenty food, good place for livin’ – we got th’ waters an’ th’ bright blue sky.  An’ we just as free as that old crow, flappin’ away out there.  Grand-Père - he say there is nothin’ better than jus’ bein’ free…  Free like that Mississippi beyond those far trees – runnin’ forever to the sea…”

 

THE END

 

Holling Clancy Holling.  1951.  Minn of the Mississippi.  (A Newberry Honor Book).  Boston:  Houghton Mifflin Company.  (p. 86)

 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

L I F E 

 

 

Creation

 Opening our sensuous mouth

 

uttering a single word

 

worlds are born

 

 

Opening our stunning eyes        sharp ears

 

worlds stare        hum

 

back at us

 

  

Smelling        tasting        touching

 

myriad worlds manifest

 

their tantalizing flavors

 

  

Offering intimate possibilities

 

 aligning our senses

 

with the true nature of everything

 

 

 

Words are medicine

Words

needing to sound

                        intelligently wise

                                    so interestingly refined

 

Words

            fabricating tales

                        making us believe in

                                    what we are

  

Words 

            kindly spoken

                        unleash a heart

                                    from timeless bondage

   

Wondering

 

           what songs are we singing?

 

                                what songs are we listening to?

 

 

 

 

a mystery revealed*

Reveled in olden times                  we find

 Muses      heroines      devils

The question always is

  

What is a devil?

 

Could we be so bold as to suggest

It is a life well            lived?

The backward spelling ~ opposite meaning of devil?

 

As for evil?

 Is to        live        a life

In the now

 

A life we now own

A life we have already won

Our very own!

 

*Inspired by the line, ‘Devil spelled backward is Lived’ from Terry Tempest Williams’s book, When Women Were Birds: Fifty-Four Variations on Voice.  2012.  New York:  Picador (p. 96)

 

 

 

 

p a i n

A weighty hole in the heart hurts

 with an ever pressing wanting

 waiting for the healing to take hold

 

staying with this

            unbearable pain

                        tending it tenderly

 

it stroked

            a note of holiness

                        in the heart of the hole 

 

 

 

 

death 

My friend’s mother dying process

hangs heavily on my mind

especially                  while I sit

next to her husband of sixty years

watching his sweetheart fade away

 

my only hope is 

            seeing him once more 

            with a glimmer in his eye

            strolling down these corridors

            of an assisted living house

he now calls home 

 

suspended in no-man’s land

as death makes its noble entrance

for the final act

 

I sense a sigh of release

seeping effortlessly

through her sleep 

   

gathering around her

            holding hands

            caressing forehead

            moistening lips

            whispering loving words

  

she flutters her eyes 

            a breath barely breathed

                        and dies peacefully

                                    in her beloved’s arms

 

 

 

 

yes and no 

our souls are locked

in endless slow tides

of never ending cycles

 

 

               Y

      O

                       E

       N

                S

 

 

YES     to     living   

NO      to     living

 

what is this tyranny

gripping and seducing us

away from ourselves?

 

what is driving

the incessant struggle

between yes and no?

 

II

these two tricksters

 

      play makeshift

      hide and seek

 

surfing waves of mischief

 

      leaving us treading

      troubling torrent waters

 

III

untethered                  they bring

            great relief of

 

sometimes            yes

            sometimes            no

  

IV

so it goes ~

            when we think we know

 

something happens

             and we don’t

 

V

in this specious swaying between

known and unknown

 

are ceaseless stories of how

now we see it            now we don’t

 

 

 

 

showing up

I asked a dear elderly friend

teetering on the edge of poverty

 

‘how do you do it?’

 

he replied

 

‘I just show up’

 

I’ve since learned

this showing up business

 

is what’s actually needed

with the hard parts

 

helping me through

those dire straits

 

that inevitably

do show up ~

 

engaging with mystery

a quickening happens

 

as showing up carries

the elusive ingredient of

  

trusting

 

 

 

 

Joy

From that care-free place

            in my body

                        I celebrate

 

full

vast

happy

  

singing

dancing

laughing

            

I love this life                                mine                                                                                       

this life of yours                  this life of ours

              what’s the difference anyway?

