slow leak

14 Sep

I don’t know when it started,

but I do know it will end –

this holding on to myself.

Since the beginning of all sense memory

I’ve tightened up the edges

where skin cells met air,

where flesh met other flesh,

where inside touched outside

as if I might leak out and make a mess.

Every waking moment,

this girl has been one giant in breath,

but there can be a shift

to Breathing out and out and out

making edges no longer clear

 

pain and joy got married

14 Aug

 

Can pain and discomfort glove the hand of plenty bearing gifts?
Joy exists not in spite of but because of obstacles – I assert this morning.
What do we have in the end, after bouts of illness and love, but just ourselves?
And the gift of this self is won in a simple marathon.
Outlasting our every thought, we still exist –
and in the ending miles,
we learn to be there in whatever way we are,
accumulated skeletons,
in need of nothing,
ready for any errand,
sitting in dull evening light,
a raging sunset escaping in rays between our ribs.

place title here

28 Apr

“Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best,” and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.”
― A.A. MilneWinnie-the-Pooh

The hover before the in breath,

milk ducts in an empty breast,

the stomach: a hallowed out bruise,

an arm contorted every way to ease a throbbing itch,

slack tide’s final pause,

the coyote hamming to the camera in the air just off the cliff,

my attention’s constant hole never empty yet—

Is it the ohm?

Is it those last shivering atoms releasing the reverberation of the gong,

the hum of what was catching up to the trumpet of what will be,

the sway of the air’s almost embrace of the planet’s constant spin?

Let’s linger here, eyes closed, tongues out to catch the first drops.

Not holding our breath,  not rushing it either.

kiss and tell

7 Apr

I have a pervasive feeling of discomfort often.  I am finally able to identify this sensation as a feeling of something  pressing down on me about the tasks that are waiting for completion which directly contrasts to the wonders that are spontaneously arising every moment.  This pressing feeling has been so intrinsic to life for me that it is only as it is peeling back that I can feel it in its absence.  Whew.  How exhausting it is, and yet I continue  to have it return as tasks begin to mount, and I become lost to what is unfolding now.     Mas y mas, I am committing in holy matrimony to the moment, not the task.  I wear white, and you, now, wear white; we walk down the aisle together, you and me.  My life partner?  Oh my, perhaps I am even in a polygamous commitment, for I am marrying each moment, which is singular, but in the moment, arises all things.  Scandelous.  Just today I married my scratch pad, my students, my daughters, my cat.  I marry the moon as often as I can.  Today I joined with a bumblebee in the flowering azaleas as I fretted over the over-pruned camellia sticks, overjoyed to find signs of new growth.  We had a tryst, for this bee came on so strong.  So ripe is this romancing – the lover is here.  Dear missed connections – I apologize for all the overlooked love notes that have ever come my way.  I read the writing on your crumbled leaf, peel back your bark;  your hum enters my ear, eternal.

 

brita with legs

3 Apr

the water coming out is pure (sweet even)

some days,

no matter what goes in,

you might have started to notice.

such is the goal; even though,

the process is not understood.

it’s felt,

allowed.

we’re charcoal,

filters of fine mesh,

pulses of electricity,

forward momentum and reversing, too,

which can at times be experienced like plumbing problems

-street elbows full of hairy regret, sludged up, huh?, valves corroded with Why Me?

until it can be felt

deep in a body of an advanced engineering

of nerve pipes dumping

into muscle-sadness storehouses

long ago designed for purification,

yet decommissioned until the managers could awaken

in these Holy Water Manufacturing Plants.

the debris cleared out is not even our own.

the pain

processed

is not personal.

the tears the shudder

the retching

our service

at last,

just working it through

trickling out pure water at times.

thank you and you’re welcome.

 

 

 

parenting by powerpoint

17 Mar

Everyday bad things happen, so-

I’ve drawn you a flow chart

to take you from point a to z

with arrows to the short cuts

so roughly won by me.

Let me help you jump over ditches

and avoid the dead-end streets.

Watch my greatest hits of

heartache, thought addiction, faux pas, shame, fear, regret,

so you can save yourself the trouble.

Look, simply, I can help you

avoid the ramifications of not heeding good advice.

I didn’t even know I had it in me, as non-linear as I can be,

to map it out for you, but I did;  I’ve a crash course on not crashing.

But I’m being asked another task, much different than what I’ve done.

The night now asks me to have a courage I don’t know how to muster –

I’m now to be the watcher and not the player and not the coach.

I’m now to calm my plotting mind.

I’m instructed not to imagine trains flying off of their tracks

even while I feel the lurch and screech

of the metal momentum – see sparking in the air.

I’m to observe as boats sink, as elevators release and fall,

as villains creep most uncartoon-like in dark shadows when you pass by;

who orchestrates such visions – where are the views of nature walks, of laughter,

of joy?   Why the fear, why the wrecks, why the destruction?

