what can one say but ~Thank You?

 

 

FREEDOM ~ IN LOVE WITH LOVE 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

 

 

 

I.

Sages of Tuesday, September 17th, 2019

am.

the heart stood still

on this precipice of

a deep dark                  shame…

 

                         seen          accepted     

                      unconditionally loved

                           ~ by another ~

  

shame became a watershed to            freedom

 

pm.

marked the time

          at the Heartwater’s source

                        where love’s floodgates shook and shattered

 

walking across

            the holy Headwaters

                        of mighty Mississippi

 

washing away

           muddy deposits

                        of a withered self  ~

 

freedom it was

           stepping onto those

                        shiny slippery stones       

         

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

 

am.

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?

 

pm.

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            seen            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 this 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

Only to witness

The grand old river

Winding down its wide wavy runs

Shimmering with blinding flashes

 

Filling these big brown eyes to the brim

 

 

 

V.

water

…the connection to this 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 her face to the sun

and 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 journey unfolds

 

            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      is

it      is      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 started thinking of going on a seven-week road trip during that 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.  It was to visit the two remaining mainland states I had not driven through ~ North Dakota and Montana. 

As I was getting ready for the long road trip, I began having an intense premonition that I was going to die during this trip.  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 at peace with it. 

I know now it was not about my physical death.  It was a psychological death.  It was also about 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 his entrance into Middle School.  I continued on to Colorado visiting with friends; driving through the majestic Rockies; relaxing in mineral springs and paying my respects to 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 more than 50 years ago.  She lives in Old Town where she was born.  Through her eyes I experienced the flavors of her town and its religious and spiritual aspects of indigenous cultures. 

The drive from Albuquerque to Durango 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 proved to be even more memorable, as the La Sal Loop was breathtakingly gorgeous.

Before leaving for Wisconsin, I received an email from my friend, with whom I was going to stay, letting me know that a few weeks back her 17-year old grandson was murdered.  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 go to sleep.  The energy of his picture and the violent ending of his short-lived life kept me wide-awake.  In the middle of the night, I took the obituary into the living room and placed 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 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. 

Throughout that day I was feeling guilty, but what I was really feeling was a deep sense of shame for the cowardly way I had acted.  It was very painful to see.  I called her 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 just cried.  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 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, another 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 less than an hour’s drive south off Hwy 2.  That same afternoon I made the detour. 

As I entered Lake 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.

At the entrance of the trail towards the Headwaters there is a sign indicating that it is also known as the Heartwaters.  In the Anishinabe (Ojibwe) belief, it is the women who are the caretakers of the waters.  Next to the sign is a beautiful bronze sculpture of a woman created by Jeff Savage.  She is sitting on a drumhead with a basket in her lap releasing a batch of small turtles.

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 stones mark the beginnings of the Mississippi River flowing from Lake Itasca to its 2552-mile southern journey to the Gulf of Mexico.  The crossing is about thirty feet long and it is 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 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 the crossing, 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.

I went back to where I had left my purse and shoes.  A gentleman approached me to let me know that 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 the picture, I can see and savor the crossing and the gratitude I hold in my heart for the gentleman who took it at that precise 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 since as a good luck charm.  She had painted the rock orange and around it she had decorated it with tiny red and yellow flowers.  In the middle, she had painted in white the word freedom.  With heartfelt gratitude I offered it to the waters.

 

*

 

I continued on to Grand Forks, North Dakota and to Wolf Point and Kalispell, Montana.  From Montana I drove to Pendleton, Oregon for a night.  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’s only passable from July – October due to its snow-bound conditions.  It’s a 59-mile loop and a 2-5 hour spectacular drive.

That 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.  Indeed 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 needed to come up with a poem for my elder women’s poetry group.  As I began writing about what happened on September 17th, to my great surprise tears started streaming down my face.

Two days later, the second part of the first poem and eleven more came pouring out like bubbling teary waters.  I've selected 8 for the Living Waters chapter.  I am still not quite sure what exactly took place that day.  Nevertheless, the poems have struck a deep chord in my being and hopefully have spoken to the experience at the Mississippi Heartwaters. 

 

 

Epilogue

 

 

On a daily basis, since the first poem came through in October of 2019, I tune into the live webcam at the Mississippi River Headwaters.  I always tear up or smile when I see visitors coming and going.  Or when it is absolutely quiet, with nobody around – especially in mid-December, when it is all covered with snow.  Lake Itasca is now freezing over.  Lately, a pileated woodpecker is hanging out on the branch of a tree, which is next to the crossing.  It is a winter wonderland.