 

 

 

 

Musings

 

being human ~

loving    happy    sad    angry    moved    kind    soft    depressed    stubborn    joyful    hateful    hurt    lustful    content    sincere    confused    clear    stuck    lost    sensual    frustrated    fulfilled    excited    sexy    compulsive    doubtful    fearful    caring    anxious    touched    playful    critical    bewildered    tender    withholding    helpful    interested    obsessive    curious    thoughtful    cherishing…

all packed in a single day’s span

no wonder how sometimes we feel so crazed!

  

*

  

I find

what is lovingly accepted

is instantly released ~

likewise        I can live with it forever in

p e a c e 

 

 *

 

respecting and attendig to a grief

is an act of

self-loving

...as is joy

 

 *

 

it looks like

a wound is healed

when its source is forgiven

 

*

 

got guilt?

ask the secret question

So What?

 

see how fast it evaporates

bringing a surprised smile

to your amused face

 

got shame?

!Chuckle!

 

the secret being

treating yourself gently

 

so tread with confidence my friend

for it’s written somewhere

 

wherever we are

whatever we are

whoever we are

however we are

 

we are perfectly fine!

 

 *

 

our own vitality is vital 

 for the fullness of a 

valiant vibrant life

 

*

 

great teachings say ~

being unattached to

resisting    avoiding    longing    searching

we move with the river of life

 

 *

 

calling all souls to communion

with what is 

 

nothing less

nothing more

 

 

 

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

A L O N E N E S S

 

 

Flaming Gorge, Wyoming

Wandering in the middle of nowhere

a vast spacious desertness

opens up before me

  

with nobody in sight

            only billowing clouds coasting by

                       I witness a most breathtaking site

 

on one side

            heat waves weaving their way south

                          saturating the air with strong sagebrush scents

                       

on the other

            impressive sandstone buttes      

                        standing sentinels to stillness

  

and way down there

            the deepest blue of waters

                        reflecting the bluest of skies

 

saying Hi!

 

to this lone and wondrous traveler

who can’t help but smile big

as happy as can be

 

 

 

 

The Vision Quest 

I

sheer surprises

the birthday year

 

of sixty two ~

honoring it

 

in the desert wilderness

of my Vision Quest time

           

embracing fully

an inner wildness 

 

embedded deeply

into my core

 

II

roaming aimlessly

on parched arid land

 

            I find

           

I no longer know

anything anymore

  

III

from this small cozy tent of mine

            perched high atop a desert plateau

                        amidst majestic Colorado mountains

I watch the world go by 

 

dark clouds passing through

            little insects buzzing around

                        lizards scurrying away

                                    ants inching along...

                                                           

intricate movements

            of exquisite songs

                        filling a vibrant space

                                    with sizzling silence

 

IV

hardships sometimes

            do pay off!

 

the bugs

            incessant companions

 

the weather

            capricious with thunderous heat

 

the hunger

            oh yes! the hunger

                       

four solitary endless days

            with no food

 

only water to sustain

            this aging bundle of bones

  

V

through it all

little gems appear

 

scattered along

ancient dusty trails 

 

the holy                               the ordinary

            are perfectly one 

 

VI

doing nothing

I drop into a fold of calm

 

discovering yet another secret

  

how I see 

is all I need to know 

  

VII

getting ready to leave

this magical wombing place

 

I am left with one question only

how will the future look like?

