Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fortress of the Heart

A few nights ago I was presented with this short reading and it stirred my soul.
I would like to share my thoughts with you and if you are so inclined I would love to know what the piece touches in you 

..... "No living being is without interior liquid motion. We all churn inside.

So much held in a heart in a lifetime. So much held in a heart in a day, an hour, a moment. We are utterly open with no one, in the end -- not mother and father, not wife or husband, not lover, not child, not friend. We open windows to each but we live alone in the house of the heart. Perhaps we must. Perhaps we could not bear to be so naked, for fear of a constantly harrowed heart. When young we think there will come one person who will savor and sustain us always; when we are older we know this is the dream of a child, that all hearts finally are bruised and scarred, scored and torn, repaired by time and will, patched by force of character, yet fragile and rickety forevermore, no matter how ferocious the defense and how many bricks you bring to the wall. You can brick up your heart as stout and tight and hard and cold and impregnable as you possibly can and down it comes in an instant, felled by a woman's second glance, a child's apple breath, the shatter of glass in the road, the words I have something to tell you, a cat with a broken spine dragging itself into the forest to die, the brush of your mother's papery ancient hand in a thicket of your hair, the memory of your father's voice early in the morning echoing from the kitchen where he is making pancakes for his children."     
                                                                    (from Joyas Voladoras by Brian Doyle)

This link will connect you to the entire selection.

Fortress of the Heart

In yoga
  the direction is given 
       'lead with the heart'
             tears come  -  it is too hard
the fortress is built and my heart is protected
            from the pain of possibility
  the pain already endured
          built that strong fortress

the fortress I want to smash 
      lead with my heart

- the broken bodies shut away 
         longing for someone to see them
              as more than just a broken body

- the girl child being so brave 
   - braver and more courageous than anyone would ever know
          longing for someone/anyone to see her as she is 
              tired and  broken in spirit
                    always trying to be what she thinks is expected

- the words 'I have something to tell you'
       smashes the sturdy fortress quicker than anything 

    -  my life is a sham - what am I to do - who am I to be or become
     - how can I tell him - how will I tell them - what will they say - 
     - what will happen to me if I tell them the truth of who I am
     - how will I live - what will happen when I am no longer here

     - who will stand in my place - will they still talk to me
I listen with my heart 
         the pain of another touches my deep life experience
         nothing else matters - except to listen and hear
                                                         with compassionate care
I have learned
          being heard crumbles the sturdy well-built fortress

Just as 
     the shout out of 'grandma' from Natalie and Nathan
     the smell of Samuel's sweet apple breath 
     when Joshua snuggles into my chest as his eyes begin to close
     or Al reaches for my hand and pulls me into his arms
     when my son calls just to talk and asks what am I doing
     or my daughter-in-law compliments something I have made

the memory of my dad making Sunday breakfast and I again
                        I smell the pancakes he is cooking 

I cry and lead with my heart 
        afraid of the pain of possibility

I do it anyway

I know - 
    great pain always couples with great love.

Friday, June 3, 2011

A Noisy Song of Satisfaction

today i sit listening to the cicadas song
buzzing like ocean waves 
   cascading over background music and conversations in my home

it is surreal - this small very noisy insect
      demanding the attention of all creation 
            during its brief moment of life

i wonder about life cycles
the cicada has 13 years - 156 months or 676 weeks of gestation 
                    for 5 weeks of life 
the human has 3/4 of a year - 9 months or 36 weeks of gestation 
             with maybe 80 years - 960 months or 4160 weeks of life 

is there a relationship or simply a metaphor

as i reflect of my life - 
what have i been willing to wait 13 years to attain
            and when I achieve my goal 
                     am I so noisy with my song of self-satisfaction
                        that others are annoyed
                             & my presence is not welcome.

welcome cicadas 
            - you have waited a long time to sing your song of life

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Silence is Noisy

sitting on the porch 
         listening to the quiet
the gurgle of waterfalls in the pool 
the wave-like buzz of the thirteen year cicadas
the roar of the passing boat 
      competes with the loud music of the skiers 
      and the occasional holler of excited success      
the wind blowing through the trees 
       scattering leaves on the fresh-cut grass
the song of the birds - i cannot name 
          yet love to hear

silence can be so noisy when i listen to it

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Spring forward and fall back -

Twice a year it is necessary to reset the car clock
i can never remember how
     and of course the car manual is never where it should be -

One way to accomplish this is to call Al and have him do this job -
         after all it is about the car
            and in our family that is his job
                         even if it is my car.

But, today, I am going to reset the clock.
   the car is on and I am sitting in the driveway -
           already frustrated - 
              I haven't even started yet 

 do I hold the radio channel selector in 
                  while I turn the bass dial or
 do I hold in the bass and turn the station selector 
          - no-no
it must be the knob that puts the sound in the front/back
         -the  balance - that's it -
                   - hold the balance and turn the bass - no no
- hold the balance and turn the channel selector 
                   - ok ok - that works -
    that changes the minutes 
                 - ok good 
     - but not good enough - 

I need to change the hours
   so lets try holding the other button -
         not the bass - the, the ...
            the other one - the tempo -
     i don't even know what the heck it's called -
            hold in the tempo and turn the channel selector
             - no no - that doesn't work -

how about the other knob - 
      hold in the power and turn the selector - no no - 

 oh phooey  ----  "Al how do I reset the clock?" 
   should i just remember
         that this clock is one hour early or one hour late and never on time?