Furthermore, every Monday at noon (CST) I take a snapshot of the Heartwaters with my cell phone.  I will be doing that for the year of 2020.  I also started keeping a daily journal of what I see happening at the site and will continue through next year as well.  I plan to compile everything in a green leather parchment 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 though is this ~

 

My dearest friend is finding her way through her grief

My bucket list is full

And 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 is 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 is 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 your sensuous mouth

uttering a word

worlds are born

  

Opening your stunning eyes your sharp ears 

worlds stare and hum 

back at you

  

Smelling tasting touching 

myriad worlds manifesting 

their tantalizing flavors

 

Putting us all to sleep

of what truly matters 

in these precarious times

 

  

 

yes and no

 

I. 

our souls are locked

in endless slow tides

of never ending cycles of

 

            yes or no

 

       YES     to     living        

       NO      to     living

 

what is this tyranny

gripping and seducing us

away from ourselves?

 

what is driving

this incessant struggle

between yes and no?

 

II.

these two tricksters

 

      play makeshift

      hide and seek

 

      riding waves of living

      full of mischief

 

III.

untethered         they bring

            welcomed relief of

 

sometimes    yes

            sometimes    no

  

IV.

so it goes…

           

we often think we know

            then something happens

                        and we don’t

 

V.

in this specious swaying

 

            between the known and the unknown

 

are ceaseless stories of how…

 

            now we see it       ~       now we don’t

 

 

  

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’s a life well            lived?

The backward spelling of devil?

  

As for evil?

 

It’s to        live        a life

In the now 

Knowing full well

 

We have already won 

The only life we own

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)

 

 

death

 

I.

my friend’s mother dying process

hangs heavily on my mind

 

especially when I sit by

her husband of sixty years

watching his sweetheart fade away ~

 

II.

my only hope is

 

            seeing him one more time

            with a glimmer in his eye

            strolling down these corridors

            of the assisted-living house

 

he now calls home

 

III.

suspended in no-man’s land

as death makes its noble entrance

for the final act

 

I sense a sigh of ease

seeping effortlessly

through selfless sleep

 

IV. 

gathering around her

 

            holding hands

            caressing forehead

            moistening lips

            whispering loving words ~

 

V.

she flutters her eyes

 

            …a breath barely breathed…

 

                        and dies peacefully

 

                                    in her beloved’s arms

 

 

 

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 needed

      in everything I do

 

            especially   

    with the hard parts

           

   helping me through

        the dire straits

 

     which inevitably           

         do show up ~

 

engaging with mystery

a quickening happens

 

as showing up holds

one basic ingredient ~

 

             trusting

 

 

 

p a i n 

 

…a weighty hole in the heart hurts

            of an ever pressing wanting

                        waiting for the healing to take hold…

 

staying with this

            heartbreaking pain

                        tending it tenderly

 

it strokes

             a string of holiness

                        in the heart of the hole…

 

is that what it takes

            for the healing to take place

                        sitting still in the midst of a pain

       

                                  witnessing it whole?

 

 

 

Words 

 

needing to sound

            intelligently wise

                        so interestingly refined

 

Words… 

fabricate stories

              making us believe in

                             what we see

 

Words…

            softly spoken

                        unleash a heart

                                    from timeless bondage 

  

Wondering… 

           what songs are we singing?

                                what songs are we listening to?

 

 

 

 Joy 

 

…from that care-free space

            embedded deeply

                        in my core

 

full

vast

happy

 

I sing

I dance

I laugh

            

I love this life                mine           

         this life of yours...

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 that and so much more are packed in a single day’s span!

  

*

  

it looks like

what is lovingly accepted

is instantly released ~

also

one can live forever with it in

p e a c e 

 

*

 

great teachings say ~

being unattached to longing or seeking

we are in the river of life

same goes to

being unattached to aversion or resisting

 

 *

 

Please leave everyone alone

Most importantly…

Please leave yourself alone

 

*

  

Oh! how we run after 

that which

is right under our noses…

 

*

 

calling all souls to communion 

with what is ~

nothing less

nothing more

 

*

 

got guilt?

ask the secret question

So What?

see how fast it evaporates

bringing a surprised smile

to your amused face

  

got dysfunction?