  

VIII

the ritual of the fourth day

            is releasing into the sacred fire

                        any need for

 

                         love

                  appreciation

                     approval 

 

revealing a final precious gift ~

this pure love I feel                       

is mine to freely give 

 

IX

as the day comes to a close

 

            in quiet reverence

            I watch the sunset

           

            soaking up its

            fleeting fading rays  

 

X

turning around I warmly welcome

the full moon’s golden glow

 

and a solitary life

about to be told

 

 

 

 

tucked in

All alone now

time is my own

 

            free to be in this

            bittersweet place

 

            where tears still flow

 

            as ease of being

            bit-by-bit grows ~

 

surrounded by the Sangre de Cristos

listening to Taizé’s

Alleluia album

 

I begin to unwind

in the company of plains

and ragged-edged mountains

 

time taking its time

revealing the meaning

of an incessant questioning of

 

               What Is It?

  

Rilke talked about it

 

in time           he said

            living one’s life 

            will bare its fruits

 

            the question that

            has haunted one

            forever it seems

 

            will be known in time

            in the throes of living

                           a life

 

growing older

            breathing in this wild wondrous life

I find the answer to             What Is It?

            is lovingly held             within the question itself

 

it's 

                        What It Is

 

                                                ...just this

 

 

 

 

well-being

Lying in bed 

attending breath 

resting

  

what am I?

 

Peace ?

 

 

 

  

loneliness

I

there is this exquisite knowing of

wanting or needing

nothing more or

nothing less from

anyone anymore

 

II

...in the beginning

 

loneliness felt deadly

as if all air

was sucked out of

a small town house

I used to live in

 

I would walk

into a room

and the gloom

would become

a somber tomb

 

that’s how death

made its appearance

in those lonesome days

where a sheering wound

crowded my shaky ground

 

III

    staying with this numbing feeling

   where muted despair

   cloaked every thought and limb

 

it began revealing

 

   its perimeters      

   its flavors

   its contours

 

IV

gradually

somehow             somewhere             something

started shifting ever so slowly

 

V

and the tomb became a womb

setting me free from the

 

tomb of loneliness             unto the

womb of aloneness

 

  

 

 

confusion

Always confused

    do I take myself seriously

                        or 

      do I take myself lightly

 

which one to walk on?

which one to mind?

which one to take to heart?

 

the answer appeared unhindered

early one morning

 

taking myself seriously     as the infinite

sensing it          knowing it          feeling it

 

is essential

 

taking myself lightly          however

is walking into the world

  

this world          with its infinite          light-hearted ways

 

 

 

 

one lone poppy 

at the tip of a stem

            brightly orange and all

                        moves playfully

  

as soft breezes

tenderly touch

                        her delicate petals 

                                              

no

        effort

                 here

 

just being who she is

one lone poppy

in the breeze

 

 

 

 

morning salutations 

 Free to be

the one and only

the only one

waking up

alone

each morning

 and happily saying

to absolutely everyone 

 

! GOOD  MORNIN!

 

 

 

 

 Musings

 

in our aloneness 

we are one with all

we are al(l) one ~

 at the same time

absolutely unique

 

*

  

loneliness          ~          aloneness

hold the power of

surrendered acceptance

  

*

 

why do we want to be the one

when we are already that?

 

isn’t being the one an inside job?

looking outside of ourselves for the one           

 

or

 

being the one in somebody else’s life

may very well be a recipe for misery

 

*

 

Oh!  how I run after

 that which is

right under my nose

 

 *

 

to know             is to be in the             now

it’s in the word itself

 

*

  

in the word know

 is also the word             no ~ 

so if we want to know

 we get to choose to be    

in the

now or no(t)!

 

*

 

now      +      here      =      nowhere   =   everywhere   =   Home

 

*

 

come closer than close to your wintry hollow

drink deeply

 

now is the time to know your own birth song

 sing it out completely

 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

L O V E

 

 

The Beloved 

A teacher once said

         ‘the beloved is just

         another sacred cow

            as all the others’

 

                  WHAT?

 

what are you trying to do?

take away everything from me?

isn’t there anything I can behold anymore?

