i love the girl i used to be
the one i am
who i am becoming
let me slather myself with love
like a soon-to-be-basted
with so much thanks
in my heart
for this life
i love the girl i used to be
the one i am
who i am becoming
let me slather myself with love
like a soon-to-be-basted
with so much thanks
in my heart
for this life
in love with my wild wild self
the embrace of the earth shoots up my legs
tendrils growing through the mass of my feet
i hug myself and worlds contract within this warmth.
my own heart leaps in the face of extreme human suffering
the girl strung out in relationship with meth
the man with codine and self hatred
loud with the voices of wanting, of desperation
calling out for something to ease the pain of inner turmoil
to make everything alright. just alright. like in the hug of mama’s embrace.
my own heart leaps God’s love toward them on the path of life
until we all know that we are good enough
children of God’s own creation, sprung out of the earth
like the feet and mouths of the earth eating itself
the time is now, brother sister,
the veils all drop down. we know ourselves as spirit-earth-walkers
embedded in the mass of time, materialized like the oak leaf
in the sands of time, walking, what is the cause of our being here
one friend leaves his body,
“do not call it a suicide,” he writes in his last note
“instead, know that I have continued on my journey into the
realm of spirit; man-walking without a body.”
and, “perhaps now i will be your guardian angel.”
what is the cause of his self-killing? the recent scorpio new moon
paired with the eclipses? we are living in extreme times
yet, perhaps we are just seeing through the veil
Time becomes constant; i mean: there is no time
the only time we have is no time and the veil of the ancient temple is rent
there are no priests and priestesses besides ourselves.
and, i mean,
I am you and you are me, are we ……… and God is among us
there is no future salvation or damnation or eternal elation
it is all here in your smile, and mine. in your hug. in this embrace.
and in the dance of hearts with babies being born and friends leaving the body
i see with clear eyes the dance of human life
how short of time there is here
beneath this blue blue sky
upon this good green earth.
One time when I was little my family went to Florida for a couple weeks. We rented a house there right by the ocean and her white sands. I remember feeling so excited! Oozing with the glee that makes you shiver.
Erin and I made it out early one morning and found purple sea cucumbers splattered all over the beach, as if it’d been raining squishy tubes. Long and responsive, we poked them with sticks. Purple goo came out. They were still alive and I didn’t understand them. I felt intrigued and a little creeped out and made sure not to step on them.
I found sharks teeth in the eroding cliffs and I remember the house we rented had a shower room, not just a stall. With two shower heads and tiled walls. I loved the shower. It forever changed my ideas of what showers could be.
Our ancestors can pass on many things to us. Mine passed onto me white skin, which, as I grow older, holds a lot more implications than I realized as a child. One also passed on a few shares of stock in McDonalds. Isn’t that ironic?
We get many patterns from our family, some of which we may wish to no longer keep. We’re all dying. And with us, hopefully, generation by generation, our unheard & unhealed patterns and wounds. Our nasty repetitions embedded before birth, hammered home in childhood and cemented in adolescence to be lived out into maturity and passed on once again.
We can be the ones to shift the cycle, though some patterns feel as deep as the Grand Canyon. Time, presence, awareness, loving support, envisioning and witnessing new possibilities- all of these can help to start shift age old patterns. Some may seem as natural as breathing, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for change.
I was reflecting on the patriarchal control or possession often called love or care. How these things don’t always make sense and they’re not easy to put into words because they’re so pervasive and therefore hard to see. But these hold memories too, capable of being fresh, recalled, and looked at.
For example, this morning the smell of lumber, black coffee and a sound like the droning of Rush Limbaugh (who I used to complain “gave me a headache” even in my youth), brought back memories of feeling trapped and detained as a child. Not all childhood memories are sweet and not all parents’ actions are perfect, not all of the ancestral hand-me-downs are things we consider keeping. Some should be burned in an incinerator. The patriarchy is dying and, as I wrote earlier, so are we all.
Let these cycles stop with me. Let my form be a fresh breath of awareness. Learn me love full of freedom, care without control, & loving intention without possession.
Let there be true love in the world and let it start with me.
May these old forsaken patterns die with us. May we awaken to a fresh dawn, a new spring, a lively, enchanted and bright morn.
