Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I stood with my therapist, in tears. Across from me, an empty chair. She had asked me to speak to the chair as if my mother was there, listening. I was struck by the idea that talking to this empty space in this chair wasn’t any different than trying to talk to my mother when she is present, and that ushered forth a wave of sorrow, followed by a wave of understanding. My mother has bipolar disorder, and has likely had it for my entire life. My seemingly “normal” childhood was actually a time of tremendous instability and little acceptance and affection. And now, after spending weeks delving into the depths of this primary relationship, and the ways it has created particular responses within me, I am starting to see the big picture a little more clearly. The voices inside my mother’s head never stop, they pull her in a thousand directions. She has no filter, no boundaries. Whatever comes through her mind comes out her mouth. Up down up down. Joy, hatred, anger, judgment. Round and round. It is this way now, and it was this way then. While my basic needs were provided for, and I was rarely physically abused, I am coming to see that there never was a time of true emotional safety. There was never any true intimacy. There was never a sense given to me that I was accepted and loved just as I was, and that nothing I could do would ever change that. There were no boundaries, no privacy, no personal space - my mother would say anything to anyone, even things shared in confidence. There was emotional chaos pretty much all the time. I have always been a sensitive being, and there were times when I would get sick from all the chaos. I would be rushed to the doctor because I couldn’t stop throwing up, and the diagnosis was always the same - nerves.

I learned coping mechanisms. Two have been particularly strong in my life. First, escape. If there is noplace that is sacred or safe, then I need to go somewhere else, to flee, to leave the room, to leave the country, or to leave my body, just keep moving. The second is striving, trying, accomplishment. I see the little girl perspective so strongly in this - maybe if I do well enough, get enough awards and attention from others, become the most incredible musician, accomplish the most incredible things, just maybe then I will be loved and accepted. Just maybe then I will deserve to be loved and accepted. Maybe. This second one is very much alive in my life right now, and is the thing that I have written about previously. I am now beginning to see where these deeply entrenched feelings of being worthless have come from. If I was given my life by my mother, and then, somehow I wasn’t acceptable enough, not worth listening to or loving, not good enough, I would need to do something really big to earn this life. Maybe I could convince her otherwise. I have been trying, unconsciously, ever since.

I have a deep need for stability and safety in my life. I hate feeling hurried, and get caught up in emotional turmoil when it seems like people don’t have enough time for me. I really hold off on revealing the truth of who I am until I feel an undeniable sense of trust and acceptance from others. Life in general tends not to offer these things, and I have tended to retreat and withdraw as a result. I have lived in a cocoon, throwing myself into one endeavor after the next, working to become the most perfect, most lovable, most incredible person I am capable of becoming. I have achieved worldly success. I have drawn close to me an array of wonderful people, spanning six continents, who have reflected back to me all that is good and whole and worthy within me. And I have still continued to search, since I have yet to find solace in the company of my mother. It has come in glimmers, just occasionally, but never for long. And I am starting to see that I may never get that. She is mentally ill. She may not be capable of giving me the very things that the little girl inside of me has been desperately searching for.

Now, healing comes. Every day, more insight fills me. I have made the space in my daily life to really go into this process. My life has offered me this intense time of breaking down so that I can release all that does not serve. I have support in my life, I have friends who love me no matter what, who will listen to anything, who accept me exactly as I am any day of the week. Now, I must learn to see these old patterns when they emerge, and see them for what they are. Slowly, lovingly, I can let them go.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Transformation Walk

My mind is racing, and my heart is burning. I am grateful that the distress I feel is only low-grade, and isn't moving into the realm of anxiety. Feeling uncomfortable has become business as usual in my life for now, and I am even getting used to that. Even though I see it and recognize it, I am not free of it. My belly is filled with yearning, aching, swirling. And if you asked me to put words to it, asking what is the matter? I probably couldn't answer you in a straightforward, easy way. I come to words, language, writing to attempt to grasp the ungraspable. I feel the futility of it most days right now, and yet I feel the desire within me, unwavering. I will show up at this page, right here, right now. I will fish for words, impressions, imagery, linear and nonlinear, clear and abstract. I will do this for as long as it calls to me.

Most days right now are filled with ordinary living. I get up, cook, shower, walk, breathe, read. My life looks ordinary. But beneath the surface of my living, change is occurring at a pace that is dizzying to me. I wish I could find the words to describe what is happening within me. I wish that I could understand it more myself. But I also feel that it is beyond my understanding right now. It is out of my control completely, in the way that my cells continue to be born and die every second without my knowing, without my input, and without my participation. There is a cosmic process, a mystical order to some things, and while I may feel them, observe them, and find fleeting words to describe them, I may not ever truly understand them. This is not new - I have always known it. But what is different now is that I am not still trying with all my being to understand, to be able to put rational, logical mind-based understanding on things that are utterly beyond the capacity of the human mind. I am mostly okay with not knowing. I am listening very, very closely for guidance as I walk along this path that is my life, my transformation. But mostly, I am simply allowing it to unfold.

What I understand right now is that for my whole life I have been trying to control things. I have been trying to be something in particular, though the particulars have changed. I have been trying to be the best version of Angela that I can be. I have found that isolation and solitude have really helped that process. I have found that my mind has idealized my world, and myself. I have found that my own limited thinking has caused me a lot of pain. I have found that my own criticism of myself has been almost unbearable, the criticism that has come from outside of me has reinforced my own criticism. I have felt unworthy of living here on this Earth. I have felt like I must be something other than human, infallible, perfect. I have succeeded, too, in many ways. I have been the best student, the smartest, the brightest, the best flutist, better than anyone around me, I have been the hardest worker, the most creative, the most prolific, the deepest, the most spiritual, the most well read, the world traveller, the most successful. I have lived up to my own demands for at least a short time in each of these things. But they have been destroying me slowly. And I am no longer willing to continue.

I have recently come to discover that I have never experienced true intimacy and safety and acceptance within a primary relationship. I have experienced significant instability and judgment in my life from an early age, and in some way, that became the ground that I learned to consider normal. I came to expect that those who claim to love me will also criticize me, and cause me to question myself. I came to expect that those who claim to love me will also cross my boundaries, push me, and cause me harm. I have allowed this to continue for years and years, and have considered myself to be at fault when I am no longer able to take it, and collapse in a state of heartbreak and despair. I have expected that those who claim to love me will only love the image of me, the object I present myself to be, what I am able to give to them. I have expected that they will not really want to hear what is burning in my soul, that they will not be able to lean in close and listen to my heart's dreams, that they will not have the time to sit with me as I mourn pain and loss. And each and every time, I have been right. I have been met by exactly what I expect.

