Tag Archives: identity

touching my toes

12 Jun

it occurs to me this morning

that flexibility is the higher order

of this earthy trip

from amnesiac birth

and warrior marching

through weed

and thorny ways

on toward an exit

back stage left

even as soon as tomorrow.

at the first sign of tightness

in thought and id

is the time to jump on that confusion,

(which creeks and aches like arthritis

in me, a short lived wow-man)

not when it gets too late

and I have cemented myself

into my own confusion.

does the world need my allegiance

to a side?

I hope not –

sides are always born

of confusion.

may the head to arms to toes of me

BE free of the tightness

born of rigid thoughts.

i like to linger in bed

and avoid the chill of morning

but the calisthenics needed

are not optional

if i want a lucid

view.

I whistle at the squirrel

and dance with walter the cat

and stomp confusion out as

i plunge myself into the frigid bath

of truth

breathing into the spacious air

shaking off all my thoughts

on a constant refresh rhythm.

for now, tea is still waiting

with heavy cream to boot, rich my life.

i’m getting it while i still can

and i’ll have no regret

as breath leaves this body bag

alone alone and together i am

with every worm and vulture

waiting to clean my bones

that served me well.

 

 

Backsliding into the Rave Party of Mercy

26 Jan

There were years of grace, so much so, that I couldn’t imagine that walking in the world without this flow was possible anymore. Grace seemed to begin flooding into my moments when I walked out of my old life with my daughters in tow, and set out to make life from scratch. While those years of trying to make ends meet, burning my fuels to EMPTY most days, scrambling to meet needs while every next remained uncertain were so challenging, there was a background air of abundance, love, and support in the unseen forces that exist just behind a veil of the material. I was gifted guides and loves some steps ahead who cheered me on and reminded me of the larger view. Through all these years, I longed to create more certainty and stability in the seen world, but while the scramble was on, grace and trust seemed to ease the way and light the path. Grace period!

Fast forward to the wider expanse of today, with kids launched for the most part, and financial burdens eased a bit, I have become aware that identification with the smaller self has crept back  – in hindsight – in small increments, so slowly as to be unnoticed. In the past month, I have been shown and I see the energetic dissonance that had taken hold. The other side of grace perhaps is the way reminders come in, incrementally as well, to say, “Hey, you! It is going to get stranger and more painful until you look up and see – you are back in Kansas again, playing out old stories. Wake up!”  I have been getting grace’s kicks in the pants 🙂

Thank you grace, who knows how to take us and shake us for our own good. I think that when the space that I had sought for years finally arrived, the oldest wounds and defenses, that finally had room for examination, arrived center stage. People do all sorts of things at this point, it seems, to avoid sitting, listening, really looking truthfully at the deepest rooted identification with the small, hopeless self. Have a baby, get a dog, jump into an ill-conceived romance, begin a time-consuming hobby – everything called to me, well mostly, but at least not a baby! BUT what is on the table instead, if I am brave,  is the uncomfortable re-boot of seeing, allowing space for clearing out old conditioning, patterns, protections, pretense. Grace gave me a taste of what’s possible, and slipping back gave me a whopping, and grace rolled up her sleeves to help me with the clean-out.

It strikes me that the most private and complex experiences that we have as humans occur with very few knowing anything about them at all. It isn’t pride or saving face, mostly, that keeps so much of the truest twists and turns of the human journey private. I think it is our inability to leave a trace at all of the subtlety of the way life goes down and grace arrives. Each tiny moment provides such voluminous information-feedback internally and externally-that writing, speaking, dancing, painting, singing- all our tools- do not have enough space for the real deal of every moment. Every story is watered-down and biased – and we can only reveal so much without yelling soliloquies from our cardboard houses in the alleys of main human thoroughfares to no one but rushers-by.

There can be no real bread crumb trail for how each soul goes from blindness and suffering to grace filled truthful awareness. The lightbulb goes off, the alarm, and the work ahead is clear. Grace enters. She fills the stage. There is no way to explain. Someone holds up a flower, another one smiles – and the transmission is complete, while someone else fumbles the ball and lets the whole team down, never able to explain what went wrong. Grace is here too, in the fumble and disgrace, from a later view, as it all plays out; failing was just right in order to see what was/is always real.

I assumed that when shifts occurred from the grace period on, conversations could be had. I assumed one could touch base, get feedback, check-in. But the mirrors are often perplexing when we are being guided to look at our blindspots, our conundrums, our hopeless-seeming patterns. Sometimes all we can reach is the heartbeat sound in our own ears from our own blood pumping and the gracious silence of distant, firm love.