As we make our way throughout the United States of America, I am reflective on the use and ownership of land- of the rigorous, insane (literally etymologically, unhealthy, unwhole) and whole sale theft and disrespect (can’t really find a fitting word strong enough for what actually took place) on the part of the pioneering and enterprising Europeans to the native groups of this land. Nearly everywhere we go there is the sorry story of some native group pillaged and removed from their homeland.
I feel a sense of loss for their vibrant and wise indigenous (of the land, of a place) cultures. Poignantly do I feel the absence of my own generational land-based heritage. Instead of being something intimately known and loved, land is a commodity, something to own.
There are two songs here that reflect well some thoughts/feelings I have journeying through this land, reflective on history. I want to share them here:
The Nightwatchman – Take Away My Name
Diane Cluck – Sylvania
Medicine for the People – My Country
2014, for us, started in Peru, in South America, which is, indigenously speaking, very related and in kinship with ancient native trade routes, customs and beliefs stretching all the way up to what is today North America. I cried many times then feeling the connection the people have with the land, with pachamama. In March, Ini and I went out to Massachusetts to pick up this veggie oil car we love and use so well. I distinctly recall sitting on the Boston Commons watching a squirrel scramble up trees, Unafraid of people or heights. The commemorative placeholders and memorials in that region are largely Patriarchal in heritage and remembrance. A very clearly delineated His-tory.
Then, an image of homesteading on an Appalachian mountainside. Fresh, cool mountain stream. Generations of people “eeking out a living” in this fertile land. At the local library, I read accounts from ancestors of people who neighbor the land we’re on who say, “Wake up, it’s time to hoe. After lunch, more hoeing. When I close my eyes I see corn and beans.” Their descendants now have a garden, yes with corn and beans, yet also with a motion-controlled radio to scare away deer. Living on the land is tough, they all seem to say. After a few months of dipping my hand in these waters, though refreshed by the mountain spring water, I realize I’m not quite ready to go “back to the land” in such a vigorous -or isolated- way quite yet.
So back to Indiana, my place of birth and raising. Will I follow the footsteps of my forebearers? Start a business, get a 9-5 working for the Man? I am not quite ready to start a large-scale alternative project to What Is. But we gotta eat, after all. Can’t live on idealism. Yet, the inner drive wants nothing to do with the machinations of my father. We do not see eye to eye; we hardly see the same world at all. Again, jumping the nest after touching base with the karma of birth, we are freebirds once again, taken by the travel.
Boulder, Colorado it is. Yet when we get there to meet some teachers who drew our attention, we find the land far commercialized from the initial hippy hay-day we heard it once was. No fodder for us, we continue on the travel. Well out of vegetable oil fuel for the car, we are now running mostly on the dinosaur bone and ancient fern slop that dictates the actions of so much of our warring and exploitive governmental system. It’s against our internal compass, but it’s “the way things are now.” We continue along on the highways, occasionally off-roading it, like so many others channeled and funneled along the main stream.
Yet we are not mainstream. For the first time in my life, I catch people stopping to stare at me, whispering about our rig (the car is full!) or possibly about me. I’m not really sure, but I feel the difference. And I continue to feel how far I’ve strayed from being a good daughter of the Patriarchy.
I am not loyal to my government or the mores of the cultures of this land. So much of it ain’t sitting pretty with me.
We continue on through the ancient dwellings of the Southwest, reaping inspiration each step of the way. Pueblos stretching across miles of desert aligned to star and moon, equinox and solstice. These people were in rhythm with the earth. Give me some of that old time living! And the living ancestors of the people of Canyon de Chelly, still farming and shepherding amid the deep canyon walls near the ancient petroglyphs of old. (And even these Navajos were originally removed from the canyon only to be allowed to return a few years later, most of them dead or ill, spirits sick.) So many times I catch wind of what the native peoples did (and at times still do) and I think, “That’s the way I want to live! How to do it this day in age of rentals and bills and impossibly expensive land?”
As Thoreau once said, perhaps the person who seems out of sync with the dominant culture is just marching to the beat of their own, privately heard drum. In the old days, this internal que could be called someone’s daemon, or creative spirit. Now the church, as in so many cases, has skewed the meanings of old words and daemon is too close to the evil in demon to be commonly employed, Yet it is this creative force which leads me into the future, into the bright realm of possibility, the unforeseen.