My walls have been torn down by this time of breakdown. The images I once held about myself have been shattered. The things I thought I knew about myself, and about others, and about life have all blown away. The resistance to feeling all that is within me has been washed away. The beliefs I once held about myself and my path have all come into question. The voice of control and idealism that has led my life this far has been caught in the snare. I have lived with so much violence inside of myself. I have created so much war within my own being. And now, I am very, very tired. My whole being has been taken apart, and I have been walking through this fire of purification for months and months. This process is no longer under my control. It is not within my timeline. It is not even within my understanding. All I can do is show up each day and breathe and listen. And I see now, more than ever, that solitude is no longer an option. I have never been alone, and I am not alone now. The fierce independence with which I once walked through my days doesn't even seem real to me now. The walls that once kept me separate from the world around me, from those fellow humans around me - they have been utterly destroyed.

I have learned to pray. I asked to learn to pray on July 3, 2009. I have learned to pray.

Monday, March 29, 2010

I am waiting

I am writing here
because you can't hear me.
While our fingers may touch
and our eyes may meet and part,
there is no communion
between our souls.
Words spill forth,
coming and going,
touching into details about
the weather
and the season
and this and that,
but never settling deep
below the surface
of clouds and flowers
and all appearances.

Lightness can be comforting.
It can smooth away all the rough edges,
and sweep away the pain of
of very real human suffering.
But when those rough edges become smooth,
something deeper becomes exposed
to the light of day.
Something vulnerable,
something naked,
something once hidden very deeply.
And the dust that was once
and again
swept beneath the rug
begins to pile up,
and spill out once more.

We trip and fall on the bumps and lumps
and suddenly,
the lightness becomes glaring,
a farce.
A lie.

I stood today,
facing an empty chair.
Though you were not sitting in it,
I felt no difference.
Are you there when you are there?
Do you hear me
see me
know me
any more when you are sitting here before me?
And do you even know what that means?
Is it even possible for you to stop
within the echo chamber
of your own mind
for even a moment,
just for a second,
and allow the light of another to enter?
It seems to me that within all that
endless chatter
and forced lightness
there is a barrier,
allowing nothing to enter or leave.
Do you feel that?
Do you feel like you are in prison?
Rattling there, within the walls of your own mind,
what do you feel?

I cannot ever know
your experience.
I cannot ever know what it
feels like
within your body
I may never understand
what your days are like,
what your demons tell you
in the small hours of the morning.

I have been trying for
to penetrate
the high walls of your fortress.
Flashes of love
and caring
seep through sometimes,
and are quickly swallowed by
the wild battalion of
swirling thoughts,
all competing for
center stage.
One of them surely must
Maybe they all just need to battle it out,
up and down
and love and hate
and apathy and sorrow and joy
all swirling there,
as they do in each and every one of us.
Is there no center?
Who is the One who orchestrates here?
Do you know?

I give up.
I cannot reach you.
I have done everything within my power
to earn your love
to earn your acceptance
to earn your connection.
I have filled my life
with achievements
and stories
and I am tired now.
None of it has ever gotten through.
And I am left with the question,
who am I living this life for, anyway?

I want to be seen for who I am beyond my doing.
Beyond the layers of collected identity.
I want to be accepted for who I am,
body, mind, and spirit,
with no qualifications
and no exceptions.
I want to be known,
met in the depths of my soul.
I want to be loved
with the full knowing of who I am.
I have walked away many times now,
but I cannot walk away any more.
I don't have any answers now,
all the old ones have expired before my eyes.
I am waiting.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Earth Song

There is a song in this Earth.

Somewhere between the dying wind
and the melting ice
and the blossoming Lilac
is the song that slips into my
fading consciousness
just before I fall asleep.

I hear Her whispering to me,
calling my name,
showing me the way.

It lives within the resonance of the
still, humid
afternoon Sun,
and in the warmth that lingers
on the boulder's face
long after the Moon has risen
in the cool

This sweet nectar
just beneath the sound of the
in the stillness of deep Night,
and when their song has
finally faded,
when every song has
to the
there it is.

As I sit here beneath the full Moon's
pale glow,
my body sways gently,
and above me,
the Willow's leaves begin to rustle.
My breath is shallow and slow,
for I do not want to miss even
We lean in closer, the Willow and me,
hoping to discover
the sweet secret that
is whispered here.

Something within me begins to stir.
The Willow, too, seems to feel what I feel,
and her leaves dance upon the gentle wind.
I push my body to standing,
and feel the cool, damp soil beneath my feet.
High above, within these graceful branches,
a lone bird begins to sing.

The Invitation.
My heart begins to pound,
and as the bird's song becomes more bold,
I feel the Willow join with her own sweet offering
as she dances joyfully with the wind.
Deep within my own flesh,
beneath the sound of my heartbeat,
and beyond the rhythm of my breath,
a vibration fills me,
strong and low.
Swaying beneath the tree,
wind flowing through my own body,
sound begins to emerge -
Sound like none that has
the walls of my creation,
strange and not quite my own.
Where is this coming from?

The horizon
just beyond the mountains.
The deep black of night
into pale morning light,
violet and rose,
and I realize that I have
known this song.

Teach me to listen more deeply than my own mind,
and to surrender to your light with the grace of
the first light of day. Aho.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


I am sitting here on the ground
surrounded by remnants of frayed rope.
Hemp rope, rough and scratchy.
My hands are red and burned,
and my body is bruised.
But the pain in my body is
right now,
when compared to the
existential pain
of so many years
of trying.

If I wasn't an optimist,
I might envision this
the ultimate
Each time
a new rope descended from above,
I reached up,
grasping with the full force of my human strength,
willing to climb
all the way
to the sky.
And each time,
just as I found my way
through the clouds,
and began to
acclimatize to the
thinning air,
The rope would give way,
and there I was,
falling falling falling
through the air.

If I was paranoid,
I might imagine the
Great Council of Beings
up there, laughing at me.
Yep, she fell for it again!
Ha ha ha!
Not only once, or twice, or even ten times,
she fell for it every day for more than
thirty years!

But I am not paranoid.
Not really.

And the Great Council of Beings
up in the sky
is not laughing.

Back in July,
I found myself deep in the woods,
praying that I might learn how to pray.
Not the eloquent,
self-conscious kind of prayer
that called me up another rope,
but the kind of prayer
that the trees offer the Sun
day after day,
grateful and utterly open.
The kind of prayer
that makes me forget my name,
that makes me forget where I am,
and where I have been,
and where I'm going.
I didn't even know what I was asking for,
not really.
But they did.

The clouds burst open,
and it rained like no other day
had ever rained.
Cold filled me to the bones,
and the shivering consumed me.
I may die here.
I am a refugee.