 

                 N   O   T   H   I   N   G

 

holding Being in this way             you said             I miss a

            simple       

                        ordinary

                                    infinite moment

                                                of who I truly Am

 

it’s a case of mistaken identity             you continued

 

The Beloved

we have been longing for

has never been the other 

the other is only an~other expression of

 

Being

 

the truth is             it’s all about

our heart’s deepest desire

to be the lover of Being

The Beloved

 

T h a t  W e  A r e

 

 

 

 

Love 

can’t help itself but love

you and me

  

everyone

in every way

  

with the same

effortless grace

 

where all is illumined

from within

 

 

 

 

dissolution 

We want a beloved

            but we are afraid of intimacy

 

we want intimacy

            but we are afraid of merging

 

we want merging

            but we are afraid of commitment

 

we want commitment

            but we are afraid our beloved will devour us whole

     

                 

well...           

we can count on it!

  

this is about         so big a love

it will obliterate us to smithereens 

 

catapulting us         Whole

into a whole new world

 

  

 

 

unconditional love 

When I heard

 

‘unconditional love

is not

 unconditional license

 

my mind went stark blank

 

yet I knew

I needed to hear that

 

all I’m asking now  

is courage

to speak the truth

 

 

 

 

thank you

for instilling in me the flavors and flow of a life

where everything had its own simple place and time

  

welcoming sunrises             with a hot cup of tea

watching feeder birds             with resonant stillness 

going slow             with the rhythms of the day

loving much             with so much fun

 

and you 

 

wanting nothing more             than what was

 

 

 

 

 

Be.  Being. 

Be    here    now

Being    here    now

 

one               an admonition

the other               a loving presence

 

...hoping we are turning

towards Being

  

 

 

 

Blessings

(spoken through the grace of Debbie Crone)

 

I am one who lifts

into infinite possibilities

into the freedom of things

 

I bring you light-heartedness

and a deep sense of connection

with your beloved self

 

I am the one rising

from the depths of emotion

into the light of knowing

 

I bring you great blessings

 

may you be filled

with loving kindness

for yourself

  

and for all you touch with

your eyes your words

your smiles your hands

 

I bring you great loving

 

6.8.2021

 

 

 

 

embraced 

Stripped fully of

            hopes and dreams

                        especially all expectations 

 

I am willing to be

            with you and me

                        in this naked moment

 

o p e n

            l i s t e n i n g  

                        l o v i n g l y   s o

 

 

 

 

loving life

with all her inexhaustible treasures

            falling like sparkling jewels

                        into my empty lap ~

 

blazing sunsets and burning sunrises

dazzling snow on brazen plains

wreathing shimmery seas

high blue snowy mountains

long leisurely walks along misty coasts

falling leaves on cuddled cozy evenings

delicious lovemaking at the break of dawn 

 

and oh! so much more...

 

if I had one word

            to cradle them all in                        it would be

                                     

                                                l o v e

 

 

 

 

Musings

 

they tell you to be

considerate     patient     gentle     loving

 are you?                    to  y o u ?

  

*

 

as we set boundaries

we become stronger            bolder 

with a love

without bounds 

 

*

  

love and power

power and love

two consorts connected to the core

  

*

 

It’s all good

All’s well

 

 *

 

love is the air we breathe

 

*

 

absolute honesty and being real

 is what the heart really loves

absolutely 

 

*

  

got inspiration?

