So you can be part of the whole
So you can let
Whatever’s out there
Defense isn’t sensible
In the face of
Something or Someone
In your face
Have a Face-On
A smile is a gate
Entry to Open
Break the pattern
But stillness, listening, be attention
What if every Thing you are given in your life, good and bad – good and bad according to you since there really is no such thing – were to open your heart and then open you up some more?
What if every time you put blame on something or someone you took away your chance to open further?
And every time you held onto the blaming of someone or some thing and made it a story, perhaps even your story, you kept yourself away from the reality of You.
What about that?
In the morning’s frost are all the hearts of grass delineated.
Inside is still – literally – the warm fuse that drives its life.
In my reflection I feel the cold comfort and simplicity
of this life. Ice sitting delicately covers such lightness of being
Making solid and calm the pulse of this earth’s fragile moment.
“Three attitudes prevent us from receiving a continual flow of blessings. They are compared to three “pots”: a full pot, a pot with poison in it, and a pot with a hole in the bottom.
The pot that’s filled to the brim is like a mind full of opinions and preconceptions. We already know it all. We have so many fixed ideas that nothing new can affect us or cause us to question our assumptions.
(No Time To Lose)
expression of inquiry
eyes focus one at a time
want to know who I am
inquisitive, exquisite, remarkable
chicken with a friend.
Her friend is a girl, very small, very particularly focussed on the chicken, whose name is Roxy. The girl will often sit and hold Roxy. She will hold her and Roxy will cluck and coo and chicken-gurgle. The girl knows when Roxy is going to lay an egg and she will sit there – both shes – and sit and sit until the egg is laid.
I have the feeling this chicken Roxy is living longer than a chicken usually gets to because she has company when she’s vulnerable. She has companionship when she is in the midst of her work. I’m told by those who live with chickens for their livelihood that a chicken’s life is short, perhaps two years, and they sometimes die while laying an egg. The girl says it takes Roxy about half an hour to lay an egg.
Can you see the heart?
This is an old shed a fox uses. Luckily my dog Cho was not paying all that much attention when the fox ran out when Cho was just outside. Cho was in back, sniffing – his obsession worked for the fox who ran out the front.
Peaches are coming! We are learning how to care for the tree – our friend Barb went to a workshop and came back with great directions for good peaches!
Thank you Barb!
Barb with our girls. They look like a heart to me too.
In posting last week’s poem and this one following I am for myself taking the lid off something I don’t know much about. The lid can be replaced easily. I do it, you will too. I pull it off to get a small view of something I know is “out there,” it’s actually right here. I find it in my heart, I listen to the music, read the books, watch the movies. Something in me knows what these poems speak of from the inside out. Something in me wants to grasp and shy away at the same time.
Here’s the poem:
I could spend..
ALL DAY & NIGHT
but I found out 2day, ALL
I had 2do was look in
to my horror & happy realization
I too must live and let live and die –
And it doesn’t have 2B a big deal not 2, but
born on 3/13/1973
Next month marks 26 years sober for me. It marks a transition I was ready to support and I found support for myself. I found people to believe in me and carry me through so I could carry myself. I believe it was easier for me because people expected me to be OK. No one thought I was anything but competent. Some of that was my “look,” some of it was because it was easier for them if I was OK and they weren’t going to push looking too deep.
One night Brian Williams spoke about Michelle Obama on the evening news. She had gone to Baskin-Robbins near the Whitehouse for ice cream with her girls. No one noticed. She was served ice cream. That was the end of it.
Now I don’t know why she told this story. I hope it had something to do with Racism in this country. I hope she was telling us that after all this time, after all this progress, after all this getting a black president, there is still invisibility for black people.
While I do not know for sure I have no question that the authors of these poems are black. And while I do not know for sure I am pretty certain that when they ask for help they won’t get what I got. I’m pretty sure.
My big black dog was named Borus, he was the kindest, sweetest, most gentle dog. And when other dogs saw him, they tried to attack him. It was funny, he would just sit or stand while they were jumping all over him. He had this big ruff around his neck and was completely protected from any attack. He weighed about 130 pounds and everyone loved him. He visited friends, he was welcome everywhere, he was a great dog.
