Dance

Dance is a home and shelter.

A language I have always spoken with myself.

I understand her.

She understands me.

Dance is the spiritual practice of my flesh and bone.

It breathes me awake.

It empties me out.

It fills me up.

The dance takes all of me as I am.

Dance accepts my joy, my sorrow, my delight, my rage, my ecstasy, my grief.

It does not ask me to reject or deny any part of who I am.

Dance is the complete me.

My dance sets me free.

 

tidy

I like my surroundings tidy. I was not always that way. I still am not as tidy or fastidious as many people, but I get more averse to clutter as the years go by. Perhaps this is because of the accumulation of loss and my ongoing initiation into grief. And this is not a testimonial to the superiority of tidiness, just something that is occurring for me. My experience is only mine, nothing more, nothing less.

Learning to let go is being amplified and reflected in me and around me.

Letting go creates space for me to breathe and feel in.

I think about forgiveness and how I am learning that often it is not an act of hanging on, but letting go, releasing becomes a blessing.

What we cling to holds us captive, especially when it is no longer meant for us.

That is hard. That kind of giving of freedom to another. Letting them set sail. Watching them go toward and then beyond the horizon.

Letting things move on and past us when it is time is a sacrament. Listening to the echo of the love, and knowing that that love is not lost but arriving in a new place, a distant shore, is to honor it and hold it.

Maybe it is not really tidiness I crave, but to simplify it all down to what is essential, so I can focus and fully love what is here and beautiful in this moment, and all the moments that are meant to be, until the next bon voyage.

 

 

alive

grasp of a hand

tilt of my head

toward the center

reach

twisting

constricted

expanding

heat of breath

humid

bead of sweat

cooling

down my cheek

moving in

to the marrow

the core

incised

opened

exposed

trembling

to stay

here

heart pounding

rush of blood

ocean inside

pulsing

alive

 

 

company

It finally got warm today and the sun took on the brighter hue of light that is a signal of the definitive turn of the season.

I sense my own kind of turning.

I sat in a new favorite spot this morning by the river. A rock that rises just high enough above the water that a small surface is mossy but dry.

It reminds me of a rock I used to go sit on in college, a refuge for my troubles, a resting place for my broken heart.

Rivers with rocks that hold me suspended over water, a place apart from people and their world, what that demands, and how impossible that can be, and more to come home to myself, and discover all the love and beauty that hums and blossoms out there.

Rivers and rocks seem to want to be there for me. I am grateful for that. They are good solid company.

 

 

Again

I stopped writing. Again.
I have come back. Again.
I do not have much of anything to say. Again.

I realize having something to say is not the point.

Showing up is the point.

These words being clicked on a keyboard no more important or less enduring than if I go out and carve my name into a tree or on a rock.

Showing me once again the proof that I am, in fact, here.

things go on becoming

while attention is turned away
for an instant
a long time
it appears that something cherished has gone
it became impatient and walked away
was snatched up by circumstance
a sudden situation
stolen to places unknown
perhaps
or maybe you will find it
hidden in plain sight
not far from where you last saw it
and yes
different than what it was before
changed
time is tricky
and things go on becoming
always
more of what they are meant to be
in these seasons
these turnings
this life

 

I am Violent

Violence has been with us and part of us since the dawn of our creation. It is expressed in our ways of being territorial, the instinct toward domination, and our thirst for vengeance. It is rooted in separation, division, scarcity; the makings of enemies. Our ways of being violent and our reasons for it have changed and increased in complexity, just as our culture and all that it creates and carries has as well.

We live in and amongst systems and structures of dominance that are organized around concepts of goodness and promises of salvation, and we for the most part adhere to these messages and elevate them. We are indoctrinated by family, school, religion, government. We invest in and build our sense of self around what we are taught is appropriate, favorable, well behaved. We learn that to defy these codes and criteria is met by punishment, pain, rejection. We fail to see how these systems themselves are violent and how they initiate us into violence as well.

Therefore, in our conditioned quest to be “good” we make violence an aspect of “the other”. To be “the other” is to be an out-lier, a deviant, a cast off.  This allows many of us to live in a willful delusion that we are not violent. Not me, not us, only them. We dehumanize the “othered” in our culture; bad eggs, lost causes, depraved, evil. We make a world of them versus us. This othering is, itself, a form of violence.

I was one of them. I am one of them. These days I can easily pass for one of you, but there is no you, no them, there is only us.

We cannot escape our violence.

I am violent and so are you.

Violence is a spectrum and you are on it. Where you are on it does not prove much of anything about your character or reveal an inherent quality of goodness in you.

Under the right conditions we are all capable of any amount of violence that humans are capable of, that is our nature.

If we want to transform the violence that is rampant in our society we need to get real about it. As long as we continue to point our fingers at everyone else and wrap ourselves in a cloak of imagined purity, there will be no end to this.

Until we sit fully in the pain, grief, and accountability we all share for what we have created here together there will be no transformation.

We rationalize most of our violence by justifying it as deserved punishment. We love vengeance, we embrace it.
Someone says something or does something we don’t like, we call them stupid, we question their intelligence or worthiness, we beat them up with words or with silence, or in the right conditions we actually beat them up.

We go to war.

We kill people. Or someone does it for us.

We send people to prison by the millions in this country. We are deeply punitive in our belief systems and our actions with and among each other. Punishment is a form of violence whether it is justifiable or not, and on its own it is not transformative or redemptive.

I always come back to the questions, “What do I want?  What do I hope to create?”

We must ask ourselves hard questions and brace ourselves to do the deep and uncomfortable work that is sure to be required, if it is a culture that is healing its violence that we wish to foster and grow.

We will all have to start with ourselves, our families, under our own roofs and in our own hearts and minds. That is the only way.

Coming to an awakened awareness, “I am violent.”

That is the beginning.

Time

I sit and look out the window.

I am preoccupied with what to say here. Willing some words to rise to the surface of my mind.

I went to the doctor today, she talked to me about menopause.

I feel so young, not quite grown.

I wanted to catch that word and throw it away.

I want to grab back time.

There is so much of it I did not use to the fullest. I get scared or can’t see it all, can’t always see myself.

Regret and resentment grow there.

It was not always my fault. Sometimes it is though.

I think that as I sit at this keyboard looking out a window lost for words.

Grief is not just for the dead.

Many things have been lost along the way.

Parts and pieces of a life still being lived.

But sometimes in that feeling of not knowing what to do now or next, that can feel so wasteful, something happens.

I look out the window struggling with all this, panic rising at the time rushing away, the word menopause, no words of my own, my kids grown, getting old, all the things left undone…

In the very moment that my heart breaks, two dazzling bluebirds land on the bare winter tree just outside.

Perfect and beautiful.

Sunrise

The sunrise today told me a story, sang me a song.

It used peach hued clouds, opening to a buttercup yellow and robins egg sky, to tell me about rebirth, make a melody about peace.

I heard the wise sky as my cheeks flushed with cold and the ice crackled under my feet.

I thought about all the trouble and pain, the violence happening today in this world.

That sky said, yes, that is so, and I am also real.

Skin

I want in this life to not withdraw or withhold.

I want to get close to all of it. Skin on skin.

I want to know the smooth parts and the rough, the blemishes, the scars, the wrinkles, the hollow, the full.

I want to put my ear against the bare chest of life and hear the deep drum of its heart.

I want to ride the waves of its breath.

I want to know all the ways it laughs.

And all the ways it cries.

I want to know its movement and its stillness.

I want to wrap my arms around it and tell it I love it over and over again.