Shear (ness)

Shear.jpg

Shear.
Clarity. There’s a transparency.
A certain wisp of your breath.
Felt. Intimate.
I alight.
There is healing going on.
A healing.
I am healed. Wiped anew.
They are forgiven.
Discovered agency.

A pressure in the womb. The history of the universe.

Her story.
Yours/mine.
Mine.

And the tulips request another day.
Beautiful discipline.
I see you in your shoes.

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A Great Intimacy

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New bird songs, un-named, sing to me.
The wooden windmill spins a reply.
Emerging tulips’ imminent growth.
Grief shows itself in the bones.

The wooden windmill spins a reply.
Adobe colored dirt lines the undercarriage.
Grief shows itself in the bones.
Buddha smiles with grace in hand.

Adobe colored dirt lines the undercarriage.
The roar of the silence is questionable.
Buddha smiles with grace in hand.
Over completed fullness in the round.

The roar of the silence is questionable.
He demanded, “Bring me the fan of the rhinoceros.”
Over completed fullness in the round.
First there are two cushions and now there is a chair.

He demanded, “Bring me the fan of the rhinoceros.”
Embody the touch of an unknown assailant.
First there are two cushions and now there is a chair.
You assuage the hunger of the pleading wolf.

Embody the touch of an unknown assailant.
You cup your hand to my left cheek.
You assuage the hunger of the pleading wolf.
Long dead, where is the forgiveness?

You Cup your hand to my left cheek.
Intimacy is unbearably brilliant.
Long dead, where is the forgiveness?
They say the scent of roses means Mary is near.

Intimacy is unbearably brilliant.
First apricot buds blooming today.
They say the scent of roses means Mary is near.
I was raised to believe I was a saint.

First apricot buds blooming today.
I carry history on my left side.
I was raised to believe I was a saint.
I wish I knew their names.

I carry history on my left side.
She said, “I am not your teacher, only your preceptor.”
I wish I knew their names.
Shivaratri delivers merit one thousand times over.

She said, “I am not your teacher, I am your preceptor.”
The blue in your eyes makes my heart break.
Shivaratri delivers merit one thousand times.
There is no evidence of living in India.

The blue in your eyes makes my heart break.
New birdsongs, un-named, sing to me.
There is no evidence of living in India.
Emerging tulips’ imminent growth.

 

***Also, kindly posted over at Miriam Sagan’s website
https://miriamswell.wordpress.com/

 

 

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as things are

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So much.
So many things.
Situations. A herstory. A discovery.
Roses.
Things found.
Love.
Mysteries unveiled.
The veil removed/ Not completely/ but not opaque.
Any longer.
A gentle hand held to the cheek.

mine.
Humans gliding on frozen water and the little girl who wanted to be.
Something/someone.

Solar plexus spinning out rays
of the sun.

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the “up-tos” of this mercury flight

IMG_6153                                                                                         no veil

A busy month for sure. Here we are in the last week of the first month of a new year. Fairly jam-packed so, I think listing is the most concise and accurate.
Writing class: sit/walk/write with Natalie Goldberg and my dear friend Annie.
And an infrequent unfight – with my partner. I thought I was perfect. What could I, how could I possibly have made you___________. Filling in the blank is what I do. But now, on the other side, I see that the story has gone on well past it’s day. In other words, drop it, Mary.

There are now five planets visible in the morning sky: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. A miracle.
David Bowie moved up into the ethers.
I work. I. I’m working with pain in the body. I never really knew what this meant. Who wants to feel, even more, what we’re? I’m already/always trying to get away from? This pain: here, then over there and mostly, when lifting my arms, and as they come together parallel with my eyes. And then up, up, over head to take off my shirt.
I have to make the animal noise/a release in order to move the arm just so. Just so I can complete the movement and remove the shirt/bra etc. And so on. I say, “aghhhh..”
And. Lucy comes running.
Embodiment.
Not grasping. No victim.
Who’s responsible? The jig is up.
“At some point,” he said, “we say, enough.” And then, although experientially, it may take the rest of our lives, you can’t/won’t be able to go back to sleep. You’re awake. Even though there are days, sometimes on end, where the eyes are droopy or closed tight shut, you cannot fully return to that ignorant slumber.

