“How are you? “ they ask cheerfully.
…“Oh, gettin’ along.”
Yet below there is a banshee’s jagged wail;
The convulsive kicking of hind legs
as raccoon tumbles from under a car’s wheels;
The cracking, arcing of exposed power-wire
shorting somewhere in Sushumna, and
through solid bones and plasmic organs,
through heart, brain, mind, vision;
Light devouring shadow,
which howls indignation
through all time and space within this skin;
Gelatinous being twitching in the hot wind.
This is how I feel today.
But it will pass;
why frighten the children?
“Thanks for asking.”
We’ll call it a guest column.
In place of my own words today, I offer some beautifully stated musings by my dear friend, Art.
Mother Teresa has been on my mind quite a bit lately. I saw the movie The Letters not long ago and was extremely moved, not so much by the movie, but by being given introspection into her amazing dedication to a divine call in spite of her dessert experiences and the magnitude of the work she was called to do. And with such humility!
A patron saint for doubters. Wow! Pray for me Mother Teresa!
I can relate. To have been given lucid experiences of absolute perfection that quickly fade into the density of this middle world reality and continue believing that “everything, without exception, is perfect” has certainly given me occasions to doubt. Having run the energy of a cynic for years, I am all too aware that to observe the course humanity through a logical human outlook can only lead to hopelessness. It requires a Divine perspective for real hope to enliven such a bleak trajectory that we find on planet Earth. I found optimism impossible apart from Divine perspective.
My doubtful human mind often thinks me delusional to cling to the idea that everyone is doing the best they can, given their unique blend of circumstances, and we are all part of the same Earth-body performing the task that is ours to do. That everything and every person must follow their nature to run the energy that they must run. That even the dissonant chaotic wave is on its path back to harmony and there is even an unrecognizable harmony ever present within the dissonance. That Love will prevail, no matter what!
If it is delusional, it still gives me hope and a will to carry on seeking to be an expression of Love. And so for now I carry on believing as best I can whether I can feel it or not.
This you may say is my burning bush; to Love the body as best I can, recognizing everyone as part of the body. To Love my own body as best I can, tenderly caring for the ailing parts of my own temple as an expression of Love for the whole. To forgive myself to the very best that I can, this also is an expression of forgiveness of the whole. To Love God with all of the heart, mind, and soul is synonymous with Loving the self and all the neighbors of the globe, and beyond.
Thanks to all incarnate sentient beings doing the work we must do. Thanks to you my fellow encouragers of Love. To Love fearlessly is no small task.
Prey for us all Mother Teresa!
I’m asked my favorite poet…
How can I answer?
There are too many poets I don’t know.
There are so many stars
And I barely know the one nearest me,
Cannot even look upon its radiant face…
… until its light has bounced through a billion prismic cells
and shines through mine as me.
How can I name my favorite poet?
Everyone is a universe and my eyes are dim.
If I were to name my favorite poet,
It’s the one I know this moment,
The one in whom I recognize myself.
And the more I know myself to be everyone and everything,
The less I can name any favorites….
But if I were to name a favorite poet
—among the few poets I know–
Today it would be Rilke.
In his voice I first recognized my own.
Before that, I knew myself only as
the nameless one between the raindrops…
and within the fire… space… light… sound,
Truth be told, I could not even know that
–in human terms–
Until the Radiance was molded into words,
Muted in the shade of this other soul,
Between whose words echoed my own.
Everyone is a poem,
And each speaks with the breath of One Poet
Who favors none.
M.L., New Mexcio, August, 2016
Black desert scarab–
Staggers in jagged circles
Across the desert mosaic…
Dense little licorice tank,
He is too black for this place,
Cannot blend anywhere,
And rambles as if from the exhaustion of not belonging.
So black he too turns blue.
He carries his belonging with him, inside him,
In the Wh!Wh!Wh!Wh! of his wings,
Which sweep away all question of belonging,
And he lands with full (and comical) entitlement
Upon the cedar branch too limp to bear his weight,
And yet it does,
Through his sheer will to belong.
It’s quite simple, really…
But I pretend not to…
And then I forget that I know…
…forget what I know.
It’s the grandest game of Hide and Seek:
The one I am afraid to play,
Until I remember that I am already playing
Or I wouldn’t be afraid.
The one in which
The Hider and the Seeker—
And the game itself—
Are all the same stuff:
Today –August 18th, 2016–would have been my father’s 80th birthday.
This week offered me little stillness to attend memories, but the universe gave me a few moments this morning
— and a very few lucid brain cells–
to open to any messages or significances.
So it is that I simply and briefly honor him today,
The mystery and miracle of him.
The one who is now but a memory:
A collage of snapshots in my psyche,
Gems in my treasure box,
Aches in my bones, bruises in my soul,
and Echoes of an hysterically clucking chicken and the a bar of soap clunking to the bath tub floor, as Daddy chicken lays another egg for his daughter, who giggles with inexhaustible delight from her perch on the toilet seat on the other side of the shower curtain.
…The one who lives in my intelligence,
who heals and shines through this living heart, mind and body.
To live by the sea…
To walk to the shore for matins, for confession…
To collect all concerns of the heart in a single vessel, shaped like a question mark,
And carry it down the beach along with your steaming tea…
Every wave is a prayer bench.
Wait for the next one and pour your question in,
Empty your mind,
Watch the foamy fingers catch it and draw it back to the watery heart of the earth,
to the beginning of time,
and then return the answer on the very next wave
…and the next.
Every answer the same, every answer new,
every answer just for you:
I am the door; knock and be opened.
Rest here, on these shifting sands.
But don’t go back to sleep.
m.l. Costa Natura, Estepona, Espana
As I sort my way through Jet-lag and half-emptied suitcases, I post the first in the Disfrutar series, musings from my sojourn in Spain.
Day dawns primordial pink, even over Irving, Texas.
It lifts the curtain of darkness with the corners of its luminous grin,
An old and knowing friend more reliable than my own faith….
My own faith, which falters, a shark caught in nets of outgrown biography, dulled imagination, suffocating circumstance.
Some souls, like sharks, need movement to live, need fresh experience flowing through their gills to oxygenate their mission, as they patrol the sea of humanity, praying more than preying…and pollinating.
Outside the Red Roof Inn, grackles—dollar a dozen dervishes—squeal with delight,
the same explosive squeal here as everywhere—Phoenix to Miami—
the same precious, exuberant, unfettered delight—
pops the bubbles of ferment,
pierces the swollen film around this heart.
Joie de Vivre needs no translation.
In their explosive, laughing peals echoes the voice of A.K.,
short for “African King,” he insists, until I demonstrate sympathetic familiarity with Arabic.
Then Akmiel, my Ethiopian taxi man tells me it means “complete.”
He is Prophet King of the Grackle Tribe, and my own wake up call:
“In America, Life is Good,” he says, “I love my job…
We have water to drink and a shower every morning…!”
So do I.
When did my heart wander from its home among the grackles?
No matter; they never missed me; and the dawn tells me it’s never too late to rejoin the party. It never stops.
And the password is always “Thank You.”