Healing While Here

Venus, The Sphinx, Six of Swords, & The Star (Goddess Knowledge cards with art by Susan Seddon Boulet, and Invisible Light Tarot by Brandy Eve Allen)

 

 

As I settle in and acclimate my system after any journey, it is important for me to commune with the language of the land in order to get grounded and fine tune my energetic alignment (just as essential as finding my favorite cheese shops and bakeries, of course!) This feels important especially when I travel alone, as it amplifies my awareness; connecting to the earth, our place of belonging wherever we are, is essential.  The land here in The Netherlands is flat, and the water, contained by canals, creates a circuitry of calm; it is 10:00 at night now, and summer’s golden glow just left the tops of the trees. When I traveled here last year, I was coming from the Mediterranean, whose firefly-filled summer oozes a lush volcanic chaos; the ancient energy brought back pieces of my soul that had been hiding. I found an owl feather (the one shown above with today’s cards,) beneath a pine tree on the coast of Tuscany, overlooking the sea. I saw the feather at my feet right before I decided it was time to leave, and make my way north. I ended up in the same place I find myself now. I thought I should bring the feather with me on my journey back here, as I connect in with layers of my inner being that show up when I venture across eight time zones and an ocean.

 

Under a sycamore tree a few days ago, across the water from a medieval bridge whose gothic turrets inspire faerie tale visions, I was transported by a familiar scent on the wind. I remembered what a sycamore in a California canyon told me as I visioned beneath her a couple months back. She said to me, “sit in stillness and let yourself be moved.” I felt that was the gentlest way I had ever heard transformation explained (leave it to the wisdom of trees!) As I continued my walk through the cobblestone streets, past giant hydrangeas, swans gliding in the canals, and cats playing, I found a ceramic sign embedded in the ground, breathing the word “earth,” up to me. 

 

Even as I move through this dreamy portal I am in now, I still carry the messiness that comes with being human—bliss, peace, sadness, questioning, wondering yet again, who I will be on the other side? And who am I now? What do I desire? How can I expand this joy I am feeling? How can I make it last? How can I be present without holding on? Am I worthy of all the incredible magic alive in my life? Is this real? Really? Yes, I tell myself, YES! And then I laugh to myself like a mad mystic. I breathe, root into the ground beneath my feet, and smile, “thank you.” 

 

I ride the waves, and I trust the unearthing, the shedding; this is the process through which we live out our soul’s weaving. Trust the inhale, the exhale, and every in between. Trust the feet and open them to the radiant currents. Trust the inner compass, the golden thread, connecting the heart of the cosmos, the heart of the animal body, and the heart of the earth, sacred from every angle. Primal and ethereal threads are woven by the hands of Grace, skin weathered like human hands, if I see them through my human eyes, the most tender expression, still made of light.

 

We are always emboldened inside transformation’s unpredictable trajectory. Uncertainty is often our ground. With the earnest intention of full bodied, heart felt presence, we become. And we remember. Even in the forgetting we can be Fluid. Fortified. Anchored. Ethereal. Here.

 

Delft Blue

 

Healing might happen in a doorway. It might happen in the middle of the ocean, alone with the morning star and no shore in sight. It might happen in a room full of people you love, where no words are needed because you have loved each other for lifetimes and there is nothing left to prove. It might come one morning, as an answer to a prayer you forgot you prayed, with a sweet lung-heavy ache for how long it took you to know the fullness of your magic.

 

Or maybe it never happens at all. Healing is not inevitable on the journey; you can fight your way through or give up completely. For some there is not enough time in this life to make things ok, whether by choice or circumstance, and no path is worse than another. Some are up against walls that won’t be busted through, and some won’t get the tools needed to repair their stranded boats. People can only do what they can. There is still beauty there.

 

So whatever you are “blessed” or “cursed” or compelled to choose or be chosen by, know that you can’t think your way into letting go, but that is all you will ever do. And you can’t hope for something better without doing something better, or without letting go completely of what “something better” even means, so you can just be here, unraveling knowledge for bone deep feeling. This is the wilderness of soul, becoming undone continually so you can know yourself completely— in devotion to a love whose task is to open you — in grief, in fear, in everything you don’t understand.

 

Healing will remind you of your spark while you’re neck-deep in mud, thick with doubt and the seeds that will carry you into the light of the front porch of God, who will answer the door even if you don’t believe in God, who will love you even when you don’t love yourself, who will hold you until you break into a song of tears that run like hot petals on your face, until you can see yourself through those eyes, as beloved.