!Chuckle!

the secret is

treating yourself

kindly…

so tread with confidence my friend ~

 

*

 

as it’s written somewhere

 

wherever you are

whatever you are

whoever you are

however you are

  

you are perfectly fine

 

*

 

our own vitality is

vital for the fullness of a

valiant vibrant life

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

A L O N E N E S S

 

 

 

Flaming Gorge, Wyoming

  

…wandering on this old forgotten bygone dirt road

            in the middle of nowhere

                        a spacious desertness opens up before me

 

with nobody in sight

            only billowing clouds coasting by

                        I witness this most breathtaking site

 

on one side

            heat waves weaving their ways over barren land

                        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

this birthday year of sixty-two

 

          celebrating it

 

in the desert wilderness

of my Vision Quest time

 

gathering myself here             

from all over it seems

           

embracing an inner wildness

waiting to be seen

 

II.

…roaming aimlessly

on parched desert land

 

            I find

           

I no longer know

anything anymore…

 

III.

looking out from this wind-blown tent

            perched high atop a desert plateau

                        amidst majestic Colorado mountains

                                    I watch the world go by…

 

dark clouds passing by

            little insects buzzing around

                        lizards scurrying away

                                    ants inching along ~

                                                           

intricate movements

            of exquisite songs

                        fill their vibrant space

                                    with a 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

            an aging bundle of bones

 

V.

through it all

little gems appear

 

scattered along

ancient dusty trails…   

 

the holy    ~    the ordinary

are one and the same

 

VI.

[last day of the solo]

the ritual of the fourth day

            is releasing into the sacred fire

                        any need for

 

            love

            appreciation

            approval 

 

revealing yet another gift ~

            the pure love I feel                       

                        is mine to freely give

 

VII.

getting ready to leave

this magical wombing place

 

I am left with one question only ~

how will the future look like?

 

VIII.

doing nothing

I drop into a place of calm

  

discovering yet another secret ~

 

how inextricably connected I am

to everyone and everything I know

              

IX.

as the day comes to a close

  

            I watch the sunset

            with quiet reverence

 

            soaking up the sun’s final

            fleeting fading rays

 

disappearing behind

steep-peaked hills ~

  

turning around I warmly welcome

a full moon’s golden glow

  

and a singular life

about to unfold…

 

 

 

tucked-in 

 

I.

all alone now

time is my own

 

            free to be in this

            bittersweet place

  

            where tears still flow

 

            and ease of being

            bit-by-bit grows

 

II.

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?’

 

III.

Rilke talked about it ~

in time he said

  

            living one’s life

            will bare its gifts

            the question that

            has haunted one

            forever it seems

            will be known in time

            in the throes of living

 

  a life

 

IV.

…growing older

            breathing in this wild bumpy ride

I find the answer to                    ‘What Is It?’

            is lovingly held         within the question itself

 

V.

it’s 

               ‘What It Is’                  

                                    exactly as it is…

 

                                               

 

well-being

 

…lying in bed

attending breath

 

            resting…

  

what am I?

                                Peace ?

 

           

 

loneliness

 

I.

there is an exquisite feeling 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

gravely feeling

I was entering

into a tomb…

 

that’s how death

made its appearance

in those lonesome days

where a sheering ache

crowded my frozen senses

 

III.

staying with this numbing feeling

 

…where muted dread cloaked

every thought and limb

in utter despair…

 

it began revealing

 

   its perimeters      

   its flavors

   its contours

 

IV.

 

~ gradually ~

somehow…somewhere…something

started shifting ever so subtly

 

V.

…the tomb became a womb…

 

VI.

setting me free from 

            the tomb of loneliness 

                        to the womb of aloneness

 

 

 

one lone poppy

 

at the tip of a stem

            brightly orange and all

                        moves playfully

                                    as soft breezes touch

                                                her delicate petals  

                                               

~ no effort here ~

 

            just being who she is

                        one lone poppy in the breeze

 

 

 

confusion 

 

I.

    ~ always confused ~  

do I take myself seriously

                   or

do I take myself lightly

 

II.

which one to walk on?

which one to mind?

which one to take to heart?