 

go ahead

fall over heals

in love with it

 

any creative impulse

or intuitive urge

bursting through you

 

please

 

just do it

 

we all depend on it 

 

*

            

     just begin                        the rest will follow

 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

N A T U R A L   B E A U T Y

 

 

Stillness  

You have gone to

where I am going

 

     so let me rest here      

for a while

 

sensing you           walking

through my lines           from time to time

(a tribute to Mary Oliver)

 

 

 

 

little insect 

in one spot

            one speck

                        so to speak

 

a colorful

            dainty

                        glittery being

 

dangling gently

            from a tiny stem

                        serenely still

 

suddenly

            she softly stirs

 

unfolds

            her luminous wings

 

and ever so lightly is

            lifted by a breeze

 

 

                        

                                    

 

 

 

 

S p r i n g 

Warmth             splendid sun drifts             quiet

 

And The Mind Is Busy Trying To Find

 

Things To Do

Places To Go

New Country Roads To Roam

  

nothing wrong with all this             mind you

instead             I stayed home             in my tiny front yard

  

poppies blooming all around             little daisies happily showing their fresh

sweet faces             soft breezes smiling through me             tiny spiders spinning

their silky ways             bees buzzing along their endless merry~go~rounds

  

S u n s h i n e   E v e r y w h e r e

 

 

 

 

the Dodgeville cabin

In Dane County’s countryside

            of aged rocky outcrops

there is this beauty

            of a cabin

nestled into the edges

            of whispering woods

           

 

 

            imposing granite cliffs 

            hover over swaying spent fields

            as critters meander leisurely by

  

here                life is           

            simple

                        easy

                                    peaceful

 

unwinding on the porch

I loose myself

 

in the rhythms of a most

exquisite ordinary day

 

 

 

 

                               delights

At the outskirts of Crestone’s high desert

strolling along Willow Creek’s cool shaded banks  

I suddenly stop            taking it all in

 

bright plump clouds

traveling across

dark imposing mountains

  

windblown ashen-branched aspens

breaking a breathless spell

that’s all around

 

golden glimmering leaves

cascading to the ground

dancing their final airy pirouettes ~

 

such sunny blessings

showering this willowy one

blowing bubbly kisses to the creek

 

 

 

 

grey heron

A graceful grey heron

with her long

curvy neck

 

             stands still

 

a solitary hunter

of long forgotten

haunting songs

  

her reflection on the lake

            is a mirror image

 

of a dreamlike

            likeness

 

I take to be

            my very own

 

and the heart quivers

regarding this fluid heron

 

a watchful regal guardian             

of ancient storied shores

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                    t

                     h

                 

                              g

        

 i

 

l

 

                                                                                        f

 

                                        beautiful blue butterfly

 

fluttery

                 wispy                                   

                                     wings 

 

floating 

                        freely                                                                                                                                    

                                                with                                                                                                                                                                                                             

                                                                      the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          d

                                                                                   n

                                                                    i

                                                w

                           

                                                 

 

          

gratitude

Curled up in bed

            I quietly watch

                        a canopied camellia tree 

                                    coming alive as the cooling rain

                                                  moves through her glorious

                                                                   green and red attire

                                                                                 sending shivers

                                                                                               up and down

                                                                                                            her silvery spine

 

 

 

 

Musings

 

physical matter does matter             it’s Infinity’s density

it also doesn’t matter

for the wise say         ~         ‘we must die before we die’

  

*

  

silence sounding Source soundly

  

*

 

is the outer the utter manifestation of the inner?

  

*

  

the Big Bang could be Awareness’s first booming sound

within its eternal silence

or

it could also be Awareness’s first dynamic impulse

of knowing itself as

I

 

 *

 

teachers keep telling us ~

what we look at             is what we get

  but

how we see              sets us free

 

*

 

stumbling into a paradox

I fall right into truth

 

*

 

each day is brand new

it’s just our minds

have not caught up with it yet!