 

At the core, there is only love and the map you chart. The one you chart, crumple, toss, and chart all over again, navigating mysteries and connecting constellations across the heart of this living planet. The earth is a good place to be. Remember this when you have forgotten. Make this known for you however you can.

 

 

Enchanted by heart clouds, following the signs

 

 

 

 

Nurture The Spark: Poetry in Public 

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Whether you have never written a poem down in its “traditional” form, or whether you write all day long, poetry lives in the determined sway of your hips as much as it lives in the way you notice morning’s first light falling across the windowsill. It is alive in your hesitance to throw away a broken vase that once held the roses of your grandmother’s garden, and in the way you question if that memory was a dream or waking life. It is the way your belly churns when you find yourself longing for something that has always been undefined, the way an untamed energy moves through you when the wind billows across the back of your neck, the way communing with a wild creature wakes up your own wilderness. You will find it in the way you surprise yourself with how good it feels to be alone, and how you now smile at the graceful undercurrents of a fucked up situation, the way you come to acceptance, like a clearing in a tangled wood. It is the way you open your heart and part your lips to feel, really feel, someone you love leaving, and the way you continue loving. It is the way you leave in order to return home to yourself. It is the way you see the market scene bustling before you, unknowingly entering another timeline where the same scene has played out for hundreds of years, the way the same eyes will continue to meet each other in different bodies, though only some can recall why they feel like they’ve been here before. Your poetry is how you gently touch those openings you can’t see yet, the ones you can feel: electric, pulsing, warm. It is the way you let go of the withering pieces, the way you live out the call of your own strangeness, the way you escape, the way you belong, the way you forget, and the way you remember.

 

Your poetry lives in the spaces where interconnectedness is revealed. It is the raw imagining, the blooming, the decay, the edge, the soft center, the torch that illuminates the unseen path. It is the soft sigh and the scream, the stillness and all that only moves. It is the dance that moves your tired limbs into a joyful frenzy, and the song that gives you goosebumps, relieving heavy lungs. It is uncontrollable laughter, and stepping into other dimensions between breaths. It is expansion, contraction, softening, and rigidity. It is the riding of the wave, and the observation only you can have. Your poetry is you noticing your place in it all, and how it shifts like the seasons. It is you showing yourself the way.

 

Here are a few recent poems I have written, impromptu and imperfect, voices from the place within where mystery and imagination brew and bubble. If our poetry is how we witness the world and our place in it, then we are constantly creating something extraordinary from the mundane. See how none of it is mundane. Feel the miracle of your aliveness. Scribble notes in that weathered little notebook while you wait in the doctor’s office; stop to sit on the rock you almost tripped over, below the great oak tree, and channel its message; or use the pause before the train comes to write down in your phone notes what has captured you. Perfection is an uneventful myth. Create in the spaces in between. Refinement can happen later. Noticing never gets boring, and you are a vibrant, living poem.

 

 

Poem at  the Laundromat

This is not vitriol,
no, this is that thing
called grace,
the one I answer to
when velvet buttons
undone by thoughts
in the curtained room
at 3 am remind me
there’s no turning back,
only turning into.
No this is not vitriol,
this is the underwater sting
at first light,
the one I open lace eyes to
when the shedding skin
comes to its final layer
and I slip between stones,
disappearing
the same way you found me
(there will be no explanation,
just a taste in your mouth,
like metal and flowers.)
This is not vitriol,
no, this is the fluorescent light
on a Tuesday at 9 pm,
the one that burns
transparent wings-
sending them sliding
down the drain
with the remnants
of this strange day.
I merge with the reflections
of reluctant visitors
in dirty windows,
waiting,
the clothes they carry
on burdened backs
masking sacred hearts
never fully mended,
just washed clean.

 

 

Poem in the City

It’s past midnight
when the shopkeeper locks up
and walks away,
crossing the street
without looking,
holding in his yellow fingers
a book,
full with sketches
of dreams
left abandoned
for another day,
like mannequins, naked,
in his window display,
their black eyes and frozen smiles
holding dust draped blossoms
that will never wilt,
unfurling always
into emptiness.
Under the solitary streetlamp
we bump shoulders,
all eyes on the ground,
a dutiful pillar illuminating
our meeting
past the glass and the asphalt
and the lonely bodies curled
next to strange puddles,
where a second’s glance
becomes an intersection,
two lives breathing
into the space where
the unlived shines.
And then we are dancing,
incandescent beats
and the tiny salvation
of strangers bearing witness
to each other’s
parallel dimensions,
just before I turn left,
and in different directions
we both walk home.