But I’m not writing this because of his saintliness. I’m writing for the little dogs. They saw him and they saw an excuse to attack, they saw him and they knew he was coming to get them – nevermind he wasn’t moving. Once a woman called me to tell me her son had just been bitten by him – luckily he was sitting next to me at the time.
He was a target. And it had nothing to do with him, except for his size. Size matters – rather, perception of size matters. So if someone looks more successful, lives in a bigger house, we often think they must be cannier, made of sterner stuff, have left their heart behind. Someone less well off might have a big heart, we might not look them in the eye, but we aren’t likely intimidated or given to illusions that s/he is a powerful force.
In both cases we are losing out. Both are defined by outward appearance. Just like Borus, you can think what you like. The person you pass on the street be s/he homeless or executive may be forceful or meek. Compromises in the boardroom can be as crucial to the life of the soul as eviction from any dream.
Many times in my life I’ve had a dream where I’m at the wheel of a car or a boat and it’s speeding towards something and I have no brakes, or I need to get out of There and I have no accelerator. Ever been there? I also have the dream where I have a gun and the “bad guy” is coming at me and I can’t shoot – for whatever reason, I’m just not pulling the trigger. Been there too?
We all have dreams – things we want to do and have, fears we won’t, can’t get It. Like first day of school dreams or paper due, I find myself never knowing where I am, where I’m supposed to be – all that.
Some of the reticence we have is to keep us from jumping off cliffs, even when many others may be going down that path. Containment structures are not all bad – what keeps us polite is a good thing, what holds us back may not be.
It is really important to have quality control in our lives. Not just for what we consume, but for what we put out. The extreme is taking the quality out of control and holding ourselves back – fear is usually the driver there. A form of fear is comfort. We all know how hard it is to get out of a big over-stuffed armchair. It often feels like it’s imprisoning us in some weird way. A job can do the same thing. Is it too easy? The other people great to work with? Politically correct? These very proper and good things can be holding us back from our passionate selves, from what we really want to do because what we really want to do is scary.
Here’s the main rule: what you really want to do is always scary. It’s the biggest form of “calling the shot” that I can think of. When I was a kid I did a lot of target shooting. In my family no one cared what you hit, no one called a shot. I went shooting with a friend’s family and they asked me, “what are you aiming for?” I didn’t say it but my answer would have been, “whatever I can hit.”
Not a high aim there. No putting myself out. But in time I said what I was looking to hit and if I hit it I noticed I felt better and the praise or “better luck next time” I got wasn’t such a big deal. I am grateful to them and for their care of me, which often included what I took for criticism.
Just a slight tweak of words brought me a vehicle for self-esteem. The same as any sales pitch – whether it’s online or in an interview – a gesture, a choice of words and you are in or out. That starts in your mind-set – your head, your thinking process. The first rule here could be, “don’t believe everything you think.” And, most importantly, believe in yourself. Believe that you have something to say, to give. Then go for it.
The other day I got a certificate in the mail. I had completed another course, had another few letters after my name if I chose to put them there. I don’t choose. My pedigree is extensive with gets and begats and doesn’t begin to express who I am or how I got here.
It’s not that the cum laude isn’t important, but the laurels pale in relation to the ground they grew in and on. It’s my experience and what I do with it that ribbons me.
We are all a mixture of genetic and experiential inputs and impulses. Every thought dictates our next action, every action dictates our results. If I let my certificate, whatever it says, dictate how I feel about myself I might as well hide behind the pedigree and be done with it.
The walk of my life needs a path and the path needs dirt and rocks. I mustn’t forget that. The days of exasperation spent in pursuit of my highest goals are the soles of my feet and the strength in my heart.
“…once you fully apprehend the vacuity of a life without struggle you are equipped with the basic means of salvation.” Tennessee Williams, “The Catastrophe of Success.”
When I look at the pulsing path of my life I don’t feel the triumphs so much as the friends and the songs. The sometimes riotous music of my peers and the eras I’ve experienced.
Part of the air I’ve breathed has been the expression of those around me. Virtual and actual. I remember how good it felt to add Bucky Fuller as one of my mentors though I never knew him or met him. Ditto John Cage.
It was a revelation to be free of my immediate influences and enter the world of possibility.