Monday, November 29, 2010

when earth meets water....

To be of the Earth is to know......
the restlessness of being a seed
the darkness of being planted
the struggle toward the light
the joy of bursting and bearing fruit
the love of being food for someone
the scattering of your seeds
the decay of the seasons
the mystery of death
and the miracle of birth

--John Soos

To be of the Water is to know ...
the humbling essence of spring
the fear of the unknown journey
the joy of sunbeam kisses radiating life
the pleasure of feeding her seeds
the love of merging with the clay along the shore
the mystery of growing roots
and the passion of the bloom.

-- me --

When Earth meets Water,
there is a natural devotion to one another .... an understanding of the gifts they provide and need to thrive.
there is a slow dance of deep knowing .... intricate steps stretching back beyond time into eternal harmony.
there is a union like no other .... infinite possibilities for growth and learning abound.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

you win some....

 a cross of limbs

But you might get lucky now and then
You win some, you might get lucky now and then
You win some
 Mark Knopfler, Get Lucky

I have learned to find stillness inside my core.  Not all the time.  When I need to seek it. Music guides me there. With its soothing melodic sound, I allow it to surround me like a warm comforting shawl wrapped around my whole body. Soft earthy colours that gently touches my senses but doesn't impede my freedom to allow life's hymns to penetrate my flesh. In fact, it seems to do the opposite.  It opens me up to receiving the flow of thought and feeling as I breathe.  Accompanied by candlelight clarity and ancient hymns, I have learned to seek out a relaxed sanctuary where I can embrace vulnerability with a sense of soul safety.  

Sometimes, I don't have to set up my own little chapel of stillness.  Sometimes, it finds me when I'm least expecting it or when I need it the most..... when the sounds of my world resemble clashing cymbals, offbeat noise generated by loud obnoxious fumes generated from life out of hand.  Ringing in my ears.  Ringing in my soul.  I've learned to recognize those off kilter moments, especially if I am physically and/or emotionally spent, and do something about it.  Then, I gather my outgoing energy and turn it inwards.  Just for a brief respite until I can reach the end of a stressful, busy, loud noisy day when I can snuggle into the comfort of the shawl for a longer period of time.  It makes me smile as I write this. Regeneration. 

Paradoxically, it's a process of regaining some control of what is allowed to penetrate me and what I long to release by letting go of the controls.  Recently, I learned itt's a form of centring.  Integrating head and heart with something far deeper and mysterious in the core of my soul.  That is where the guiding light is.  Down this dark shadowy tunnel, a guiding light awaits.  Its glow awakens calm, courage, clarity.  Its glow invites resolution by letting you safely look deeply into the place where tears are made.  Not the ones that flow down cheeks. These soultears are the ones that weep into muscles and bones.  They touch upon the tension and untie the bruising knots that stiffen the body and mind.  Just by breathing.  Alone.  In candlelight clarity.  Inside ancient hymns.  Healing happens.

Since I'm not a person prone to following directions or rules, my drummer beats to its own cadence.  In the summer, I sat outside on my back deck under the stars surrounded by the warm wafting breeze, enraptured by the fireflies while listening to music.  Sometimes I had a hot mug of tea close by.  Sometimes I poured myself a glass of crisp white wine to sip on.  Behind me, music would play out of the speakers, filling the air around me with loving familiarity.  A whole evening would slip away as I sat in peace, allowing the thoughts and feelings transfer in and out of my consciousness as I listened to a few selected CD's.  One of them was Mark Knopfler's, Get Lucky.  This fall, I misplaced the CD.  I don't have a clue where it went because I never took it outside of the house.  Mysteriously, it disappeared and it has bothered me that I have lost my copy.  Since then, I have found other pieces of music..... some classical, some traditional choir music..... some jazz melodies.

Memories, ideas, beautiful faces from the past, fears, grief, gaps of wondering if I would ever find the answers.  It helped me to immeasurably learn that not only are there many important situational events in life that have no resolution, it doesn't matter if you just let go of their hold on you. Ah, but then there were moments of clarity when the messages reached me........ of how blessed I am.  How loved I am.  How contented I felt.  How you win some.  How letting those tears hiding inside the soul come alive when the light is shone on them. 

This gift I have been given first revealed itself over a year ago when I attended the Greenbelt festival and found myself exhausted and jittered with stressy complications walking into an ethereal feeling room called Soulspace.  I wrote about the experience, here, here and here.  (I had a lot to say!  It was so new to me that I wanted to capture its full essence....)  Yes, I had to fly across the deep Atlantic pond to find a way to stillness!  I am forever grateful because it has been my companion, my guide, my way of resolving the pain and hurt I have felt during my marriage break-up more than any other activity.  It was only this fall though that I learned while at a writing/meditation retreat that what I had been practising was a formal way of praying!  And to think I thought I was moving to an original beat! Of course it is a process tied into the school of the eternal. 