And I can and will go forward. Going forward.
Moving now.

and then he said, “when you sit down, the world sits down.” A new voice that called to me from ancient ancestry.

magic continuing

remain alert/listen

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Things heard & read

IMG_6101.JPG                                                    dragon sky bird

“If only people could perceive the mystery in all life, down to the smallest thing, and open themselves to it instead of taking it for granted. If only they could reverse its abundance which is undividedly both material and spiritual. For the mind’s creation springs from the physical, is of one nature with it and only a lighter, more enraptured and enduring recapturing of bodily delight.”
“Letters to a Young Poet”, Bodily Delight ~~Rilke

A new moon in Capricorn today. My natal moon. Working with soft and hard edges. A second Saturn return. A first mercury retrograde of the new year. Chiron cracking me open. How much more is there to go?!

Finding myself preferring to be quiet. Not putting in my “two cents.”
Walking through a foot of snow, walking Lucy. Lucy meanwhile, bounding/leaping/chopping bites of the snow. We make green chili hot chocolate/green tea/ chai extra spicy. Things that are warming.

Learning how to edit, I delete a full paragraph. Refreshing. A pressure/pinpoint pain in left occipital ridge. I learned to place my hand on my heart as a preliminary moment to meditation. Then place hand on something solid. Then begin meditation.

I belong to an online meditation Sangha. A community. Men and women wanting to wake up. There is a virtual shrine room. I turn on my meditation app for the timer. I sit up straight, then bow. Mostly, I’m alone. Sometimes with one other. It’s funny, but the whole experience is so intimate. Seeing myself sitting on the computer screen, I know others are meditating somewhere. There is a feeling of belonging.

I see the lottery is up to $900 million. Wouldn’t it be nice if whoever wins would give the money to people who really need it? I think the possibilities are pretty obvious.

So much processing going on. Every word I say, shift of head, foot off ground, all my sitting still, move, move, move. Shifts and changes occurring completely of their own accord.

I’m looking for the lightness in all things. Clarity. clean and clear. Awake. No, not looking/not outside myself. Discovering what’s already there.
Inside. When we hear, “You already have everything you need.” Do we  have any understanding of what this really means? That’s what I’m finding out.

 

 

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And then there’s the rest of your life.
And mine.
Ours.

Now:
I can’t  seem to draw myself into a conclusion.
The direction is, synchronize body and mind to bring yourself into the present moment.
There is space.
And there is the heart center pounding and burning. I don’t seem
To have the appropriate mechanism. When something’s already occurred.
Taken place. And I imagine everything to be fine. And now I’m hanging.
Now, it seems, we are at a second phase. The first being that I would drink,
A lot. Because I was always putting.
Placing myself in the wrong.
Raw.
Now, we are at a deeper and more intimate level of awareness.
As the teachers have taught this day.
An elegance. Of discipline. Not running away.
Staying with the rawness. Even for moments.
One.
Here.
There. There. Sad-joy.  I find this is nearly and almost always, my every waking moment.
And now, there’s a line across my right eye. This has happened perhaps four or five times.
Over use of the eyes?
Does the line refer to a separation?
Of thoughts/ideas/feelings/understandings?
The feeling is extraordinary and unnatural.
Ouch.
Is that true?

Dissonant
Discordant
Undeliverable.
These too can be the doorway in.
To.
Me.
I remain hurting but perhaps I can hold the space for myself?
Ripped open.

There, the heart muscle can be found. Striations named as myocardium.
Beyond understanding the heart requires blood and electronic(s).
How can I understand, if I can’t understand more steadily how this main system of my body
Connects with the rest of the underlying organisms?

Oh, there it is.
Belonging.

“There is a resonant heart in the depth of silence. When your true heart speaks, the echo will return to assure you that every moment of your presence happens in the shelter of the invisible circle. These eternal echoes will transfigure your hunger to belong.”*

Now. No one can do this for me.
Not even you.
The heart breaks and reveals more.
More.
More .

He said, “catching the scent of something beautiful: we notice the brilliance of a flower, the inner experience of our loved ones”.**

I lay myself bare.