They came to me with ropes,
and in the quickened
moments of
all-consuming desperation,
I reached up to each and every one.
One by one,
they gave way,
falling at my feet.
There is no way out.

I fell onto the muddy Earth.

I have been sitting here for a long time now.
For a while, I believed that I was being shown
the only way out.
Now, the mud has dried on my bare skin,
and I have learned to listen
more deeply than before.
I see that there is no way out,
no more than there ever was a way in,
it's time to
burn these ropes.

Friday, March 26, 2010


Breath moves through me
like a serpent,
undulating my flesh along this land.
Breath moves through me
like the tide,
swirling the sea,
dancing through my translucent form.

Morning rain, falling all around,
fragrance of sweet, rich Earth.
Wind moves through the trees,
bare and lithe,
awaiting the breath of Life
to blossom them green
once more.

I, too, have been waiting for the
breath of Life
to blossom me green
and blue
and all shades of passion
and peace,
all textures of livingness.
I have been waiting for the spring rains
to flood my body
with their nourishing waters,
and to fill my heart's longing
with Love that knows no opposite.

The rains come
in torrents sometimes.
The river spills her banks,
and the water rages wildly,
purifying all that falls in her path.
Everything is washed away,
swept along in the
quickened currents
of the power of
Deep scars of change
are carved
into the landscape,
and searing pain
floods the memories
of all those who remember
a time

I touch my damp forehead to the
muddy riverbank.
Her waters have receded now.
I have been given my life
as a gift,
and now I return to the trees
in silent prayer.
The walls of my heart are shattered
as the song within me erupts,
There is no way to return to the way it was before.

Between this place of
and morning's faint light
is the seed of
God's fire.
Within the forest,
veils of light,
pink, green, blue.
I humbly accept her bounty,
and carefully wrap
this glowing ember
in these soft strands,
a cocoon.

Glow turns to smolder
as the sun's glorious rays burn through
the thick fog of early morning,
and the gauzy veils of
my heart's chrysalis
are burned away.
Stepping gently into the
full light of day,
my heart is flooded with
a love
that knows no opposite,
no beginning,
no end,
no object.
A love that
aches within these boundaries
of body,
yet pours forth within these limitations
because it knows no other way.
This love has become the torrents of
the river,
overflowing beyond her banks,
mere veins carved in stone,
and floods each and every corner of this land
until no place
no one
no thing
is left untouched.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Awakening - Four Poems

No Ideas

I have absolutely
no ideas
I give up.
Hope is of no consequence
I am only





Who is pounding on my door?
Can’t you knock like a
human being?
Is it a matter
of such
desperation that you must
rattle the walls
of my
simple hermitage?
I’ll open the door!

No one will ever believe...


Today at 2:30pm

I celebrate
the Great Mystery
that dances each of us
into the world,
teeming with possibility.

And has the Great Mystery
come to your door yet?
Knocking quietly,
waiting for you to invite it inside,
having no idea that you were
meeting your maker,
today at 2:30pm,
while you’re between errands,
and all of a sudden
there’s a fire on the stove,
and the phones are ringing,
but you only remember having
one phone before...
And your front door has come
unhinged, and into your
living room has come a
swarm of bees, dancing
with a flurry of butterflies...
and wait a minute,
isn’t it winter, and the
bees should be sleeping,
and the lawn doesn’t need
mowing either,
but instead of grass,
there seems to be
nothing but blossoms
unfurling their fragrant,
sensuous red petals,
beckoning you outside...
but the stove is still on fire!
And what about those bees...
there were bees...
but the intoxicating fragrance
lures you out anyway,
out into the brilliant
No, but the lawn is grass,
what are these...

Dear one, why do you struggle so?
Where do your ideas come from?
In the Great Mystery, creator and
destroyer are one...
lie down, surrender to this
blissful red dream.


Mid-Morning's Knowing

The rusted funnel of
my consciousness
wanders among the
of mid-morning's knowing.
Only the butterfly
understands the
tunnel of lightness
that has opened,
that has swallowed me whole,
resisting nothing,
saying nothing,
holding only the knowing of

Mere words
cannot encompass
the promise of
or even one fine
dim moonbeam...
and who's listening anyway!
Now the drum of
the infinite
has begun to play.

And if you drop your agenda,
only this moment is
pregnant with
the opportunity to
blossom -
or erupt -
into the ferocity
of the
rays of light dancing
wildly on the surface of the Sun,
and an infinite amount of
becomes available -
if not easily attainable.
Nothing is impossible.
The sky keeps expanding
and the further along the road
you meander,
the closer to heaven you feel,

has arrived.

Heaven is no place.

God is no one...
but everything...
the very fabric of Life.

Breathe in.
Breathe out.
The rhythm of the very air
pulses our
limited forms alive,
living consciousness.

All the churches would
if we knew this,
really, they would.
All their dogmas
doctrines -
dos -
don’ts -
suddenly seem like
Monopoly rules.
That's $50 if you
land on Park Place...
no, make it $150.
I get it.

Yep, the walls would
erupt in insidious laughter,
and people,
once filling the aisles with
impoverished souls
full of guilt and
would run away singing, dancing,
peals of laughter echoing
off the decrepit stone walls,
and cast away their
beliefs and superstitions
like moth-eaten nuns' habits
and dive, naked and shameless
into the effulgent,
glowing sea.

The stars have extinguished
my searing pain and
I will never know that
form of limitation again.
Only limitless freedom.
And now, life begins.


Field of Stars

I walk forever through a field of stars,
One foot in front of the other,
Here, the land ends the mystery begins.
My heart has burst and my love cannot be contained.

One foot in front of the other,
The rhythm of ecstatic joy drumming on and on,
My heart has burst and my love cannot be contained.
The radiance of life is brighter than I ever imagined.

The rhythm of ecstatic joy drumming on and on,
My feet carry me into a tradition of mystical discovery.
The radiance of life is brighter than I ever imagined.
In this great simplicity is the great secret of eternity.

My feet carry me into a tradition of mystical discovery.
Lead me down this path, I bow in honor of the divine.
In this great simplicity is the great secret of eternity.
The earth beneath my feet is a sacred altar.

Lead me down this path, I bow in honor of the divine.
I offer my song to the earth, my thoughts belong to the sky,
The earth beneath my feet is a sacred altar.
Breath and light are bliss beyond compare.

I offer my song to the earth, my thoughts belong to the sky,
I walk forever through a field of stars,
Breath and light are bliss beyond compare.
Here, the land ends and mystery begins.