So, why do I bring it up this morning....... a seemingly typical November day that is about to welcome daylight in shades of grey?  It has been a while since the music from my summer moments sitting out in warm healing breezes under the stars returned.  But, when I open my eyes, I swear I could hear it playing...... you win some........ you might get lucky now and then........ you win some........ Knopfler's reliable voice was playing in my psyche.  Needless to say, I awoke calm.  I awoke with a smile on my face of memories of stillness... of sitting alone but never feeling alone.  

No need to seek out the place of centring.  It found me.  Its a part of me now.  Symbolically, this is truly a good thing.  Because this morning, I will meet the person who has played a key role in the pain and grief I am gradually to let go of.  For the first time, I will meet a stranger who already is meaningful in my life journey, who has altered it in ways I never predicted.  Revisiting the music and stillness I gravitated to last summer has set me up with a sense of readiness for this encounter.  It will allow me to express myself in a manner that has a tone of forgiveness towards a human being and not the ugly monster I had conjured up in my head.   All the nasty accusations have disappeared from my internal conversations....... I'm ready to be human to another human.
Healing comes under different shawls of comfort.  Healing comes when stillness leads you to the internal light that shines on a place where tears are made.  Healing comes when you feel the breath of God in every breath you take, knowing you're not alone.  Healing comes when the hymns of life transform the energy from the outside zip to the inside stories unfolding.  It's soul work.  Not easy.  It was the hardest work I've ever done...pushing through all of those raging feelings, learning how to pray in my own manner.  But, now that I am capable of it, I'm free.  And lucky.

Ps. By the end of the day, I will have another copy of that CD! 

Monday, November 15, 2010

I've got, got, got, got no time.....

Beautiful, wonderful, wondrous things are happening in my life!  Good soul stirring song and dance things as well as deep dipping in the holy well things.  I'm jotting thoughts down in my journal in hopes that I capture the essence of all that is good and startling and life affirming.  Right now, I've got no time!  I am stretched to the MAX.  

Life is delicious.
Life is busy as hell.
Life is tumbling along at a rapid speed........
Projects, promises, protests, provocations.....
An upcoming RALLY for good causes!
Connecting the DOTS... you'll hear more about this soon!
Lovely bouquets...Tangerine sunset roses.
Brilliant surprises.  Who knew?
Radiant cheeks.....a glow.
Angels, Spirits, Retreats......
I had my fortune told.... it was a mind blower!
Peppermint kisses....
Spontaneous slow dancing.
Dinner delights.....
Turmoil too. 
tears are good these days.  good tears. 
smiles and bouncier walks.
silent exhaustion.....
and more to come.
cry love.
cry love.
melancholy rarely visits
embracing comfort.
beauty is awakening
self worth is within reach.
I'm on a roll..........

I love being 50.  I truly do.  So many surprises.... so much to experience.  Bring it on!  Fifty-licious!

I took this photo while sitting on a moving bus on the way home from a conference.....  Miracles are abundant.  Everywhere.  I captured one.

Here's another....... the last vestiges of a glorious sunset. This was captured at the end of my street while I was walking my dog Lily.  We both stopped and watched it in awe.  She of course was multi-tasking..... rolling in the leaves at the same time. 
I WANT to write!  Soon.... soon.  IN the meantime, I'm gathering stories, living life to the fullest, smiling and finding my way with faith to guide me.... OH, and two crazy ass angels named Lisa and Marco who are keeping an eye on me.  Who knew?  What a lucky lucky girl I am.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Tripped up, mumbled up mixed up muse 
I see you sitting up there on the lip of the moon. 
Broadly smiling, waving at me, 
your legs dangling like you're swinging from a tree.  
You make me smile my angel muse, 
whenever i look up into the sky and recognize you.  
I hear you've got a pocketful of thoughts 
raining down like tender teardrops.

You tell me to sit more comfortably.
To let my spirit catch up to me. 
But you know better, my angel muse........ 
my feet keep moving, my head's ablaze. 
Sitting still is difficult these days.
OK! OK!  You win my mate. 
Spill those neverending words of fate.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

some is old, some is new......

It took a while to find silence again after a couple of weeks of experiencing heightened senses and creative outlets.  Usually November is a time of reflection and of settling into a routine that includes cooking pots of savoury stews, jazzy tunes with layered harmony, woolens, new mittens and baseboards emiting heat onto cold morning floors.  Usually, it is a time of craft projects, fundraisers, indoor games and old movies.  But, this fall has been radically different as we take new steps towards adjusting to the changes all around us. 

Some days, the changes are smooth.  The transitions happen without even a blink.  We used to it.  There are enough old markings along the path to guide us.  Familiarity hosts our journey.  Some days, there isn't a speck of the same old, same old and we are caught in a place whose air is filled with new sights, sounds, smells, feelings and energy we are unaccustomed to.  Our host is then Mystery, as we take tentative steps to go deeper into the woods of discovery.  Though frightening and at times it brings us to those unexpected tears of a child alone amongst the haunting trees that guard the uneven path,  we have one another to hold onto..... to talk to... to figure it out with. 

