Meeting

If you look deeply enough into anything, you will see everything

The motion in the stillness, the health within the illness

The simplicity in complexity, the you within the me

We are cut from the same cloth, woven by threads of love

Love that ushers us into and out of this world

Love which flows in all places and all moments, caressing us tenderly even as we weep with unbearable pain and unspeakable shame

All of life breathes and moves and flows and transforms

In this moment, may we practice breathing, and thus, transforming

What are we ready to let go of, what is no longer serving our highest selves?

There is always something to surrender and something new to take in, even if only space for future growth

Marriage

Behind the curtain of marriage I treasure the single men I know, each one a potential gem who would surely treat me better than my husband does.

I imagine how they would listen to me as we engage in stimulating conversations over a meal they provided, how respectful and grateful they would act, how passionate as lovers, how giving and attentive.

I fantasize about men who balance their check books and clean up after themselves, men who are calm and communicate maturely, who do the damn dishes, who save money or at least spend it on their family, who let go of past hurts, evolve and hold space for me to do the same.

I try to make myself at home within the sound-proof confines of my marriage, though the walls threaten to close in and crush me; both execution device and tomb.

Within the secret tortures of my marriage, my husband and I fight fervently leading up to the moment that we arrive out our friends’ houses, quickly plastering smiles on our faces as we ring the doorbell.

My veins are scalded by resentment for all the ways my husband takes miles without giving an inch.

I scan the horizon for a silver lining, a way to improve my situation: so far marriage counseling, life coaching and me doing the work on myself have all fallen short.

Yet deep below the cracks in our relationship, I sense a fertile humus.

We share more than our sordid history together; we make a home and a family.

We are united in our love for our baby, though we often disagree bitterly on how to raise her.

We share a commitment to our life together and a vision of our future, though we put different amounts of effort and resources towards both: in our relationship, I do all the earning and handle all the responsibilities for our household.

He drags down my energy and my finances, invoking a slow and destitute death.

Perhaps I’m not in a position to judge him: maybe he is the better one and I am the bitter one.

For now, I remain hidden behind the curtain of marriage, bound to my husband and yet alone.

Super Moon

I ran outside to see the super moon

My eyes caught only fire flies, and that’s when I realized

Like the moon, we are all mirrors for the sun, specks of stardust

I ran outside holding withered roses, cursing the thorns in my haste

That is when I tasted the truth that my lips don’t only produce diamonds and flowers, but toads and vipers too

I was only kidding myself that just because I act selfless, doesn’t mean I don’t have selfish desires

Narcissism is the sharpest edge of the empathic knife with which I forge through life

If I didn’t possess any of those qualities, how could I have attracted those types to me?

With renewed gratitude, I love my humble husband

The only thing he fills my hands with are his own, and that is enough

After the last dish was washed I ran outside, overwhelmed with anger and grief for what I cannot undo

I struck a chair pose, sitting into my discomfort until my thighs burned and my mind emptied and my excess energy evaporated upward, toward the super moon

Around the Elephant

I don’t read instructions but I keep them around for future reference

I start sacrilegiously but tend to end with reverence

I don’t have a plan as often as I have a man: that’s a poor combination depending on the situation

When I illuminate my dusky corners, I see the sparkles that were there all along

Though I awake with amnesia, I dream in song

I’ve learned to love doing nothing, to look forward to stillness and inactivity, to settle into peace with humor and curiosity

Why so serious? Asked the fly to the spider

Drawing close, the fly offered hot cider

Take, eat, remember me, or not

The gift was unconditional anyway

It is enough for me to have a cosy corner and a cup of tea tonight

Listening to the rain, old friend and fellow traveler, land with gentle impact outside my caravan of dreams

I am warmed by the glow of light within and without

Perhaps the deafening din of my own carryings on will simmer down enough for me to listen to the voices of others

Sacred silence is my favorite meeting place, in that field beyond words where kindred spirits melt into bliss

Then I return here, to my life of toils and troubles

I live with one foot in each world, walking the line between Earth and the Divine

Whiskey Cowgirl

We were two whiskey cowgirls in the concrete desert

We had cowgirl hats, boots and southern drawls, but what I remember most is the whiskey

She introduced me to that now-familiar burn

I shot it back like I was born with a bottle in my hand, playing it cool as my esophagus was scalded

I later came to understand the influence of my genetics (coming from a long line of alcoholics) and my environment (growing up around drinkers- it was the norm)

We left our small towns for the big city when we were young and pretty. I was 18 and she was 19 when we met.

She put me on a first-name basis with the four horsemen of the apocalypse: Jim Beam, John Jameson, Johnnie Walker, and Jack Daniel

We were fresh as we poisoned our flesh on the brink of young adulthood

We were roommates in a poor neighborhood, clawing our way toward a better life through education as we strived to save the world along the way. We thought we were so clever.

She recognized in me what can only be known through personal experience; the effects of childhood abuse and neglect

She likely survived worse, although trauma is immeasurable

We never talked about it outright, but I reckon all that booze was our way of drowning out the pain, an ineffective anesthetic and amnesic.

I didn’t know that instead of filling the howling depths within us, we were only digging them deeper with each drink

Years passed. We used to share a bed, and now there is a continent between us.