Transcendence - Three Poems

Mid-Morning's Knowing

The rusted funnel of
my consciousness
wanders among the
of mid-morning's knowing.
Only the butterfly
understands the
tunnel of lightness
that has opened,
that has swallowed me whole,
resisting nothing,
saying nothing,
holding only the knowing of

Mere words
cannot encompass
the promise of
or even one fine
dim moonbeam...
and who's listening anyway!
Now the drum of
the infinite
has begun to play.

And if you drop your agenda,
only this moment is
pregnant with
the opportunity to
blossom -
or erupt -
into the ferocity
of the
rays of light dancing
wildly on the surface of the Sun,
and an infinite amount of
becomes available -
if not easily attainable.
Nothing is impossible.
The sky keeps expanding
and the further along the road
you meander,
the closer to heaven you feel,

has arrived.

Heaven is no place.

God is no one...
but everything...
the very fabric of Life.

Breathe in.
Breathe out.
The rhythm of the very air
pulses our
limited forms alive,
living consciousness.

All the churches would
if we knew this,
really, they would.
All their dogmas
doctrines -
dos -
don’ts -
suddenly seem like
Monopoly rules.
That's $50 if you
land on Park Place...
no, make it $150.
I get it.

Yep, the walls would
erupt in insidious laughter,
and people,
once filling the aisles with
impoverished souls
full of guilt and
would run away singing, dancing,
peals of laughter echoing
off the decrepit stone walls,
and cast away their
beliefs and superstitions
like moth-eaten nuns' habits
and dive, naked and shameless
into the effulgent,
glowing sea.

The stars have extinguished
my searing pain and
I will never know that
form of limitation again.
Only limitless freedom.
And now, life begins.



How much quieter the ranks would usher forth
if the path wasn’t so strewn,
one broken being after the next,
quivering boulders and bleeding windfall.
The flock undulates with an unseen pull,
the drive to over-step, over-come,
over, over, over...

Now, in this place beneath the quickened waterfall,
I have learned a new approach
that honors all time and even the
verdant mass of webbing roots asks
for forgiveness when their own strength
moves into an uncontrollable fit of expansion.

A little light-filled being has found our
conversation and
even the trees have pulled their chairs closer,
hoping to hear,
to feel the secret
he has come to share close your eyes.

I have fallen through the
steely gutter into volcanic reality;
My hands have fed the spring-green leaves
and the umbilical pulse we share
is now finalized in the tapestry of
earth and stars.



As you draw those lazy signs of infinity
on my flesh,
you remind me that there are
some days
that really need no form,
and they are beautiful
in just as many ways
as a perfect day,
planned and arranged,
ordered and successful,

is rarely tidy.

Wander through the woods with me,
just occasionally,
and maybe we will hear the lonely cry
of a tiny bird
flying high above the trees...
he’s decided that winter isn’t so hard
after all
and here is really a good place to be
for now.
In counterpoint with our
footsteps and breath
is the fresh rush of freezing cold water,
almost silent in its ever present
(Sometimes it’s really easy
to forget the things that are always here,
like the sky and the ground.
But not today.
The birds have reminded me about the
sky and the ground

Infinity is the tip of your finger,
dancing its way across my
limited point of awareness.
This moment is
just enough.

Belonging - Three Poems

The Space Between

In the space between
ring a thousand thousand
temple bells...

If you listen
you might remember them
from long, lazy summer days,
reclining beside the swimming hole,
the cicadas offering their song
to the wind,
and laughter echoing off the
of the cave not too far away,
the cave where you liked to hide
during thunderstorms,
but you always told Mom that you were
playing at Maggie’s house.
She just couldn’t understand
the magic
of the earth’s rumbling
from the inside,
rivulets of muddy earth slithering all around
like shimmering serpents
from another world.
The earth’s own lullaby
would always lull you to sleep
or into some kind of trance
or meditation
but you didn’t know what that meant back then...
you were only nine years old, after all.
And just before you would wake up...
back to reality...
there in Mother’s womb,
you’d hear them,
the distant chiming of
But the moment you’d open your eyes to seek the source of the
mysterious melody,
you’d find yourself face to face with
a cricket
or grasshopper,
or once, a couple of small field mice,
glistening, beady eyes chiming
like the toll of the distant chapel?
No, it couldn’t be...
that makes no sense.

Soon enough,
doubt overtook magic.
There never were any bells.
It was only a dream.
Will those damn crickets
You don’t have time to go to
the cave,
You haven’t been to the swimming hole
since at least a year before
you learned to drive.
And the shopping mall was really much more interesting,
who wants to go swimming in a muddy pit
so far away
from civilization?!

The last vestige of imagination is
sold on the

Bells are only for
for the volunteer
working for the Salvation Army.
And we all get really tired of that
awful noise and harassment
really quickly.
Enough with the DAMN BELLS!
You need a scotch on the rocks,
and when will the kid quit crying.
when will it all end?!

All you really need is
the space between

Can you remember?


Shabby Blanket

The warmth of this moment
is a blessing.
the cold winter’s gale is blowing
and I have no scarf or mittens,
my coat is merely a child’s
baby blanket,
bundled tightly around my shoulders and neck.
It’s threadbare in a couple spots,
that’s probably why it was in the trash.
The family at 143 Elm Street
threw it away last Thursday
after they returned from Macy’s with
a new, soft red one.
But it was my luck in wandering
through town at the right moment.
This old blanket will serve me just fine,
and I said a prayer for those folks for
blessing me before Christmas with
this old blanket.

Now I’m home,
the rusty old yellow train car
to the side of the tracks,
you know the one on the way
out of town?
The one with most of the windows
still intact.
I think the lettering on the side
used to advertise
shaving lotion,
or was it Coca-Cola?
It’s been too many years.
Not that it matters,
this old tin can is of no use to anyone,
save me,
and I’m sure that the folks in town are
that the railway graveyard
is pretty far out of town.
It would spoil their
perfectly manicured lawns
and bright white fences
to have me too close to their suburban dream.
It reminds them that their American Dream
is filled with rainbows
and garbage,
with wealth
unspeakable poverty.
But that doesn’t bother me too much,
not really.
I’m grateful, actually.

Would you like to step into my humble abode?
Pull up an apple crate, and I’ll make some
apple leaf tea.
I know, that sounds strange,
but I picked the leaves myself
after dark
two nights ago
at the orchard
half a mile away from here.
It’s really quite refreshing once you’re used to it.
And bless you for joining me this evening.
It’s not often that young people visit
a crazy old bum like me
out here in the train graveyard.

They don’t remember,
or don’t want to remember
that once I had everything
they had.
I wanted everything they wanted.
I was the head of the University’s
English Department,
with a PhD from
I painted my fence white every Memorial Day.
No, they don’t want to remember.
It scares them too much.
They think their world
is so solid.
And to sit across from me in this old car,
to look me in the eye,
to see the
remarkable contrast that is possible
in one man’s life.
They don’t want to think about it.
They are content to
get all worked up over the evening news.
To worry about the rising cost of gasoline
and how the kids need new sneakers and video games,
and the cruise to the Caribbean they simply
take this summer.