 

 

Poem at the Ocean

The ocean came to the window tonight
and I let her in
with the moon on her back,
a bundle of silver and seaweed stories
pouring into the silence
and the impression
left behind
from the rustle of sheets
and shells,
sharp and singing,
the echo of an empty home
built beneath the waves:
foundations of sand
can only shift.
This way,
alone feels whole,
because me in the water,
mine,
and you on the shoreline,
yours.
And I think of how
the remembering at dusk
shapes the forgetting
in the morning,
how mermaids and mortals
insist on returning here,
as predictable as the tides,
because water asks the questions
there are no answers to,
and I want to be wet
when I awaken.

 

 

Poem at the Cemetary

You can hold on to nothing here.
Let your still beating heart
and tender skin
open infinitely
into lightness,
as if it were a gift,
as if your one duty here
was to give Spirit
a chance to experience breath
through lungs and limbs,
dancing along the edge
of knowing,
unraveling certainty,
expanding into every crack.
And when you die,
and they bury you,
the earth can sing your life
through what grows
from your bones
and your song
will never be lost,
the spark
offered by the palm,
to the soil,
into ether.
Make room for the tiny deaths
in those quiet moments,
the ones no one can see
but you:
relishing
the relinquishing,
the rebirthing,
freedom measured
by your aliveness
in the release.

Let Me Be Tidal

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Let me be tidal,
you will remember it this way.

As my fleeting name
slips off your silver tongue,
breath escapes heavy lungs
and we are crystalline-
down dirty alleyways
where fishbones and petals
stick to our shoes,
caked in the mud
of forgetting-
that you were always here,
that both faces reflected
in your grand chandelier
belonged to us,
shattered and laughing,
remembering
what it feels like
to reach beyond skin.

Sparks set fire
to the icy ocean inside,
sacred heart of the feminine
unfolding in an explosion
of roses and flames.
We find water in dry wells,
mirages we can drink from,
where I swear I see seedlings
bursting forth from desolation:
Mother of God, fire breathing nurturer,
offering us a dance
in the riptide.
I promise I’ll be pulled away
without getting pulled under,
or maybe I am the moth
whose wings fry on the porch light,
lost on her way to the moon.

And for each piece of myself
I willingly relinquish,
I hold closer the little wounded me
who is still afraid of what will happen
when I dive in again,
to those same depths
I will always crave,
a sweetness so stormy and true,
a sudden re-imagining
of a world
I have so carefully created.
(Still,
nothing ever felt as good
as vanishing
in those fearful waves,
or pretending
to be impenetrable,
even for just a second,
imagined relief from
rawness.)

Let me wear the skeleton key
around my neck,
rusted and hanging
from a cord worn bare
by the redwood’s pleas
for softness,
where I can hear
the old ones communing,
and bones growing,
molecule by molecule.
And oh how they break,
life blooming continually
toward death,
where we set sail too soon
on forbidden waters,
or maybe it was never soon enough,
how the surface
will deceive the depth,
how you will let me go
when it is my time
to taste the quiet
in saltwater hair.

Let me be tidal,
you will remember it this way.

 

Inspired by a journey through beloved Big Sur, California

In Ruins & Rising

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The heart is a safe place to live,
remember that
when you have forgotten.
That is the only miracle
you must always remember.

You walk in the front door and barely a breath passes
before you find yourself out the back door,
arrow-straight pathway
to the sea,
diving head first
into the secret lives of mermaids
and a million tiny miracles,
the kind made of
saltwater dreams,
jungle birdsongs
and roadside shrines
to Our Lady of Guadalupe,
for those times
when you fall on your knees
in gratitude
or for those times
when you have nothing
but a fucking prayer
for the all-embracing mother
whose starlit gown
and crescent moon chariot
carry stories told
for thousands of years,
long before she came here.
And if you want to listen
you can hear
the sounds of night falling
and the electric kiss
of silent lightning
piercing dark skies,
holding a space vast enough
for meteors
to dance in the sultry air,
enveloping you like the languid body
of a tired lover
whose crystal waters lap sweetly
on your white shores,
untouched, mostly,
vines bursting with
purple blossoms
crawling across
seashell mountains
and seaweed rotting
in the beating sun.

