Stillness and Beauty

Stillness and Beauty

The world burdens me.

My shoulders ache under its weight

I make futile attempts to remind them, – my shoulders

Of Atlas who bore the weight of the world.

My shoulders reject my urging.

I plead with the air to give rise to my fall.

It moves over me with indifference.

My attempts at reconstruction fail.

I fall helpless under my despair.

I fall into the silence I cannot bear.

Yet, in the stillness, I am released.

From the doing I know.

This silence invades my body.

Like oxygen, I breathe it in expecting defeat..

My exhale deflates,

My ego impaled like a punctured balloon.

In its absence there is no enemy.

no resistance.

In the silence, no fear.

In the silence, no undone tasks.

No flaws to mask.

I die in its freedom.

I find power in its lack.

Freedom in its consumption.

A constant before time.

The prelude to all movement and sounds.

Its power enfolds me in the moment of Now.

Where I pause to know my nature.

In the absence of myself.


Recovery and Surrender

It has occurred to me that the process of physical recovery from a chronic loss of energy and intention (any life experience that leaves a person diminished in any way) requires a surrender to all things known and dependable. This process of recovery must include more than the miraculous regeneration of old, sick cells to healthy cells coded with new possibilities. And, if one is to replace dysfunctional cells with animated, life sustaining cells; the entire unit must surrender to the process. The entire unit must surrender the self of the past to the life sustaining self of the future. What good would it do to replace old floors only to have them destroyed by a leaky roof?

So, what are these components? Initially, the primal fears of death, loss, impotence, lonliness and insignificance that drive our actions unconsciously must be recognized. Then, the very practical challenge of recognizing the unrealistic and negative emotions that trigger these automatic responses of fear must be identified. Finally, we must recognize the thoughts that trigger these fearful emotions. If there is no ability to become conscious of our fears and the often unconscious thoughts and beliefs that insure their continuation, change and renewal is impossible. This is a subject to be addressed in more detail at another time.

I had a nightmare which characterizes these components of the human mind and its response to fear. In the dream I was being assaulted by visually graphic demons on one path and the childish joy of a puppy on an alternate path. I was unable to take the whimsicle path due to my uncontrolled need to insure that the demons did not devour me. As I stood, paralyzed, a voice came from behind me warning, “Don’t look behind you!”. It was an unconscious reminder that my past cannot be brought into my future recovery. Still, I resisted by reminding my wise self how hard I had worked to achieve the things it was asking me to leave behind. So, I had a choice! I could continue looking backwards trying to recover what once way. Or, I could move into the future with my fears intact. Or, I could move into the future with a willingness to create a new belief system that would allow growth and regeneration. The old beliefs went along the lines of, “I am what I do. Therefore, if I can no longer do it, I no longer have value”.

So, this blog is a commitment to move into the future facing my fears and identifying their validity. This is the sloughing of the old and the germination of the new. I realize control is great when you believe that you have it. But, The true self is made possible when the myth of control is exposed. And, perhaps the greatest primitive fear of all – uncertainty – is embraced with a new belief that change can occur without certainty.

Shedding Old Skin To Create a New Identity

It has been quite some time since I have blogged consistently. Things have been up and down. As I entered into my blog to write, I was startled as I viewed and read my profile. I felt mournful about and disconnected to what I saw and read. I felt like an imposter. But, my actions were never intended to create a false image. There was no deception on my part. Yet, I felt compelled to correct what was no longer the truth. After all, when does yesterday’s truth become tomorrow’s deception? I only know that if I continue to represent myself as I once was, I will miss opportunities to grow and become more than I once was.

In past blogs, I have used the metaphor of changing from a caterpillar into a butterfly to explain these opportunities to become more than we once were. This metaphor is magical and painless. Lately, I feel more like a reptile shedding old skin that no longer accommodates new growth. This sloughing is unsightly; but necessary.

And, while this shedding occurs, my image is obscure. It is a process that renders me vulnerable and fragile. Yet, it is necessary. I look forward to this purging of the old to be complete and render me identifiable again.

As I experience this transformative process, I am aware of the temporariness of all things; especially the ideas of self. After all, change is constant. Without any conscious awareness to the subtle changes, we transform from infancy to childhood; from childhood to adolescence; from adolescence to young adulthood; from young adulthood to adults; from adults to middle age; from middle age to old age. These changes occur without our permission. And, each stage requires malleable bodies and flexible minds.

Sometimes, we are called upon to be malleable and flexible outside of the traditional norms of the cycle of life. These times are far less subtle. They render us victims of uncertainty and fear. Most of all, they require us to trust. They require us to grow and strengthen the internal muscle of courage from which a new skin and a new identity can be born.

So, for now I will keep my old profile (as I have nothing yet to replace it with). It takes awhile for old skin to shed. In the meantime, I will work on my internal muscle to give me the courage to move into tomorrow with the excitement that has been at steady motivation throughout all of my life cycles.