No, I wouldn’t go back to that life.
I live this way
by choice.
I know it’s hard to fathom,
and please don’t misunderstand me,
that’s not bitterness
you detected in my voice.

Ah, regardless,
there are things I’ve seen
in this way of life that
I would never have seen
Things I’ve felt
and known
that can’t be experienced
in the comfort
of society.
It’s my choice, yes,
and tonight
I’m grateful for this



A small bowl of grapes
sits on the table beside my bed
I have not thrown them away,
for I have not been there for
a long time.
You see,
the little old lady
from the apartment downstairs-
Mrs. Mason-
brought them up to me
one day last September.
She had grown them in her
tiny second floor apartment.
How she can grow grapevines
is beyond me!
So, she brought me her harvest,
and told me
that this bowl of grapes
represents all the blessings
she hopes will come into
my life
in the coming year.

An incredibly generous gift, really.
Mrs. Mason turned
last January,
and traversing the rickety old
wooden staircase
isn’t easy for her these days.

We sat and shared tea that afternoon
in my tiny
and she told me
about her marriage
of sixty-eight years,
and her fourteen children-
all boys!
And how she always wanted
a daughter.
Even though she has
great-grandchildren older than me,
she’s taken me
as her daughter now.

After she left,
I spent an hour
picking the grapes from their
woody vine.
And somewhere in my
rapt contemplation,
between my bed and the
coffee table
it hit me
like a bolt of lightning.
I’m living in a bowl
of grapes.
This path that I’ve been
is so limited.
I’ve been stuck in the
shallow end
of the pool for about
ten years too long-
and I don’t have to

it felt like the top of my head
blew off!
It was one of those days
when everything
I felt like I could
cure the common cold,
read hieroglyphics,
finally crack the code of
James Joyce’s
bizarre Finnegan’s Wake,
and single-handedly
halt the
global warming crisis,
all by the workday’s five o’clock

Out the door I went.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday on the Porch

Porch sitting. My first day of the season when all I feel called to do is sit here on the porch and listen to the world. It is warm, and moving into overcast. I'm told it will rain tomorrow. One of the trees in my neighbor's yard is glowing with yellow fuzz, the first chutes of life dancing on the still gray branches. There are some kids bouncing a basketball across the street, talking about nothing in particular, shrieking now and then. The dogs on the other side of the street have been barking off and on all day, and I am getting tired of hearing them. They are little yippy dogs, and the neighbor there has eight - yes eight - of them. These things tend to make me a bit cranky, and shatter the peace of what my porch sitting is at its best. But I am also trying to relax, to enjoy the humanity of it all. This is what we humans do here on Earth. We live our threads as we do, day after day.

I'm listening to one of my favorite songs by my brother Jarah in Peru. "Invisible Indivisible" - "unspeakable radiance in my heart ... unspeakable radiance we hold..." It speaks to me of everything that I feel in this moment. "Prince of love, carry me, carry you 'till we meet, 'till we part." "Past all time and space to places long forgotten, deep and holy..." As I sit here on the porch, I feel still. I feel my heart glowing radiant and bright. I feel all the beauty and joy in the world flowing through me, and all the sorrow and loss too. And to feel so much existing inside of me at once ... "this sorrow, this joy, this let go, this hello, this goodbye..." I am utterly pierced by the River of Love as I sit here.

The Magnolia, which I have now watched for more than half a year, still sits where she did, now a third shorter than last fall. The snows of this brutal winter splintered her height, yet there she stands, the guardian over the final resting place of my little kitty. I feel like her in many ways. The winter has broken both of us down, brought forth tremendous change and transformation. And yet, here we both stand, glowing in the faint afternoon sunlight, a testament to the tenacity of Life.

I went into ceremony on Thursday night for the first time in half a year. Three dreams had called me there, each with increasing clarity and persistence. I knew that it was time to listen, and I am infinitely grateful for stepping beyond my fear and returning to this part of my path. It was intense and scary at times. I was taken into the depths of my search for belonging, community, relationship. She brought me tremendous insight into my actions and thoughts, and the ways that I want connection, and then pull away from it, interfere with its flow, and doubt the truth of it altogether. I love this about the Medicine, the way that she shows me my patterns in the most loving, compassionate way. She does not fix my life, but merely shows me the truth, and opens my heart again and again so that I can have the courage to grow beyond these limitations, and love myself through that process. I am deeply humbled.

She went into my anxiety, too, and all the fear and lack of trust that accompanies it. She coaxed me gently, saying "calm down, it's okay, just calm down." She showed me how I get all stirred up, and try to flee my body. I have never more clearly felt the limitation of being alive in the body, and how uncomfortable I was in my own skin. My hands were burning hot and sweating, my feet were cold, my insides were writhing and tremendously uncomfortable, my heart was full of pain, and I wanted to bolt the room, bolt the house, bold my body, or to at least tear out my hair and scream and beat my head against the wall. I felt all the misery of my body, and of this feeling of being trapped within it. And all the while, She whispered to me, "breathe, calm down, it is all going to be okay."

(There was more written here, but it was lost. I am not feeling quite up to rewriting right now...)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Just Enough

This winter I sank into the cold, dark days, into my own inner cold darkness. Anxiety riddled my body and mind, and I found myself falling into a seemingly bottomless pit of sorrow and fear. What is the point of this life anyway? Why am I here on this planet? Everything is meaningless... The turmoil of the mind and the misery of the body became a heavy burden that my heart could hardly bear. Day after day, I felt the presence of death walking beside me, breathing down my neck, holding my arm in his icy grip. Fear crawled up my legs, and clawed its way into my heart. At night, my heart would thunder in my chest. I tried to steady it with deep, slow breathing, but a sense of despair and hopelessness clung to me with a heaviness that seemed impenetrable. Will I die before I have given any gifts to the world? Am I wasting my life here? Has my life been worth anything at all, or will I die having lived for nothing?

Some days I received the gift of perspective, and would sift through the content of my life so far. What have I done that has meant anything here on this Earth? Is my life really a waste? In those moments of grounded clarity, I knew that I was doing my best. I am a member of a community that values connection and spiritual growth, and I have been an integral part of bringing people together for the first time, as well as in regular community gatherings. I am a musician and teacher, and bring together classrooms of bright students to explore nonviolence and peaceful protest through music. Also as a musician, I connect with others to offer music to the world in a variety of ways - classical music to those who yearn for refined musical expression through traditional forms, and improvization to those who are open to follow the thread of creation from moment to moment. I have been a part of a sisterhood of women related by spirit, not by blood, and have brought forth love and acceptance to them as they share their paths, as well as profound questions that call me forward on my own path. And in this moment, I am realizing that the truest gift I bring into each of these groups is not a particular doing, but more a sense of beingness - a sense of the true value of togetherness as we all dance in this world - with curiosity, tenacity, love, and authenticity.