And the driving down dusty roads,
lined with green,
thick and tangled,
past children playing, barefoot,
past tiny wooden crosses
on every doorway
and ladders to nowhere,
past abandoned buildings,
sweet old dogs, and roaming chickens,
the king of iguanas
guarding a shack
with ceviche from heaven,
while a little girl waves
in front of crumbling walls,
whose fading colors
bloom behind her.
Maybe these makeshift shrines
to the virgin mother
tell you that this
is all you need,
because of how beautiful
they are-
their clusters of candles,
sometimes lit,
their wilting flowers
and neon lights
flashing against the darkness.

And the song-filled bike ride
to the pyramids,
who touch the place
where the sky is born,
where you explore
the chambers of the ancients,
still slumbering in stone.
You are content
to only climb mid-way,
because your body goes weak,
heart racing fear of heights-
no sacrifice today.
So you sit on the ruins
communing with Ixchel,
moon goddess of becoming,
of rain, of healing,
weaver of fertile prayers,
medicine woman
alive in every phase of her creation.

An iridescent blue butterfly
comes to you to say:
you are not imagining things,
yes, this is really happening.
And at the foot of another temple
you walk through
a passage of initiation,
chasing the light,
cherishing every step
because you know what happens here:
You are never the same,
reborn on the other side.

Then there’s the part
where you just have to laugh
at comparing the wet, thick air
to a a lover,
because it soon
turns into an enemy
urging you to keep seeking
these prehistoric sinkholes
to wash the perpetual sweat
from your skin,
finding pure delight in the jump,
free-fall
into unimaginable beauty,
the kind that turns you
into a creature,
who howls and sings
the sounds that come
from a timeless space,
but somehow it also
rattles your memory
and brings out the best
90’s pop tunes,
because when delirium sets in,
Mariah Carey goes perfectly
with the ancient Mayans
“it’s just a sweet,
sweet fantasy baby”
swimming in these
underwater cities,
labyrinths of
subterranean rivers,
burial grounds
and portals to the underworld,
where as you float, you decide
that you too will bury
your dead here,
all your bullshit
and your beloveds
you can no longer carry-
these unreal spaces
make you drop it all.
For a moment
there are no humans left,
just you and the ghosts
and the wild things,
and you are not afraid.

So you move gracefully
through the dark
in embryonic caves
filled with turquoise waters
whose depths you will never know,
and you decide
you will never lie to yourself again
about some things,
(about those things
you will never know,)
because at some point
you understand
that what is seen
cannot be unseen
and what is felt
cannot be unfelt,
and what is known
will never again be unknown,
but still, you will always prefer
the way it feels
to merge with the mystery
to find beauty there,
and truth,
in all that lies beneath,
floating softly
in womb-like waters
of the mother.

Because mystery is the first love
of water nymphs and mermaids,
so you descend into another cave,
found at the end
of another dusty road,
where stalactites loom above you
and water drips onto your head
as you swim towards the center,
finding comfort beneath a single hole
in the ceiling
through which sunlight shines,
the golden thread
to the world above.
You can’t stop smiling,
feeling your human hands clinging
to the edge of the earth,
little feet kicking
to stay afloat,
then the sweetness of letting go,
because this is all one big letting go,
joyfully plunging below the surface,
surrendering
to the depths of the unknown
in the caves of your inner being.

Then there is that other
hidden cenote
surely favored by las brujas,
where the water is more emerald
than turquoise,
surrounded by mangroves,
where some force
calls you further and further in,
to where it is cold,
to where the roots reach out
like gnarled hands
you don’t want to hold,
but are curious
about touching anyway,
because when you go quiet
you can hear the spirits of the dead whispering:
“you can hold on to nothing here.
Just absorb it into your body,
so when you die,
and they bury you,
the earth can sing your life
through what grows
from your bones.”

And so all of this
you must release:
the flesh scraped by dead coral,
bruised by rocks,
sliced by shells,
stung by salt,
bitten by strange insects,
turned blistery
by jellyfish larvae,
hair woven into knots by the sea,
ears heavy with water
and siren songs,
finger pinched to hell
by a kind-looking hermit crab,
stomach aching
from dancing in the kitchen
after eating too much papaya,
coconut, dragonfruit,
mango, rambutan,
tamarindo, and tequila,
or maybe it’s overdosing on queso fresco,
or choking on the ocean from laughing too hard
about falling out of the kayak one too many times-
but these are the blessings of the journey,
slippery paths
and countless oases
to remind you of your aliveness,
friends alongside,
soothing the aches.
This saying goodbye,
to the the sand between your toes
the way your heart
will always fill
and empty again
with the tides,
where you will laugh
your way to divinity,
uncontrollable hilarity,
joy, deep sorrow,
and then an even deeper stillness.
Yes, this is all one big letting go.
We will have to give everything up,
jump from the scary heights,
and listen
to the one
who told you at the cliffside ruins,
“Fly your imagination!”

