A Final Mystery

Is death a gentle reprieve,
a final release of suffering
a promised resting place?

Or is it contemplation
coloured by memories
demanding retribution?

Will death bring reunion
unleash forgiveness
shine with revelation?

Will one final earthly breath
call forth all the fragments of the soul
and restore wholeness?

I have witnessed death –
both embraced and unwanted –
snatch the spirit from its nest

felt the whoosh of escape
and a swirl of celebration,
known the peace that follows

witnessed the body, open-eyed
and open-mouthed
become a vacuum –

discarded membranes;
an impotent shell.

The spirit does not dwell there;
it lives on borrowed time.

Where it goes when all is done
remains life’s poignant mystery.

The Same, But Broken

It is the state of fragility that blindsides me.
I am a strong woman.
Someone once told me I was courageous, but I cannot see it –
I have not chosen pain, grief,
illness.

The fragility is pervasive –
My body feels reduced to miniscule fibers:
stretched and torn, on the brink of brokenness.
Mind, overwhelmed, obsesses, but will not organize
or let go.
if only I could let go.
If you could see me I am weeping and not –
weeping from the frustration of the immediate impossibility
and unwilling to weep for the total loss.
It is beyond me.

Outside these walls life continues
and regards me with disgust/ indifference/ repulsion.
There is no equality for the ill and disabled.

And, yet….

In this state of rawness, stripped of “life”,
or rather, busy-ness,
I am as any other –

Just a soul trying to having a meaningful existence.

Maybe illness is the great equalizer.

(Image: background-pictures.picphotos.net)

 

 

 

 

 

 

No Words

I have no words
that will change your plight.

I cannot undo the past
nor change the course of your life.

I am powerless to rescue,
fix, or uplift you in your time of need.

Please know that I see you,
know that in my heart I weep.

Know that while I empathize
I can never fully understand your pain.

There is no judgment here,
only heartfelt compassion.

When I reach out a hand to you,
wordlessly, it is out of respect.

I believe in you.
I believe in your strength and your courage.

In my silence, know that I bear witness
to the potential that lies within and before you.

I believe in the power of your own love to overcome.
There are no words to define what is possible in life.

(Image: imgarcade.com)

Intuition

The body has a voice –
not silent, nor harsh –
it is a knowing.

When ego drives hard –
Screaming ambition,
demanding to be heard

Block it out!

Let your body speak –
waves of understanding,
gut feelings; truth.

Logic has no place here –
book learning seldom serves
the needs of the soul.

Set it aside.

Listen to your body –
that pounding in the chest,
that sudden surge of vertigo.

Reason is cellular –
ancient, ancestral instinct.
Trust the wisdom within.

(Image: www.huffingtonpost.com)

Embrace your intuition.

The River

There’s a river runs between us,
you and I.
Our thoughts, like tears, are liquid
carried effortlessly by the current.

But you and I,
we stand on the banks, oblivious;
ignoring the connection,
proudly touting our individualism.

Still the river flows,
and all you’ve suffered,
and all I’ve suffered,
or dreamed, or imagined, or hoped,
flows with it.

Step into the water with me,
feel our connection,
do not be afraid.
for it is sacred.

Wade deeper and know
you are not alone
for I am here
in this river
that runs between us.

( Image:  ldsmag.com)

War is Hell

The battlefield still smolders,
oppressive gray smog hovering
The landscape is scarred,
ravaged reminders of war.

Origins borne of uncertainty,
fear spurred by righteousness
and a disgust of imperfection,
prolong the futile fight.

Subtly, imperceptibly,
defenses strengthen,
confidence renews
but the opposition
will not be silenced.

War is hell.
Unfair, biased,
blinded, deceitful.
Sacrificing the innocent,
destroying potential.

War is hell –
especially when….
the battleground
is the Self.

(Image: www.smithsonianmag.com)

Harmonics

6:30 a.m. alarm sounds.
“Time to wake up!” conditioned Compliance commands.
“Just a little longer,” Sensibility suggests.
Guilt, like an incessantly annoying child
tugs on Conscience:
“Come on, there’s lots to do!”
Body does not respond.

Sleep wins
and dreams come:
homeless,
relying on friends,
no food,
backed up toilet,
children’s wide eyes fearfully imploring
When is this all going to end?

Guilt propels a return to consciousness.

8:25 a.m.
“Up and at ’em! There’s a good soldier!” Compliance attempts to be chipper.
“There’s really nothing more important than rest,” Sensibility suggests.
“Can’t lie in bed all day!” Guilt counters.
But body is MIA.

Dreams surface again:
Setting up house in a thoroughfare,
people coming and going, oblivious to intrusion,
co-workers indifferent,
eyes scolding; convicting.

Guilt mutates to rage,
Body wakes up with a choking cough, and gasping,
reaches for the rescue inhaler
and sucks in, desperate for air.

11:11 am.
“That’s it! Up you get!”
“No! No! Rest is needed!”
“The day is wasted! There’s no getting it back!’

