Friday, May 28, 2010

Ocean Break

There’s magic in the surf and sand
And scrabbling little crabs
And shells
Distilled delight bubbles forth
Pops the cork on bottled joy.
Children screech as Ocean’s first
Chilly waves touch their feet.
All is a new discovery
Shore birds and plants greet us with
Foreign plumage, song and petal.
The very sky is colored with a different paint box.
Here on the edge of land
Mother Nature is our playmate
In rolling waves and endless offerings
Of treasure tossed upon her shores;
A child emptying her toy box to entice a friend
Refreshed each morning with the tide.
My husband and I are children, too.
Lines of stress erased
Carried off in ocean breezes
Laughter rises easily.
Nothing is so bad.
Little crabs duck into their holes
Darting sideways, evading.
They cannot hide from us who are
Inspired and magnanimous in our
Relaxed expansion.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Just Relax! Yeah, Write!

It’s an interesting piece of advice that lingers everywhere…Relax.  Sometimes I can actually hear the word and the intention behind it; usually I’m moving about a hundred miles an hour through and agenda ten miles long.  Lemme tell ya, relaxing isn’t anywhere on that list.  I am a busy mom who has added working outside the home to her list of tasks.  Toss in a few commissions and committees for public service and sprinkle liberally with my desire to actually have a life aside from my duties and there you have it; not a snowball’s chance in hell of relaxing.

This has been the normal alarming pace that I live by. I know it’s alarming, my heart says so. My brain chimes in, too, and eventually they convince the muscles in the back of my neck to make further activity so painful that I must yield.  Yeah, I get tons of stuff done. You want something done, put me on the friggin committee, it will get done.  But does that really matter?

Lately, my girlfriends and I (yes, they are mostly like me - it’s a wonder we can ever meet up) have been contemplating the quality of the life we are leading.  We are questioning the pace that society has set for us; the one we answered to and decided yeah, we’d dance that dance.  Now we are in our mid-forties and beginning to wonder WTF happened to all those advertising promises we believed in to make things better, simpler, prettier… or just right?  What the hell are we working for?  The constant stream of energy required to sustain the life we have built -- the one that was supposed to be so bucolic and fulfilling, so peaceful and enriching, yeah that one -- is kicking our asses week in and week out.  What are we going to do about that?

It’s easy to say, relax; enjoy. Let it go. It doesn’t really matter. Don’t sweat the small stuff…yada, yada, yada, blah, blah, blah.  So who does the child rearing, holiday memory making, birthday parties, social gatherings, school outings, doctor’s appointments, bill paying, grocery shopping, meal preparing, laundry washing, toilet scrubbing, floor sweeping, homework tutoring, garden planting, yard mowing, flower planting, kid hauling, animal feeding, husband tending, career furthering, friend counseling, church going and on and on and on? The opportunities for obligation or some level of involvement are boggling in number and are varied their appeal.  Whether odious or delightful, to me, it doesn’t matter - all of them siphon away energy. Truth be told, some reciprocate and are fulfilling, too. But most, not really.

You see, I am an introvert cleverly disguised as an extrovert.  I can function highly when interacting with others on myriad subjects in any given moment.  I realize a fair amount of success and am often complimented by colleagues on my effectiveness.  I’m a good friend; loyal, supportive and helpful.  However, my batteries aren’t charged by these moments. Mine get charged by being alone. I crave long hours in which to be peaceful and silent so the rapid pace of my action-oriented brain can slow down enough to let my body actually respond in kind.  Sometimes there is a wicked back-lash, the loosened tension unleashing a recoil that can actually create a panic attack. I’m supposed to be moving, supposed to be doing, supposed to be accomplishing and taking care - of everyone. After all, I am the mom, the boss, the one in charge, the one with the plan, the one who thought it through and did my homework.  This is not stated for self-glorification, actually quite the opposite. I must be one of the stupidest people on the planet to keep on keeping on at such a pace when my very nature is yelling for something else.