It seems an important balance in the flow of grace that I learn again how to flip the switch on identification without any condemnation of the self that forgot. In an instant, the confusion can be seen and laughter is appropriate for the elephant wearing a tutu, crouched in the corner. The grace of self-love here is startling because it is watered with the salt of sorrow and purity of forgiveness. There is a certain inevitability, too, of the fall from grace. It was felt coming on for months, yet no strong-armed resistance could keep the shift away.

From here is remembered the years of largesse,  in-and-outward love. The pathway is marked, the memory beckons from the future, and the stepless steps appear in the deepest stopping, listening, shoulders down, breathing into the forgotten furnace within; astounding how the consistent, loving, and distant sun burns within each of us unseen until we are ready, again. Grace, the final executioner bearing our last meal, whistling down dark corridors to our self-created cells. Freedom, a whiff of salty water in the distance, then suddenly a flood. Let’s get to the dance party again as we allow ourselves to be washed back into the ocean rave, going on all of our nights and days. We’ve got the wristband to enter already!

when you know it’s a ride, you can play any part

7 Dec

Sometimes I think the comedians and the poets are the most aware ones here. As we engage in our lives, it is helpful to remember that we can be any Larry or Bruce we want while we discuss the budget with a furrowed brow (while laughing every chance we get).

we haven’t reached the end of words, yet

17 Mar

The passage ending in a lowering ceiling closing in,

my view of dim, withering, repeating of days,

somehow was only respite

much needed in the overwhelm of noise,

in hindsight

tasty silence,

when surprise!

came new words

or words strung together in different ways

than seems possible

a sky

with the power to melt rock

which I can not replicate here in my simple ways

but the words of others who found me

took on the form of keys to a door

of not-alone-in-this

Here it is, the power-

the words for

what is felt yet unnamed

which can create

connecting streams

that until now, for me, a single, confused droplet,

to the ocean unseen.

Thank you poets

but also too painters, body dancers, cooks (in your own form of words)

who jumped into my sternum tightness, my adam’s apple blockage,

my longing stuck,

and released me

and started blood to flow again.

I’ve curled up here,

allowing a wordless doom

to creep too close,

but birth it comes again, a gift.

Here I am, alone/backed by an army

of deep breathers

with courage to call out truth-

is ugly in its composting phases-

unashamed for my muddy footprints

for carcasses left

in the wake of this empty

fragrance

with my name

moving

on

 

all for what

30 Jan

There are spells cast

by whom I do not know

causing hours, sometimes days,

in the world to be annoying.

I suspect a conspiracy of ill will

toward a me who is just trying to get by.

This powerless creature in the corner

fights back, as any small creature does,

nail and tooth – oblivious to any other possibility.

It is a self-created corner, but do not tell that to the rat,

who vaguely recalls the days of cheese and finish lines.

Deus ex machina is in order in this corner –

Bring in the crane and lift her out,

goes out to the stage hands —

for the rat who has forgotten

where to find the elevator button;

she has forgotten the hidden zipper

in her little rat suit.

She is scratching at walls, smelling dead end corners,

biting hands that feed her.

Forgotten has she that she designed the maze

to promptly fall into

in order to be found.

There are hours, and sometimes days,

of maze running

of squinting eyes and cheese hoarding –

clips boards hovering overhead.

What is this course,

this confusing path with walls,

this capacity of ours to exist in so many

places and in so many ways

at once so fully in each?

the rat – the funder – the designer – the observer –  ocean

the mind – a sticky note storm – a hurricane the size of Africa – Om – ocean

the body –  a straight jacket – a secret word – the breath –  ocean

May we all fall into the ocean from every where.

May Jacob’s ladder be thrown from a helicopter

into our wayward dreams.

The only interesting thing is the wonder.

Where does the helicopter fly from here

when questions fall away,

when my scratching pen ceases to mark the trail?

The sky to the maze is the ground just for liftoff –

dropped is the story of chase and chased.

What comes next a mystery lived.

 

 

know it when I feel it

6 Jan

I am 1 –

a pin point on the map

where a push pin could be put

and if I download the app Find My Phone

and I walk around with this distracting device,

I would be a pulsing red (or is it blue?) circle

going from home to work to grocery to deepest woods

where even there persists the drone of cars

full

of other 1-s going to their work and their homes.

I am a pulsing circle of 1 in my bed for hours each night

secretly escaping my locale

beyond the perception

of such surveillance

in the secret room that monitors all the 1-s goings and comings,

yet

the lotus blooming in the heart of 1-s is invisible.