 

III.

the answer

            appeared unhindered

                        one clear sunny-dripped morning

 

IV.

taking myself seriously     as the Infinite

sensing It          knowing It          feeling It

through and through

 

~ is essential ~

 

taking myself lightly however

is walking into the world

this world          with its infinite          light-hearted ways

 

  

 

morning reflections

 

~ free to be ~ 

the one and only

 the only one 

who wakes up

  

alone

  

each morning

 and happily says 

to absolutely everyone 

 

!  G!

 

 

 

Musings

 

 in our aloneness

we are one with the all

 and at the same time

so totally unique

 

*

 

there is no separation

  

*

  

 to know            is to be in            the now

it’s in the word itself

 

*

 

come closer than close to your wintry hollow

drink deeply 

now is the time to own your own special song

     singing it out completely

 

*

 

we’re split in half

~ the question is ~

on whose behalf are we acting?

Being or the separate self?

 

*

 

when we are contracted we are lost 

when we are relaxed we are in the flow

 

*

 

why do we want to be the one

when we are already that

~ being the one is an inside job ~

 

looking outside of ourselves for the one

or being the one in somebody else’s life 

is a recipe for misery

  

*

 

now      +      here      =      nowhere

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

L O V E

 

 

The Beloved

 

 …my teacher once said…

 

         ‘the beloved is just

         another sacred cow

            as all the others’

  

                  WHAT?

 

 what are you trying to do?

take everything away 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 what I truly Am

 

…you see ~ 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

everything

  

 with the same 

effortless grace

where all is illumined

from within

 

  

 

 dissolution

 

I.   

…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 fear our beloved will devour us whole...

 

                                 well      ~      you can count on it!

 

II. 

this is about a love so            B  I  G

            it will obliterate you

                        to smithereens

 

III.

and then… 

            there you are

p u r e   l o v i n g 

 

 

 

unconditional love

 

 …when I heard that 

‘unconditional love

is not

unconditional license’ 

 

my mind went stark-blank…

 yet I knew 

I needed to hear that ~

 

all I am asking

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…

 have all brought me to my knees

 

 

 

 touched

 

 …stripped fully of

            hopes and dreams

                        especially all expectations

 

I am willing to be 

            with you and me

                        in this tender moment

 

w i d e l y   o p e n

 

                   l i s t e n i n g   

  

                                    l o v i n g l y   s o…

 

 

  

Be.  Being. 

 

Be.  Here.  Now.

Being.  Here.  Now.

 

can you taste the difference?

 

one               an admonition 

the other          a loving presence

  

which one are you?

 

  

 

loving life

 

I. 

with all her inexhaustible treasures

             falling like shiny jewels

                        into my empty lap…

 

II.

wreathing sparkly waves

blazing sunsets and sunrises 

high blue snowy mountains

dazzling snow on brazen plains

crying laughs shattering silence

falling leaves on cuddled cozy evenings

delicious lovemaking at dawn

long leisurely walks along cool shaded paths…

 

III.

and oh! so much more ~

 

IV.

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 stand up for ourselves and set boundaries

we become stronger and bolder

 

~ and surprisingly enough ~

there is more love to go around

 

*

 

love and power

 power and love 

two consorts connected to the cord

  

*

 

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

 

just do it

 

we all depend on it…

 

*

 

j u s t   b e g i n     ~     t h e   r e s t   w i l l   f o l l o w

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

N A T U R A L   B E A U T Y

 

 

Stillness

(A tribute to Mary Oliver)

 

you have gone

where I am goin

 

       so let me rest here       

for a while

 

sensing in my heart of hearts

you have gone

  

nowhere

 

 

 

 little insect

 

in one spot

            one speck

                        so to speak

 

a colorful

            delicate

                        glittery being

 

dangling from

            a tiny stem

                       serenely still

 

…then suddenly

 

she slowly stirs

            unearthing

                        her luminous wings

                                    and ever so lightly

                                                is taken by the wind

 

 

 

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 To

New Country Roads To Roam On

 

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  

  

    sunshine everywhere…

 

 

 

The Dodgeville Cabin

 

I.

there is this breathtaking

of a place

 

a tiny cabin

nestled into the edge of the woods

           

on these outcrops

of Dane County’s countryside

 

II.

            imposing granite cliffs

            hang over swaying spent fields

            as critters meander leisurely by

 

III.

here                life is

            simple

                        easy

                                    peaceful

 

IV.

unwinding on our porch

        I dip deeply in the rhythms

 

               of a most

               exquisite

               ordinary day

 

 

 

fall reflections at Willow Creek

 