Reading, watching movies, sipping hot tea, soaking in scented bubble baths, enjoying candle-lit massages, making love, doing yoga, working out, dancing, six beers and two shots of tequila -- are all high on my list for relaxing.  But with any of these my mind is still really active, running like a background program on a computer using up battery power even while being charged.

I needed an answer.  Critical mass came in the form of debilitating depression and anxiety.  It was clear the therapy and meds were not the answer, this was a problem of a different sort.  It took six months to detox and come off the psych meds.  During that time I read nearly twenty novels.  While doing all that reading, I remembered my love for writing. Not journal writing, story writing.  Creative writing.
I sat down at my computer and started writing the kind of story I would like to read. A cross-genre novel with action, romance, mystery, literary overtures, self-exploration.  It was totally unmarketable. It was heavenly.  I wrote 600 pages.

And so, writing has become my best friend, most effective therapy and haven. Through establishing a writing practice I now have the ability to access a zone where the world falls away - almost instantly.  It’s like my own express lane past the road blocks and toll booths that dot the highways crisscrossing my mind. The to-do lists fall away for a time and the muse massages away those pesky “shoulds and should-nots”.  As my fingers flit over the keys, my breathing deepens, slows down and evens out. My heart rate settles to its resting rate and the mental snarls are combed out.  The creative fires are stoked and they burn away the cares and worries that crease my brow.   I was born to write like I was born to breathe air.

Not to mention, it’s just plain fun.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Crouched and quivering
On the threshold
The open maw
Of potentiality yawns before me.
Moving past the spindles that
Ring the stairwell of this heart
Spurs cold sweat that
Trickles down my neck
Wrapped in timid terror
Beyond the skin; inside this husk
The heat of passion blurs
A whirligig kaleidoscope
Bursting forth
Gulping air; inflamed.
Anteros fans his wings
Blossom-scented winds rise above
Carry me
Over the threshold into
His golden arms
Face to face with the God himself
Fear consumed by Love

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Breathe in. Breath out.
The air that passed through
White pine needles
And oak leaf’s fingers.
Shared molecules
Recycled through history
Millions of lungs puffed up with vital energy
To animate ambitions, dreams.
Sing songs. Tell stories.
Issue a war cry. Run.
Make love; mingled breath more intimate than touching
Prana-filled and vibrant
The portal to stillness for the yogi.
Breathe in. Breathe out.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Moonbeams in Her Hair

Mother’s Day.
A sweet pause in the hectic pace
To say thank you
I love you.
To bring a flower cup overflowing
With bloomed love
And offer it in child hands
To Mom
From Me
Your Daughter.
There is time to see the stars in her eyes
The ones that are the constellations
To navigate by.
There is time to hear her heart beat
The rhythm known before the first breath
The primordial pace of life.
There is time to dance in the elation of her laughter
Shared to keep the monsters at bay.
There is time in the sweet pause
On Mother’s Day
To hear her wisdom
She plucked moonbeams from her hair
And gave them to me
So I could go more surely into the world
Adorned in my mother’s moonbeams
Worn like an Amazonian priestess' headdress.
She has gifted me her power
And I wield it with all the skillfulness
She imbued in me.
Walk the good red road
Speak the Truth
Fear not
Be kind
Love all.
The flower of my heart unfurls
One petal at a time
To reveal the gratitude rooted there
In the center of my being.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