I get very caught up in the particulars of my offerings. Have I done enough? Have I taken care of my share of the work? Have I earned my place in this group? I struggle with fears that I will be judged, shunned, abandoned if I don’t contribute enough. But how much is enough? This is the ultimate question, indeed. As long as I follow the inner imperative that tells me that no matter how much I do, no matter how much I give, there will never be a contribution good enough, I will always be left with a feeling of inadequacy, of needing to earn my place in the group, in my life, on this Earth. In a culture particularly driven by excess, I learned from a young age that bigger is better and that there will never be enough for all of us. Every man for himself. Scarcity thinking. I am starting to see beyond this, though. Could it really be possible that I am enough just by being present with all that I do? That my very being is plenty? Is it truly possible that I might be able to enter into community to offer my gifts without this drive, without this desperate imperative? Is it possible that I could take into consideration what must be done, and offer my service in ways that resonate with me deeply? Is it possible that I might do this without placing my own intrinsic worth in the hands of others? Is it possible that by merely showing up with love in my heart and willingness to serve in my spirit, that whatever efforts I offer will be received as an honest gift to the world?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I awoke this morning to feeling warmth under my down comforter, and to the sound of birdsong, wild and joyful, outside my window. Another cloudless blue sky bright sunshiny day.

I have spent time in meditation this morning, and in weeping. In this moment, I am feeling connected to that space within me that is deep and unwavering, and the river of tears has come into flow as I have seen clearly some parts of myself that I don't like very much. But the tears speak not so much of the loathing of these dark parts, but more of the compassion that arises as I see that these dark parts are not the truth. I am moved, and feel such deep humility.

I feel like things are coming and going so fast now. And I don't mean the world around me - though that is ultra fast, and I can't seem to keep up most of the time. No, right now I mean things within me, things I'm being shown, old patterns that are coming up, and being ripped away. Sometimes, even in the course of one day, I feel so much change within me, so much learning and shifting, that I hardly know what to do with myself. Is this what the Mayans were referring to as their calendar approaches 2012? Who knows. But in my life, I feel like I am being pushed to grow, to release, to walk through the fire and be transformed, and with little time to think and consider. No time for that, just go now, and trust yourself and the universe...

I have asked for this, too. I have eagerly sought it. I have chosen the life of the seeker, the life of the pilgrim. I have read the stories about enlightened ones, and yearned for that myself. I have read the books that guide me toward spiritual awakening, and have prayed that I might truly awaken. I have pushed the envelope, and claimed to be willing to do anything to move in the direction of Truth. And now I see that there was a whole lot of ego in that.

When the life of the seeker and pilgrim have become hard, I've wanted to quit. I haven't wanted to actually suffer in order to grow. I have read about how hard the road to enlightenment is, and have expected that it surely wouldn't be that way for me. I have danced boldly around this path, wanting it more than anything, but not wanting to have to go through what would inevitably need to happen in order to LIVE my Truth. Fortunately, the honest truth behind my prayers and yearning has been stronger than my ego's desires to "be more spiritual." And in the last six months of my life, I have been put to the test. Now, I see just how theoretical my spiritual path has been. I have wanted it, but I have wanted it to remain within my limits, within my control. And life has ripped me apart, showing me that all I can really do is surrender.

As I walk through this time of fire and change, the blessings of Madre Ayahuasca's teaching have come to show me the way. Even though I haven't been in ceremony in half a year, her teachings remain strong and present. I remember one ceremony last spring. I was shown an image of myself, washed up on a poisoned shore of a poisoned river. The water was black and dead. The shore was littered with garbage, toxic waste, excrement - and there I was, strewn among the poison. I wept, seeing that there is a part of me that feels just like that: garbage, poison, toxic, worthless. This part of myself has been coming up a lot in the last week, too. I haven't always been aware of it, but have been really struggling with my own worth. There have been days when I have felt like I don't deserve to be a live in a body, to be drinking water and breathing air among human beings, and among the living world. Where do these ideas come from? Are they from emotional trauma that comes from my childhood? Are they from the collective conscious, and from old religious beliefs about being cast out of the Garden? Part of me believes that it may not even matter where they come from. That it matters more that I am able to be present with them when they arise, and heal them through love and acceptance. So, this morning, I am sitting with that.

I know the Truth in my mind. I know that it is not true that I am poison. But until my whole being feels and accepts that, there is healing that must be done.

It's no wonder that I have a deep desire to escape, that I feel like a refugee, that I can't relax for any significant amount of time. If there is a part of me that believes that I am not worth the very skin I live within, how could I ever be still?

Can I stay present with these feelings? Can I breathe into them? Can I listen to these awful beliefs within myself, and hold them lovingly? Can I forgive myself for falling from the truth?

Breathe in.
Breathe out.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Water . Trust

The great sea has set me in motion.
Set me adrift,
And I move as a weed in the river.

The arch of sky
And mightiness of storms
Encompasses me,
And I am left
Trembling with joy.

~Eskimo song

I am the sea. I am the essence of water spirit. Within me moves great torrents, tumultuous waves, mounting to tsunami on occasion. Something in my spirit urges me into wildness, into ferocious, powerful madness, to rip up the trees and foundations and to turn the land to mud, to flush away all that ever was, all that could ever be washed away. Within me is the spirit of Shiva, the destroyer, the transformer, the fire of change, the spirit that burns away all but what is true. Within me is a wild, raging energy that is more powerful than anything I can imagine, and when it rips through this small human being-ness that I embody, day to day, I feel washed away, too. I feel my own foundations crumble and melt. And I am left in the spoilage of my own creation. Today has been such a day.

The power of water has swept through the Sacred Valley of Peru, and my brothers and sisters in Pisac, and in the surrounding villages and towns, have experienced a lot of damage and loss. The river has spilled its banks twice now, and homes have been washed away, roads and bridges have been destroyed, and there have been lives lost, both human and animal. Farm fields are damaged or destroyed, too, causing a lot of loss of food for the people who live there. The power of wild, raging water has affected the lives of thousands of people there. I am told that several women lost their lives as they were trying to move stones from the river, stones that were blocking the flow...