  

* 

 

 beauty all around

nothing’s missing in nature’s

boundless bounty

 

 

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

L I G H T

 

 

eyes

only see what is swirling

in busy minds

 

while a solitary streak of light

burns right through brilliant bright sight

 

spilling out sparkly starry tunes

shape-shifting old stale tales of seeing

 

 

 

 

sitting and contemplating 

The collage I have been working on

throughout the day           

 

suddenly comes to life

shedding light to its own creation

                                                                                                    

a cutout circle

with its empty space

 

reveal no separation

no distinction

 

one full         

the other empty


intersecting

here and there

 

rendering their meaning

here and there

 

all the while the fullness

the emptiness

 

never leave each other

they are always (t)here

 

sometimes empty       sometimes full

sometimes intersecting

 

 

 

 

the question 

“Speak to me” said silence

“About what?” inquired word

 

“Oh, this and that”

“Then what?” asked word

 

“Just to know what I am

In this vast space”

 

“Well” replied word

“In our world

 

You are the light 

Dreaming us all up!”

 

 

 

 

belonging 

Longing to belong

in one way or another

finding that special safe spot 

where my spark is

 

seen

held

accepted

respected

  

I sometimes wonder whether 

belonging

is none other than the

 

longing to Be

 

 

 

 

playful

radiant rays dance

 through the air

 

as spectrums of light 

play lightly with our hair

  

exclamation marks of 

everything!             everywhere!

        

   

 

 

rainbows 

Body settling on

mossy decaying logs

 

I rest at ease

feasting on this tiny

 

color-filled

ripple of a pond

 

 

as the day unfurls

its priceless pearls

 

a baby fly

lands on my page

 

 

iridescent beauty

playing with my head

 

 

 

 

sun worshiper 

Sunlight warming my back

filling my senses

to the brink

 

and I can't tell

whether my skin

is but a sunray’s beam

 

 

 

 

F i r e

As the flame flickers for a bit

 I come closer to you

whispering

 

tell me

smiling faintly

you blow out the candle 

  

and in darkness

 I finally know 

my name

 

 

 

 

  Musings

 

have you ever considered

 everything in the cosmos

is but pixels of light

each point refracting Consciousness

in seemingly multiple sights? 

 

*

 

all's indivisible

except it’s invisible

in an apparently visible universe

 

*

 

do you want to know who you really are?

sit quietly         breathe deeply         take your time        ask sincerely

 

Who Am I?

 

the very moment you ask that question

you know ~

 

it’s that simple 

but the mind rushes in            refuting anything

so simply revealed

 

 *

 

my three-year-old grandson once said

‘the moon is God’s flashlight!’

he also said

‘I am empty of words’

 

*

 

there are no rules

as each instant is painted splashingly anew!

 

*

 

transcendence seekers

here is an axiom for us ~

in becoming immanent

 being fully in our lively lovely bodies

transcendence becomes imminent 

 

*

 

n o s e p a r a t i o n h e r e

 

*

 

there is this seamless movement                                of a ceaseless deep inner bowing

 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

P L E A S U R E S

 

 

it’s like this

One moment overtaken by bliss

            the next        overtaken by a cop

                        with a traffic ticket to boot!

 

                 the difference is  

 

first moment                 extraordinary

second                           quite ordinary

 

which one do you think                                                                                                    

brings a smile to my face?

 

          !the ordinary!

 

        you know why?

 

because now                              at each stop sign

 

              I break completely

              take my sweet time

              breathe deeply

              and just like this

              fall right back

              into bliss!

 

  

 

 

fun

putting pen

on paper

                        letting it go

who knows what

will come out

on this virgin page

 

delight

insight

pain

 

who knows?

 

 

 

 

letters

like droplets of dew on my tongue

I forge forth unto the unknown

a place where wild things slumber

the place of constant ebb and flow

that place where you are tongue-tied

as mystery unfolds

 

 

 

 

coming of age 

A seagull just landed

on my deck

and in front of me

 

an endless Pacific Ocean

glistening

ever changing ~

 

it’s my 65th birthday today

celebrating it

 with gifts of

 

windy

watery

seagull

 

 

 

 

a moment

so surprising

so splendid ~

 

a hot summer day

wanders through the open windows

 

of this old comfortable

on-the-road-again car

 

resting on top

of barren rusty bluffs

 

looking out towards expansive plains

back-dropped by the snow-capped Front Range

 

 

 

 

snowy peaks 

Surrounded by glorious

high mountains

I am found in the middle

of a pristine meadow

 

…breathing in                

frosty tingly sky

my mind freezes  

in its heavenly tracks

 

 

  

 

            r e l a x

One other teacher said      

   ‘the secret of life is…’

 

we all held our breath

riveted by the impending

revelation of great magnitude

 

         he continued

          ‘…to relax’

  

         THAT’S IT?