…strolling along the edges of Willow Creek

            outside the hamlet of Crestone

                        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 kisses to the creek

 

 

 

grey heron 

 

I.

a graceful grey heron

with its long

curvy neck

 

            stands alert ~

 

a remembrance

of long forgotten

haunting songs

 

II.

reflecting on its pond

            a mirror image

 

of a dreamlike

            likeness

 

I take to be

            my very own

 

III.

the heart quivers

             regarding this fluid heron

 

watchful regal guardian                

            of old

 

 

 

                                                                   flight

 

…beautiful blue butterfly

                      

with

                             her

                                                        fluttering

                                                                                              wispy                                   

                                                                                                                           wings

 

floating

 

                        freely

                                                                                                                                               

                                                with                                                                                       

                                                                                                                            

                                                                        the   

 

                                                                                                 wind                                                                                                                                                                                                              

                                                                             

gratitude

 

…curled up in bed 

            I quietly watch 

                      from my bedroom window

 

a canopied camellia tree 

come 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 ~

as the wise say ‘you have to die before you die’ 

 

*

 

the outer is the utter manifestation of the inner

 and vice versa

 

*

 

creation    ~    creature

equally alike

  

*

  

the Big Bang could be Awareness’s first booming sound

within its infinite silence

or

it could also be Awareness’s first dynamic impulse

of knowing itself as I

 

 *

 

what you look at             is what you get 

~ but ~

how you see             sets you free

 

*

 

stumble into a paradox

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 this natural

boundless bounty

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

L I G H T

 

 

these eyes

 

only see what is bustling

in our busy minds

 

while a solitary beam is burning

right through brilliant bright eyes

 

spilling out sparkly starry-dust

lighting up compelling multi-colored spectacles ~

 

Awareness shape-shifting

our seemingly bounded ground

 

 

 

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 who I am

In this infinite space”

 

“Well” replied word

“In our world

 

You are the light  

Dreaming us all up!”

 

 

 

belonging

 

Oh! how we long to belong

in one way or another

 

finding that special safe spot in ourselves

where our spark is

 

seen

 

held

 

loved

 

accepted

 

I sometimes wonder whether

belonging

is none other than 

longing to Be

 

 

 

lila

 

…radiant rays dance

  through the air

 

as spectrums of light

play lightly with my hair

 

exclamation marks of

!!everything!!          !!everywhere!!

           

 

 

rainbows

 

 I.

body settling on

          mossy decaying stumps

                        quietly       I sit

 

feasting on this small

            color-filled

                        ripple of a pond

 

II.

as the day unfurls

            its priceless pearls

 

a baby fly

            lands on my page

 

III.

iridescent beauty

            playing with my head…

 

 

  

sun worshiper

  

…sunlight warming my back

filling my senses

to the brink…

  

I cannot tell

whether my skin is

but a sunray’s beam

 

 

 

F i r e

 

…the flame flickers for a bit

and I

coming closer to you whisper

  

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

are but pixels of light

each point refracting Consciousness

in seemingly multiple sights?

 

*

 

everything is indivisible

except it’s invisible

in a visible world

 

*

 

do you want to know who you really are?

sit quietly         breathe deeply         take your time         ask

 

Who Am I?

  

the very moment you ask that question

you’ll 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’

 

*

 

transcendence seekers

here is an axiom for us ~

in becoming immanent

~ being fully in our lively lovely bodies ~

transcendence becomes imminent

 

*

 

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

 

*

 

there are no rules

as each instant is painted splashly anew!

 

*

 

there is this seamless movement of a ceaseless 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 this…

 

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 that ~ 

  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?

 

 

there is

  

 a remembrance… 

a reconnection…

a recognition…

  

our true nature is precisely the same

as everyone else’s

 

 

 

coming of age

 

…a seagull has 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

 

seagull

wind

water

 

 

 

a moment

 

so slow

            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 a barren bluff

 

looking out towards the 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

 

the mind

            freezes in its

                        heavenly tracks

 

 

  

             r e l a x

  

…a teacher once 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!