And you imagine that somewhere Ixchel, Tonantzin,
y Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe
hold hands and smile above it all,
with tears in their eyes,
above the blood and sacrifice
above the obsidian and the honey and the music,
above the ornate churches
built for one god
built on top of temples
built for many gods-
the descending god, the honeybee god,
the wind god,
a space for everything
to be loved.
We all need a sanctuary
when darkness falls,
because it always will,
and you will pray that
building your refuge
won’t hurt anyone else’s,
and that your retreat
will be respected,
as we all look for the light
that comes from nowhere,
the light that holds it all,
shining into emptiness,
lighting up the caverns
of our sacred hearts-
entangled and shining,
together,
in the house of the spirits
through which blows
a warm gentle wind
who will carry it all away.
The heart is a safe place
to live,
remember that
when you have forgotten.
That is the only miracle
you must always remember.

Inspired by breathtaking Tulum, Yacobá, Valladolid, Ek’Balam, Cobá, and other magical places of Quintana Roo & Yucatán, Mexico.

Nurture The Spark: The Living Poem

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One way poems are born….the living poem: The day I wrote this, I woke up feeling compelled to write down the images that were flying around my mind, in that strange space between dreaming and waking, the landscape of symbols and sensations barely touched by words (but still, they ache to be written, or I ache to capture them inside in my little glass bottle heart, take ink and turn them into something, scribbling in my journal like a madwoman, so I can watch little wings flap, and see a tiny fragment of another world…always trying to capture the ethereal, preserve impermanence – those silly but urgent desires to convey essence that is beyond logical expression.) As the day unfolded I quietly noticed that a lot of what I had written earlier was manifesting on a little faerie walk I was taking with my friend & her daughter. We saw a beautiful snake move like water into the space between rocks…the temple of the serpent…and then a moon carved by the elements onto the face of a stone….a spider in her web  between tree roots that held rocks like something precious… bees like tiny faeries in their yucca and sage flower sanctuaries, flying too close to my face….I had written these elements down hours before, and there it all was, being born in front of me. Of course the poem, once it starts to be written, takes on a life of its own, relating the inner world through observation of the outer world…but it’s the sweetest & strangest feeling to move through the day as if I am dreaming my life into being, connecting into the vitality of the present moment & relishing the interplay of the subconscious undercurrents and the conscious experience. I am always inspired by the magic created by openness, and the willingness to notice.

 

Medicine

I took only one step over the threshold
into my honeycomb caves
before I wanted to turn back,
to slink away quietly
beneath moonstone ceilings
close enough to touch,
bees on my lips,
whispering that all it will take is
three breaths past the web weavers’ doors
and seven stars beyond the sea urchins’ spines,
the path to all the places I protect
without knowing-
that this is an entry point,
a spiral path
into the temple of the snake,
meeting of the essential self
learning to move like water
where no space is too small to pass through,
where from the stone sprouts a shoot of green,
faith- raw, naive,
and every flower who opens here
calls my name-
urgent voices
riding cobweb carriages
and howling to the night,
laughing about how we can’t feel ourselves bleed
but we know it by the salt-kissed sting,
porcelain white colored by crimson blooms,
comets made of ironstone hearts
breaking across the sky,
the way cuts harden to heal-
the wisdom of skin,
merging and falling
as we walk the circle
to the center.

Through layers of lust,
blinding-
the salve and his sword,
the rose and her thorn
their urge to attach,
and then one stronger:
detach,
re-arrange,
pray to the present,
to the breath,
the silence,
the arrival
at each gate,
where only one thing is asked:
remove your jewels
and make your descent,
strip yourself of each coveted garment
and rise,
naked and trembling,
not with fear
but with lightness:
ritual incineration,
electric bodies melting
into a vein of pyrite,
fool’s gold mine by the river.
We are untouched by greed
and kissed by the one
who leaves specks of ruby
on our tongues-
unmetamorphosed desire,
unpolished still.