Now we are in California and I already, in some ways, feel “at home” again (though Ini and I have established a pretty good home on the road). The freedoms in the air of this most western point on the map are historical as well as current. Diversity is rich, as are alternative lifestyles and natural beauty.
I still don’t know where we’ll land for now; I remain curious about that. Until then, we continue following the trans-migrational rhythms of cyclical nomadics or seasonal workers from coast to coast.
So much of this country is in dire need of soul. And chances are it’s not going to be found on the TV. It’s so important that we can still see our night sky. It connects us Ineffably and magically with so much of what it means to be human. Spend more time outside. Breathe in the winds. Go hug a tree, really. Give thanks for water. Cities and waters are too often polluted. We need to start caring about the places we live, it’s our only way forward if we will pass on any beauty to our future generations. This is a message we so desperately need to hear, and the indigenous cultures, among other uprisings, have it.
We are maybe not as firm or as steadfast as we thought we were. We are more porous. Leaky. Searching.
We are so full! Ever-wafting the breezes of the night watchmen. How old do you think I am? I am as old as the cypress trees. I smell it coming every time it rains.
We have to bring back our animal. Shake off the colonization. Take off that old pelt; frisk yourselves and each other of it. Know yourself as spirit animal. Reach deeply into your own core and come out throbbing.
There is no future. There is no past. Speak! for the infathomable and glowing now. Let it haunt you on your day breaks. Carry it with you as an old friend. Caress it as it beseeches you for its favorite food. Concede. Continue.
We are all pressed by our souls to do these things. What my animal wants may not be what yours has a tongue for. But they all love the open air. Let it out to breathe. Bark. Whisper. Feel the moon press upon your ancient forbidden crown. Feel your eternality grow in the space between breaths. Press the middle of your ribcage between your breasts. This is where magic happens. This is what we live for. Let this ripen and fruit and fall from your tree in a myriad of successions.
Be poor if you will, yet hone this. Do not forget though your oppressor calls you in to punch the clock. This land is your land. There is no time. Be like the root in the ground that no one sees or assumes is breathing. Breathe still. Know the vibrancy you carry may be buried in the ground and keep rowing anyway. Your root will find you. Watch as it beckons your strange animal. There is nothing to fear. You are your own best friend. Your animal, piqued, will always lead the way home.
Humankind as a whole is in a huge mess right now.
We’re out of step with the place we live.
We need to make major changes in the way we do business. We’ve heard, even scientifically proven now, that global warming is real and human influenced, yet why isn’t our behavior changing in the face of these necessary shifts?
Think of human kind like a great organism. It’s impersonal; it moves around based on the mass of its thoughts. In this way it’s like a well run riverbed. The mass of human thoughts dictate the direction of the rut that is formed. It’s impersonal. This is what we call the mainstream and in the past, it has taken about 30-40 years to incorporate the leading edge. An organism this big takes time to change its course- imagine rerouting the mighty Colorado river, for example- it would take a lot of energy to shift the inertia.
Yet all of the signs point to _We must change if there is going to be the continuance of human life on this planet_. We are not living in step with our environment and we may be thrown off the back of momma earth like so many fleas on a shrugging gorilla.
A lot of this has to do with our current religious paradigms which perceive humankind as “something other than or above the earth”- when in reality we are highly evolved self reflective consciousnesses of the earth itself. We are the earth- thinking in our human way. No separation there- think of human beings as the earth arms thinking and feeling and observing, reflecting on what is. Our body a hologram of what is around us (patterns of streams in our blood).
Media, the Internet, books, television all play a part in deciding where that collective consciousness goes. Yet there’s a small voice inside of us which leads us toward evolution. It’s the voice of the intuition, the instinct, perhaps the “voice of god or goddess” to some. This voice and our emotional feedback loops (pain, happiness, fulfillment, alignment) all lead us forward.
Entheogens (literally within-god; plant medicines like psychedelic cacti, leaves, roots and fungi) have been an extraordinarily important part of my path now, as well as being and sleeping outside. Any contact with nature is good. Eating nature in the form of the entheogen and taking its consciousness on for a time is a very fast and efficient path toward evolution. These open doors and can perhaps expedite or illuminate our evolving paths. But be careful, you may be pushed to start exceedingly more and more thinking for yourself after these experiences. It may not be as easy to fit into the mainstream after these awakenings. This can feel dangerous and perhaps it is, to the status quo, external and propped up within our internalized paradigms.
