It’s been a difficult two weeks. I’m still finding words as I prepare to walk through this next bit, but at least there’s a way forward now, after a couple weeks stuck in a strange limbo. I’ve walked through (am walking through) a couple significant losses: a malicious cyber stalking attack, the very sudden death of a dear friend, and now moving on from my job.
But in the middle of the ugliness and sorrow, there’s been such an ocean of love, of Love, to rest in. The support and kind words from people in all the merging circles of my life have been humbling and encouraging, in the deepest sense of the word.
Couer: French for heart. So courage is to be heart-filled, and to encourage is to offer someone courage, to fill someone’s heart.
So. I think this moth is emerging, ever so slowly, from her cocoon. That goo stage was excruciating, and the emergence has its own angst and drama, but–to be a little cliche–Love wins. I still have to sort through vast rooms of sorrow and rage and anxiety, but Love is a strong presence in the process.
So much love has come my way in the past two weeks, and I want to allow it to flow in and through me, and outward. The tower of my ego has taken a significant hit, but so many of the people I love (and even people I don’t know!) have Seen me and told me who I am, that I think I emerge with a greater sense of purpose and belonging, and a determination to answer every question with love. (That doesn’t mean I won’t be raging and weeping and angsting my way through this–love has room for all of that.)
Remind the young people in your lives that their voices matter, even when it feels like they aren’t being heard. Their voices make a difference in ways that they themselves might not see and know at the time. The world is a safer place with this crowd of youngfolk moving in.
Because of the cyber stalking, I have made it a little more complicated to comment here, for now. At the beginning of this mess, someone was leaving spiteful comments on my recent posts here. You can still comment, but you may need to have some kind of password. Sometime in the future, when I feel safe again, I’ll open up the comments more freely.
Because of my recent silence on social media, I stopped posting poems for every day in April. I won’t fill the blog with all of those. I’ll start from here and move forward. Here is the link to my slideshow, if you want to read them all. For today, this is the three-part poem I wrote on the morning when I began to see the extent of the ugliness that was being dropped on my doorstep. It’s in the mondo form, a form that my students really love. Haiku-style stanzas, the first a question, and the second an answer. Zen-like.
How to hold center
when the savage wind pummels
at your sacred, inner truth?
Be love, that is all.
Be love, and love, and more love.
For love will be your anchor.
When angry voices
try to silence and demean,
shall we go out with raised fists?
To what end do you
attack when you are attacked?
Be a stone Love breathes into.
Where do you go to
find the Holy One when hate
destroys all that’s in its path?
Listen, always, for the
whisper of Love in all things
for She will never fail you.
1. The mycelial network of loving circles of community that has held me during my trial by fire.
2. Feeling the feelings, even when they’re awkward and gooey. That’s part of what I think I’m here to do, to learn how to feel and integrate and transform feelings, no matter how raw and ugly they are. So, not grateful for all the feelings, exactly, but for the learning and the growth.
3. Young people. Their fire, their love, their sense of fun.
4. Dreaming of what might be
5. Maybe this is sort of a repeat of the first point: Being Seen and Named.
May we walk justly, in mercy, and humbly.
Earth Day Words:
“The world is, in truth, a holy place.” —Teilhard de Chardin
“Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.” —Henry David Thoreau
“You are your own cartographer now.” —Ralph Blum
“If we surrendered
to earth’s intelligence
we could rise up rooted, like trees.”
―Rainer Maria Rilke
“Every creature is a word of God.” ―Meister Eckhart
“The forest for me is a temple, a cathedral of tree canopies and dancing light.” ―Dr. Jane Goodall
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.” ―The Onceler (Dr. Seuss)
“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.” ―Rachel Carson
William Stafford: “I place my feet with care in such a world.”
“A society is defined not only by what it creates, but by what it refuses to destroy.” ―John Sawhill
Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” ―Rachel Carson
“A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full or wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood. If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantment of later year…the alienation from the sources of our strength.” ―Rachel Carson
“Few words are so revealing of Western sexual prejudice as the word Goddess, in contrast to the word God. Modern connotations differ vastly from those of the ancients, to whom the Goddess was a full-fledged cosmic parent figure who created the universe and its laws, ruler of Nature, Fate, Time, Eternity, Truth, Wisdom, Justice, Love, Birth, Death, Etc.” ―Barbara G. Walker
“Our vitality is inextricably bound up with creativity. Like a tree whose expression is fruit, giving our gifts is what keeps life pushing through our veins. It’s what keeps us feeling alive. As anyone who has strayed too far from their creativity knows, without it every corner of one’s life can fall prey to a terrible greying spread. As Kahlil Gibran writes about trees in an orchard, “They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish.” —by Toko-pa Turner