Caesar still collects his coins;

he never stopped, you know, and

the body gives its flesh and bones to the dirt,

but the lotus heart blossoms alone,

pulses outside detection

in this plane

beaconing to the 1 distance

that cannot be measured.

You and I are already meeting there

and here,  in our skybox seats

disguised in words

pretending to play along.

 

 

Thom York dances it…

 

Lotus Flower (Radiohead):

I will shake myself into your pocket
Invisible
Do what you want
Do what you want

I will sink and I will disappear
I will slip into the groove
And cut me off
Cut me off

There’s an empty space inside my heart
Where the weeds take root
And now I’ll set you free
I’ll set you free

There’s an empty space inside my heart
Where the weeds take root
So now I’ll set you free
I’ll set you free

Slowly we unfurl as lotus flowers
‘Cause all I want is the moon upon a stick
Just to see what if, just to see what is
I can’t kick your habit
Just to feed your fast ballooning head
Listen to your heart

We will shake and we’ll be quiet as mice
And while the cat is away
Do what we want
Do what we want

There’s an empty space inside my heart
Where the weeds take root
So now I’ll set you free
I’ll set you free

‘Cause all I want is the moon upon a stick
Just to see what if, just to see what is
The bird that’s flown into my room

Slowly we unfurl as lotus flowers
‘Cause all I want is the moon upon a stick
I dance around the pit, the darkness is beneath
I can’t kick your habit
Just to feed your fast ballooning head
Listen to your heart

 

remedial

15 Nov

I’m in the middle of my first semester teaching a class classified as remedial.

I can relate to this term remedial.

Each student is dear, this is clear, but i am at a loss to teach the basics that teachers have been repeating for years to these on whom it didn’t stick.  Why didn’t the basics stick?  There is a separate and complex answer for every single one.  Each seat filled with a story, eyes conveying a barrier for the process.  I have never looked into so many eyes who want to be elsewhere.

I leave the class exhausted and depleted, feeling that I could use some remedial help in helping the remedial.

As souls, we meet in a room and I am touched by the loveliness here.  But the frustration for everyone is also palpable.  When frustrated, what is the normal human reaction?  Push back.  I bend in sway in this breeze.  I brainstorm how to teach this class better, each night, yet lessons fall flat, in part because I have slipped out of ease and into trying.  I appreciate that I can see this shift as it occurs, or soon after.    I make the familiar leaps in my brain, and slow these steps down, but they are not the logical steps for my audience.

The students in my regular college-level classes in contrast are looking like geniuses.  I lean into them like colleagues in the bar after work.  We share a common purpose, to make some progress in 7 weeks.  The remedial students have a different flow.

It is good of me to stretch, to fail, to try again.  It is good of me to get depleted to show where my imagined boundaries are.  It is good to not be able to rely on any old dog tricks of charm and tap-dancing for entertainment.  I am dying over and over – surprised to wake up again and again in this body and in this life – every morning a new introduction to myself in the mirror.  This person, the I,  goes to work, tries, again with this trying, succeeds in ways she will never even know and fails in ways she is equally blind to…

—- the grief can come in waves for the one who thought she knew something true to teach, for the one who thought her ideas were smart, for the one who laughed at her own jokes.  There is nothing that can go that should be held on to.  How ready I am to stop with everything false, clinging even as it tastes like metal in my mouth? A million mirrors are closing in on all sides of the me now.  If I compare me to yesterday, I have given up almost everything that once brought me pleasure in exchange for smelling every smell as it arrives, sweet and foul no longer relevant.  Broken can become – only this:   there is seemingly a nose and seemingly a breeze – and a schedule arranged by god.  There is nowhere I have to be that has not been preordained.  I am on some edge that looks like giving up freewill and intelligence.  I am giving over my voice and my eyes – I am emptying out of opinion.  Who will fill the air now?    We will see, now won’t we?

my one, small life – a saturday matinee

11 Oct

does the butterfly

in the watering hole

of an elephant’s footprint

ask its purpose?

does it pause, wondering about the consequences

of the movement that flows so effortless from breeze to wing

and back again?

must I question the clip clop of flip flops on docks

in a comfortable air served up

for musing, for(e)seeing today?

solo, tufted heron in the mud

eyes my flapping elbows

as I push my cart of supplies,

chasing the space between

the planks.

can there really be no difference between the drone of cars

and my clomping along?

no space between my skin and the hovering, pungent salt?

no other stirring human is here to remind me

anymore of human behavior –

my hermitage moves with me,

each seen thing dances on the back of my mobile cave,

my one cranium wall,

every thought – shadows moving.

to take on a body, to buy a ticket to this short matinee,

one agrees to take one’s seat, one agrees to smell through one nose.

almost 50 years in this seat

has me settling in at last, to this – my single, solitary

point of viewing, for now, and with this sigh

as deep as hip bones,

some thing pulls back a curtain.

the ache of aloneness blows

out the clotted vein,

blasts away any clinging to an artery.

once again

I pulse the beat of birds

who never knew difference between my eye and theirs,

between my foot or some claw.