While culture, the collective mind would have you be stuck in stasis, in the flow of survival and the current “way things are”- its incredibly important that you listen to your own voice stream now. That’s how we shift and evolve.
The outliers must lead. They must use the media sources and Internet especially so that many people can catch wind of the hints of evolution. In this way, perhaps the main stream can shift in 10-20 years instead of taking the 30-40 it took before. If it is evolution, people will feel a resonance. The right people are looking for these words for it is our biological and holistically encrypted imperative to evolve, to take part in the evolvement of our species.
I am journeying through Kansas now. Everyone seems to hate Kansas, but I am finding it beautiful. It is hot, but some nice shade will dampen that beaming sun. I could get lost in the gaze of the rolling hills. It is a place my soul can dash and romp. Everyone seems to hate Kansas, even the people who live here, but I am finding it quite fine — so spread out. There’s room for everyone!
Last night we arrived at our campsite around 1 AM. We’d driven all the second half of the day after playing at the City Museum in St Louis earlier that morning, after a really successful couchsurf the night before. We were going to stop earlier, but our campsite spot was no longer accessible. So we rode on through Kansas City and Topeka. I had thoughts of my grandmother, Rosemary, who was born in Kansas, though I’m not sure where.
The moon was brilliantly wholing in the sky. Lovely to watch as we careened along I-70. She followed us along the highway, as she’s apt to do anywhere in the world – always peeking in like a good friend. I feel at home when I see the moon- seeing her as I do everywhere I go. She and the herbs I carry along for morning and evening tea are signposts of the home I carry with me.
I am full of thoughts of the What and Why of my life and the Where, but practicing 1..2…3… I can only take 1 step at a time and this is my spiritual nourishment here. Stretching in a rest stop off the side of the high way, dancing beneath the mesquite and scrub oaks, breathing in the hot traveling air. These are the moments of my so-far day. The music I know and tunes I don’t — belting em out as I learn em… this is the step 1 of my time. Which is the only step I can ever know… the step of Now… and this is the golden mean of life… What is present now… beyond the thoughts of the past or the hopes and fears of the future.. There is the present moment now to breathe into and know that this is all that I ever have… this moment.
And amid the fears and the joys filled with the cascading emotions in between, I am rapt in the attention that Now… Now… Now filling and leaking and draining and saturated with pain and pleasure is all I ever have. So it becomes less about Getting Somewhere… Leaving There… and Arriving Here… but about the moments in between… Here… Now… Here… Again.. here.
what did you come here to do?
i came here to remind them of earth beauty.
Welcome to Day 7 of 15 Days of Writing Prompts! Here’s the prompt for today from Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones,
“Visualize a place that you really love, be there, see the details. Now write about it. It could be a corner of your bedroom, an old tree you sat under one whole summer, a table at McDonald’s in your neighborhood, a place by a river. What colors are there, sounds, smells? When someone else reads it, she should know what it is like to be there. She should feel how you love it, not by your saying you love it, but by your handling of the details.”
Mmm a good one; enjoy!
i was standing there on the mound as the sun set. an orange glow sprinkled through the leaves onto my shoulders, illuminating the place i was standing. i looked down at the ground and saw the sea shells i put there. it is now a sacred place, full of woman’s wisdom, full moon magic, special intention. it was a place i have released my soul and i feel its magic as i stand there.
the wild oregano, thyme, wild mint.. none of it can be contained here in the suburbs. these are wild ancient herbs that grow up from the earth after tapping roots down, gently, firmly, branching beneath the surface of the earth. this is now a magical space. i have created a magical space and from that initial act of creation, it creates itself again and again. the echinacea, soft pink petals, spiky brown centers; medicine root taps beneath. the wild columbine, standing tall, spread branches with seed carriers fronding out. the wood sorrel, the strawberry, the daisy, sweet sweet flowers of life. all contained here on the hill with sacred transported rock and stone, sea shell fragment and full piece.
this is a woman’s space, this is a healing place. this is a created place, now with a wild face.