Life is one big bold step after another, with a few baby steps put in for good measure.
Risk allows us to do the puffy chested bravado thing in order to eventually find out about ourselves through our interactions with others. 
Life offers us gifts we may not even feel like  we're ready for.  No real reason known.  Just a cornucopia of encounters and events..
Life can be overwhelming too.  As much as you crave predictability, in reality we thrive on divine mystery.  This is where we generate new coping skills, where we stretch our ability to think beyond our borders, where we connect with new kindreds.  This is where we learn new emotion words... and apply them.  Emotional literacy dwells in the heart of mystery.

This afternoon, I crashed........badaboom.........into my jammies, sipping comfort tea, listening to the choral music that soothes.  I retreated into my relatively new blue room where I am surrounded by colour and light, where I can tuck under my trusty duvet resplendent in wildflowers. I slept.  Soundly.  For the first time in a long time, I checked out early.  Sometimes I do my best centering prayer in a red flannel night gown.  With my head on my favourite pillow, looking at the view out the window into the late afternoon sky and the bare branches of a pussy willow tree, I breathe. 

So much I've wanted to write about over the course of the past two weeks...... but it will come.  I just have to find the focus and the time to allow the muse to catch up to my spirit.  Tonight, I gave my spirit time to catch up to me.  Soon, the poetry and prose will flow again.  Transitions and change often quell the ability to do just just  I write this little posting, not as a piece of art, but as a way of capturing recentring my spirit and welcoming the Mystery as the host. 

More often than not, Mystery is a gracious host........ no need to worry.  Worry is a waste of energy.  It is not welcome on the voyage.  It can visit, but its not a part of the long voyage to discovery.

I have much to write about in the coming days..........just need time for my muse to catch up with my spirit, and my spirit to catch up to me.  It's all good......... my angels have told me so.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

centering in prayer

And come forth from the cloud of unknowing
And kiss the cheek of the moon

Leonard Cohen, The Window

Lit candles on my dresser
Turned on angel choir music
Sat on bed.
Softening sanctuary
Inhaled wafting scents
colour and light flickering warmth
Closed my eyes
Opened my pores
Listened to the harmony filling the air around me.

Found stillness
Found stillness.
Stillness found me.
Comfort breaths.

Let go of visitors....
one thought after another
one feeling after another
one discomfort after another
sadness, loss, fear.....
set sail on rippling water

Rippling water.
Blue rippling water
tidal rhythm sounds like angels singing
comfort breaths of spirit essences
stillness journey
stillness journey
inside sacred breath
painted the colour of grace

Time moved in a cloud of unknowing
Deep breath awakening
until my eyes opened again
Found focus
Beyond the glowing candles 
Photos of my babies.
Blonde innocence
created by love.

Falling tears of gratitude set in light and angel voices.
I had been kissed on the cheek by the moon.

ps.  The photo was taken from the upstairs balcony of the place where I was staying in Tatamagouche.  Twilight, Friday evening.

Monday, November 01, 2010

the blur of grief.

Sometimes you have to grieve a thousand times to be able to inhale the fresh scent of an old breeze.  Sometimes you have to walk into the centre of your vulnerable holy space over and over again to touch upon the wound that weeps those trapped tears when you least expect it. 

When its not proper to cry.
When you're standing in the self checkout line with a bunch of "boost me up" tulips in your arms.
Or, when you're telling a funny story only to realize you have lost the person who would've enjoyed it the most.

Damn those tears. November remembrance tears.  They have a lonelier echo to them as they fall into a space stretched between the notes of the last birdsong.  Raven tears.  Not the timbre of the spring warble-desire that pling when the flocks return at dawn.  Not the tears that hang suspended from the eaves in a summer downpour until they cascade into a puddle warmed by pavement.  Raven tears echo past laments.

The yearning to relieve the grief..... to feel the soft feathery touch of another's fingertips on your salt stinging cheeks, to feel the power bounce in your step again motivates, inspires, moves us past the soul sticking sorrow that initially grabs your guts, catches your breath until you exhale the jolting "It can't BE!"

Grief prompts us to turn our hands upward open for guidance, to fold them in prayer.  It cradles us to rock back and forth until you find the centre of gravity.  It offers us a spiritual audience to spill out those fierce words that are poisoning the heart wound, to act out with adolescent limbs grasping for balance again.  It is the flint needed to catch a spark of soulful hope which in turn ignites the lantern of soft light.  Soft light carries us to safety and stillness.........where we once again can gaze inside the stories, memories and familiarity without it rubbing against the wound anymore. 

Sometimes you have to grieve a thousand times to inhale the fresh scent of an old breeze.   Sometimes you have to let the tears stream down your stinging cheeks a thousand times or more before the story is ready to be told with a merciful heart........... one still on the mend. 

ps.  My thoughts after a walk through a Labyrinth on the retreat this weekend.  It was helpful insight.  It was good to let go of another layer of grief.  It doesn't seem like "miles to go" anymore for this little pilgrim. :)