Trust. Today has shown me that I have a lot of work to do in my own life in order to fully embrace trust. The opposite of trust, it seems to me, is fear. Not distrust, but fear. If I am fully alive and present with what IS in this world, then I am embracing a state of trust, and walking in a practice of trust. With that comes a whole lot of acceptance, and a whole lot of surrender. If I'm gonna be able to trust anyone, I must be able to accept what comes fully, and surrender my own ideas and desires for life to be any different. This isn't new. I probably have said it a hundred times, and have probably thought it thousands more. In fact, after one particular Ayahuasca ceremony, I can clearly recall walking along the back road in Pisac with Daniel having this very conversation. The Medicine had shown me that trust was a choice. That even if in my very next breath someone could appear behind me and stab me to death with a knife, I would be given the opportunity to choose to trust life anyway. I get to choose whether I walk around in the world afraid of being hurt, afraid of suffering, or whether I walk around in the world in a state of openness and trust.

That choice has been easy for me in some respects. The part of me that is bright and loving and connected chooses trust freely. But that part isn't fully integrated into my being. There is a darker part of me that trusts nothing, no one. This part is wary of everything. It wonders why people don't hide bombs in paper bags on the road that will blow up when someone drives over them. It wonders if my gas stove is going to blow up. It wonders if the people I know best will beat me or kill me. It wonders if Iran will drop bombs on Washington, DC, and whether or not I will survive if that happens. It wonders if the glue that holds reality together will one day melt away, and all that I think I know and see and love will vanish completely.

But the truth is that all that I think I know and see and love *will* vanish completely. I will be betrayed by life over and over again. People will come into my life, and they will leave. Beautiful beings that I love with all my heart will die. I will give my heart over and over again, and sometimes it will be bruised and broken. The Buddhists tell it best - life is suffering. I find myself falling into despair when this becomes so clear to me. And I have spent the greater part of the last six months in deep despair. The bright and loving part of me just wants to move back into the freedom and joy of living from my heart, and trusting life once more. And part of me wants to at least *look* like I am going on with life as usual, loving and trusting and joyful. But there is something inauthentic about that, about wanting to pretend that I am not still filled with despair. And what I'm starting to realize is that it's possible to feel both at the same time. In this moment, I feel great sorrow and despair in my heart, and some low-grade fear about death and the unknown. There is still mourning in my heart, too, mourning a lot of loss, and a lot of change. But alongside these things is hope and lightness, the kind of trust that comes in the way the trees send out their buds before the final frost. A deep knowing that life *is* trust, and that spring will renew all that winter has crushed under the weight of so much ice.

What would it look like to practice trust in my daily life?

To feel the part of me that prickles and stirs and churns with uncertainty and fear, and to breathe into that with courage? To know that I am more than my mind, when the thoughts of a million and one reasons *not* to trust threaten to overwhelm me? To stand present with the inevitability of death, and choose to trust life anyway? Even more than these, to sit patiently with myself as doubt and fear fill my heart and body, and to trust myself completely? The last one is the hardest. Even harder than trusting other people - trusting myself.

Trusting myself.

When I sit here and feel into that possibility, it sure does bring up a lot of fear. I mean, if I trust myself, then I will have to really, fully take responsibility for my life. And while I feel like I choose that anyway, this touches a very deep place of personal responsibility within me. If I trust myself completely, then I will have to trust all my decisions. I will trust that all the things I get involved in are the ones that are best for me. I will trust that all the people I include in my life, all the relationships and friendships, are exactly what I need too. I will trust that my own inner compass will guide me in all that I am, and all that I do. Wait...I pretty much do that anyway...hmmm...

So, the problem appears when my mind takes me into doubt and blame. Doubt that my choices are the right ones. However, I am learning right now more than ever that there are no ultimately right or wrong choices..., it seems like doubt may just be a relic from very old patterns within me. Blame is much sharper, and carries much more energy for me - and tends to be self-directed instead of aimed at others. If I truly do own responsibility for my whole life, and trust the universe and myself that all is exactly as it should be, then the only person I can blame when things fall apart is myself. Again, this seems like very, very old stuff. Deep inside of myself, I know that there is no one to blame for the suffering and pain of life. I don't blame you, or the government, or the church, or even God. But there is some part of me that still blames myself. This still carries a lot of heat for me, blaming myself for things. "You fucked it up completely..." Familiar words in my mind. (sigh)

Forgiveness, then...I must forgive myself for not being perfect. For not having all the "right" answers. For not being able to be all things to all people. For not being able to save the whole world with no exceptions. For not being able to endure more pain and suffering without crumbling. For having blame and doubt. For making a thousand thousand mistakes. For not being stronger. For not being enlightened enough. For not being able to save my little kitty from the waiting arms of death. For not being able to reach out to Ed one more time, hoping that maybe I could help somehow. For not being able to tell Kenny how much I loved him. For not being able to save my parents from sickness and suffering, and for not being able to talk to them about it right now. For not being a more compassionate listener. For being afraid that the world is going to crumble in any moment from underneath my feet, and that I will be left falling falling free falling... As I write this, I am awash in sadness. Can I really forgive myself for these things? Can I really hold my heart in my hands with gentleness and love, and know that I am really doing the very best that I can?


Words like trust and forgiveness are starting to mean something completely new to me. And in this moment, I am moved by the power of life as my teacher.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Listening to the Wind

I awoke this morning with the sunshine. Almost two hours before my alarm went off. It is clear to me what's happening - SPRING is happening! I am being called out of my dormancy by the powerful uprising energy of spring. I am waking to the sound of birds singing, and the energy of thaw and mud. I couldn't be more joyful about it, either! I have survived the darkest, bleakest winter of my life.

There were times during this darkness when the sorrow, despair, loss, and anxiety threatened to consume me. I have never been through a time when I felt closer to my own extinction. This has been a time of going through the fire, of having so much burned away. My ideas about life, about who I am, about my path, about other people, about what is right and wrong in this world, about meaning and purpose - all of these things were shredded, ripped away, burned up, and shed. But somehow I am emerging in a way that is NOT scarred, NOT jaded, NOT shut down, NOT bitter. I am emerging as from a cocoon, softer, more open, and with fewer answers than before.

The other day, between my two Thursday classes, I found some space in the sun to have my lunch. I squished my way through the mud and climbed up onto a rock in one of the gardens. The wind was a bit brisk, but the sun was wonderful, and after I finished eating, I sat there, just taking it in. The wind began to blow, and while my first response was to shiver (I was wearing a skirt, and was a bit cold) my second, and stronger, response was to listen. The wind doesn't have any sound of its own, it only makes a sound when it meets an object that resists its dance... I sat up taller, and listened more carefully, barely breathing, yearning for more understanding.