I watch for all the things you don’t say.
I am a bricklayer who befriends earthquakes,
building her home amidst
the crashing
with the red-breasted bird
who eats the butterfly,
grabbing her from the spider’s trap,
savior. saint. sinner
devouring
in silence.
Another transformation
in this theory of mirrors,
the reflection and the shattering,
energy provoking energy
and deliberate movement
across the ice bridge-
its frozen song melting
into the soft opening
between danger and beauty.
Channeling Ms. Lonelyheart’s fire,
this little sacrificial love lamb
chooses to carry herself into the flames.
This time, this time I will get it right,
burning my own fortress to the ground,
the foundation becoming my altar
where I dance in prayer,
destroying every flag we have ever waved
in the name of anything false and fickle,
all that has stood for anything
but love and liberation.

Inspired by the enchanting Matilija Canyon in Southern California, a gem of my beloved home.

You Are The Little Seed

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where it is not enough to simply trust, but to surrender so fully you become

 

 

You are the little seed
who only bursts
in fire or flood,
harbinger of wonder,
something from the other world,
who sits in darkness waiting,
inside a burial chamber
or a birth canal,
aching body soothed
by a constellation’s kiss
across winter’s cheek,
where early morning
owl songs
bridge
here
and there.

You are the patron saint
of moth-eaten love letters
read in blue light,
the earth fallen innocence
of wing pierced skin
and whistling winds who say:
The beginning can be hard,
because nothing stays the same,
but don’t stop now.

You are the tiny star
who only dreams
of the explosion,
breaking open ceremoniously
into the light of nothingness,
where it is not enough
to simply trust,
but to surrender so fully
you become,
proclaiming your presence
in the landslide
of shedding skin,
carving a path of courage
through fragments of mirror
dropped from the sky,
shattered by the sounds of angels,
reflecting your unfamiliar face
on the ocean floor.

You are the sweet one
with razor teeth
who gnashes on truth,
leaving to find beauty
in an alien landscape,
returning to the calling
that you will listen to now,
because you have to,
collecting every tangled thread
beneath your loom,
like seaweed on the shore
of a place that feels like home,
though you have only ever lived
out at sea,
beaten smooth by tides
who speak in concentric circles
of memory, visions
and voices
lost to wolves and moonbeams.

Then, a spindle-pricked finger
and a drop of blood,
watering your white dress
in a garden of roses set alight,
petals singed and singing:
Keep going little one.
Don’t fall asleep again.
See through the eyes
of the ancients
how they learned to live
all those years,
alive in the tenderness of being,
how being born
was the first radical act,
and how letting go is the next.

They breathe through you,
and you can see them
in the lines around your eyes
when you laugh secrets,
or when you open
your mouth to cry.
Clocks tick inside trees,
dying in parched soil,
beneath which lies life,
dormant,
ready to sprout something loud,
unknown.

Your resilience is resounding.
Remember.

The clockmaker
and the starweaver
sit together
at the sacred hearth,
comforted by a strange stillness
that turns the golden key,
opening,
awakening,
breaking some spell,
and the thousand year rain
begins.
Grow.
Now.

Inspired by the magical land of Joshua Tree, California

Fling Open

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“Emotion is the chief source of all becoming-conscious. There can be no transforming of darkness into light and of apathy into movement without emotion.” Carl G. Jung

 

 

You can trust that life will reveal itself. Your task is to allow yourself to expand into the revelation. When you come to the altar that sits at the edge of the wild wood,  settle into your soft center and take the medicine that gestates inside mystery, merging the seen and unseen with your creative urges. Conjure magic, own your throne, and allow yourself to breathe more freely and deeply inside the truth of who you are. Align with the wisdom, depth, light and dark of your instinctual self. Trust in what is being born through you, and in all the crumbling that makes space for you to arrive to the feast in your fullness. Allow yourself to be touched by the destabilizing destruction that dances alongside immeasurable beauty. To touch the world you must let yourself be touched. Hold every facet of yourself in the glow of the sacred hearth, with gentle kindness and searing honesty, honoring the fear, the grief, the peace, and the pleasure that comes in awakening to your power. Even if you turn them away, you will see them again, mirrored in another shining face, stormy circumstance, or in the stillness of your own reflection. Denial of your radiant wholeness was never meant to work long term, as much as you may have hoped it would, suppressing truth until grace capsized your little boat on a moonless night. Remember how you learned to swim?