More Illuminations from Chucky the Cat

This morning I related my tale featuring Chucky the Cat to the Church of What's Happening Now. It's a wonderful thing to share stories with other people. New facets appear as the listener reflects back to the teller their fresh interpretation.
The very astute and open candor in our group is delicious and will often take a person past the place where they may be stuck to a whole new perspective where the FLOW is realized once again or is felt in a deeper way.
Everyone laughed at the antics that Chucky exhibited as I related how I chose to be open and appreciate what the sweet cat had to offer when I realized something even deeper. Chucky is an embodiment of the Presence and his actions metaphorically reminded me of a deep truth.
God will not be denied entry into my heart.
He will beat on the doors and meow on the mat until I realize that its time to stop what I'm doing and let him in. But more than just letting God in, it's important to engage with God. Any resistance is futile before that love. He invites me to play with Him; let Him make a nest in my hair and keep me up all night drunk on Bliss and I must answer that call.
Opportunities exist everywhere for me to acknowledge what's happening on this earthly plane, engage in this changing drama and own it; or I can choose to transcend these limitations and see beyond and through to the hummmmm that pervades the scene.
When I got up on Friday morning there was Chucky with a big cat smile on his face, green eyes full of light. He seemed proud of me for getting it and was content to merely be a cat again with a "my work here is finished" sort of attitude. I fed him some cat crunchies and he purred as I petted him farewell. We were parting ways but I wouldn't soon forget the gifts that came to me on padded paws.
The master showed up in the middle of the night wearing a cat suit.
Will I recognize Him next time? Each nuance of this manifest world is an expression of the divine. I pray that I will see with my heart into and through, recognizing That Which Is in all beings.

Bright Blessings,

Friday, May 7, 2010

Chucky's in Love

George and I went to a party in Charlottesville last night. We had arranged to stay in town afterward to avoid the hour-long drive back to Buckingham.
We left the party in high-spirits with George's work colleague who very graciously offered us a room to stay at his house. Upon arriving at Chuck's house and after a fun ride in his sports car, we met the star of my tale --Little Chucky, the cat.
Now I have met a lot of cats in my day but never one quite like Chucky. He immediately made friends with George and I rubbing his feline body around our ankles and imploring with sage green eyes for us to pet and talk to him. I didn't want to offend the only other inhabitant of the house, and knowing Chuck's (the human) schedule I figured it was more Little Chucky's house than anyone's - so I made little chuffing lovey sounds that cats enjoy while I rubbed his ears. I never dreamed I had cemented what could only be described as a cat-crush.
We got ourselves settled for bed while Chucky looked on and offered what sounded like polite conversation. When it was time for lights out, Chucky was put out of the bedroom as I am mildly allergic to cats. Within seconds he was wailing with the most haunted meow I had ever heard and beating on the door with his paws and head. So we let him back in.
Chucky wanted to lick my toes, sit on my head and generally love me up cat-style. He was very persistent and jumped back onto the bed each time I nudged him off. Finally, he seemed happy to find a spot near my feet to settle in for the night and I breathed a sigh of relief that a peaceable solution to Chucky's feline overtures was in the making. That lasted about one hour.
I felt something hit my head, groping in the dark revealed it to be a soft little pillowy ball. I had no idea where it had come from and I certainly didn't want to sleep with it. So I tossed it. Chucky flew off the bed in hot pursuit and returned almost as quickly with the ball in his teeth. He deposited the ball on my head again and began purring while kneading my neck in anticipation of the next toss. In my growing sleepiness and irritation I hurled the ball again and Chucky went tearing after it. Reason caught up with my sleep deprived brain and I realized that I needed to hide the ball. So the next time he brought it to me, I tucked it under the covers out of sight. Chucky howled in protest with some very loud and wobbly meows that reminded me of a very out of tune violin. But I would not be won over by his pleading and eventually he chose to settle back down by my feet.
Every time I moved my foot he pounced on it with playful paws and a soft mouth holding his teeth away from my skin. Occasionally, he would get bored with his position and try to reclaim a spot on the pillow next to my head only to find himself nudged off onto the floor again. He ran his raspy tongue over my knuckles and elbows until the ticklishness was more than I could take and he was again tossed off the bed. As annoyed as I was that it was approaching 3am and this cat would simply not let me sleep - at all - I was completely won over by his charm and affection.
His simple desire to interact with another being was so powerful that he had no choice but to make the humans understand his needs.
I was his new friend and for the time being, it seemed, the only one he wanted to hang out with. And hang out we did. I got not a wink of real sleep, but I wouldn't trade a week of good nights' sleep for the completely stunning interaction with Little Chucky The Cat. His is the pure heart of an animal that lives totally in the Present and in the Presence. All animals are like that, it's just that Chucky likes to share his experience with others. I am blessed that he chose me.