I’ve a feather in my mouth from your molting –

you’ve a candy wrapper in your nest from me.

the sauna

14 Oct

Not sure why,

but I am compelled to cook this body.

As my skin pinks, I feel

my thoughts leaving –

squeezed out in beads of sweat.

I hear the racquetball bouncing so loud off the walls

that I think the sounds I hear

may be coming from the walls of my cranium,

being played like an instrument.

I am a hollowed-out gong,

listening to the ricochet off spine vibrating

low to high notes of emptiness.

The glue that holds it all together has melted

and a heel bone is floating free.

A recurring conversation is heard

(by whose ears?)

in the women’s locker room outside,

between a motherless girl and a worker.

They are searching everywhere for the small girl’s mother, Mary.

Mary may be in the pool – they leave to go see.

Mary is not in the pool.

Mary may be in the spin class – they leave again

and return.

Mary may be in the sauna.

I feel their eyes as they peer through the glass door at me:

Are you Mary?

No. I say.  I am not Mary.

Are you this girl’s mother?

No. I say, as the girl stares in my face

as if she is wondering if I may be Mary, if I may be her mother,

transformed.

Could the sauna be a high-tech machine

from the future?

In you go as you,

out you come as another?

Am I only half-baked into my new form?

I feel unsure.

I could be Mary after all.

Who is now sitting in this little, hot box?

They leave again to go search.

For Mary.

A woman appears in the glass,

fiddling with the heat button.

Catching sight of me,

she beams – white teeth, bright eyes;

she goes

to the mirror to fix her hair.

I feel this face still beaming back at her long after she has left.

Soon this body moves to leave;

where does the will to move begin?

I am sure in this moment that the body moves

and the mind follows, like a dog following its master

and not the other way around.

What life am I returning to?

Stepping from the heat,

as the girl and I are reunited,

my thoughts are full of ice cream

and balloons, and she shall

tell me where we live.

giant babies in the sky

20 Sep

Giant Baby

 

There seems to be spontaneous, helpful guidance that comes from goodness knows where to show us again and again that there is a way to view this world and the things that happen in it as nothing but  spiritual encounters.

Sometimes, when I am checking out from a store, I look around and instead of shoppers, all I see are beings –  all the souls who agreed to meet me here.  When I fly on an airplane, I can feel like I am measuring the volume of soul weight all around my seat.  Even if I am home alone, I feel like I have a preordained date to meet some other part of me.

Early to class one day, I was starting the computer, going over the lesson, getting ready; I was in a get up, drive to school, get to work mode;  I was not in a spiritual mindset.  I was just going to teach a lesson to people in seats.  I stopped getting ready with all the stuff of 3D life and looked around.

As I focused on each empty desk, I could see the student in his or her usual appearance who usually sat there, and I nodded to him or her in my mind, one by one, recognizing the agreement we had, to meet here in this classroom, to learn a particular subject, yes, but more than that, I could see that we had a larger interaction.

A vision came where I saw myself growing outside my  boundaries with each student, one at a time.  We expanded out; we were so large  that our heads were meeting above the atmosphere of earth.  There we were, large Sumo babies, beyond words, exchanging our agreement together in the mystery of space.

This strange exercise took me out of the planning mind and into an awareness of my spiritual agreement to each student.  As I  can see that we meet here person to person in the classroom, I am also helped to  recognize each student’s  larger being which helps me to see innate value in each one.  We have agreed together to do work  that may resemble an English course, but in reality, we are doing  spiritual work together.

This ongoing vision or space travel helps me also to see our equality.  We are students and a teacher playing roles, but I can see that we are, each one of us, student and teacher both, on equal footing, overall,  tourists together on this planet, signing on for experiences.

Now, when I get lost in the minutia of lessons or caught in the frustration of inattention, I try to jump to the vision of who we really are; sometimes  I can shift my perspective to the stratosphere and return again with a new, spiritual lens prescription.  

Yes, you have a comma splice here, but wow, just look what a powerful being you are; look at what potential lies within you; try using a semicolon and breathing in some space dust.

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