i woke up in circles...

i lived in a state of shut down, turned off & on high alert 
i was invisible and invincible 
i was bullet proof and already broken
    - shot through with bullets of despair
i was an ego maniac with an inferiority complex
i tried hard to be good - to do good things
I never meant to hurt anybody
        and i didn't want to hurt either

i woke up in circles
running away from childhood into adulthood
moving around the country - living in the wreckage of war
         and not knowing it was real
waking up as a new parent and already tired 
life was a struggle and the bogeyman was real
shadows surrounded me - there was no source
     covered by a wet blanket of loneliness
      pretending and afraid of being found out

i woke up in circles - 
   walking back into the familiar pain of invisible 
   thinking it was good to sit in church & follow directions
              earning my way into eternal life
              seeking and not finding
              seeking a way of life that resembled life
                            -   a here and now kind of life 

i woke up in circles
  in a desk in a classroom - behind a desk in an office
  at a desk in a cubicle  -  anywhere USA
       Illinois - California - Alabama – California
Mississippi – Texas -  Mississippi – Florida - Tennessee
  the blinders were on - the desk was the answer 
        i was smart - so smart i was missing my life
                    -  sitting at a desk

i woke up in circles
  working too hard - trying too hard – praying too hard
  the world was my oyster - i could have it all
      until there was too much of everything
      - i was sick with gluttony - envy - pride

i woke up in circles
  pretending to be what i thought was expected
  passing out - not sleeping
  looking sober while being drunk
  a chameleon - invisible and on high alert
  my protector & best friend was a thief and
               robbed me of everything but my life
that which i loved became what i hated
 - that which saved me began to kill me

i woke up in circles
  walking in circles – so smart I was all alone
                               - i could do it myself 
  walking in circles - behind a desk - in a church
                              - all over the country 
  walking in circles  - working - wondering
                               - studying - praying 
- lost in the circles  - lost in all the circles

i woke up in circles
  confrontation - intervention -  confirmation
   telling me what i already knew to be true
   in my silence i cried for help &  help arrived
   the circle was broken & life begins again – in a new way
    the circle becomes a spiral - open and alive

i woke up in circles
     walking out of the church 
     walking away from the desk
     walking away from my family

     walking into myself
     walking into my pain
     walking into my life  - beginning again
i woke up in circles
  asking questions - hoping for answers
        what is this day to bring
        where is the power
        what is next
        how does it work

i woke up in circles 
  loving the questions - waiting for the answers
  wondering - curious - excited
  can i stay awake
  am i willing to work for that which I don't understand 
  am i willing to create a life 
           where i choose to engage
           where i pay attention 
           where i can suffer and not run
           where i can just be  - in my life

i woke up in circles
   still at the desk
   still in my family
   still in my body
     it is the same and very different
       it is all new - clean - clear
         - new in a way that I don't recognize
         - new in a way that feels bigger than life
         - new in a way that just seems right
i woke up in circles
  letting people in
  letting secrets go
  opening my heart - learning to trust

i woke up in circles
    asking for help
    paying attention
    seeking guidance
    learning to say 'no'
    discovering a power i could lean into
    discovering a self- i can trust
i woke up in circles
       powerless became powerful
       bad became good
       the worst became the best
       lost became found
       the dead came back to life
       the no led to yes
       giving was the way to receive
       the 'either/or' became 'both/and'
       the black and white burst into a rainbow of color
       each ending became another beginning

i am opening up in circles
   seeing where i can stretch and become more
   naming my strengths and my shortcomings
   learning to ask for what i need or want
             with hope rather than expectation
   trusting my intuition and my experience
   watching for safety and truth
   becoming aware of who is good for me
   appreciating safe people 
   choosing where and how i spend my time
   practicing taking care of myself without apology
   making time for my spirit to play
   inviting other to join me 
   discovering new ways 
   wondering rather than judging
creating with the co-creator 
     delighting in the imaginings of my mind
     creating space that is all time and no time
        the love of the process
        the love of the color 

a human doing becoming a human being
    feeling - breathing - stretching 
    loving and loving more
each spiral into an abyss
    a launching pad into another circle

i wake up in circles
 circles that are spirals
          spirals of love 
          spirals of life
          spirals of color
                reaching out to the other
                reaching deep to the divine

 I am waking up in circles and spirals and colors

i am from...

i am from
the back seat of a red convertible created in the passion of hormones gone wild
the dresser drawer of the cheap hotel bureau in flint
i am from
 the streets of miami - the beaches of haulover and sunny isles
i am from
 the deep catholic guilt that produces non-thinking people who follow the rules and fear hell more than life
the eldest of too many children born to parents who were children
i am from 
a run away - way of life
where bad behavior is rewarded and being good is never good enough
i am from 
catholic - irish - alcoholic
longing for tenderness and to be seen
always on high alert
i am from 
sandy sheets and salty air and smells that never leave
i am from 
out in the sticks in the middle of the city
buses that run forever and get you wherever you want to go
i am from 
the interama - beer can island - the corner store where chips and coke are the staples of life
babysitting for folks who don't come home
i am from
crying babies - dirty dishes - peed beds - thumb sucking kids
i am from empty words
i am from love