Use it all as fuel for expansion, and respect too, the need to contract, integrate, and gather your strength when that is asked of you. Celebrate that there is no turning back, only turning into. This is your vow to be an embodied, emboldened guide through darkness, a bearer of light born from pain, a guardian of soul, a vessel for spirit, a glowing cauldron of all-that-is, heart speaking clearly: “Every piece of you is free to exist here.” A courageous traveler into the realms-we-dare-not-speak-of, and a bringer of truth from the depths. A connector. A questioner. A mystery walker. A forest dweller. A shadow loving moonbeam lighting up a path that leads to some kind of liberation, through every twist and tangle. Follow a heart willing to be unbound by the need for validation, showing up more completely because you witness and hold yourself close first, nestled near the fire in the quiet dark, knowing that beauty lives not only in that heavenly moment of wings-widespread, but in the messiness of loss, the reluctance to let go, and the giving of yourself to the call. Inside this dance you find yourself a part of. Inside this offering.

Let love lead. Stay lit. Stay the course. Stay with what is real. Stay with the changes. Stay with the knowing. Stay with the not knowing. Stay with your courageous heart. Choose it. Trust it. Share from there. Serve from there. Move from there. Your life is your work. Keep Shining. Fling open the door that was never closed to begin with, and notice how the light filtering in through the cracks still pulses, asking you to be present, igniting the spark over and over again, singing you through the dark to the other side. All of you. Together.

 

 

I started this in January ’16, first inspired by a magical trip to the Pacific Northwest. But I came back to it in December ’16, deeply moved by a tarot and oracle reading I gave myself, where The Moon, Queen of Wands, The Sphinx and Medusa came to show my some deep layers of my being. The ever-growing complexity of the threads we weave. What will they become?

 

 

Meeting The Self

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Releasing our winged things from their cages

 

The path of self love means learning what it feels like to hold hands with black holes, so we can know the difference between spaces that can be filled with music, and those that will swallow us alive. It is taking off the blindfold and setting fire to the manuscripts of old beliefs we have locked in our marrow, igniting ancient stories with a single flame. Self love is smiling as we watch each stained page curl the way our hands do when we grieve, morphing into grey petals that set sail like paper ships into the nighttime sea, living waters bearing witness to the first exhale after years of holding our breath—and then the way it feels to become the tides, filling our lungs again, salty and deep.

Self love is finally understanding there’s no need to catch every ember in our palms just to feel our skin, we will remember–it’s enough to let the burning light in every touch of sweetness & taste of terror fall around us, disappearing into our hair, illumination against the vast and wild darkness. Self love is slowly collecting the threads piled on the floor of the stoic fortress we constructed, just before it collapses, so we can sit at our loom in the ruins and weave a new prayer, leaving one side open, always open. Self love is giving it up and becoming bosom buddies with uncertainty. It is making love to the mystery, taking off the clothes we’ve worn threadbare, and letting the remnants take their course down the river at dawn. Self love is stepping past the shallows and singing our bodies into deepest part of the river, untying the chords that bind stones to our feet, learning to swim unhindered, naked, and loving it.

Self love is unearthing the bones we were sure we had buried so far down, we would never have to see them again. It’s cradling those bones in our arms and loving them because they belong to us, and then softly putting them to rest beneath the moon, full & aching. The web-weavers’ cabaret begins, and we light up the stage, glowing bright like a birthday cake baked for billions, tiny lights dancing in the smoldering summer sky. We release our winged things from their cages, untamable treasures calling for a reflection, so they may learn to see what lies within, until the inevitable shattering clears it all away– the way energy provokes energy in this deliberate movement across the ice bridge, our frozen songs melting into the dark opening between danger and beauty.

Self love is watering the earth with our blood, setting our arms down to clean the heart of tired longings and spastic wiring, freeing our hands to touch the seedlings as they push their way up towards the sun, through layers of history, alive with innocence, weary with knowing. The path of self love means walking alone with our heads down, sure that we’ve learned what it means to rely on nothing but ourselves, then looking up to see the faces of a thousand beloveds walking beside us, loving us into this foreign land. And then we know that self love means forgetting everything we thought we knew, as we rise into a vision of existence where every step forward is the right one, because we chose it, until finally we can fall on our knees at some entryway, bruised & blooming, in reverence to the sacred heart, home.

 

Inspired by one of my adventures in the mystical landscape of Joshua Tree, California.