The sound of wind in tall, dry grass. The sound of wind around buildings. The sound of wind around my body. The sound of wind in the trees, in the dead leaves. Yes, it was true. Each time I heard the wind, it was only because the wind was meeting resistance. And of course, this is a truth that I know well, for it is only through the wind from within my body meeting the sharp silver plate of my flute that music is borne.

I became aware of the power of is in these places where things meet that the apparent universe is borne into sensory experience. Light falls upon an object and reflects - and we see. Wind meets objects as it flows, and we hear. The body meets an object, and we feel touch. As I sat there, I tuned into the edges, the meetings that were happening all around me, the resistance that occurred when two things meet. Woman walking in high heels. Clicking against the sidewalk. Earth and feet in a dance of resistance. Resist, surrender, resist, surrender - her footsteps were indeed a dance of moving into the Earth, and moving away from the Earth. Togetherness apartness togetherness apartness. And too, the wind dances in sound and in silence - swirling around form and waiting in stillness, swirling and waiting. Taste is a dance of the same longing - the satisfaction of good chocolate, and the absence of it. The fragrance of hyacinths in spring, entering my body, touching my heart, and drifting away as I exhale, as Spring exhales into the full glory of Summer. There is this dance of togetherness and apartness, of desire and satiation, of receiving and letting go, of touch and release. The very edge of these dual forces meet at an edge that the wind showed me - the edge where apparently separate forms meet and touch and resist and dance. The whole manifest world is making love with itself in every moment, dancing itself in embrace and surrender.

No wonder we humans love to make love so dance with each other in the ways that the world dances with itself in each moment.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Wheel of the Heart

This weekend I went down to Chapel Hill, North Carolina to be with my dear friends Catherine and Jesse, to deepen my Nonviolent Communication practice, and to join in the ecstatic dance of life in Dancing Lodge. Dancing Lodge draws us through the four quadrants of relationship to life: the dance of Self, the dance of Partnership, the dance of Community, and the dance of the Universal All One. My body was yearning for this movement, this prayer, this mythic, nonlinear meditation so that I could enter into questions that I have been sitting with recently.

My hope was to explore my woman-being in this dance, to move into the depths of my feminine heart, and to feel a deep connection with the part of me that resides there. To practice moving in the world with a deep connection to my heart, to my radiance, to my receptivity. And as I have come to expect from all ceremonial space, the insights that were gifted to me during Dancing Lodge were completely different than I could have expected. I was shown how I fall off center, how I intuitively flow to fill all available space energetically, and how I lose myself in the midst of that. My water nature is deeply receptive, and tends to flow around all obstacles, to embrace all things, to hold space for all that arrives. But I am learning that my true water nature is more like the ocean - all things arrive into her depths, and she is still the great Mother of all, holding all things within, but never losing her deep power nature. The ocean doesn't get rocked by the boats upon her surface, or the whales swimming deep in her belly. Not at all. Too, my own sense of being a container for all things tends to overwhelm me - I feel like I have lost my center, my sense of self - energetically, I tend to feel deep connection, deep intuition with the presence of other humans, and not always by choice. Like the waters, whatever spills within them cannot be easily removed, and I tend to feel this energetically with people in my life. When what spills within me is love and joy and connection, I am aglow with life energy! But when what spills within me is toxic, conflicted, or volatile, I find my own waters swirling with those things. Water takes in whatever is poured into her, and like the oil spills and toxic wastes and excrement, the entire ocean is slowly poisoned by diffusion. I know that I have a lot to learn about how to purify myself of these kinds of energy. I have a lot to learn about how to allow these things to flow through me and not become absorbed. I also have a lot to learn about how to be a powerful container for all, without becoming rocked by the boats upon my surface and the whales in my belly.

So goes the dance of Self, solo.

But what has been coming up more powerfully in my life is the dance of Partnership. Things are coming up to teach me so much so quickly. Past has danced around me in the form of an old partner, one who wants to reconnect with me in some way. The past with him feels like ancient history, and I feel like I have grown exponentially since we parted ways. The reflection of that change is a gift. When I entered into the dance of relationship with him, I carried great pain and violation in my heart and body. Our connection was primarily of the mind, and our conversations were often non-personal and arguement-based. Our heart connection was small and fearful, and our body connection was rough and angular. Now, as we have shared some conversation, I feel that we have already shared all the connection that is possible - our conversations still tend toward the non-personal, and his tone still tends toward arguing. His heart is still absent. My ocean yearns to hold him in a Mother way, to rock him gently and let him know that tenderness and surrender are possible, and that the risk is worth it. But he will be as he will be.

In the dance of this present moment, I have connected with another partner, one with the most difficult of circumstances. In our togetherness, there is great heart and great lightness and freedom. His mind spins with the stories of his life, stories that he is allowing to define him and hold him within their walls. My own mind has been through some process of discipline in my spiritual practice, and yearns to connect with him, to show him what it would be like to enter this moment of now, and live free of those burdens. Our heart connection is open and radiant, and connected honestly with the limitations of his story, and in spite of those limitations, I feel deep acceptance and joy in being present with exactly what is possible in this heart connection. I am receiving that without any desire for it to be different, and this is new territory for me. The mirror of our connection is a powerful teacher for me right now, and I am grateful for all that it is.

In the midst of this present moment dance, the future has come to haunt me. The part of my heart that yearns for a heart connection without limitation. That wants to meet a partner who is ready to meet me where I am on my spiritual path. My heart longs to connect with a man who can meet me in my strength, my passion, my heart. In the midst of my present situation, with its beauty and limitations, someone danced across my life who could mirror to me what I am truly longing for. Partnership that is sacred, that is bold, that is powerful in shattering the walls of the heart, and feeding the fire within. In spite of my own wounds that believe that I will never receive what I truly want in a relationship, that I will never be truly loved for all that I am, this man appeared like a shooting star in my heart. He reflected to me what I yearn for in partnership - one who is devoted to loving and worshipping the radiance of my heart. One who loves all that I am, without fear. One who is ready to arrive on this path with me, carrying his own path too, and to grow together in deep, soulful partnership in spite of all fear. This brief, fleeting connection with the dance of the future completely blew me wide open. Tears spilled forth for days. Burning filled my body. My mind went completely still. And then, just as quickly as he appeared, he vanished - indeed, like a shooting star. Perhaps the Universe merely took over him for a brief moment, soliciting him to carry forth a reflection of my greatest desire, my deepest longing, telling me that it is possible, it is true, I am worthy, and it is coming. My heart is saddened by his disappearance, and my mind is longing for understanding. In this moment, I have to trust that he was merely a messenger of the truth, not the one who I will enter into the practice of living that truth with.

So, the dance of partnership is open and I am calling on all my teachers to come to me, to show me the way. I am listening, and I am praying.


Inside a hostel in Cusco, Peru