Eternal Echoes, John O’Donohue **Acharya Nick Kranz

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Friday/Chanting the Guru Gita/Loss/Finding and Staying Curious

History Mantra

A cold, bright autumn November morning. A new down coat that covers my bottom.
Warm. Zipping up the two separate pieces of nylon filled with duck feathers I think, “may all beings be warm.”
I chanted the Guru Gita this morning. Do you know it? I chanted it every day during my second pregnancy.
At 38. With Ian (in belly).
I need to ask if he heard me.
No longer on that spiritual path I discover (still) much history:
Travel, marriage/divorce. Birth/betrayal.
I was looking for the “one” some ONE/thing who would tell me/show me.
Accept me.
But, you see, I love to sing/chant. Sanskrit is pure love in my throat.
Bhakti.
Continuing to work with loss of someone who, although I didn’t know all that well or for very long and yet.
And yet, changed my life.
Irrevocably. How many opportunities have I been given in this life where I’ve been allowed to sit with the body right before/during and after he/she has left?
Some left quickly while others lingered. And you.
She.
You hovered for nearly three hours. This completely odd juxtaposition of grief and shock and what, bliss?
No, complete freedom. You let me feel that didn’t you?
It could have happened that I paid no notice.
But, I did.
The veil, still thinner than one’s breath.
It seems a secret that gets carried around.
In me. I discover it one day in my left shoulder. Another day, in the occipital ridge.
At another time, the souls of my feet.
This embodiment is tricky business. It’s planting me more in my life.
Now.
And now.

While chanting, I watched as many storied memories floated by.
India: I have no proof I was there. No pictures. History stored.
For me:
In the gazebo.
3 am walk to the meditation hall while the dew master removed the crystallized wetness from each blade of grass. I see Baba’s statue dancing and I think I’ve finally arrived having had my first vision. Gurumayi psychically pierces my heart, I look up to see her heading directly towards me.
And you said, “what about me?”
And I thought, this was enlightenment.

And now a new now and here. Open wide. Edges softening.
My own intimacy, with myself. Allowing it to be.
Maitri.
Sangha.
Embodiment.

Awake at three am to let out Tara. Left arm with pin point pain in a new location.
Piercing the fascia. It feels brown and full and sad.
Embodying one’s life isn’t thinking about being in the body or observing the motions/movements of the movement.
We are sensing organs. Everything is experienced through this sensing mechanism.
And, we are so much more that cannot even be named.
Another lexicon necessarily required.

And, appreciation. Complete. Full. Stunning.
An articulation of gratitude for atoms/molecules/awareness/teaching/children/lovers/sponsors/friends/beloved four-leggeds.
Life partner.

Be kind.
You are love.
We are.
Love.

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and then some….

the welcoming

This season of change, of going inward.
Deep.
I’ve taken a little break from editing my book. Somehow I just needed to create space:
between me and the story and my coach. I’ve needed to allow the story to take on a new simmer if you will. But the story, and its main character walks around with me,
all the time and everywhere.

I said okay, you can do that. And while she’s made herself at home, I’ve been watching myself go through deep changes with my spiritual path.

First, it’s dynamic, no doubt. A nearly thirty-five year path from one system or lineage to another, mostly within the framework of Buddhism. Tibetan, vipassana and zen.
And so, I shouldn’t be too surprised that I find myself coming full circle and meeting my twenty-five year old self and the path (seeds) that for whatever reasons (karma) wasn’t meant to germinate until now.

There is something really beautiful in hearing things, reading things, I’ve heard and read before as if for the very first time. This is a great teaching. Everything changes. Can be experienced anew. A light, a book,  a person, a chance, a teacher, a path.
A new set of eyes and ears.
A fresh open heart.
I feel such gratitude and warm appreciation for:
all of it.
You.

before

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Experimental Writing, Making Images and More

 

It's All an Experiment

It’s all an experiment

I’m keeping a journal about the journey of editing my book. I wrote 50,000 words in a writing challenge last November, NanoWrimo. I wanted to explore a character who came alive for me in a dream in 2006.
She had a very distinct voice from the beginning. And now, she’s a many dimensional young woman. Working with a writing coach, I’ve re-written 2 chapters. I didn’t really write chapters, I just called them such as I wrote every day. Every day, another chapter.

And now, after the second chapter. My coach reminded me the usual format in which one submits a piece of work to a publisher. There are a fair amount of rules/devices that can be employed when writing. I am self taught so learning the craft of writing is important.
I am finding though, that even making small (seemingly) changes here and there, I’ve already caused a stir in the writing, in her voice? in where the story is headed.
Tension on every page. I think, I don’t care too much for confrontation in my own life. I prefer things smooth. Maybe its denial or maybe I’ve learned how to “pick my battles” or maybe it’s something more.
Being right, getting my way, standing up for myself;
all these have very different meanings and level of importance at this point in my life.