  

all the answers

to any questions

we might have

 

lie right here

on this most extraordinarily

extravagant notion of                    

  

                        r

                             e

                                   l

                                          a

                                                x

                                                        i

                                                               n

                                                                        g

 

 

  

Source

 

H e a r t       ~       E a r t h 

 

containing each others’ holy letters 

                        lovingly cuddled within them

                                                a wholly whimsical word

  

 a   r   t

 

gracing us with

eternal

beauty

 

         and

 

infinite

mercy

 

 

 

Musings

 

we have framed ourselves

with flat-edge-lined surfaces

 

while all along our bodies

are rounded curved sensualities

 

*

 

~ Being A Human Being ~

How Courageously Wonderful Is That?

 

*

 

the problem is not all the thoughts we have

the problem is ~ if there is one ~

 

thoughts have no center to spring from 

 

when the center is established

all thoughts are a pleasure to behold

  

*

  

c’mon                change things around your house

move stuff over to different places

loosen up          play a bit          have some fun

your home will surely thank you!

 

 *

  

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 you know!

  

* 

 

 ~ slow down and relax ~

you have nothing to loose

but your mind

 

*

 

Spooning your lover 

Mmmmm……..

Heavenly!!!

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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 my friend

 

II.

        ~ so let it rip ~

 

there’s nothing to loose

              but our

 

              notions

              positions

              judgments

              beliefs

 

keeping us separate       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 expanses

surging powerfully within

           

leaving us all

hopelessly helpless                      

but of a different kind

 

IV.

without doing anything

a surrendering starts stirring

deep within 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 unfold

 

  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-hearted arrow

pierces right through us

         setting us all

                                    

    f  r  e  e

 

 

 

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

 

you can say

to your beloved

‘I don’t need you’

 

you open yourself up

to the true sense of

f r e e d o m

 

 

 

fear

 

I.

         doubt and panic

    spiraling down to 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 ~

 

gratitude pours through         feeling

 

relieved

            released

                        remade

 

IV.

I realize…

when love moves 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 human soul

it’s pushing us relentlessly

 

towards an embracing

loving kindness

 

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

 

 

  

remember?

 

as id becomes an entity

it creates a whole new world

 

 taking this identity

to be who we are

 

we imagine we know reality

while all along Reality itself

 

keeps inviting us ever so gentlY 

towards our true identity

 

the ultimate Reality oF 

who and what we truly are

 

  R e m e m b e r ?

 

 

 

 lockdown offerings

 

…being on a three-month 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 and real

I Am all there is      has ever been      or      will ever be

 

I Am action ~ a celebration of

                      Being

 

 

 

Infinity

 

it starts 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 and electrifying

 

rendering the

Absolute       Obsolete

 

 

 

I Awareness

  

…shift your attention

            rest 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

 

      A

            m

 

                    T

             h

       a

t

 

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

                       

I

 

an infinite eternal word for it all

 

 

 

Musings

 

 ~ one of freedom’s secrets ~ 

they say whatever you resist ~ persists

  so why not circle it in real close

finding out what it really holds?

 

*

 

having and making choices 

does not mean that we are in control

 

how about free will?

  

we think that we have that too? 

well             think again my good friend

  

*

 

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 at the center of the Labyrinth

these words came bubbling up

 

‘be still and know

I Am

the human form’

 

*

 

infinity infusing its affinity through the presumably finite You

 

  * 

 

    emptying        ~        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

I.

…freedom is who I am

            what I am

what I value the most ~

  

II.

to come to such realization

 

I had to travel over

mountains and valleys with immense courage

swim upstream through raging storms of bitter tears

 

III.

in the midst of it all

an aliveness kept shining its face ~

                       

IV.

that is how peace and happiness           

unexpectedly made themselves known                         

 

V.

so my dear dearest friend

 

What Is It In Life   You   Truly Value The Most?

 

(to Adya with great affection)

 

 

 

this is what I know for now…

 

freedom is being the author of one’s own life

having inner authority 

 

living

 

in an authentic

light-filled        loving way

 

~ the clincher here is ~

 

if I think I am the one and only author of my life

I am called back again and again

 

to rethink… 

 

‘cause I am shown the world over

there’s more to    it    that can ever be imagined!

 

 

 

final thoughts

  

when we feel things are falling apart 

maybe ~ just maybe

instead

they are falling into place ~

a subtle shift in perspective

is all our heart needs to relax

 

 

 

Yes!

 

to living fully

~ in great faith ~

where all is offered up

to an Unknown movement

flowing freely through our soul

 

 

 

R E J O I C E!

  

m y   d e a r e s t   f r i e n d

  

knowing

 

you

 

are

 

   always

 

and

 

already

 

F R E E

 

 

***