Captured by the Night

A Dark Night abducts the light.
It usurps the security of my day.
It sucks the life out of my reverie.
It is a thirsty tic upon my skin.

The invasion lures the naïve observer
With a delicious dusting upon the sky.
Reminiscent of chocolate jimmies
cascading onto a mound of vanilla ice cream.

It is an enticing event – a romantic event!
We have baptized her in the name of nature.
Formally, we call her Dusk.
She is the interlude between day and night.

The stars shine through her – a soft wind blows.
She seduces us with her coy beauty.
Provocatively, she draws us into her darkness.
As her cool hand caresses our skin carelessly.

The seductress has no mercy on us.
She intoxicates us with her luscious entry.
She escorts us swiftly and without suspect
To the foreboding darkness of night.

My nocturnal eyes are sharply focused
On fears and demons ready for the feast.
Starved all day, they prepare for satiety.
And, in the dark, there is no hope.

Sleep provides the anesthetic to my fears
Until dawn encroaches upon the night.
And blinds my eyes to the monsters
That haunt me in the night.

Looking for Paradise!

IMG_0310 (2)When one thing ends, it is sure to be followed by another. An end is, after all, just the cessation of routine activity before a new cycle begins. The energies of the ebbs and the flows are critical if life is to be full, rich, and passionate. Life is created one moment at a time. The moments build into stories we love to tell. Each story has an ebb and a flow, a beginning and an end. And each story makes up the content of our lives.

I am at a crossroads. The flow has stopped. The ebb feels like a free fall. But, it is only a pause until a new flow begins. A pause is a critical necessity to the next stage of my life. We pause when we vacation. We pause on weekends. We pause at the end of every breath. We pause to be transformed through ceremonial rites of passage like graduations, weddings, christenings, even divorces. These ceremonies identify the end of what we once knew and the beginning of something unknown.

I have closed my practice. An ending! One of many endings that I seem to be experiencing in rapid succession. It is the New Year. A perfect time for a new beginning. Maybe, even, a perfect time for an ending!

But, where do I begin? It is hard to imagine myself as someone other than who I was. It is hard for me to imagine myself doing anything other than what I have been doing. But, the memories of who I was need to be laid to rest in some sacred burial ground. May they rest in peace; so I can recreate myself. Otherwise, I am afraid that I will dig them up and embellish them when my self-esteem is low and I crave social validation and status. What will I say when people ask me, “What do you do?”.

I think I will say, “I am becoming.” It takes a surprising amount of imagination to create anything – let alone a new way of identifying yourself, a new lifestyle.

So, here I go!

I realize that all change has at least three parts. First, a recognition that change is necessary. This usually is not invited. Second, the imagination to create something new. Three, the courage and boldness to act on a new plan.

So, I am going to practice my boldness here. Because I truly believe that thoughts are the fertile ground of becoming; and, since I am in the process of becoming, it seems fit to be bold!

I have written a Children’s book. And, I believe that it is publishable. It is not as if I have never enjoyed writing. But, now appears to be a time when writing can be a way of redefining myself. The book is called, The Dragons of Mirror Lake.

I have enrolled in a knitting class. It begins Monday. If you see me with knitting needles holding my hair together in a neatly tied knot, please remind me that I have gone too far with the expression of my new identity!

I will not be offended. The use of the imagination can be wildly out of control sometimes. For those of you who have known me long enough, you will remember my Mullet!

That is not to say that I will be shy about this ‘becoming’ business. It is serious work. Besides, who wants to get lost on their way to Paradise!

When the Lights go Out on the Night

The shades shut tight

On the cold, dark Night

Night hangs like a wet blanket

Heavy and smothering

And, the canopy of heavens light

Blinks to soften the view

Of shadows and dark truths

And, Monsters in wait.

Then, Shadows cease to be

As Heavens’ eyes shut tight

On the nightmares of the Night

The Sun hides behind the Sea

Meek, it calls to Poseidon for help!

And the wrath of Aegaus is unleashed

He wages a violent storm

To punish the Night’s long stay

And the stars shut their eyes even tighter

As the wind whips round the waves

Tossing them into violent forms

And, still the Sun is not avenged

The Night brews more wicked

Until the Earth erupts in defense

And the Sun rises from below

The hands of Aganju

The God of volcanoes, and rivers

And wild things.

The birds are grateful

They find their voice

They are there now

At my window.





In Between Now and Then

I wait

Void of thoughts

No soul

The bell tolls

But, not for me

I hear it not

My ears are deaf

Vibrations dull

To their flesh

No bounce of waves

To wake me

I am tossed

By the sea

I fight no more

My body numb

From the sting

Of the salt

I wait to be tossed

On a friendly shore

Where the bell tolls

For all lost souls!

A nightmare stalks

I feel it close

Soon I’ll wake