The Encounter

I stood in a glass house at the edge of the sea.

I watched as the tide rose, gradually swallowing the house, waves breaking against glass walls, and over the glass roof, booming, rattling, trembling.

Seaweed, rocks, shells, too many fish to count, so many colors.

Then came the crabs, starfish, anemones, cephalopods, sliding, clicking across the transparent roof, pressed up against the glass.

Then came the sea turtles, their old tough shells cracking the glass as the force of the sea slammed them against it.  The house was completely underwater now, and water began to seep through the cracks with mounting pressure.

My blood lurched through the veins in my neck.  I thought of running wildly from room to room, but just found myself standing perfectly still. 

I saw the small dark shape of a whale on the underwater horizon, the fluid border of sight.  I tried to blink it away, but it was still there, and it was coming. 

It swept nearer, loomed closer, until it filled my vision completely.  The transparent house was outside the whale’s awareness, so on it came, about to collide into the glass I stood behind. 

Friends, this is how it is to die and be reborn.

This is how it is, returning from the death of your animal nature.

Van Gogh Quote

“To do good work one must eat well, be well housed, have one’s fling from time to time, smoke one’s pipe, and drink one’s coffee in peace.”

 

 

 

Say Yes

Say yes to storms, stillness, success, failure, silence, noise. Yes to high winds, bitter cold, sweltering heat, crushing loneliness, joyful connection, isolation, liberation.

Yes to the broken and the unbreakable.  Yes to the shaken and the unshakeable.

Say yes to danger, safety, pain, pleasure, exhaustion, energy.  Yes to the suffering you’ve known and the gifts you’ve been given.  Yes to a small and closed-in place, yes to the mystery of limitless space.

Say yes to old hurts, fresh wounds.  Yes to your rise and yes to your fall, to effort and ease.  Yes to the fields of time and timelessness.

Say yes to all the things you think you could never do or be, yes to anything you’re afraid of.  Yes to duality and oneness.  In saying yes, you become unstuck.  When you say yes, nothing can hold you hostage.

How Fortunate, How Small

How small are we, how fortunate to see with eyes the dolphin, the stallion, the bee, being what they are and doing what they do.

To hear with ears the wind across the palisades of mountains and the song of the ocean.

To know with flesh the pleasure and pain of the body, lust and hunger, bleeding and burning.

To thirst with spirit for the very earth we walk on, for an open dome of sky or dense canopy of rainforest.

To sacrifice with courage all that we are, and send an invitation to what we might become.

How small are we, how fortunate.

 

Grounded

Celebrating life’s riddles as blessings in disguise requires a willingness to be open and flexible.

Rather than questioning everything, you just watch closely, wait patiently, and listen deeply.

It’s kind of like lying down on the ground and letting it support you.

Working With Coyote

In working with Coyote – the trickster who tricks even himself – there can be no rigid thinking, no frame around the picture.  Perceptions are dissolved, expectations are deconstructed.  One must take oneself less seriously, welcome laughter, crack open the shell of one’s own ego.

An open heart is required, and it is like the open road: lending itself to endless possibilities, allowing whatever wants to come next to happen, inviting the mind to loosen its grip on everything it has convinced itself of, softening into fearlessness and deep listening.

The processes of nature, miracles all.  How full of folly we are, how powerful, how small.

 

 

First Light Splatters The World-Canvas

First, I dreamed that I wandered from room to room in a glass house at the edge of the sea, working with my fears and my desires the way a sculptor works with clay, the way a fly-fisherman works his line.

Then I dreamed of women, of all the sisters I have known.  They made a great circle around me and chanted Om three times.  My heart became a bird of many colors.  My rib cage opened and the bird flew up into the sky.  My tear-ducts ran themselves dry and the muscles of my eyes ached.  I knew I was alive.

Finally, I dreamed of bloodlines and of men, the many brothers I have known.  I dreamed that my father, my grandfather and my son all sat with me at a round table of thick dark wood.  At the center of the table was an elk heart with stones and feathers and seashells on it.  We each ate some of the heart.  I saw them all from a place of peace, a place where all my emotions and thoughts had become transparent.  A place where love runs freely without refrain, a river whose dam has been lifted, flowing with its natural movement restored to it.

Love, you are the answer.  Love, you are the way.  Love, you are the force that opens me.

I woke early to a lone bird whose song split across the darkness, as if repeating something I had yet to discover.  I had the feeling he knew it was spring.  Whatever he knew, or didn’t know, he was joined shortly thereafter by his own sisters and brothers to usher in the sun.