Now I think I'll go to bed! :)


Fair Faced Moon

Dark stillness surrounds me
another blanket wrapping me in peaceful warmth,
holds me suspended in the cocoon of pre-waking.
It is that ever-sweet moment when consciousness knows not yet
that the earth has turned to embrace the dawning of the sun.
The moon's fair face is cleft in twain by an oak silhouette
thrust darkly from the black of earth.
Two silver bands of light lay brightly across my bed,
Argent light is cast equally around this stark dark line
Twin half-orbs piercing the cold morning with
angel feather softness.
I can see no difference on each side of that oaken split,
moonlight qualities remain
Silver. White. Pure light.
Would a heart do that if cleft in twain?
Would it shine brightly in two places and yet remain whole beyond this illusion?
Dark stillness surrounds me
But the silver dualism of the fair-faced moon taunts me with her appearance.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

What's so great about a dragon, anyway?

Across the eons of human history every culture has dreamed up its version of a dragon. No matter what other attributes may belong to any type of dragon, they are always fierce, loyal and very wise. Some cultures revered dragons as the possessors of the most noble and worthy traits while others pinned all their darkest imaginings onto them making them the vessel the carry weak men's fear and loathing.
To my way of thinking the dragon is one of the best incarnations ever dreamed up by human-kind. Inherently magical beings, dragons live in the Earth, fly through the Air, swim in Water, breathe Fire and are created from Spirit. It is from this all-encompassing Being-ness that dragons have captured my heart and are my primary symbol for living a life that is imbued with fearless integrity and undiminished spirituality.
My home is a lair. Dragons are perched in every imaginable shape and color from any surface that will hold them. They are the subjects of framed art hanging on the walls and they wrap themselves around teapots and cookie jars in my kitchen. They linger behind flowers in the garden. Wherever you look, there will be a dragon looking back at you with a gleam in his or her eye.
But this blog is not about dragons themselves. It is based on the Dragon's Eye View - what would something look like from many perspectives? If I take something and turn it over and over, viewing it from the inside out and in all manner of light and underwater and in the silver-tone light of the moon, what would it look like then? If I could sit in every position around an issue and see it from that place...I could operate with more compassion and empathy for my fellows.
This is a blog about Truth and stating it -- but not defending it. It's about exploration and expansion; about being fierce and fearless to knock over perceptions and ideas that are generated in by the single dimension mind that lives in a vaccum. It's about abandoning cherished opinions in favor of knowing something more richly.
If there are fifteen people in a room and each one states their version of the truth, puts it out there for all to see, then we collectively begin to paint a picture of something that is indescribable and unknowable. Staying fluid in my thinking and avoiding what one of my friends calls "hardening of the categories" has become a fountain of youth for me. One interesting thing about moving fluids - they carve deep channels. What was once a shallow brook moving quickly over the gemstone rocks becomes a deep river when it opens itself to accept new waters. Deep rivers move with resonate inevitability over the gems removing particles and revealing the gleaming truths therein.
I regularly take part in a group that meets every Saturday AM called The Church of What's Happening NOW. The Church of Now has one underlying goal - to bring our varied interpretations and experiences of the Presence into unity. Wow!
So here in this space I'll try to share about the truth as I learn to recognize it resonating around me in so many forms. At the very least it will be an honest accounting of my attempt to "get it." Some days that's all a person can ask; to see like a dragon would - from above, below, inside and through. This is a quest to Know.

Vignettes and poems and maybe even a novel excerpt or two will make its way to this blog. I am looking forward to sharing with you and I hope you will feel free to post your own ideas and thoughts, too!