I’ve been wondering about experimental writing. What was considered experimental even as recent as 20 years ago, isn’t what’s happening now. And I would prefer not to alienate the reader. And at the same time, being true to Katya’s voice/circumstances/experiences/time/frame of reference.
References of time. Multi-dimensionality.
So, what is experimental now? Not wanting to indent my paragraphs (Mary, you rebel).
Shifting narrative voices. Altering/shifting time. Taking the reader along and sometimes not letting them know where they’re at.
Poetic prose.
Words.
Voice. circumstances. Bringing out and up from the underbelly.
Visceral. Somatic writing. What am I feeling in my gut.
In the hands/fingers, tips of that are touching the black keys with white lettering.

It rained a good portion of the day. I was cold and took a hot bath.
When the writing is confusing for me, I make images. It makes me feel that I’m processing about my writing through another creative avenue.
It’s much easier to be experimental with photography. The rules are (can be) made up
as I go along.
But I’m glad I’m journaling about writing the book. I know I have always loved reading others process in creating.
Here’s an author who I’d consider somewhat experimental, at least I feel that she stayed true to how she wanted to present her heart.

From Ongoingness, The End of a Diary by Sarah Mauguso
“…The catalog of emotion that disappears when someone dies, and the degree to which we rely on a few people to record something of what life was to them, is almost too much to bear.”

But wait, I just found something even more absolutely on point.

“I often prefer writer’s diaries to their work intentionally for publication. It’s as if I want the information without the obstacles of style or form, and in good writing they aren’t obstacles.”

“Another friend said, I want to write sentences that seem as if no one wrote them. The goal being the creation of a pure delivery system, without the distraction of a style. The goal being a form no one notices, the creation of what seems like pure feeling, not of what seems like a vehicle for a feeling. Language as pure experience, pure memory. I too wanted to achieve that impossible effect.”

I know what she means.

And, yes.

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Reflections of the Sacred Feminine

Something Revealed

Something Revealed

I’ve begun reading a book that I will probably not finish. I won’t say the title because, I’m have misgivings about it. And, I don’t want to be rude. Everyone has the right to say what they feel/believe/think. But I wonder, why is a man writing about the return of the sacred feminine? After one chapter, I’m already suspicious and I’m skipping sentences, then paragraphs and now, I’m half way through the book.

Maybe I’m reading it because through the contrast of his words and my own experience/feelings/emotions, it is helping define my  understanding of
things.
Being a woman.
He says as women, we hold, usually unconsciously, the instinctual knowledge of all of creation.
In our physical bodies.
I’d like to stop right there. I think this is all I want from this book for now.

Because I am feeling this now. Consciously. It is visceral.
An ache in my neck is a cry for the homeless floating out at sea.
The pain in my back is a felt recognition of the racism that permeates this world.
The burst/a quickening in my heart/solar plexus reminds me of the joy one can experience when connecting with nature.
My stomach gurgles, nauseous from food cooked in a restaurant. My dogs’ tummy gurgles in unison.

Another author I’m reading, Bhanu Kapil, in a blog post recently, speaks to the experience of bodywork and what having your body worked on represents/feels like.
The felt experience of life and memory and history/herstories.
Bone and flesh and layered skin and the beating of the four chambers pushing blood, rhythmically throughout the universe of one human body.

Do I/we all of us, any of us, “have to” remember, re-visit, re-tell, over and over the “sins of our fathers (ancestors/mothers/fathers/brothers/sisters/all two-leggeds in order for:
1. peace
2.transformation
3.a planet that will survive
4.understanding the interdependence
5.unity

something even greater than god/goddess.
A something so incredibly vast and huge and unspeakable there simply won’t ever be
a correct word to describe it?

There truly is an unbearable lightness of being.
And, the secret is that it is more than bearable, if we are willing to open up our minds and move into our hearts, where the truth really is.

I took the picture above earlier today when we were walking into the grocery store. At first, the feather caught my attention because the last assignment for the contemplative photography course I’m taking asks us to make images of what is referred to as
“dot in space”. A “something” in contrast to a “space”.
Later I thought, perhaps the feather was seeking respite from the heat of the day.
And then I was filled with a tenderness
and a breaking open.

This is the secret revealed.
And it is always there.

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