Why am I thinking of how my parents must have ached and quaked

sitting in hospital rooms, listening to white coat protocol-

powerless

except to release a real-life child to death, to unthinkable death.

I mouthed the words but I didn’t register the meaning –

because I’m still on the simpler fare—

that love is holding the tongue

and squeezing my own trembling body while

I watch and allow.

I am unable to live for another,

unable to undo words,

unable to iron out the wrinkles

of the kinks forming in the plan.

The night brings what the day allows me to hide.

The learning is only ever mine

and it can only be postponed, never avoided altogether;

now or later is  the only choice I get to make.

 

A Selection of True Awakening Experiences Part II

13 Feb

When beautiful Barbara asked if I wanted to participate in A Selection of True Awakening Experiences Part II,   I took a few days to think if I could participate because the flow is especially pressing to me right now, and writing at all, let alone reading others, has gone to the side.  I am teaching many classes which require lots of grading, so taking time for anything beyond eating, sleeping, and brief, brisk walks is rationed.  To have tasks that require my full focus is just what is needed now, because this is what is happening.  This squeezing  will perhaps bring me awareness that l need to transition to something new that leaves more open spaces for body and mind.  Or perhaps I will be able to continue to find the spaciousness of opening as needed within a challenging flow of time.  As this post is due today, I wake again at 3 AM, with a desire to write again, just in time.

I thank Barbara, who gives space for words and a place for connecting back during these February days.

Where I find myself now:

All instants are opportunity for returning to me, again and again,

second by second.

Who is this me I am returning to?

Good question.  That is the one I ask.  Who is the me I am returning to?  The non dual teachings are the ones speaking to me now.  Who is the one observing the one thinking?  The more I return to the presence the less the attention lost in the game feels okay.  Returning home becomes a known and effective possibility, even when I think I am drowning or being blown about in this life storm.

What does this observing look like in real life?

An example, one morning, as I was driving and thinking worry thoughts  about my daughter, (lost in an idea I had that moment about who I am in relation to my role as “mother”), I got on a bridge that does not lead to my workplace.  There was no turning about on the bridge, of course, so I had to carry on the road until I could do a u-turn on the other side.  My life choice to get lost in thoughts while driving forces me to WAKE UP!  One moment I was lost in worry, the next moment I was back in the present moment, on a road that forced me to return.   No curse words were uttered; there was no worry of a late arrival.  This wandering girl is loved in her lost moments.  The second I missed my turn and realized there was no way but to go forward over the bridge, I was offered many long views of water meeting ocean, the light and fog mixing to a rapturous view that was invisible a moment before.   I can, in an instant, return to being bathed in the morning light.

The world  says to me “be here;”  every road leads back to me.

When I am hurrying, confused, thinking that something is wrong, I am gone for seconds, moments, hours, sometimes.  But the returning is becoming more the normal.  The space of no thoughts, no agenda, no worry is often steady.  Joy.   The outer world dances with me – and my flow is as easy as what (and who) appear next.

My thoughts lost are mirrored to me with such compassion.  The bridge which takes me far from my destination, brings me back again.  My thoughts play back to me on the stage of the world.

The title Life as Improv becomes an ever more real instant to instant thing.  I can go about as the perceiver who meets even old friends without an idea of how the moment will unfold.

Who is appearing on my stage right now?

You.

 

I can see and feel your shifts

as subtle as snow’s first flakes, as dramatic as seizures.

You are me, I see, as you pass by,

your face, your expression, my mirrored image.

I feel your heart squeeze and know not the cause

but it is my heart, too.

Better with no words-

Better quiet now,

but instead it can be still loud, at times — as the thoughts built towers yesterday and now towers fall, regularly.

There is still the demolition, my house is still falling down.

Everyday I get to tear down another idea, closer and closer to the invisible veil.

I’m in the dungeon shining light into the corners

where the hidden dust of old ideas needs sweeping.

But I am happy to report,

the air has lost its smell –

and god willing I will build no more towers.

I  will not build new religions for the key that opens my door today.

I am comfortable in huts.

I will ever be a nomad,

even if I stay in one spot.

Beginning again again, each day,

do I see the flawless avocado for my toast?

Do I savor tea as it is sipped;

do I meet you with no yesterday story of me?

My today is frighteningly simple, even in this busy time,

as I’ve lost my yearning for most things.  The middle path was not a distant philosophy but a real clearing out and daily practice.  Now the subtlety of  desire and aversion becomes apparent – the consumptions of body and mind, clear.  The addictions of the subtlest nature are rooting out and getting dropped bit by bit.

Awakening is a heavy word – to me it is just the beginning, one dawn at the start of many days.

In vigilance and joy, driving to work, talking to students, juggling chores, buried in all the paperwork that life generates, losing my focus yet gaining it again, with less and less time in between…

remembering myself

to be

water

who doesn’t need instructions to flow

to the sea.

Up tomorrow:  Brian at  middle pane

 

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