  

of course           THAT’S IT!

not only             that’s it

            

but all answers

to any questions

we might have

 

lie right here                         on this most

extravagant notion of                    

 

 

                        r

                             e

                                   l

                                          a

                                                x

                                                        i

                                                               n

                                                                        g

 

 

 

 

                                                          Source

H e a r t                E a r t h

contain each other’s holy letters ~

                        cuddled lovingly within them

                                                  a wholly whimsical word

 

                                                                a   r   t

 

graceful

            merciful

                        beauty

 

 

 

 

Musings

 

we have framed ourselves

with flat edge-lined surfaces

 

while all along our bodies

are rounded curved sensualities

 

*

 

the problem is not all the thoughts we have

the problem is                I think!

 

thoughts have no center to spring from

 

when the center is established

all thoughts are a pleasure to behold

 

*

 

Being A Human Being

 How Courageously Wonderful Is That?

  

*

 

c’mon                  let’s change things around our house

move stuff over to different places

loosen up             play a bit             have some fun

our dear home will definitely thank us!

 

 *

 

illusions are precious 

they mirror precisely where we are

 

*

 

our dear        computers        smartphones        tablets

all related electronic gadgets

could we please leave them alone for a day?

they too need a break now and then!

  

*

 

slowing down        taking it easy

we have nothing to loose

but our dizzying minds

 

*

 

Spooning our lover 

Mmmmm……..

Heaven!!!

 

 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

F R E E D O M

 

 

secrets

I

one of the great secrets to freedom

which renders us

 

alive

engaged

spirited

awake

 

is the great fall ~

 

it’s as inevitable

as the air we breathe

  

II

so let it rip my friend

for there’s nothing to loose        but our

 

notions

positions

judgments

beliefs

 

keeping us separately stuck ~

the secret to all this?

 

            f a i t h 

 

III

in this radical trusting time

we decide to follow

our own unique path

 

opening up to new vistas

of sweeping visions

surging powerfully within

           

leaving us all

hopelessly helpless                      

but of a different kind

 

IV

without doing anything

a surrendering starts stirring

            deep inside us     

 

 

finding what was needed all along

was our mere willingness

to begin following

 

the only path there is

 

t h e  p a t h l e s s  p a t h

 

V

               allowing

      this mysterious path

             to take flight

 

  we get to where our path

         as well as others

          mix and mingle

  

  creating an inexplicable

 

           magnificent

          kaleidoscopic

             hologram

 

   of such intense beauty

 

    a hot flaming arrow

            shatters

   well guarded shields

 

 exposing a tenderness

           of heart

unto our welcoming light

 

 

 

 

fear

I

                doubt and panic

         spiral down the depths

with no end in sight

 

            terror overtakes me

 

        as an endless rehearsing

         suffocates and stutters

            the confused mind

 

II

did I just say

 

            the confused mind

                   instead of

            my confused mind?