When I speak with her, she is drinking still. She has transitioned from whiskey chased with cheap beer to fine wine, has her life in line with a successful career, loving husband and bright children, however I fear she is slowly drowning herself with the same toxic habit born of the same pain- the gaping wound of childhood

She will always be my older sister, though I walk my own path and see my own way

I wish healing for her and for all beings today

Prayer and Faith

I have relearned to pray

When I don’t know what to do, I pray

When I’m grateful, I pray

When I’m scared, I pray

All day, I pray

Waking from a nightmare, I pray

I pray that you may be at peace

I pray that I may be at peace

I pray to loosen my own reins

Let God take the wheel

I’m too weary to drive anymore

I close my eyes, take a breath, hold fast to faith

Faith that I don’t need to control the uncontrollable

Faith that I don’t know the whole picture

Faith that I will continue to have a beautiful life

Faith that I am safe and loved

Win

In the game of life you may find yourself amidst a family feud

Odds stacked against you, destined to lose

The age-old fairy tale from hell of the narcissist and the empath, which one are you

My eyes have grown weary from struggling to see clearly through all this gaslighting

If you show any emotion in response to their explosive commotion

That is how they win

You’ve miraculously kept your boat afloat despite the perfect storm of their rage

The shore is just beyond your view, keep faith and raise your anchor

Starve them of fuel with your lack of reaction, let them sputter to a lonely stop without you

Adult babies cry, assuming you’ll run to their side as you usually do, but will you?

What if you stepped to the side, got off the ride, wasn’t it sickening for you?

What if you put yourself first, tended to your own hurts instead of those around you

Stop playing their game- you had nothing to gain, they drained your sanity and occupied your brain

Energy-vampire mind-game spinners, tangled you in their mess and devoured you for dinner

You care so deeply for their feelings, but they don’t care about yours

Stop playing their game

That is the only way you can finally win

The Point

I found a years-old grocery receipt with the following message I’d scribbled on it:

The point of life is to become enlightened, again and again.

For me, the quick and easy way to become enlightened is to suffer beyond words to the point that my ego splits open and divine light pours in.

Every time I arrive, I bow to my suffering in gratitude.

I remember that what I had grappled and struggled with was actually on my side the whole time.

When I arrive at enlightenment, for a moment, I know peace

Then the journey starts again, like bringing my awareness back to my breath, most of the time I am unconscious of the miracle that flows through me.

Perhaps suffering is not necessary, however it seems to be a catalyst; speeding up the process.

I want to hug the whole world, wrap it in a hand-knit sweater

To those who feel sick, I hope you feel better.

I want the glow in my heart to grow and light up the dark.

I’m glad I kept that receipt

I could frequently benefit from a reminder about what the point is

It is most difficult to remember when I am surrounded by those who cling steadfast to their self-centered identities, awash in all sorts of drama, trying at every angle to drag me into their mire

I pray they will know enlightenment, even if for a moment, someday

I pray that I will know enlightenment, even if for a moment, today

Intuition

You proudly announce that you have PTSD 

Like you are unique

You speak of your trauma

Like you don’t know that everybody has trauma

How could anyone get through life and avoid it?

I can’t get through one day without heaps of rapid-fire trauma

My heart in a blender, I watch in horror as you amp up the power

I tiptoe around your invisible trigger wires

Dodging bullets from your shotgun mouth

You blame it on your trauma

I don’t blame your trauma for your unaccountability- I blame your unaccountability

I find gratitude for the trauma you load on me cruelly 

As I once again act out the part of the one who loves more completely

I weep in private, praying for boundaries

I paid tuition instead of listening to my intuition

I turned away from dedicating my life to the Earth

To help human beings that treat me passive-aggressively and aggressively

Time after time, I respond with patience, calm, understanding, forgiveness

Day after day, I deny myself sunshine, fresh air, nourishment, rest, freedom

Imprisoned in a hospital, chained to my pager

It is easy for me to be the adult in the room because I never had a childhood

I wonder if you see me as somehow trauma-free when you melt down in a tantrum before my unflinching eyes, shouting and swearing at me, citing your mental illness as the reason why

I have no more reactions to give, my nervous system long ago burnt to a crisp

Perhaps you don’t suspect that I am so traumatized that I’ve come full circle, with painstaking sacred transformation and knowledge of the dark side of the moon

Everyone is fighting a battle, however some boast of their struggles loudly 

Maybe I’m just like you, thinking that my suffering is unique- and that is why I feel irritated by you

Or maybe I am not like you because I don’t speak of my suffering and am envious of your ability to let others know that you are wounded and hurting

Or maybe it is simply difficult to stay sane in an insane environment

When will our society stop neglecting women and children instead of turning a blind eye and then pouring limitless expenses on them after the damage is done

When will we prioritize giving over taking

For the moment, you and I are held within the painfully flawed system

I bid you good day, namaste

Bouncy Ball

Resilient sphere of color

I throw you down but you only bounce back higher

Dancing down the stream
You get caught on rocks and fallen leaves
I free you and follow you down the babbling brook
Your journey is again halted by forest debris
I dislodge you with a stick and you bound onward
Carried effortlessly by the water
I was told that all rivers flow to the ocean
I am determined to travel there with you, to see this through
Then I learn that water sometimes moves underground
Branch still in hand, we are both stuck on land
I didn’t account for this
Years later, I am an adult in a high-pressure profession
Just now pausing after years of running
As if I’ve been chasing a ball down a stream
Bouncing from one goal to the next
I am bewildered by the restless movement which only distanced me from my heart’s desires
In exchange for passing tests, I received more tests
No one ever asked me if I want to be tested
I value serenity and peace, meditation in nature
I was already where I wanted to be
When I was a girl with a rubber ball
Bring me back to that forest stream
I will stand in it
Let the cool water wash over my feet
Bouncy ball by my side
In stillness and simple satisfaction
We will stay