“SILENCE!” A new voice emerges.

A collective intake of breath.

“Breathe,” comes the message. “Just breathe.”

A unified sigh.

“And breathe again.”

Tempers cool, and emotions begin to settle.

“What’s going on?” Guilt wonders.
“Just trying to stick to routine,” Compliance explains.
“It’s always been this way.”
“But she’s ill now,” Sensibility adds, “and there needs to be concessions.”

“Breathe,” the voice reasserts, and all sigh again.
“Just be in the stillness of the moment.”

Stillness has no voice.
Its language is compassion and infinite,
infinite wisdom.

“And surrender.”

Compliance sobs with the release of such enormous obligation.
Sensibility gratefully gives over the burden of responsibility,
and Guilt…..well Guilt is little,
and happily snuggles up to Unconditional Love.

“There, there,” Voice soothes, “isn’t harmony so much better?”

Body concurs and rises out of bed.

As a Tree

Confined for hours at a time to my bed, I cheer myself by contemplating the trees outside my windows. There is something in their stoic beauty that both calms and inspires me.

Be as the tree a former meditation instructor taught me.

If I were a tree
my roots would run deep into the earth
and spread in all directions
grounding me.

Present.

My trunk would be wide and solid
weathering all storms
supporting other life
a tower.

Strong.

My branches would reach up to the sky
and dance with the breezes
and bend with the changing seasons
and bow to Nature.

Flexible.

If I were a tree
I would be calm, yet strong;
have heightened awareness, yet be rooted in reality.

I would yield to change,
yet stand proud in my own existence,
growing with grace.

If I were a tree
I would live in harmony
with Nature.

Present, Strong. Flexible.

Fully alive.

(Image from: www.nbcdfw.com)

Self-Delusion

I am driven,
a woman obsessed.
feet digging in,
body pressed forward,
the sweat on my brow
blackened by the relentless dust
whipping around me
in the prairie heat.
I drive on,
fatherless,
husbandless,
solely responsible
for my cargo
the horses heeding my commands,
everything, everyone
I treasure
on board.
I am a pioneer
delivering us
to the promised land.

I am wounded,
bleeding,
my prone body
curled on a mat of straw
back towards the others
teeth clenched
in silent pain
determined
not to show my need.
I will not be a burden.
so I feign sleep
and brace myself
against the jolts
and try not to gasp.
Lie still,
Be brave,
the journey is necessary
and soon we will arrive
and all will be well
and I will stop,
bleeding.

We children
are both afraid and
joyous
The ride is bumpy
and never-ending
and we try to be good
and not complain
but our spirits long
to play
to get out of this wagon
and find cool water to
splash in
or play hopscotch
in the sand.
But we are obedient
and so instead
find laughter
in the moments
in our own company.
Believing,
trusting,
that all is for a reason,
and the end is near.

I am a young man,
and I have goals,
and dreams
beyond the confines of these wagon walls.
I have a vision
of a life fulfilling,
of purpose,
and gold,
and I am ready
and able
to fight
I am willing
to strive,
fearless
into the unknown
yet I am trapped
held captive
by my elders.
overlooked.

I am the faithful,
God-inspired
all-believing,
hopeful,
prayerful,
trusting in higher power
caught in a web
of pleading, asking, forgiving,
accepting, and wondering.
What can I give of myself?
What does God need?
Am I not good enough?
Have we sinned?
Are we being punished?
Are our needs only trite,
and we selfish?
Must we bear this cross
to be received
in Heaven?
Is there a reason
I pray for strength
so that I may be more worthy,
more deserving,
when the judgment day comes.

I am a mother,
worried,
caring,
hoping for the best
catering to all,
barely a child myself,
bearing each experience
with borrowed strength,
selflessly focused
outward
drawing, drawing,
from a well
seldom replenished.
Tired,
oh so, tired.

I am an old woman,
frail yet wise,
enduring the rough ride,
surrendering to the knocks
knowing that as in all things
this too shall pass.
I am silent,
guarding my wisdom
for the imploring only,
acknowledging the value
in each journey
in each interpretation,
knowing that in the end
we are all deluded
and that the destination
is in the here and now
not tomorrow
not at the end of some dusty trail.
In each moment we have arrived
and so have I.
Patient and accepting.
Life is as it is.
Amen.

Immortality

Time passes,
shadows shift, waning
light made precious
by beckoning end.

Once believed in forever,
guaranteed tomorrows –
fallacy now shattered
by mortality’s knock.

New souls, born
of promise, eyes hungering
for what shall be, ignite
a fire of hope in me.

Will I be remembered
when life has begot more life
and I am faded ancestry –
will my essence linger?

Flesh rots, memory
fades, but the spirit
has its own calling –
will mine rise again

in trait, or disposition,
or with fresh complexion
and renewed intention –
an immortal circle?

(Image:  livingwisdom.kabbalah.com)