 

III

a shaft of sunlight

shatters inextricable clouds

                        of madness

 

as gratitude

pours through         

feeling

 

relieved

            released

                        remade

 

IV

I realize when

relief streams in

           

fear takes

the back door

 

and like a thief

gives itself up

 

V 

but please let’s not forget

fear comes to visit us for a reason

 

an unfailing companion to our souls

it’s pushing us relentlessly

 

towards embracing the totality of our being

            bringing us intimately closer to the truth

  

VI

                            when fear is

 

u n d e r s t o o d                    it has no power

f e l t                                        it has no hold

s e e n                                                 it sets us free

 

  

 

 

happiness 

As more and more freedom

            seeps into my being

                        the happier I feel

 

the happier I feel

          more and more freedom

                       fills up my day

 

finding this

         fierce love

                       living a human life

  

 

 

 

When 

we are free 

we can lovingly say

to our beloved

 

‘I don’t need you’

 

and be in a most

intimate connection

with them         forever

 

 

                            

 

 

lockdown offerings 

Being on a year-long retreat

I have been treated with a treat

 

finally finding the missing piece

I am no longer a child

 

no longer do I have to seek

no longer do I have to listen

 

to others’ teachings of what to do and how to be

I no longer have to be present kind or real

 

I Am               present kind real

I Am               that

 

I Am stillness                

I simply Am

 

 

 

 

Infinity 

I start with

the infinity sign

 

moving my whole body

like a rhythmical

semi-circulous dance of

 

sensuality

 

pouring out

through the curves

of this            infinite body

 

where everything

speeding up

in standing stillness

 

is showing me silence

as its center

vibrating          electrifying

 

rendering the

Absolute           Obsolete

 

 

 

 

I ~ Awareness

Resting on the

            felt sense of

 

             AWARENESS 

 

                      I n f i n i t e                              E t e r n a l

 

I Am That

I Am

I

 

I

 

      A

            m

 

                    T

             h

       a

t

  

…Silence      Emptiness      Awareness      Consciousness      Knowing    Unknowable      Unnamable      Reality      Mystery      The Absolute      Eternity      Infinity      Source      Mother      Priceless Jewel      The Beloved      The Heart        Mind      The Word      The Logos      All That Is      Existence      Being      I Am      The Universe      Light      Luminous Darkness      Divine Intelligence      Essence      Presence      True Nature      God      Goddess      The Divine      Brahman      The Tao      Buddha Nature      Spirit      Jehovah      Allah      Life      The Force      Home      Self      Truth      Freedom      Love      Peace      Happiness      Joy      Beauty…

    

names and words of power

for one loving name


 

 

 

 

Musings

        

  one of freedom’s secrets ~

they say whatever we resist persists

 so why not circle it in

 to find out what it is?

 

*

 

having and making choices

does not mean I am in control

 

how about free will?

do I think I have that too?

 

I am told             'reconsider'

as beliefs tend to be stumbling blocks

 

to my inner most

fervent queries 

 

*

 

non-dual understanding suggests                        Awareness

does not reside in the body or in the mind or in the world

rather

the bodymindworld resides   in   Awareness

 not even that

All   Is   Awareness

 

 *

 

as I stood in the center of the Labyrinth

these words came bubbling up

 

‘be still and know

I Am

the human form’

 

*

 

from the depths of our precious heart

comes a treasured trove of pure knowing

untold by the human soul 

 

*

 

Infinity infusing its affinity through a presumably finite You

 

*

 

e         m         p         t         y         i         n         g

 

emptying some more

 

no end to this emptying it seems

 

*

 

settling on this silent groundless ground of Being

 

 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

C O N C L U S I O N

 

Freedom In Love With Life And Light

Freedom is what I value the most

            where I hang out with          the most ~

 

such an awakening required

traveling over 

mountains and valleys            with immense courage

swimming upstream through

raging storms                            of bitter tears

 

while all along this loving aliveness

kept shining its vibrant face 

                       

revealing peace and freedom           

in its place!

 

 

 

 

S I L E N C E

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shifts 

When we feel things are falling apart

maybe                  just maybe

 

instead

they are falling into place

 

a subtle shift in sensing 

is all we need               to feel at ease

 

 

 

 

Yes!

Living fully

with great faith

where all is offered up

to an unknown movement

flowing freely through our soul

 

 

 *

 

 

T o u c h e d 

by a feather

flying

f r e e