i sift through the assigned values. a life well spent. worth while. lived hard and run free. time off and time on. hard won and easy coming.
i know how to spit and cuss, answer and call, bend down and lift up, gaze and unravel.
i know dirt and sand and a few things from books and classrooms, churches and temples. i know love and commitment. i know the tastes of pomegranate and ginger.
i know the tax and utility of the machinery, of the musts and the unyielding.
i know concession and forgiving, gluttony and parch, empathy and emptiness.
and yet there is so much i have forgotten. lapses in time and doing, where, when, how.
making a list seems bothersome when there is a universe of stars and a sternum to pry up.
solitude, submersion and synapses are my current obsessions.
i am curious whether something will actually be born of this culmination of being. some thing prolific that you can someday hold in your hand. a book, a memory, a purpose that is radiantly clear.
it is drifting father away, though, less frantic and more habit, the wonder of such things. so much more, i am taken by the brazen idea of making fire, of putting my whole self in the flames,
and being consumed by light.
we stripped the dining room table in time for 2015, finding a way to make new that which remembers the nourishment and the countless spills.
it is kind of like that, each reinvention. thick varnished layers need to be removed with chemicals and elbow grease, to reveal the still solid and beautiful beginning.
among the things i was grateful for in the past year:
fire, friendship, tequila.
burning, releasing, letting go (the usual).
the opportunity to see more of the world. again.
mirrors, hunger, decisions, connection, gathering, dinners, my family, the truth.
time in nature, sleep.
those that have stayed, those that have left.
humility. oh blessed humility.
thank you for the new.
i am moving into a year of light, of lightness of being, of strength without burden.
and i am ready to be seen again.
To me, every hour of the light and dark is a
Every inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is
spread with the same,
Every cubic foot of the interior swarms with the same;
Every spear of grass—the frames, limbs, organs,
of men and women, and all that concerns
All these to me are unspeakably perfect miracles.
~Walt Whitman, from Poem of Perfect Miracles
it is no longer the uphill that i fear. it is braking hard on the downhill, only to be sacrificed in a cloud of dust and shock.
i take them both, the saint and the fool, on every quest. companions in this human life, the dirty and the divine.
only in the empty full beginning end can i shift and reshape.
oh how i love that moment when the shaman prays over me. when i am heady with temple offerings and the hunger to prostrate.
the mark of the bindi, the red string on the wrist. the black snake and the pulsing sky.
but there is also the sugar and the seva. the descension. the embers fading into ash. the what next and how soon. the plateau and the pining. the now and the numb.
and, of course, there is no real debate, no real inquiry.
only the same.
to be free: the heart must open, the light must shine, the wild must wander, the totality must be trusted,
the fragments must fuse.
this edge, this threshold, this auspicious anguish,
is an invitation.
if you tear a piece of that shroud and fasten it round your chest, a tavern will open up from your soul. ~rumi
i am stirred up by another loss. by what some may refer to as another waste of a brilliant mind, how “unstable” he was, how sad that he couldn’t overcome the despair and survive in our world as it is.
i think that the two are inseparable, genius and what we traditionally call instability. and maybe instability is simply the thing that sets these types of masters apart, and allows them to deeply understand humanity, translate this understanding into digestible humor and help us all to understand ourselves a little bit better.
and maybe it is time to stop calling these differences instability, implying deviance from normalcy, and rather expand beyond holding ourselves to one code of existence. the one that celebrates accomplishment and doing–and considers being and seeing to be a luxury, something to be done in the “time off,” not too much and only for the privileged and provided for, the indulged and the spoiled.
what if the fallow inward times were nurtured, with the known truth that, if allowed, these “dark moments” will inform the later workings of genius, and crack another code to universal connection and freedom.
what if we had been taught, from the very beginning, that the poetry and the music and the painting and even the uncanny impersonation quite possibly cannot be iterated without the long walk through the field, the deep dark slumber, the demonic doubt, and the torturous liminal space–and that that is OK. Special, even.
what if the doers, in their love of doing, supported the seers through these incarnations, in a mutually beneficial existence, each playing a vital role in a life rich with creation and meaning?
I’m a knight on a special quest.
~Robin Williams as Parry, in the Fisher King.